Madam Murat - a restaurant, a social history museum or a time capsule
We visited Madame Murat's Restaurant - Chez Jeanne - in Pomarede in South West France.
Not the best restaurant I've been to but one of the most interesting. Mary Moody of course wrote a book about it and there is a TV program,now available on DVD.
All three say something about rural France.
It is changing. It has always been changing.
Down here in a relatively unknown corner of France we have had
*the emergence of Cro magnon man - neolithic tools have been found 100 metres from our chateau.
*the invasion of the Celts
*the invasion of the Romans
*the invasion of the barbarians, goths, vandals and franks
*Vikings came up the Lot and Garonne rivers in their longboats for plunder
*Eleanor of Aquitaine married the future king of England and prompted the English to control the area for a few centuries, follwed by the hundred years war
*there were also assorted religious wars and the Black Death that caused a few changes
*phylloxera wiped out the local wine industry in the 1860s and caused disruption to land use and rural lifestyles
*many young men from every village lost their lives in distant wars 1800-1815, and 1914-1918.
*Nazi occupation and resistance have left scars and monuments
*the industrial revolution has lead to a steady decline in rural population over the past two centuries.
More recently there has been a new invasion of English (and others) They have been buying old village houses and farm houses and renovating them as holiday houses and as places for permanent relocation. This new money and new blood has revitalised the area and has kept alive many small communities and the businesses and services they depend on.
So Madam Murat's and her clientele are changing slowly with the times. What isn't changing is the basic elements. Good food, no fuss, efficient service.
See more details of our visit to Madam Murat
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