Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Visiting Mortagne

Angels on ceiling of Notre Dame, Mortagne
In 1640 or so, my ancestors left Mortagne au Perche in France to pursue life in New France. The church in the town, Notre Dame has existed since around 1400 - I sat in a pew there on our recent trip and wondered if they sat in that same space praying for a safe journey. Were they baptized, married, blessed between those walls before they left? How it looked in 1640 is anyone's guess but now Mortagne is a lovely town with many artisan food shops and pretty gardens, set amid softly rolling fields.

We drove around the larger area from where the French migrated, Le Percheron, and visited the Museum of French Emmigration to New France in Tourouvre. This part of France is not well known on the travel circuit but seems to be gaining popularity with Parisiens who are buying up the farms and country houses to use as second homes. 

Hotel du Tribunal
Emigration museum
The neighborhood
Special at the Tribunal
Chef Freddy Pommier, 23 years old
The area has become famous for Perche bread, a hearty bread with a lovely coarse crumb and thick, crunchy crust. We had some fabulous cherry jam and the area is known for Boudin noir, blood sausage, -not exactly a favorite of mine. The Hotel du Tribunal where we stayed had an excellent dining room with a young ascending star chef. We ate very well and had a few new things including veal brains, a first for me and even for Richard who has eaten almost everything in his many varied travels. Drank a couple of Medocs, very fruity and pleasant. Their wine list was well-chosen with affordable selections,
Le petit dejeuner at Tribunal
something we appreciated as the Euros were evaporating from our coffers. While the other restaurants in town seemed to be languishing, the Tribunal was full or near full for the three nights we were there. 

1 comment:

  1. It looks so pretty there, it makes you wonder why your ancestors(or anyone) ever left. But I guess times were bad then. I love your travel stories. I've said it before and I'll say it again-"you should be a writer". You're a natural. And I'll bet there's big money in it!!!!!