Tarn travelling for the AGM

Nigel writes:

Our 2022 AGM was held at the end of September at Gaillac (Tarn), in the pleasant surroundings of the Hôtel Restaurant La Verrerie and was followed by an enjoyable lunch. Committee member Christopher Boddington, who made the arrangements for us, took us that morning to the splendid 12th-century Château de Mayragues (enlarged in the 17th), a monument historique close by the bastide of Castelnau-de-Montmiral and complete with chemin de ronde en encorbellement. Once a ruin and now lovingly restored, it was in 1998 awarded the Grand prix des vieilles maisons françaises. There we were treated by Alan Geddes to a relaxed and informative tasting of the family’s biodynamic wines and several members who bought a case or two on the day have since reported favourably on their quality

The Association being in decent financial shape and with all office-holders in post until the 2023 AGM, the business side of the meeting was dispatched briskly. It was agreed to maintain the annual subscription at €10 and details of how this might be paid were included in the Minutes emailed to members. Outline arrangements for our 2023 programme will be discussed in November/December and members will then be canvassed for opinions/suggestions via the website and an email circular.

Château Feely and Le Bistro de Malfourat

On September 20th, a group of members and friends numbering about 20 ventured into the Bergerac vineyards for a tour of the Château Feely biodynamic vineyard and a wine tasting conducted by the knowledgable student of viticulture and author, Caro, of the same name.

OUS visits normally conclude with a lunch and the group was delighted to enjoy both the magnificent view of Bergerac and its surrounding countryside and an excellent menu du jour provided by the Bistrot de Malfourat which adjoins the Michelin-star Tour des Vents. As usual old acquaintances were renewed and new ones formed in this congenial environment. Our thanks to John Perry, who arranged both visit and lunch with characteristically unobtrusive finesse.

Monteton Book Fair this weekend!

Marion writes:

This coming Saturday and Sunday, 22nd and 23rd October, there is the annual English book sale in Monteton (47),  with hundreds of books for all tastes at 1€ each. Tea, coffee and home-made cakes. Monteton is a charming village with a fine church and chateau (Anglican sung matins at 10h30 on Sunday). It is also near Duras with its castle and Allemans-sur-Dropt with its mediaeval frescoes.

Bergerac Wine, Bergerac Lunch

The final OUS SW France visit for 2022 will be on 20 October to Château Feely, Saussignac followed by lunch at the Bistrot de Malfourat, Monbazillac. Members are invited to reply to Nigel’s invitation.

Chateau Feely (https://chateaufeely.com/) is renowned for its organic biodynamic wines. Caro Feely will be delighted to welcome us for the taster tour a one hour exploration of their vineyard.


The Bistrot de Malfourat adjoins the Michelin-starred Tour des Vents. It offers an agreeable menu with fine views towards Bergerac and the Monbazillac vineyard in its large salon. https://lebistrotdemalfourat.wixsite.com/lebistrotdemalfourat.

Gaillac AGM, September 29th

Thanks to Chris Boddington, arrangements have been made for this year’s AGM to be held in Gaillac (81). Thursday 29 September 2022, 12h.00 for 12h.15 at the Hotel Restaurant La Verrerie, 1 Rue de l’égalité, 81600 Gaillac. Guests are also welcome.

Nigel has sent details to all members. Members are also reminded that the annual subscription for 2022–2023 is now due.

The final OUS SW France visit for 2022 will be on 20 October to Château Feely, followed by lunch at the Bistrot de Malfourat. Details will be circulated in early October.

Note: The annual Phoenix Book Sale, to support care and rehoming of animals in need, is on 1 October in the Salle Anatole France, 33 rue Anatole France, 24100 Bergerac. See <https://www.phoenixasso.com/phoenix-book-fair/&gt;.

Château Malromé

The Bordeaux wine region is not short of chateaux, but few (any?) combine in a visit a tour of a finely restored building, a wine tasting and chai visit with an encounter with the life and work of an artist who captured the spirit of his age so graphically. A good twenty members, Cambridge alumni and friends took part on this 23rd June – and we enjoyed a good lunch too. Marion and Nigel are due generous thanks for arranging this visit, which was also excellent value for money.

In the gallery below, see the amphora being used experimentally to mature the blend. The chateau produces red, white and rosé, now under the etiquette ‘Toulouse-Lautrec’, as it was the chateau of Henri’s mother, Adèle. See too Henri’s childhood drawing hidden behind a door and a reproduction showing his fondness for red-heads, presented by the chateau’s own redhead.

Sainte-Mère Festival

This year our member Piers Killeen is presenting Elisabeth Pion and the De Beauvoir Trio

Wednesday 3rd August 2022

He writes: During 2022 the Festival will continue its work of supporting young, talented musicians with residences and recitals. However,due to the excessive costs incurred over recent years as a result of covid-related restrictions, we can present only one concert (3rd Aug) and one piano recital (1st August) this season.

For more information and to book visit the festival web site: https://www.saintemerefestival.com/home-en

A roam at Malromé? 23rd June.

Nigel has sent members details of our next excursion. Please contact us if you have not received these.

Château Malromé, first recorded in the sixteenth century, became in 1847 the joint property of Adolphe de Forcade La Roquette, Vice-President of the Council of State under Napoleon III, and his half-brother, Marshal Armand-Jacques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud, Governor of Paris and Minister for War. The two men were adepts of the fashion for interventionist restoration championed by Eugène Viollet-de-Duc (1814–1879), best known for his work at both Pierrefonds and Carcassonne andon Notre-Dame in Paris.

In 1883, Countess Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec née Adelaide Fergusson purchased the property from Forcade La Roquette’swidow. Her son, the painter Henri (b.1864), was a frequent visitor, dying at the château in September 1901.

Among later owners of the Château was Doctor Gabriel Seynat, adjoint of the postwar Mayor of Bordeaux, Jacques Chaban Delmas. The house and grounds have been extensively restored.