L’Escapade: Episode 19

Monsieur Grumpy and Madame Snooty have just left after spending four nights with us. He grumbled and moaned about anything and everything from the moment they arrived. She could rarely manage eye-contact or a bonjour as they came and went.

I had only just been boasting, in an email to Colin, that M. Vincent, who had left us last weekend, had given us a glowing review, 10/10 for welcome, staff, cleanliness, location, comfort, and value-for-money. 7.5/10 for facilities. (He pointed out a few extra kitchen items that he felt wet lacking). So we were feeling pretty chuffed.

But M. et Mme Grumpy felt differently. They had the opportunity to leave as soon as they saw the apartment, or cut short their stay, but remained until the end. As he left he was still moaning that the receipt I handed him was hand written and not a proper printed one. He also wanted me to know that he’d stayed in a place on the Lot Region for less money, and it had nicer countryside. I got some practise on my Gallic shrug and managed to contain my verbal response until he was out of ear-shot. It’s so sad to see people with no joy in their lives.

Le Grand Rond S

John and I had a joyful day out last week when we took the train to Toulouse. The weather forecast had been a bit suspect but we were very fortunate whilst in the city, it was pleasantly warm and sunny. The rain began as we got off the train at the end of the day.


Our plan was not to have one. We ambled through the streets, strolled thought the parks, promenaded down by the river and I took lots of photos. We delighted in the experience of one of the best indoor food markets I have ever seen; Les Halles.


We have been to Toulouse a number of times before but not for quite a few years so we just wanted to reacquaint ourselves with this charming city. We chose our morning coffee break to be at Place de Wilson. Our lunch had to be in Le Magret, one of the many brilliant restaurants above Les Halles.

The architecture of the city is naturally a mixture of styles, buildings from many centuries surviving, being renovated or modernised. It’s predominantly what you think of as classic French city architecture, with elegantly proportioned façades and plenty of fancy wrought-iron balconies.

An incredible mosaic covering the façade of a shop caught my attention. However, I stopped dead when I saw the magnificent Palais de Justice building, so modern, so original, so clever and so ORANGE. I loved it. Sunlight through glass panels create the patterns on the plain stone pillars.

This blog is based on truth but for privacy and security many of the names have been changed and some of the story may be embellished at times for dramatic effect.