French bless­ings

FOL­LOW THE READER

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - The Food Issue - JACKIE TAY­LOR

POINT LONS­DALE, VIC IT was July 1992 and my hus­band Gra­ham and I had booked a week in a farm­house just out­side the knife-mak­ing town of Laguiole in south­west France. We were to be joined by our three sons, Greg, Nick and Chris, and Greg’s long-time part­ner (now wife) Jenny.

Each morn­ing the four young ones jogged into Laguiole to buy bread and crois­sants at the ex­quis­ite pas­try shop. Our sons quickly be­came known in the mar­ket town for their gourmet tastes.

We ex­plored widely, re­turn­ing to our charm­ing farm­house each evening, mostly to eat out­doors over­look­ing rolling hills and deep green val­leys.

The high­light was our spe­cial Bastille Day din­ner at Michel Bras. When book­ing our farm­house we were told not to miss this din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and we had writ­ten, in French, to Michel Bras re­quest­ing a ta­ble for seven for July 14. We re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion, in English.

Back then, Michel Bras had just moved to his hill­side lo­ca­tion out­side Laguiole. That evening we had what will al­ways be our most mem­o­rable fam­ily din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

On the last day of this per­fect week, Gra­ham and I were pre­par­ing to fly back to Aus­tralia while the young ones were off to the Barcelona Olympics. It would soon be Greg’s 30th birth­day and we sug­gested a Laguiole knife might be the ideal gift. We trailed Greg through ar­ti­san cut­lery shops un­til a carv­ing set was de­cided on, which is still used and prized.

And we con­tinue to cel­e­brate Bastille Day, although we were to lose Gra­ham to can­cer less than 15 months af­ter that un­for­get­table week in Laguiole. Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion to our Fol­low the Reader col­umn: travel@theaus­tralian. com.au. Pub­lished colum­nists will re­ceive a $100 voucher for Colorado shoes. Colorado (now stocked by Wil­liams stores) spe­cialises in men’s and women’s life­style footwear. More: colorado.com.au; williamsshoes.com.au.

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