A lo­cal’s view

Find out why life in Eymet is sweet for choco­latier Amanda Pat­tin­son

Living France - - Contents - choco­terie.co.uk

What were you do­ing be­fore you moved to France and what prompted you to make the move? When I lived in the UK I had a food busi­ness mak­ing savoury goods, which I sold through farm­ers’ mar­kets, events and fairs. After a few years of mak­ing pies I de­cided to train as a choco­latier. My move to France was prompted by my hus­band who had hol­i­dayed in France for sev­eral years be­fore we met and, be­cause he ob­vi­ously en­joyed be­ing in France, like so many peo­ple, he de­cided to buy a hol­i­day home here which is where we now live. What at­tracted you to Dor­dogne?

My hus­band de­cided the gen­eral lo­ca­tion as he was more fa­mil­iar with the area than me. That said, I do like the ‘English­ness’ of the lo­cal area but also the abil­ity to be able to travel to com­pletely dif­fer­ent parts in only a few hours. What led you to set up the on­line shop?

I’ve had my on­line shop for about five years now. It came about be­cause once I

be­came a choco­latier I wanted to reach a wider au­di­ence, and in fact it’s al­lowed me to reach a world­wide au­di­ence, which has helped my busi­ness grow con­sid­er­ably. Set­ting up on­line was much more prac­ti­cal and cost-ef­fec­tive than hav­ing a brick­sand-mor­tar shop. It would be nice, how­ever, to have a ‘real’ shop one day, but that at the mo­ment is only some­thing I can dream about. Tell us about the busi­ness...

The aim of the busi­ness is to bring high­qual­ity hand­made choco­lates, bis­cuits and other sweet prod­ucts to our cus­tomers. We spe­cialise in gift bas­kets which are pop­u­lar all year round and as we can ship al­most any­where, we are able to of­fer a great gift so­lu­tion for those who have friends and fam­ily in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. These days we tend to have a steady work flow through­out the year, how­ever, as we make choco­late it’s nat­u­ral that our busi­ness is sea­sonal, so Christ­mas through to Easter is our busiest time. When the tem­per­a­ture rises in the height of sum­mer it isn’t al­ways prac­ti­cal to make choco­late, which means we just have to take time off to en­joy the sun! Dor­dogne is very pop­u­lar with tourists and ex­pats alike – where’s your favourite spot? I have to ad­mit I still haven’t trav­elled ex­ten­sively through­out Dor­dogne, how­ever I do like the Sar­lat area – it is very dif­fer­ent from where we

live. I love the dif­fer­ences in ar­chi­tec­ture and land­scape through­out these parts. More lo­cally, though, Duras is pop­u­lar with ex­pats and tourists – there are some very good restau­rants there which we like to eat at. What do you most en­joy about liv­ing in Dor­dogne? For me, life here is es­pe­cially good be­cause I love be­ing out­side and en­joy­ing the coun­try­side. In our lit­tle bit of Dor­dogne we have wide-open spa­ces and big skies. Be­cause we are in a ru­ral area, at night there is lit­tle or no light pol­lu­tion so we have a spec­tac­u­lar view of the stars and can quite eas­ily see the Milky Way. What is it like through­out the sea­sons?

Ob­vi­ously sum­mer can be very hot but usu­ally the ex­treme 40 º C plus only lasts for a few days. For me the best time is May and Oc­to­ber. Win­ters can be very cold; it’s not un­usual to have sev­eral weeks with night-time tem­per­a­tures around -8 to -10 º C and day­time at freez­ing. The cold­est I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced so far is -17 º C but only for one night. There’s not a great deal to do in the win­ter so we have to make our own en­ter­tain­ment. Where is your favourite mar­ket in Dor­dogne, and why? Is­sigeac is about 25 min­utes from us and the mar­ket takes place in the nar­row streets of the me­dieval vil­lage. It’s par­tic­u­larly good for lo­cal pro­duce.

Amanda Pat­tin­son ( right) is a trained choco­latier

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.