Monday, 17 January 2011

A Boulangerie for Issel

When we first moved to Issel back in 2008 we noticed a lot of renovation work going on in the old Boulangerie next to the Mairie's office. Of course with our plans to open a gite we hoped above hopes that this work was going to result in the opening of a proper Boulangerie offering real French bread freshly baked on a daily basis.

We did actually receive a questionnaire at one point asking what products we would like to see on sale in the soon to be opened Boulangerie come general store. We filled in the questionnaire and as requested returned it to the Mairie's office, thinking it can't be too long now before the shop would be open.

That I believe was around the middle of 2009. Well I am sure you have probably anticipated my next statement, it ain't going to happen, as our American friends would put it. We haven't been informed officially but Angela on a recent trip to the hair dressers in the village decided to broach the subject to find out what was happening and whether the long awaited Boulangerie was going to materialise. The answer of course was 'Non', it is now apparently going to be a private house.

Still all is not lost, in the absence of a permanent shop we are going to get not one but three mobile stores. They will park at various locations in the village offering a range of different products. The most exciting one being the provision of different types of bread on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9.15 onwards and ironically they will be parking in front of the old Boulangerie in the place de la mairie.

There will of course be more than bread on offer from our 3 times a week mobile store, there is also going to be all sorts of pastries which will of course include croissants. This is fantastic for visitors to our gite, they can tick that continental breakfast box now for at least 3 mornings a week without going further than the local village.

On a Tuesday there is also going to be a local epicerie (grocers) available from 9.00 to 9.30a.m. in the same place. It's only a half an hour window but, hey, beggars can't be choosers and I for one would love to see these guys getting enough business to keep them coming back.

The third mobile store is a 'jardin des halles' supplying fruit, vegetables, general groceries and other fresh products. Being slightly larger they can be found at the 'Salle Polyvalente' or village hall as we would call it, every Friday from 8.00 to 9.30a.m.

Of course there is always the fall back options of Daniel's fruit, vegetable and pizza place in Peyrens which is only 5 minutes in the car. He also sells fresh bread and croissants with a selection of wines available which he chooses himself, being quite knowledgeable on the subject and he is open Wednesday to Sunday.

The other fall back option is the Boulangerie in St Papoul which is open Tuesday to Sunday and is also only about 5 minutes in the car. Bottom line if you want fresh bread on a Monday is I am afraid a 10 minute trip into Castelnaudary.

Not that bad really all things considered and with the new mobile services. It would have been so nice to have that local village Boulangerie but I guess, as in the UK, times are a little tough. Progress is progress however and this news is definitely progress.

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