To celebrate the start of autumn and the return of the good weather, we had an outing today. I can never resist an opportunity to go the wonderful old Cistercian abbey at Prébenoit, 12.5 km from here, and today it was the venue for the first ever Fête Gauloise. So, chores done, we (Chris, Rors and I) hopped on our bikes and set off.

gaulish sign

The posters had promised animaux vivants (living animals) and sure enough, there was a miniature pig, a dwarf goat, some very friendly sheep, ducks and geese, ponies for rides and two heavy horses pulling a wagon.

gaulish sheep

There was also one dead animal. The pig roast had only just got going. This guy was still very raw.

gaulish pigroast

I hope they weren’t planning on eating him any time soon as I imagine it was going to take most of the day to cook him properly. It was a little disappointing to see the spit was powered by a car battery and not by a more authentically Gaulish means i.e. manpower!

There was a variety of craft stalls, manned and womanned by people dressed in vague approximations of ancient Gaulish outfits. The blacksmith in the Gaulish chainmail caught my eye. Not many people know that Romans got chainmail from the Gauls, and not the other way round.

gaulish blacksmith

We were delighted to see Mr Stroopwafel. OK, so stroopwafels originated in Gouda in The Netherlands in the eighteenth century, but in our part of Creuse, a fête isn’t a fête unless this stand is there. And since Mr S had dressed up, then he fitted in a treat. (For anyone local reading this, Mr Stroopwafel is at Boussac market every Thursday, and believe me, his stroopwafels are to die for.)

gaulish stroopwafels

We had hoped for Ancient Gaulish refreshments as we were decidedly peckish after our ride, but as I’ve mentioned, the pig was nowhere near cooked and all the other food stalls hadn’t got going yet. We bought a small loaf of chewy rye bread to share and, of course, some stroopwafels and that served to get us home (up a very big hill, I might add).

gaulish ponies

It was a small but enjoyable event, into which the people involved had put a lot of thought and work. I hope this will become a regular do – it was original and fun. And there were some great crafts. My favourite was this ant. No way I’d have got him up that hill home though!

gaulish ant