Replacing the whole roof of the original house and shoring up the front of the building allowed us to extend the floor area by about 12 sq m. This picture shows the laths almost ready to receive the recycled flat tiles (tuiles plats), some of which are more than 200 years old. Incidentally, the reason the house is known as ‘the Spanish’ house is that for many years following the Spanish civil war, a family that had fled north from Spain lived in the house, becoming tenant farmers in the village. They whitewashed both the interior and exterior of the house in the Spanish style and added a number of other Spanish touches such as castanets hanging above the fireplace and a small Spanish dancer as decoration. The family moved to Souillac for work in the 1960s and live there still.
I think one of my favourite meals at a restaurant last year was at La Gabarre restaurant, St Julien. This picture will give you an idea why – it was a beautifully cooked special of pigeon two ways with delicious fresh vegetables and a light sauce. Washed down with a rose from the Lot Valley, it is a good example of why La Gabarre is a favourite for most of our guests. And why we will be going back this year!
January 2016. A new year, a new attempt to finish the Spanish renovation! This photo, taken in 2012, shows the state of the building we know as ‘the Spanish house’ before we started to renovate it. It was falling down and the roof sagged. It was becoming dangerous. But, as one of the oldest buildings in the village and one we have become fond of, we thought it was worth saving and upgrading. Not so much a Grand Design but at least we would be rescuing a bit of the old farming hamlet. In coming weeks we’ll post some photos showing how the process worked out. We decided to start with the roof so the structure could be stopped from deteriorating further, allowing us time to work out what to do with this charming building, part of the heritage of the commune of Masclat.