WEDNESDAY 25th CHATEAU DES MILANDES



DAY 12 Chateau Milandes
24250 Castelnaud-la-Chapelle
05 53 59 31 21
www.milandes.com
After a thunderstorm last night and the exertions of yesterday, a short trip was called for and, after lunch, we headed for Chateau des Milandes, the former residence of song and dance star Josephine Baker who died suddenly in 1975 during the run of a show celebrating her fifty years in show biz.
The American was a huge success sin Paris for much of the first half of the 20th century but never forgot her American roots and the discrimination against her fellow African Americans. She sacrificed contracts in the fight which saw her famously march in Washington in August 1963 with Dr Martin Luther King. Already she had made the Chateau a home for 10 boys and 2 girls of different nationalities.
The rooms in the Chateau, including her bedroom and bathroom, are among those on the tour and, in the Grand Salon, you see many of her famous costumes, also many photos and original drawings of her in the Folie Bergere.
A popular part of any visit to Milandes is the Birds of Prey Display under the charge of falconers Patrick and Steve. Birds put through their paces include a Kestrel Falcon, a Harris Hawk, a Barn Owl, an eagle owl, a falcons and an American fish eagle. Don’t miss the show, usually on twice in the afternoons, not always in the mornings.
No visit to France is complete without a call to Leclerc and no visit to a branch of that supermarket chain is complete without a call to the wine corner.  Further filled my shopping list by adding a Bergerac Moelluex, a few bottles of Buzet, some Fronsac, one Fronton (by error, maybe  a happy one) and finally a bottle of Banyul, the sweet fortified wine, like port, from the deep south.
The morning visit to the market, where purchases included a big lump of delicious Tomme de Perigord, a lovely cows cheese, ended with a call to a branch of the Valette chain where a purchase of Sarlanoix (liquor) ticked another box. Primary use is as an aperitif but we tend to use it with barbecued banana. Do your banana, quickly lay it on a layer of ice-cream and quickly add a tablespoon or two of Sarlanoix and then quickly eat it!

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