The fête several years ago. Are we in a Pagnol film? It got too big for the little square by the church and was moved under the giant platanes at the community hall.

If you’re in France during the summer, it’s worth keeping an eye out for local fêtes, where a big helping of charm is served with your meal.

P1030849But the ways of the village fête can be mysterious. To even find out about it, you must keep your eyes peeled for little flyers posted at, say, the local grocer or bakery or café. Or you might hear about it, literally, when the town hall makes an announcement over the local loudspeakers. You might have to buy tickets in advance, usually possible at one of the local businesses.

Place settings carried in shopping bags or your typical cute French basket

And don’t forget to bring your own place settings (BYOP!), or, as they stipulate on the flyers, il faut apporter ses couverts–plates, silver, glass, napkins. This is a very practical solution, in my opinion.

These places are taken!

Our village football team organizes a dinner, followed by fireworks at the château sponsored by the mayor, on July 13, not to compete with the huge fireworks in Carcassonne on Bastille Day. As if!

I love the before and after of the apéritif:

The meal is simple but good and hearty. This time was salad, followed by a duck stew, then cheese and a piece of fruit tart.

Sated, everybody headed to the château for the fireworks. Not big, but very correct.

In French, “correct” means not just not wrong but fair, reasonable, good value, in good taste. It can apply to a meal, clothing, people, work or effort….a useful word.


The waterfall effect on the stone bridge was more than correct.


15 thoughts on “BYOP

  1. Years ago, before we moved here, we were vacationing in Agde and found one of these in a village just north of there. It was wonderful, with a French jazz band performing on a flatbed truck stage. We now can no longer remember the name of the village and we have yet to find any fete as charming in our area of la Charente.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how very French oh la la, we have similar in our village, we always say “the French don’t need an excuse to have a get together” but what a good idea to bring your own plates etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a nice evening. Good food, good company, and that pretty little girl at the end of the table in your first picture isn’t going to let anything get by her, no sir!
    Evocative of New England town and church suppers. That sort of thing builds community in a way that nothing else does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, some friends who moved here from Gers popped by the dinner, thinking they could buy tickets on the spot. That’s how it worked in their former town. Still, it’s logical that for a sit-down dinner the planners need to know how many people will attend.


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