20 May 2017

C'est la France, après tout...

The shop in the first two photos below used to be a charcutier/traiteur's boutique. A charcutier is a pork butcher, and a traiteur is a kind of caterer. Such a shop is called a charcuterie and the closest equivalent in the U.S. would be a delicatessen. This one closed down five or six years ago, to be replaced by...

The shop called La Dentellière a few steps up the main street from the church, and a few steps off the market square in old Saint-Aignan. Dentelle means lace, and the la dentellière is the lacemaker — a woman because the word is feminine.

Along with the window displays showing the kinds of garments you can buy in the shop, there are posters advertising the big zoo, Le Zooparc de Beauval, Saint-Aignan's major tourist attraction. It's on the south side of the town and has, yes, lions and tigers and gorillas and, especially, giant pandas, for you to see and admire.

Another shop that seems to be an institution in Saint-Aignan is the bakery (above) called La Pâtisserie du Château. When we first arrived here it sold mostly pastries and some bread, but the bread was not made by a boulanger on the premises.

Now the shop still sells pastries, but it is really more of a boulangerie than a pâtisserie. Ownership of the business has changed several times over the past 15 years, and the bread now is excellent. It's made by an artisan boulanger in the back room of the shop and is always perfectly fresh and crusty. The sign above, on the corner of the building over the front door, says the business is now called Belle Époque Boulangerie. But the old name is still painted on the front of the shop.

The church is right behind the bakery, and the shop next door is one of the half-dozen or more salons de coiffure scattered around the town. The full name of the business is Diva Coiffure Mixte — mixte means women, men, and children are welcome to come in to have their hair cut or done up.


  1. I swear, all of your photos from where you live look like movie sets ! how gorgeous it all is.
    I think I would enjoy getting a haircut at Diva Coiffure :)

  2. The bakery sounds wonderful.

  3. Such great-looking store fronts -- this is the look we think of when we think of France. These are nicely kept up. Bread bread bread... can't wait!


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