Bi-annual, the next one is August 2011. 22000 people passed through the gates on August 2nd 2009. There is so much to see. The day starts at 11:00 with a church service and then various things happen throughout the day. If you arrive the day before make sure you book at a restaraunt as it gets pretty full. For me, the best things were the Wild tree men (great with the children, I expected the children to be terrified) the very weird jester, in the UK he would be arrested under suspicion of being "not quite right" and the quiet time I had in the churh towards the end of the ceremonial bit of the day. A young man wandere d in, black anorak, white rucksack, and stood at the altar and sang various sacred passages and songs He concluded with a rendition of Nessum Dormer. I said "Encore!" and he said that it was not as good as he hoped. This was conducted via hand signals as he spoke neither French nor English although when I waved my hand in an arc forwards and said "Very high, tres haut"he fully understood and nodded his head vigourously. he would have sung more but the Mairie and other town worthies arrived and started blowing out candles, closing doors etc and we felt unwelcome. We both hovered as I wanted to sing something with him but it was obvious the town worthies were not having it and so we all left. however, after the dismal Bal medieaval I got the opportunity to sing with a lovely young Danish guy and really enjoyed myself. The festivites went on, in one way or another until about 3:00 a.m.
Visit the Brasserie de Le Gare de Moncontour. Good beer, brewed in the English way eg bitter with hops from Kent. The Brewer is friendly and justifiably proud of his work although the bar is a little clinical and could do with making it feel warmer.
this is a theatre group with 3 women.. very good one, lot of funny songs ( but only for french ears, sorry! :) )
you can see a very old cross on the right side sculpted in stone
A friendly restaurant with a medieval theme, this a good place for large groups, but equally for intimate dining.
Like other restaurants in this area, they serve 'anduillette', a speciality sausage which is probably an acquired taste, made as it is of tripe! It's certainly an interesting taste!
We paid 20 euros each for a three course meal with a glass of spiced wine to start with and bottles of house red and white that were constantly replenished! Very good value!
Very plain, almost cafe style with formica tables. But such fresh fresh fish. This is a gourmets paradise.
Favorite Dish: Too many. Oysters, mussels (cooked in 12 different ways!) languostine, salmon, bass, cod etc. You name it, they serve it.
If there is a bus to and from Moncontour I haven't seen one yet. Possibly there amy be a bus stop on the main round but, agaian, I didn't see one. A bus cannot get into the old part of town although there is room up near the infirmary for a bus to enter and turn around.
1. There is an excellent butchers on the Rue Notre Dame. The owners make their own sausages and pate (naturellement!) and the meat is of superb quality.
2. There is an "organic" shop in Montcontour, a bit like Holland and Barrett.
3. The Patisserie. This is of the usual standard you find in France, mouthwatering cakes and flans and pizzas.
4. The Chocolatieire. This is pure heaven
5. There are several shoe shops, jewellers and a childrens clothing shop, a handycrafts shop and several "dress shops" as well as a supermarket There are also a couple of Tabacs and shops selling gifts and postcards. A couple of shops selling painitngs and prints.
6. The Vegetable market on the junction of Rue Notre dame and the road leading into the square.
What to buy: 1. Everythng - it is all of the highest quality but their sausages are lovely (and they don't fill them like rusk as we do in the UK!)
2. Good organic vegetables as well as the usual herbal remedies.
3. I am limited in my comments as I am a ceoliac but they do great meringues!
4. A dieters nightmare. All the chocolates are handmade and beautifully presented. Mine ( a present from my friend) came in a beautiful pottery duck also made locally.
5. The supermarket is nothing special and the other shops arer standard for a small town of this size.
6. The vegetable market is, beng French, superb, you can also buy lovely free range eggs, plants, home cooked pizza as well as fruit and veg.
What to pay: 1. Excellent value for the quality.
2. Organic always come with a price. The French have taken to organic farming much quicker than we have.
3. Look in the window and you can gain a stone. Prices average except you pay more, as usual, for specialities.
4. Expensive but everything is handmade. A really special treat or gift.
6. Great value, everythng is really fresh, everyone is friendly and the French house wife expects value and gets it. Twice a week.
Open "Events in Moncontour" on my friends site.
Photos are from the 2009 Fete. So the next is 2011