Arrival in Belvès

Counting down: to opening up

There are just five days to go until we open our cheese and wine bar – and make real the dream we’ve been working towards these past few years.

Our arrival brought the village to a standstill. We had to get special permission from the mairie to bring our removal lorry up the medieval high street.

Arrival in Belvès

Since then, getting ready to open has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

We nominated this Thursday, 30 July, as our opening date and have done our best to hit it. There have been days when we’ve thought we were being unrealistic about what we could achieve in the time, but it all seems to be coming together.

In the past three weeks since arriving in Belvès, we’ve created the company for the business, set up a professional bank account and sourced suppliers.

And sanded and painted like our lives depended on it.

View of Chateau Biron from Domaine de la Tuque

Sourcing suppliers has been fun,as you might imagine. For example, this week we visited a local vineyard, la Domaine de la Tuque, which overlooks the beautiful Château Biron (see photo). We’ve taken several IGP Périgord wines from them for our list.

We also spent several hours with, first, renowned winemaker Christian Roche from Domaine l’Ancienne Cure and then local wine expert Julien Montfort from Julien de Savignac. (More about those visits another time.)

We’ve also worked our way around numerous local brocantes and depôts-ventes to get furniture and other items for the bar and the guest bedrooms.

Replacing the old windows with folding doors was a big moment for us. I know it seems obvious, but the huge amount of extra light has really changed how the place feels.

New shop window, Belvès

We’re now on the home stretch. The bar floor is drying as I type this, and from Monday, we’ll be able to set up the tables and chairs in there. Then it will really start to feel very real.

Our opening weekend starts Thursday evening, when we’ll open the doors to the curious locals. They’ve shown great interest in what we’re offering and we’ve been assured that the people of the village will come and make our first night a success.

Ten days later, we’ll hold the official launch evening. The mayor will come and cut a ribbon and say a few words.

Later that week, our first B&B guests will arrive. The bedrooms aren’t quite finished yet, so the timing suits us fine.

We’ve called the place Planches et Plonk. We chose it as it’s half-French and half-English. A planche, if you aren’t sure, is a platter. And plonk, well, you don’t need us to tell you what that is!

If you’re a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter user, please follow us on those networks, as I’ll soon call an end to this blog.

In the meantime, please wish us well and raise a glass to us on Thursday. Even better, if you’re in Belvès any time soon, come and raise a glass with us!

This entry was published on Sat, 25 Jul 2020 at 09:20. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

16 thoughts on “Counting down: to opening up

  1. What time are opening on Thursday?
    And please could you let me know your exact official opening day and time. I will be there. Can’t wait!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nemorino on said:

    As an American I had no idea what ‘plonk’ meant. But I’ve just looked it up.
    Good luck with your opening!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks amazing well done. We will certainly come and see you, take picture for our blog to advertise the new shop for you. Looking forward to it. congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So glad I’ve caught up with you & how exciting – your dream is rapidly moving on to its next stage and here’s raising a glass to you both & wishing the very best of good fortune, fun, happiness and success with Planches et Plonk!

    Will you have time blog with a new title once you’ve opened? Will have to find you on FB/Twitter and hope we might meet up when we next come to the gorgeous Dordogne! All the very best for Thursday :-))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Joyce. Not sure about blogging yet. Our new website has a blogging option, as it’s built using WordPress. Hope to see you when you’re in Dordogne. Wishing you all the very best in the meantime. Graham

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well the timing with the current situation must be difficult but you are on your way ok, best of luck. At least you have good sources say hello to Christian Roche from me met him in Paris and purchase his wines by delivery now…. Dom de la Tuque is good choice too. Looking forward to better days and stopping by Bélves! In the meantime, greet you n FB !Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ada Terrebonne Churchwell on said:

    I’m very happy for y’all. You had a dream and made it happen, even after many bumps in the road. I don’t know when I’ll make it back to France but would love to do my tiny little part to support of your new place. I am assured the hospitality would be great.

    I wish y’all every success!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wishing you all the luck in the world for your new venture. I am too far away to come in person for the time being, but I will certainly raise a glass to you on Thursday.


  8. Moy Lewis-Logie on said:

    Wishing you the best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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