Fest’Oie – Eating your Goose in Style:
The celebrations in Sarlat for Fest’Oie embrace the entire community. Apart from the ‘educational’ experiences, visiting farms and Foie Gras production centres, the event is essentially an extended party. A weekend of food, wine music and dance. As my friends observed…everyone was there, from tiny children through to the elderly…and even the teenagers were happily dancing by the end of the evening.
I’d originally assumed that the Festival was a long running event, but in fact it is something created recently as a celebration of the heritage of Foie Gras d’Oie production in the Perigord Noir and of the associated traditions of the region. Held over a weekend in February the Fest’Oie comprises a whole series of fun events focussing around Saturday evening’s Bodég’oie – an open air party with food and drink, a street fair in the town centre on Sunday morning and a massive sit down lunch.
Sunday’s street fair was already busy by 10am. There were traditional games
A lot of geese
Even the chance to get up close and personal with some of them
Some of the smallest geese in town
Vegetarian options (at this stage looking quite appealing – cute goslings have a strange way of engendering a guilt complex for me)
The grand finale, a lunch with 16 courses of regional specialities, most involving one or other part of the Goose, the ‘Fest’Oie’ was held in a packed hall. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but this was actually a ‘beak to tail’ experience, where we sampled a whole variety of dishes that were made from goose.
It was a huge, slightly chaotic but for all that very splendid lunch party where it seemed as if every person from Sarlat and the surrounding area was there in force.
Apart from a lot of food, there was more live music
More line dancing
And more music
We actually left a little early to catch a flight back to the UK, but the party was in full swing still – and looked as if it would be going on into the night. It’s actually quite hard to convey the dynamic of the event in words and photos, but my friends from the Implausible Blog were there and created this wonderful video diary of the whole event. Take a look and you should find the party atmosphere becomes immediately apparent.
I feel privileged to have been invited to take part in what is at the moment essentially a local event, with very few people from outside the region. Despite the wintery weather it was a vibrant experience and a real celebration of local tradition.
For more information on Sarlat and the annual Fest’Oie held in February:
Email Katia Veyret: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarlat Tourist Office
City Jet flies to Brive in the Dordogne from London City Airport:
The Brive Dordogne Valley Airport
We stayed at Hotel le Renoir, a few minutes from the Town Centre