Monday, 3 May 2010

An Introduction to Calvados

The other evening I received a phone call from the mayor of a small village some 5km from the coast. He was aware that I was looking for a property for clients in the Bessin region of Calvados and he thought that he knew of a suitable property. Ignoring the formalities of telling me more about the house and the price, he invited me to meet him the following evening.

Driving into the well kept grounds of the Mairie, it was to become apparent that this was indeed emblematic of the pride that both the mayor and most of the other 300 inhabitants have in their community. The mayor suggested that, if I cared to, I accompany him to collect the keys.

We spent the next hour or so strolling around the pretty village, stopping at a rather impressive farmhouse where the keys were kept. I could only regret that the owner had done such a wonderful job of restoring the barns – how I wished these were still ‘a renover’. Frequently waylaid by villagers of all ages, the mayor pointed out places of interest and we finally we arrived at the house that, happily, might indeed be a suitable option for my clients.

The object of the visit had been to view a property, but I came away with far more information than that, a real insight into this particular small community. The mayor had taken the trouble to give up his time on a Saturday afternoon (a Bank Holiday to boot) to welcome this ‘stranger’ to his village and to share his passion for the region. In my experience this is by no means unusual – this is Calvados and this is why I love it.