The Lot flows with Malbec

A group of 20 alumni and friends ventured into the Lot to enjoy a morning of wine tasting followed by lunch, all organised by Greg Hawes. Greg’s devotion to duty had involved a rapid trip to his daughter’s graduation in Durham and a return at 5 a.m. home the same day, so great thanks are due to Greg, one of our many new members!

The excellent wine tasting at Château Famaey was conducted by Maarten Luyckx, son of the proprietor and main winemaker, assisted by Florence. Maarten exports successfully to 26 countries – and provide wine to BA’s lounges (first-class only of course!). We enjoyed  hearing about the complexities of wine-making, exporting and barrel varieties and left with a significant selection of wine demonstrating our very varied tastes.

Maarten and Florence
The bar graced by our founder and our chairman’s wife!

Lunch in Lectoure, with Baron Lawson of Blaby, Saturday, 12th August.

bastardlogojpg        lawsonquote

We are pleased to invite you to what we believe will be an exceptional event; a quality lunch in lovely surroundings in the Gers, with a suitable post-prandial address by our guest, Nigel Lawson.

Those who attended our AGM four years ago will remember this fine hotel in 32700 Lectoure. Since then it has changed hands and a recent visit satisfies us the cuisine has improved still further. Our lunch will take place indoors in the elegant dining room, with apéritifs outside, weather permitting.

Nigel Lawson went up to Christ Church in the 1950s and took a First in PPE. He went on to write the Lexicon column at the FT, edit The Spectator, then serve inter alia as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher for 6 years to 1989. He has a house in the Gers and has kindly agreed to join us, with his partner, as our guest (or indeed he could be a member!) We are told by someone who heard him speak quite recently, that this is a rewarding experience.

Lunch, including 3 courses, apéritif, wine and coffee, is 35 euros per person. Members’ spouses and guests will be welcome, but capacity is limited to 40 so please reserve seats early to avoid disappointment! Because we are taking over the entire indoor dining area we are naturally being asked for a payment in advance, so
please confirm your wish to attend, with numbers, to Marion and then send your cheque for the relevant sum (being 35 euros x number of people) made payable to OUS SW France, to our Treasurer: Pip Kirby, 26 rue des fossés, 47800 Allemans du Dropt.

For further information, please refer to :

The final closing date for notifying your attendance or otherwise is Saturday 29 July.

Final details and directions will be circulated in due course to those attending.

2017 events update

;Our 2017 programme is up and running and members have been sent, or will be sent, details of the following future events by email:

  • Afternoon tea and Pimms with Terence and Carolina Bendixson at St Amans du Pech on Sunday 6th August UPDATE: unfortunately this event is having to be postponed to summer 2018; new date TBA.
  • Lunch, with Nigel Lawson as guest speaker, in Lectoure on Saturday 12th August
  • A tasting visit to a local member’s chateau (Chateau Biac) with an on site buffet lunch, on Friday 1st September. Details to follow. see
  • Our AGM on Tuesday 12th September at La Suite restaurant, Villeneuve sur Lot Golf & Country Club, 47290 Castelnaud de Gratecambe
  • A lunch on 4th November in Le Temple sur Lot organised by Jeremy James

As usual Marion will communicate details of these events as they firm up. If for some reason, you have not received the details please contact her.

Any member prepared to organise a lunch or other event of interest in his / her local area is of course welcome to do so or put forward ideas; with an influx of ‘new’ members recently joining our list, new opportunities for enjoyable social contact are just waiting to be explored!

Lot-et-Garonne Lunch, 26 May

Marion writes:
One of the great benefits of our OUS branch is that it gives its members a chance to meet, and then keep up with, many whom we might never otherwise have encountered – and to do so in a friendly and enjoyable manner. At the last AGM it was suggested that individual members might wish to organize informal events in their neighbourhoods :  for those living close by, of course, but also for any others who might wish to attend.
It is with this objective in mind that Jeremy James proposes meeting for lunch  in the village of Laroque-Timbaut (Lot-et-Garonne), on Friday 26th May.

Further details have been sent to members.

Sainte-Mère Festival, August 2017

Our member Piers Killeen has organised another stunning festival at his château.

Sainte-Mère Festival  2017
 Booking is now open – for fabulous chamber music with some of
the finest young string players in Europe:
Saturday 19  Aug  18h00     Sainte-Mère ~ In the Château
Participation 32 €
Haydn    The Emperor Quartet   Op.76 No.3
Maconchy      Quartet  No.3
Dvorak     The American Quartet   No.12 Op.96
Concert in the Château with apéros in the gardens
Sunday  20 Aug  19h00     Sainte-Mère ~ In the Château                Participation 60 €
Dvorak     Quartet   No.8 Op.80
Britten     Quartet  No.2
Schubert   The Rosamunde Quartet   Op.29 No.1
Concert in the Château with champagne dinner in the gardens

Tuesday 22 Aug   18h00    Sainte-Mère  ~ In the church                    Participation 20 €

Mozart     The First Prussian Quartet   K575
Dvorak      Quartet  No.5 Op.9
Beethoven   Quartet  No.10 Op.74  The Harp

 With Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Emma Parker, violins, Rosalind Ventris, viola, Nathaniel Boyd, cello, of The Albion Quartet
 Booking is simple:  Just send a cheque made payable to  Sainte-Mère Festival  to:
Château de Sainte-Mère, 32700 Sainte-Mère, with a note of the tickets you would like(and an s.a.e. if you would like them mailed to you).   For lots more information see: 


Meeting OUBC, January 3rd 2016.

Once again, thanks to Jeremy James, thirteen members and partners were able to meet the Boat Race crew during their annual training period at Le Temple-sur-Lot.

This was the third year for this event.   The day went, as always, extremely well.   Jeremy started it because he knew that OUBS trained on the Lot (one of the main rivers of southwestern France) every January and thought that it might be fun for both sides.

OUBC has already said how much the annual event is appreciated and that it looks forward to repeating it in 2017.   It is an unfailingly delightful occasion much enjoyed by both sides, as the photo below testifies (click on it to enlarge)!

OUBC Le Temple 2016
OUBC Le Temple 2016