About Us

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Réans, Armagnac, 32 Gers, France
Our objective is to promote friendship between women of all nationalities living in Gascony, SW France, to share our interests and to offer help when needed. The Club started in 2008, with twenty English ladies living in Gascony, using a foreign language and experiencing a new life. Since then, several different groups have been added and our membership has grown into the hundreds, with new ladies moving to the area and ladies who have lived here a while, who have discovered us, who want to make new acquaintances and discover new areas of interest. Today we have eleven nationalities, and our speaking/working language is English. The LLC meets on the second Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August.Every member receives an email each month, giving the name of the restaurant, the chosen, menu and a booking form. In 2014, we became a non-profit making Association, known as Ladies Lunch Club de l’Armagnac. Our annual subscription fee of 10 € is payable in January each year. Each member of the Club may participate in some or all of our various groups

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bookclub meeting October 2013 - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

LLC Bookclub - What's next? 

The next LLC bookclub meeting is on 


16th October 2013 at 14.30h

The October read is 




Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won multiple awards. Rachel Joyce lives with her family on a Gloucestershire farm.

Rachel Joyce's debut novel has taken a fairly simple narrative form, the allegory, and updated it. The journey of Christian through Vanity Fair and the Slough of Despond to the Celestial City was John Bunyan's genius creation, as his humble, everyman hero struggled on his way with his burden on his back. It was a religious tale, of course, full of symbolism. How does Joyce's modern take on it fare?

The withdrawal of religion from the lives of so many of us means a necessary change in our relationship with symbolism. It's no accident that Charlotte Brontë produced novels full of symbolism, being brought up in a religious household; the same could be said for Jeanette Winterson.


Our September book was the 
Chalk Circle Man (L'Homme aux Cercles Bleus) by French writer, Fred Vargas and was the first in her Adamsberg detective series. 
Jean Baptiste  Adamsberg is an unusual detective, ponderous, quiet and enignmatic.  Vargas's characters are slightly eccentric and her narrative style quirky.  Not a pacy read but rather a black comedy. 
The book group was divided in its opinion with some finding it frustrating and others finding it engaging. The different reactions invited a very lively discussion!


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For more information about any of the above or our next meeting and venue, please contact:
Ladieslunchclub secretary:
lunchclubgascogne(at)gmail.com
or you join the blog here:
follow by email
(click on this link if you want regular info)
or our facebook page (see widget on the blog)
Gers Ladies Lunch Club

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Ladies Luncheon October 2013 - registration

Hello Ladies, It's time to book into the Ladies Lunch for October which this month is being held on 


Tuesday 8th October 2013
at 12.30 for registration. 

Please click on this link to register for the lunch and book yourself into the lunch.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1lo8NEFarG1l_RgYyBumwu3Ir875kfw7omKtbLYLcv8w/viewform

You should see a confirmation of your booking, if you have any problems with the form please phone me and I will assist.  
Only those ladies on the form will be able to join the lunch, if in doubt check with me by 

Saturday 5th October on 
05 62 31 58 97 or by email 
jane.cooper.everitt(at)gmail.com.


The menu is:

Salade Nicoise
Rôti de veau
Sauce aux champignons
Puree de pommes de terre maison
Tarte aux pomme fine avec une boule de glace 
Vin, eau et cafe compris

€16 Euros

To ease congestion at registration we would like to ask you all to please put the correct amount of money or a cheque made out to the restaurant in an envelope marked with your name.  
The numbers attending the lunch has risen in the past few months  making registration a bit of a bun fight and rather harrowing to committee members taking the money who are also there to enjoy the event.  

We are going to get you to look after your badges between lunches  - anyone forgetting to bring their badge to a meeting will be made to sit in a corner on their own ! Only joking we are very forgiving !

A few reminders:
Pumpkin Challenge

I hope you have all grown huge pumpkins by now from the seeds we gave you at the Termes d’Armagnac  lunch.  
Please bring your winning pumpkin to the lunch to win the prize.


Xmas Pictures

At every lunch there will of course be the raffle. 
All proceeds go towards the Christmas lunch



which is once again at the Cafe Zik. (Marciac) 

Everyone enjoyed it so much last year and so by popular request we are back there again this year ! Numbers are limited to 100 so we are going to start by offering places to LLC members and their partner first and include guests if there are some places left.

We will be selling the tickets at the November lunch and will let you know before that time the menu and cost when confirmed. At that time, we will have booking form available for you to register.  

We have decided to sell the tickets before the event to ease the congestion. Last year was very busy on the door and the committee are keen, as you all are to chat to everyone, before sitting down for lunch.   

If you cannot make the November lunch don'’t fret, we will have a postal method of obtaining tickets.

Last but not least:
Ladies Lunch Club Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

This is a very special event for the LLC.  Some of the many talented members of the group are exhibiting their work at Château Millet, near Eauze .  

There is a private viewing for LLC members and their friends on  


Friday 1st of November 
between 5 and 8pm.  

On the following two days, 

Saturday the 2nd, 10am till 6pm 
and 
Sunday 3rd, between 10am and 4pm 
the gallery will be open to the public

More than 12 of our members are exhibiting  a selection of paintings,  stained glass, patchwork and quilting, jewelery, hand crafted cards and sculptures. 

An event not to be missed, put it in your diaries.

Lots to think about.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next lunch

Jane, Pippa, Sue S and Sue K 

Friday, 13 September 2013

new perspectives for 2014

Dear Ladies of Ladies Lunch Club Gascogne/Gers

Many of you will already know that our Chairwoman, Dawn has sadly had to resign her position. 

Ex-Chairwoman

She has sold her house which was on the market for some considerable time and she and Jim have put their furniture into storage while they decide where they would like to live in the future.  It has all happened very quickly as the buyers are keen to move into the house and we were all rather shell shocked when she announced her news at Tuesday’s lunch
Dawn worked incredibly hard as our Chairwoman for the nine months she was in office and has made some great advances for the club.  
She was the club’s Treasurer the year 2012 and has been a very active member of LLC joining the garden group, book club and supporting the many activities within the various groups.   

We will all miss her very much, her kindness, friendship and plain speaking Northern good advice! 
We wish both Dawn and Jim all the very best.  We are sure many of you would like to send your thanks and good wishes to them and will be organising a card for all those wishing to sign and a collection too for a little memento from the club.

We have taken up Ginster’s offer of help with the blog 
is a response to a need for mutual support, companionship, friendship for those having made the “big move” and living in France in the Gascogne/Gers
and Facebook.



With this additional assistance and the fact that the remaining events are just about organised at this late stage in the calendar the remaining committee have decided to continue without our Chairwoman. 

The AGM is due in January 2014 when a new committee will be formed.  

Jane and Pippa in action

Pippa Brown (left) Treasurer

Jane Cooper (secretary)

We have some great events planned for the future and will be emailing you again shortly with news on next month’s lunch and the Christmas ‘Do’ .
Until then…..

Sue Treeby (middle) /Sue Sullivan (right) committee members
Your LLC Committee
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For more information on our activities please contact our secretary:
Ladieslunchgascogne@gmail.com 

or become a follower of our blog to receive all posts promptly by email:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/LadiesLunchclubGascogne

Newcomers please contact our secretary - you are very welcome and we are looking forward to introduce you to life in the Gers.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

LLC Garden Visit on 5 September 2013 to Latour-Marliac, Temple-sur-Lot




A group of 12 from the LLC garden group 

went to visit the beautiful gardens of Latour-Marliac

specialising in the cultivation of hardy water lilies on a very hot Thursday 5 September.


The founder, Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac born in Granges-sur-Lot, a naturalist, founded the nursery in 1875.  
Initially, he created a national collection of bamboos. He then met Joseph Paxton (head gardener at Chatsworth) who was the first to cross tropical water lilies and thus developed his passion.  
The first hardy water lily in France was the white ‘Alba’ from North America.  
By crossing this lily with other wild varieties, Latour-Marliac was able to build a wonderful collection whose colours range from delicate pastels to fuscia and deep red.  

The collection today consists of about 300 varieties – there are 90 in their national collection (not sold to the public – used only for propagation).

In 1889 Latour-Marliac exhibited his collection of 19 varieties at the World’s Fair in Paris.  He set-up in the water gardens in front of the Trocadéro.  He was such a sensation that he won first prize in their category. 

Claude Monet 

was a visitor to this Fair and he was so taken with their beauty and that of the water garden that he bought the property in Giverny and began to develop his famous water gardens ordering his lilies from Latour-Marliac.  

Water Lily Pond - Claude Monet
Claude Monet

These lilies then became more famous as the subject matter for the paintings known as ‘Nymphéas’ some of which are displayed at the Orangerie Museum in Paris today. The two men together made France the birthplace of the water lily.

The nursery remained in the Latour-Marliac family being inherited and continued by his children.  
In 1990 it was then sold to an English family and became Davis Water Gardens and opened to the public.  
They constructed the tropical greenhouse which houses the ‘Victoria’ giant water lily (which flowered in her reign and was named in her honour).  
This can weigh up to 25 kilos (100 kilos in the wild Amazonia!)  

Interestingly its flowers are nocturnal flowering - the first night as a female white flower and the second night as a red hot male flower!  The flowers mature in June and can measure one foot diameter and the pads up to four feet!  The flower is pollinated by a ladybird being trapped; the flower re-opens the next night releasing the ladybird for pollination.  
Joseph Paxton was the first to grow this lily.

The nursery was then sold again in 2005 to an American Professor of the Sorbonne who was visiting the gardens, fell in love with them, realised they were for sale and bought them!  
He extended the gardens and opened the restaurant in 2008 where we all had an excellent lunch. 

Amazingly there is just ONE gardener who looks after the entire gardens and lake!

(see here the video created by Marcella from the visit)


Today the nursery sells and exports water lilies worldwide and estimate that 70% of all water lilies sold are Marliac varieties.  Hardy water lilies can withstand most cold winters (provided the ice does not reach the roots).  
Tropical water lilies, however, must be over-wintered in a greenhouse (or warmer surroundings).  They thrive in a water temperature of 12°C.   

Generally water lilies flower in the second year for about 3-5 days May to October and are best planted in a clay soil in a sunny position. 
The plants have a long life span and can live up to 25 years.  They can be propagated by dividing the rhizone every 2 years. 

The ‘Lotus’ lily grows its giant leaves out of the water and has a most beautiful flower revealing an unusual central seed pod.  The petals fall away after 3-5 days and the seed pod will ripen.  It has a hard outer which for germination has to be split to allow the shoot to grow.  Alternatively, the banana-shaped rhizone can be split after a nodule.  

They are an easy perennial to grow and nearer to home, Barbotan-les-Thermes has wonderful examples to see in their ponds.
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(Thanks to Denise for writing the 'report' and her images)

The 2013 LLC gardengroup meeting agenda for this year is as follows
(all information and itinerary will be announced in time) if you like to participate please contact:

Ladieslunchclub secretary:
lunchclubgascogne(at)gmail.com


Meetings are on the first Thursday of the month.

The agenda for the year 2013 please note the dates always at 14.30h:

3rd October
7th November
5th December.

We would like to get your suggestions for garden visits. Please let us know if you have ideas or wishes.
Also let us know who would like to host one of the meetings of the garden group. 

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