Leave your muskets there, take a corkscrew

“Leave your muskets there, which are too heavy for your arms”: sieur Boileau, as you say truly. It is a time to fight, another to party. Forget skirmishes. Instead, let yourself be won over by the organoleptic sounds, starting with the screams of the corkscrews at the hour of the brave, the aperitif.
Almost three decades ago, advice on choosing the best pub for the King of Birds was sought from a colorful character whose face burned with rosacea, whose Côtes-du-Rhône shared paternity with the open air of Mézenc. It was a kind of early tripadvisor.
The man then got this exquisite reply: “You see, this is the one where they serve you the hypocrites in jugs bigger than water jugs.” In 2022, we are sorely bereft of time to follow this wise counsel.

Behind the Bird’s Zinc King

Red and white hypocras, well-chilled beers are the most consumed drinks, but always in moderation now. As it should be. These temporary estaminets are run by well-born souls whose value as barkeepers does not wait for many years. The false collar would hardly be forgiven them.
Many of them are associations, volunteers. The profit goes into the coffers of the associations, which they dedicate themselves to without counting.
These taverns are scattered throughout the city, both lower and upper. They bear poetic names, sometimes with Occitan tones: Caïon fumat, Papegaï, Troll, delh Dançador, M’Handballon… We had heard that somewhere near the rue de Lille, a meat producer had invented a certain drink. , the ultimate nectar. So here we are on our way to find it and satisfy our curiosity.

The Caïon smoked.

The secret behind “God’s Thunder”

At the Auberge de Brennus we were welcomed like kings. We were first praised for the “homemade” hypocras made from wine, a priori a burgundy, with respect for tradition, and in which cinnamon, sugar, honey, cardamom are incorporated… “Apart from the beer, we make everything ourselves: lentils or porcini- soups, five-spice errine, roast pork, gingerbread…”, indicates a “Papy COP”.
It took some patience before the COP rugby veterans who have their hands on the precious barrel agreed to give us a taste of the mysterious drink they called “Le Tonnerre de Dieu”. It leaves a light taste of pineapple and verbena in the mouth. Unfortunately, it is impossible to question the inventor of the drink on the composition.

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At the inn Brennus.

At 7pm his nap was extended. A week of intense preparations had brought the bravery of the column under control…
At the so-called “dancers” or “ballroom” tavern in the Henri-Vinay garden, the parents of Calendreta students spare no effort to welcome a public thirsting for discovery. “We play the game completely”, says Gaëlle, who “insures” behind the zinc together with Fabrice, Laura, Célia and Thibaud, the thinking leader of the organization.
The volunteers are inaugurating their brand new pub this year. The funds collected must of course be used to support the life of the school. Gaëlle adds: “The King of the Birds arrives at the start of the school year. This is an opportunity for old and new parents to get to know each other. It is like a big integration weekend. The new families thus fully enter into the principle of a association school”. The second aspect, and not least, is to bring the Occitan culture outside. On the drinks menu everywhere, Occitan reigns supreme.

“Just enough to eat and drink”

Associations that have perhaps been a little more discreet in recent years return to the square during the holiday season. At Le Clauzel, the association Action Jacqueline Gallet (named after a former Pensio librarian) has teamed up with producers of green lentils. The violet wine served is not bad at all. The King of the Bird is a privileged moment for the association to raise funds in favor of the village of Bandial in Casamance (Senegal). The money will be used for the creation of dry toilets and the further development of a village hut.
“During Covid, we were forced to send food for the first time. There was nothing left to eat in the village, which also has no water. Electricity came on for the first time this summer”, states one of the association’s members. At a time when our comfort could experience some limitations this winter, the announcement is something to think about.
Restos du Coeur also waited for the holidays to supplement the association’s coffers a little thanks to the recipes from their Taverne du Coeur, Place Saint-Pierre-Latour. Here we find “just enough to eat and drink”. And that is already a lot. You can have the party spirit without forgetting reality.
While the association launches the winter campaign in November, the horizon is already bleak according to the chairman of Restos, Marc Lavergne: “Requests exploded from the end of August. We fear the worst, because at the moment the issue of heating does not yet arise. In October, it can be quite different. We are expecting a difficult winter. We are receiving more and more people who work, who have left Le Puy to find more affordable rents a few kilometers away, which means fuel costs for them. We didn’t have this “customer” before”.

Philippe Suc

The big parade as a grand finale

After four days of gigantic Renaissance celebrations, mercenaries, acrobats, knights, vintners, dancers, minstrels and troubadours will bow in majesty on Sunday and parade through the streets of Vellave town.
An unmissable event for the King of the Birds, the grand finale parade makes its grand comeback in this 37th edition. It begins at the foot of the cathedral steps at 4 p.m. and will lead the impressive procession to the top of Boulevard du Breuil in the late afternoon.
A truly final bouquet that you must not miss under any circumstances!

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