Following the success of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations, Goring and District Twinning Association arranged a visit to the International Mushroom Festival in Bellême. This is famously held on the first weekend of October each year.
Further details of the festival can be found at https://www.mycologiades.com/
29 people from Goring, Streatley and surrounding areas went to Bellême over four days, from Friday 4 October to Monday 7 October, to attend the famous Mycologiades Internationales de Bellême.
We caught the coach early in the morning with Orion high in the sky, and after a slightly bumpy Channel crossing, arrived in Bellême at around 6pm.
After a welcome drink and a delicious meal with our hosts followed by a refreshing night’s sleep, everyone was ready for action in the morning.
At 9am, our group and dozens of other locals and people from around the world dispersed into the beautiful Fôret de Bellême equipped with knives and baskets, and a 2-hour time limit to gather whatever fungus we could find growing wild.
A wonderful lunch in the village hall was followed by an interesting presentation on the management of forests in France.
Another fine dinner, a good night’s sleep and on Sunday the Twinning committees met whilst other visitors participated in activities such as a vide grenier (car boot sale) or walks with their hosts. Following another delicious lunch, we visited the exhibition which creatively displayed more than 350 species of mushrooms and fungi (with illustrative labels showing their relative toxicity) gathered during the preceding two days.
There was time for another convivial dinner with hosts, and the following morning a sad farewell to new and longstanding friends.
All those who participated would like to thank the Bellême committee and our Bellêmois hosts for a wonderful weekend with lots of laughter and superb hospitality.
If you are tempted by the idea of an action-packed visit, new friends and culinary delights, you would be very welcome to join us next year during the weekend of 30 and 31 May 2020, for the 41st Anniversary of Twinning celebrations in Bellême together with Bellême’s German twin town of Stülingen.