Wednesday 4 May 2011

Tuiles plats

detail of our roof
Most of our house is  roofed with reclaimed 'tuiles plats'; the lovely weathered flat terrracotta tiles you see on older houses in the region. Inevitably every year some need replacing-- the weather gets into them and they crack--sometimes 'helped along' by a cat chasing a lizard.  Sooner or later they slither down noisily into the guttering.  The first time this happened it gave us an almighty shock as we didn't realise what the noise was! You can probably see the odd gap where a tile or two have broken and slid down in the photo on the left.

 We have a few 'reserves' in the barn but need some more. The challenge was to find them!

different colourwashes
We looked at various websites where people sell all sorts of stuff to see if anyone was offering batches of them for sale and didn't have any luck. Going to a reclamation yard wasn't really an option as there the prices are quite steep. Also if you use reclaimed tiles they can be quite fragile and not last that long--after all they've done service on another roof already.

We 'd mentioned our search to various friends and one of them tipped us off about a brick and tileyard located in Ruffec le Chateau called Terres cuites de la Lorne. They have been making floor tiles, bricks and roof tiles in the same traditional way since the 1770's. A while back we went to have a look to see if what they produced would offer a solution. 

tiles ready to come home
They did! They make classic terracotta rooftiles exactly as they did 200 years ago when our house was 1st roofed. The new tiles come in 4 colour washes: black, white, red and copper, which reflect the colour variations on a roof. On our initial visit we also found that they will do the right floor tiles we'll need when we get round to replacing the crazed ones in our livingroom.

So last week we drove down to Ruffec le Chateau to buy the rooftiles. We got a mix of washes and now they're all ready for next week when the roof gets a 'health check' and any broken or cracked tiles will be replaced.

Auberge du Grebe
Naturally after all that we had the perfect excuse to stop at one of our favourite places, the Auberge du Grebe in Lureuil for a great lunch--it is on the way from back from Ruffec to Charnizay. Like many places they offer an excellent set lunchtime menu: €11 per person for 4 courses including 1/4 of wine. There's a varied serve yourself cold buffet to start, then a choice of 2 mains-- that day it was fish or roasted rabbit; we both had the rabbit which was excellent and came with green beans and frites; then cheese and dessert--iles flottantes for me, creme bruleé for Niall.


GaynorB said...

Glad that you have sorted the tile problem. Sourcing materials can take an inordinate amount of time, even in the UK where we know 'our way around'.

No doubt with every week that passes you are becoming more familiar with your new life in and around Charnizay.

One of the things we are finding it most difficult to get to grips with is shops closing at lunch time.

Still it is a good opportunity to seek out an auberge.....

I like the sound of the menu; good price, and a choice of main course and dessert. Is there by any chance a brico that closes at lunch time anywhere near??????

Craig said...

well done in finding the tile source - not an easy task!
That lunch sounds great and very good value too.

ladybird said...

I can almost smell the aroma of that roasted rabbit and frites! "Laat maar komen!" Martine

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor: most of the time we're pretty good about opening times; though we can forget at the weekends.
We do need more training on "being effective & efficient when out" as we are sometimes hopeless at combining things we need to do effectively. And living in a place where everything is a bit of a drive this is downright stupid!

Aberge du Grebe is 'strategically positioned' half-way between LeBlanc and Charnizay. LeBlanc has excellent hyper-LeClerc and Bricos....

@Craig: we can't claim the credit for finding La Lorne--friends of ours did the sleuthing and we took advantage of their knowledge :-)

Aberge du Grebe is great, one of our favourites. Excellent value and properly cooked food. There is a smarter restaurant section and the menus there look really good.

@Martine:konijn was hartstikke lekker en echte fritjes--zelfgemaakt YUM!!

Annie said...

Hi there, just wondering whether you replace the tiles yourself or do you get someone in to do it? We have tuilles plats and have lost a few throughout the winter. Trying to find out how much this could cost us to replace them professionally -
Neither my husband nor I being capable!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Annie-- welcome to our blog--hope you enjoy reading our posts :-)

As our friends know we aren't capable either :-) don't have the right ladders etc; We bought the tuiles oursevles and then asked a builder friend to do the work of replacing. He chqrges by the hr. It wasn't too expensive. Where are you located?

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Richard Boles said...

It's good that you're already through with the problem. Anyway, what is really important to check is your inner roof, so you won't have a leak problem in the future. Sometimes, the cracked tiles can give your house a rustic look.

Richard Boles