I have several friends who rate this as their favourite day of the year. Not only for the autumnal sunshine, spectacular views from the village of Servoz, the sheep, cows and tractors...but more importantly for the freshly pressed apple juice and potato beignets (doughnut or fritter) on sale.
As we drove through the village, searching for a parking spot we could already see plenty of people carrying plastic bottles filled with cloudy 'cidre', not the alcoholic kind, but a deliciously sweet freshly squeezed juice that seems to bring people from far and wide to get their fill.
Just as we walked into the 'Foire aux Moutons' area, filled with sheep pens and market stalls, we heard the MC announce that there were only a few bottles of the prized 'cidre' left. By-passing everything we made our way straight there and bought 4 bottles. Luckily I was with a fluent French speaker, who then overheard that the beignet batter was low and that they would soon run out of these too. So after a short queue (and a bit of a fight over the quantity!) we managed to purchase the last nine beignets...phew. These are simple to make with flour, eggs, salt, grated potato and fried to give a crisp fritter-like texture. The perfect food for an Autumnal afternoon in the late afternoon sunshine.
With our shopping purchased it was time to wander round and enjoy the whole 'sheep' experience. Now in it's 30th year this is a traditional family event and a great place for the whole Servoz community to come together. Plenty of entertainment for the children with a bouncy castle (or bouncy bucking bronco in this case), traditional wooden games, sheep shearing displays, tractors, cows, goats and much much more. For the adults there is even more to keep you going, with a bar, great local artisan stalls and of course the beautiful setting of Servoz to enjoy.
After watching some sheep shearing and checking out the various breeds of sheep, it was time for a small beer in the sunshine and good catch up with friends. A perfect Sunday afternoon.
Held every year on the second Sunday of October this is definitely a date for the diary. Only 362 days to go until the next one...the countdown is on!