Jacqueline is a Belgian native who has lived in the Gaume region of southern Belgium for 28 years. I met Jacqueline while staying at her comfortable guesthouse in Rossignol (Tintigny) and appreciated her warm welcome to the region and insight into the culture, food, and must-see sites. As a passionate local of the Gaume region, Jacqueline kindly agreed to offer some insight into her corner of Belgium.
Name: Jacqueline Daloze
Profession/ Job/ Title: Owner-manager of guesthouse
As a local, how would you describe the Gaume region of Belgium? The Gaume is a small area, at the south of Wallonia (Belgium) – it’s a part of Belgian Lorraine. You can visit the Gaume for plenty of reasons: nature, outdoor sport, culture, and its quality of life celebrated by its inhabitants! The Gaume is a peaceful place to discover, although easily reachable by car or train. If you have a look at a map, you will see that the Gaume is at a central point between two areas of France and Belgium. The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg is very close too, as is Germany. This special position opens the area up to its neighbors for working, shopping and all kinds of exchanges. We are involved in several European programs in all areas: social, culture, migration… It’s maybe interesting to know that we have a concept called “Big Area” for the areas of German Sarre and Rhénanie-Palatinat, French Lorraine, G.D. of Luxembourg, Belgian East-Cantons and Wallonia to handle all these matters.
If you are interested in history, the Gaume, and specifically the village of Rossignol (but not the only one), suffered hardship during the First World War. For lovers of archaeology, the area was already important during the Gallo-Roman period (as a crossroad on the Roman route).
What is one thing you would like visitors to know about the Gaume region and/or the village of Rossignol? A large part of Rossignol was destroyed at the end of August 1914, as you can read on the commemorative walk through the village. The small open-air exhibition in the wash-house explains how people lived in Rossignol at this time. You can also see a “committee house”, built with American funds to shelter inhabitants. The military cemeteries on the Neufchâteau road are an important place for remembrance tourism.
Orval is certainly our hot spot, for the beer and cheese, of course, but I recommend a walk in the old monastery’s ruins. You’ll feel the serene atmosphere of the place.
Can I share with you one of my sightseeing secrets? It’s Montauban (Etalle), a magical place where you encounter contemporary art, nature (woods and ponds), industrial history and archeological ruins.
In your opinion, what can’t visitors miss on a trip to the Gaume region? A visit of Orval is certainly a must. You must taste Pâté Gaumais while drinking an Orval beer. Pâté Gaumais is a covered pork meat pie.
I recommend you experience a meal at Fourneau Marchand, a small fish farm, where you can enjoy delicious trout in the cozy house. Reservations are strongly recommended (cash only accepted)!
A last tip is to have a look on the Semois River loops from several places: Church of Florenville, Mesnil Farm (Termes road, from Rossignol).
What’s something that most visitors to the Gaume region wouldn’t think to do or see but you would suggest they do or see? I think visitors can’t imagine all of our small markets; I buy the food for breakfast [at the guesthouse] in Florenville (on Wednesday at Astrid Place). You can buy fruits, juices, bread or vegetables there, and talking with locals is a great experience. The Inhabitants love “their” Gaume and are happy to share. We have our own money: the Epis lorrains, the first local money in Wallonia. I suggest you exchange for a few Euros in Epis [(1 Euro=1 Epi)] to buy something in these markets or groceries: it’s the perfect way to have true contact with the producers.
Thanks to Jacqueline for her hospitality and sharing her local insight!
For more information on her guesthouse, A Quiet Place, and to book a stay, visit her website.