You may have missed la Goutte Noire on previous visits to Daglan — maybe even walked right past it — but you shouldn’t miss it now. This lovely shop, featuring hand-made silver chain jewelry and semi-precious stones, is now well marked and easy to spot. More importantly, it’s well worth a visit.
La Goutte Noire (which means The Black Drop) is both the shop and the atelier, or workshop, of an attractive, energetic and obviously talented young woman named Sophie Arnaud. Her specialty is working with fine silver strands, shaping them into earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more, and then often combining the silver with semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli. Prices are quite reasonable, with earrings starting as low as 10 euros.
Sophie’s shop is right on rue de la République, the main street that cuts through Daglan, and is roughly mid-way between the restaurant Le Petit Paris and the Fabrice le Chef Boutique. In the past, it was easy to mistake la Goutte Noire for a residence. But today the shop not only has better signage but also a couple of planters to catch your eye, and a table with chairs out front, where you’re welcome to rest and watch people drift by. Here’s how the storefront looks:
The table and chairs in front of the store are not only for tourists who just want to get off their feet, but a good place for one partner to wait while his (or her) partner does some shopping.
Immediately next to the shop is Sophie’s atelier, where she crafts her jewelry. You’re welcome to visit her while she works, and also to take a look at her displays of pottery made by other local artisans. Here’s Sophie at work:
In the shop itself, the various pieces are nicely displayed, well arranged, and not crowded together. Here is her main display:
Now let’s move in a bit closer. Here’s a sampling of the pieces Sophie fashions, using only fine silver wire:
And here’s a necklace and bracelet of silver, with the addition of some yellow-coloured gemstones:
And here are some of her pieces made with amber-coloured stones:
Finally, here are my personal favourites — a selection of bracelets and necklaces made of silver chain with blue lapis lazuli stones added for colour and drama:
When my wife Jan and I were heading to Florida in February, we made a stop at la Goutte Noire and bought a lapis lazuli necklace for my sister Debby, who was having one of those “special” birthdays in early March. She loved it.
So if you’re visiting the Greater Daglan Area this summer, make a point of visiting Sophie at la Goutte Noire. If you’re particularly clever, you might wind up buying some perfect presents for your mother, wife, daughter or girlfriend this coming Christmas.
Nothing wrong with thinking ahead!