Technology moves so fast these days, but some things hardly ever change. If, back in the middle ages, you happened to find yourself in want of a new knife, you would fire up ye olde KWWW (Known-World-Wide-Web), start up your favourite siege engine…sorry, I mean search engine and scribe in ‘quality sword and knife makers’. After a few minutes, (obviously, you wouldn’t have broadband back then) the results would be flung out and I’m pretty sure that near the top of the list would be ‘Coutellerie Nontronnaise’.
They’ve been making knives and other sharp stuff in our local town of Nontron for centuries, and famously supplied kings, knights and other nobs with everything from swords to suits of armour. However, once the gun was invented and the bottom dropped out of the sword market, their focus shifted to smaller blades and today you can visit their workshops where beautiful handmade pocket knives and cutlery are on display. It’s a short drive from our cabins and there you’ll find knives for every (French) occasion, from mushroom foragers to oyster shuckers. Most typically they are made with box wood handles, like my lovely one here. I had to get one with bottle-opening capabilities, for obvious reasons. It is surprising how often a use for a pocket knife crops up, once you are used to having one! 😉
The workshop is open weekdays and well worth a visit. Further info is available here. http://nontron-knife-france.com/the-coutellerie/