Guy Louchez – Wirwignes
Walking off a Tarte au Papin with a stroll to the church
Guy Louchez is known as the White Wolf. For the last thirty five years in Wirwignes he has managed the Mémère Harlé restaurant – a real institution – and has one or two anecdotes up his sleeve.
Guy has two specialities: the old-style Tarte au Papin that he prepares every weekend and the church of Wirwignes that he knows like the back of his hand. Both are well worth the detour. The former is a treat for the taste buds; the latter is a feast for the eyes.
« I’m happy to show people the kitchens if they’re interested and I explain to them how we make the Tarte au Papin according to a recipe I have from Mémère Harlé who created it in 1919 to celebrate the end of the War. » Mémère Harlé was actually called Louisa Meurdesoif – Dying-of-Thirst – , a name that is quirky but rather apt: « We used to give the surnames Meurdesoif or Depardieu to children who had been abandoned on the church steps. » Guy has an answer for everything.
Inside the restaurant, the faïence murals installed around 1880 are listed Desvres Earthenware Heritage pieces. After having enjoyed a slice of tart, Guy takes you out for a digestive stroll…to the church. Nobody can image the spectacle that awaits when the doors to this religious building are thrown open. The decoration of this little church is incredible. A mix of Oriental, Spanish and Italian inspirations combine to create a unique style that is very Baroque. It has been listed as a Historic Monument since 2006.
« Father Paul Amédée Lecoutre has spent 43 years of his life decorating his church, essentially with Marquise marble. Not a single inch has been neglected. » Every bit of the church has a little story to tell, often a rather funny story. Guy knows them all, of course!