Anyone who’s read my blog at any point in the last couple of months will know how ridiculously excited I was to be hopping over to France at the beginning of the month and spending a few weeks with Tom and his parents touring around, eating cheese and drinking wine. And the good news is that it was just as fun, picturesque and cheese-filled as I anticipated.
We started off with a few days at a gite (French holiday home) near Angers. Whilst here we had picnics of bread, cheese and wine on the patio, visited a Medieval Fortress (Chateau De Fougeres) and had an amazing three-course dinner at a wonderful restaurant.
| chateau de fougeres
| bees in the castle grounds
Our next stop was another gite called Beau Sejour near Bordeaux. This bed and breakfast has a breathtaking house, grounds and holiday cottages and it was such an amazing place to stay – we didn’t want to leave! On arrival we had an amazing terrace dinner with all manner of cold meats, cheese and wine and we got to know the owners, who have become friends with Tom’s parents as they’ve stayed there so many times! Whilst there we explored Bordeaux, and one of my favourite places (which we visited a few years before), Saint Emilion. One evening we went to Saint Emilion for a jazz concert at a tiny little bar and got to sample the singer of the jazz band’s wine (he owned a vineyard!) I adored Bordeaux too – stunning architecture, little cafés, shops and restaurants. I could definitely live there, it’s such a beautiful city.
| tom and I at Beau Sejour
| outside our gite
| saint emilion
| macaroons from saint emilion
| sampling wine at the cloisters in saint emilion
| bordeaux| church just outside beau sejour
Just outside of Bordeaux there is an ‘Emmaus’ which was high on my ‘to visit’ list. Emmaus is part of a charity that do various work but are most well-known for their huge bric-a-brac shops. The one we visited was in a huge warehouse and we had so much fun digging through all of the treasures. This was just the outside section!
| emmaus near bordeaux
Our next stop was the Dordogne, another utterly beautiful area. Here we visited towns built on rocky outcrops and at the foot of cliffs, went on a boat trip, had a barbecue in a thunderstorm and went kayaking down the Dordogne.
Our next stop was Sarlat, where we visited markets and had dinner with the family who owned the Chambre D’Hotes (a bed and breakfast where the owners also live and offer a room in their home or on the land where they live). Tom and I visited the town of La Roche Posay where there is an amazing looking spa (as well as lots of chemists selling La Roche Posay products!)
Our final stop was an overnight stay on the way back to Cherbourg for the ferry in a beautiful old house that was like staying in a museum. Our final night was another evening meal hosted by the family that lived there and was an absolute hoot, the language barrier not getting in the way of a brilliant evening filled with cider, wine and good food.
Before the ferry Tom and I visited some of the pretty coastal towns on the way back, raided the supermarkets for cider, wine and biscuits and visited several WWII sites such as Arremonches and Omaha Beach.
| scallop shells at port-en-bassin
And now we are home with a fridge full of wine, a mountain of washing and lots of happy memories. Was an utterly amazing time but also really nice to be home cuddling Bodhi and sleeping in our own bed again. By the way, a big kudos if you have read all of the way down here, this has been a humongous post!
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