29 March 2009


The story continues.......

Jean and Nick have had far too exciting a time in Italy and are now back in France.


On our way back home through France we stayed at Le Puy en Velay, the funny town with the two pinnacles in the middle, one with the Madonna on top and the other with a church. From there we went to Nevers and then back to Chinon for our last couple of nights.

Already it felt very familiar and as if I was coming home.

Every year after that, we went to France for all our major holidays, often 2 or 3 times a year, usually by mototcycle but sometimes in the car if the weather was too grim. We toured the Dordogne, the Auvergne, the Drome, Province, Alsace, Brittany............

We went to La Rochelle for Easter several years in succession. No matter how early in the year Easter fell, or how grotty the weather was at home, we were always able to have breakfast outdoors at a pavement cafe on Easter Sunday. La Rochelle has one of those lovely micro climates with way above average days of sunshine per year. Except the year it hailed - but that's another blog.

In the summer of 1998 we discovered champagne !!

Acting on a friend's recommendation, we stayed at a B&B in Avize, just south of Epernay. Run by Didier and Imogen, the two halves of Pierson Whitaker, it is actually a small champagne house. They make a few thousand bottles each year - then it was virtually by hand but now that the business has grown it is more mechanised. They are now in the Guide Hachette.

Every year we would stay in the Chinon area at least once. Sometimes it was only for a night or two. Other times it would be for a week. Sometimes we would camp, other times hire a gite, occasionally we would stay in a hotel. We never tired of the place and we gradually got to know the whole area very well. We loved the chateaux, the food, the wine and the weather.

Inevitably, we began peering into estate agents' windows. We were just dreaming. We had friends who had bought dilapidated properties in other parts of France and they seemed to spend all their time working on them, something that didn't appeal to us. In any case, Nick especially didn't want to be committed to taking his holidays in one part of France and enjoyed being forever on the move.

I was not so sure.......

1 comment:

  1. Hi from the friend who recommended ImoDids. So far I've only read a small amount of your blog but I'm really enjoying it.

    What's the address for Nick's blog?