31 August 2009
30 August 2009
29 August 2009
28 August 2009
26 August 2009
25 August 2009
24 August 2009
23 August 2009
22 August 2009
21 August 2009
20 August 2009
18 August 2009
17 August 2009
16 August 2009
14 August 2009
These lovely old cars were all snoozing quietly in the afternoon sunshine in Huismes in the summer of 2003. They were part of some sort of old car rally and their owners could be heard enjoying a lunch break and the prize-giving speeches in the salle des fêtes in the village.
There were quite a few English registration plates there. It's nice to see that the French are just as besotted by old vehicles as we are.
We're off on our hols now. Back soon. Then I MUST get back to the story.
10 August 2009
On Sunday evening we ate at Chez Grand Ma in the village. We talked about what we would do for our last day and a half and Jackie thought she would like to see a château and do some wine tasting.
So, on Monday we set off towards Chinon, aiming in the general direction of Cravant les Coteaux and Baudry Dutour. Unfortunately, girls being girls, we had a slow get up in the morning, there was lots of gossip to get through and fresh croissants to be fetched and eaten at the leisurely pace they deserve. Consequently, we arrived chez Baudry Dutour just as they closed for lunch. Actually I have a suspicion they had scived off for the whole day.
No problem, the road through Cravant is wall-to-wall wine makers so we stopped at the first one that looked open and swooped. We came out with a half-dozen mixed bottles between us. Fairly restrained wine shopping for me, I must say.
Jackie was keen to try some sparkling wines so we went to Gratien and Meyer. This company has fabulous premises with spectacular views overlooking the Loire river. Very smart and sophisticated.
Nick and I had done the tour of the cave a few years ago, where they demonstrate the way the sparkling wine is made and stress endlessly that it is "méthod traditionelle". In other words, it is made in exactly the same way as champagne with similar results but they can't call it champagne because the vineyards are in the wrong part of France.
This time, I thought the wines were a bit more pricey than they used to be but we enjoyed our tasting and bought a few bottles. Jackie looked very happy indeed. Maybe this was because I was driving and she was doing most of the "degustation".
We then headed for the château we had chosen to see, Montreuil-Bellay. En route we called at Ackerman as we thought we might just need a few more bottles of bubbly.
(Ackerman's own advertisement for X NOIR)
They now do a sparkling rosé in a very girly bottle. Now I know you shouldn't choose wine just because the label is pretty but it just had to be done. (I only bought one, in case the label was the only thing to commend it.)
Tuesday morning came all too soon but luckily our flight wasn't until 5 pm so we had a fair chunk of the day to enjoy. We went to Loches for lunch, via Le Louroux to collect Nick's present.
7 August 2009
Le Louroux is a pretty village north of Le Grand Pressigny. We had passed through many times and seen the back of the château from the road. After our morning at the brocante we decided to take a walk around the village and see what there was to see.
Barrie was keen to have a look at the château as it has recently had a new roof. It is not open to the public but you can walk freely around the outside.
The village also boasts what must be one of the oldest bus shelters in France.
Wait inside for the bus to Ligueil
In the moulin there was an exhibition and sale of paintings by a local artist. I bought one for Nick as a surprise present. You can see it in this photo - almost. So it will still be a surprise. The exhibition is on until the end of August.
In the village there are some very pretty houses and a bar/café. There is also a substantial lake around which you can take a long walk. Apparently it is signposted in one direction but not the other - it is therefore effectively a one-way walk around the lake.
4 August 2009
The sun was shining but by evening it was drizzling.
We had spotted a few things we might do on Sunday but our resident tour guide, M. Barrie Fairhead, came up with a much better suggestion, the Foire à L'Ail, or garlic festival and Brocante, or secondhand market, at Le Louroux.
Some very tasty brocante was for sale here
Anybody need a new alarm clock?
The brocante was superb. There were lots of interesting things for sale as well as the usual broken toys, chipped crockery, old jumpers and worn-out boots that normally abound at these events. There was the usual bar and food stall plus a sausage seller and, of course several garlic sellers. We had a great time hunting down the potential bargains.
I regret not buying this lovely old Godin poêle. The lid catch was broken and it needed cleaning up. For 30 euros it would have made a great chimnea or plant holder.
Next time perhaps.