Archive for January 16th, 2011

January 16, 2011

Why not the country in France y’all welcome

Ok so you all come to France to enjoy the cities, especially Paris; I guess we all come from cities….However, what about the country? the sublime farms open up before your eyes rolling hills of green, and the folks who toiled the land to give us the goodies of gastronomy we then enjoy in cities.

I guess I love country, not necessarily in the boonies far away from cities but not near them nor in them. The country is slower, more real, genuine, in France you come to enjoy the good of earth that we hear so much but always do it in the clean pale confines of cities; the country is the real thing surrounded by real food. I can go visit a city but will always live in the country…

I am lucky that I live in Versailles but just by city border limits that allows me a quick exit to the country either west or south. You have wonderful farms that once fed the chateau de Versailles,and still run by the same family since 1741! or go north and enjoy the tranquil,ancient forest of the Vexin Français where the Roman road were once built to bring people together towards Normandy( Chaussée Jules Cesar).

You are best off with a car, in my opinion, the best way to travel. However, its possible with a train, and then a bus or taxi to visit these places. These is around the departments of Val d’Oise No 95  where Roissy CDG is or Yvelines No 78 where Versailles is.

One such farm is at the parc du Vexin Français a huge national park that covers the two departments west of Paris. The town of Commeny is lost in time where still horst drawn carriages takes you on its streets. There you have one of the best rabbit paté ,terrines, cold meats producer of real stuff up to 90% meat in the can! The La Ferme du Lapin Compote.

This is the link in English to the park of Vexin Français, of course the French version provides more information;; and this is the site of the La Ferme du Lapin Compote , They are my sole provider for my favorite rabbit meats, and it could be yours while in France.

The parc du Vexin Français is 99 villages in all, over a huge territory.  its good to stop by the Maison du parc , to get all the documentation and guidance as the entire park is loaded with walkways and sentries to do some randonnee=walks. Info at Musée du Vexin français – 95 450 Théméricourt
Tel : 01 34 48 66 00 – Fax : 01 34 48 66 04. E-mail :

If this page can be seen its the chart of walks available here . You ,also, have many eco museums in the area from the parc itselt to that of wheat or pain the bread, Meunerie(miller’s), moisson (harvest), and can be read ,seen here

There are many places to see of heritage cultural value in the Val d’Oise dept and this is the official tourist site for it  ;where you can see especially the castle of Roche Guyon (nazi HQ in WWII) and Villarceaux (great renaissance and farmers market with a fair every year) And the abbey of Royaumont founded in 1228 AD by Saint Louis (Louis IX). Van Goght residence and paths of him and Picasso, plus museums of Camille Picasso, Daubigny, François Mauriac, Jean Gabin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many many local products.

Just a wonderful area to be at ,and one that must be enjoy to the fullest clean air possible ::)

To continue, closer to me just south of the Chateau de Versailles on the other side, way beyond your horizons in the Grand Canal, sits the farm La Ferme de Gally, dating back to the beginning of the castle and on the same hands since 1741. There was a certain Napoleon Iér who was its owner in 1806. Here you are in country Versaillaise, with fresh produce, fruits, jams, honeys, meats, cheeses all made from the area farms and this one plus gardens accessories and trees. You can take home all of it; and play on certain days on the petting animal barn with goats, and lambs that traces their lineage to the kings/queens of the chateau de Versailles.  They have shops for the kids to teach them ropes with farm animals, and a laberynh that is very unique of 400 sq meters. The admission to shops/famr  is 5,50€ for adults and the farm/laberynh is 7,50€ for adults. The best palace/country combination possible and great for the whole family. The webpage is at

Coming in between on the road D81 you find more farms, this one is of ducks, rabbits, chicken, live animals to take as well as confites, jar meats,you name it and they find it, grows and raise most in house, the same family will do everything for you to take home fresh and from the French country , the best in the world in my opinion. They have a new webpage under construction here

Hope you have enjoy this little trip in the country and will make you think for your next trip to Paris/Versailles, there is a lot more goodies around you. Its a movable feast, I tell you!!!

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