A little jewel nearby,Maisons Laffitte

Well Friday was an off day, I came to sign off the sale of my house in Versailles, and took some sidetrips of nostalgia ending up in Maisons Laffitte. This is a town we had come often.

First, because it has a wonderful castle, then the hippodrome, and finally the nice shops along main street avenue de Longueil ,especially the epicérie de Longueil. You best get here by car, from Paris take the A13 direction Rouen, enter at exit/sortie 7 direction Poissy go thru Poissy centre ville around roundabout facing Peugeot factory /office take second street alongside the offices on road D308 direction maisons laffitte, and will hit dead center of it. Or take the A15 out from Paris on porte st Ouen, direction Gennevilliers, stay on the same road as N315 (A15) direction Rouen to exit 7 conflans sainte honorine take here the N184 direction st germain en laye to rue de poissy or the D308 see signs on your left for Maisons Laffitte. www.viamichelin.com helps but my directions are from the local way of driving.

You can ,also,come by train from or RER A from CDG Etoile to gare de Maisons Laffitte direct 16 minutes!

The hippodrome of Maisons Laffitte is the oldest racecourse in France, the second longest straight line in Europe after Newmarket with 2000 meters long,and the second center of race horse training in France. So the horse is everywhere here. See the events in pdf for 2012  http://www.maisonslaffitte.fr/download/Cite_cheval/Evenements__2012.pdf

You can see all about the hippodrome and horses in the tourist office for the city here http://www.tourisme-maisonslaffitte.fr/index.php?id=504&frame=liste_articles&page=1

You have a wonderful castle, done from 1651 to host king Louis XIV when he came to the nearby forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye to hunt.  It has been touted as one of the most beautiful in France,amongst other Charles Perrault. Here is info on tourist office on the castle http://www.tourisme-maisonslaffitte.fr/index.php?id=506&article=7518&frame=article&page=1

and here is on the gardens, which is beautiful to walk,and many locals use it to relax especially today at 28C temp, http://www.tourisme-maisonslaffitte.fr/index.php?id=506&article=7519&frame=article&page=1

One of my all time favorite places to eat, drink and be seen just by the theater and other side of RER/train station and right on the chic 46 avenue de Longueil, is L’Avenue, that is right, the avenue, tel +33 (0) 1 39 62 00 16 ; we have burgers, pizzas, salads, specials of the day like steaks, fish, with a good selection of wines and beers. All just right about 12 euros per person for lunch.  And on nights of romance, a jazzy ambiance to kill for it; webpage http://www.l-avenue.fr/

Another one, I come is Caffe et Cucina, 36 avenue de Longueil, classic italian, with a nice terrace ,and even better prices. no web but tourist office details on it here http://www.tourisme-maisonslaffitte.fr/index.php?id=510&article=89853&frame=article&page=2

When splurging is call for on those special occassions, we had visited Le Tastevin,9 Avenue Eglé  right after the archdoors into the gardens and near the castle. Great traditional French food exquisively done.http://www.letastevin-restaurant.fr/

The best bakery pastry store around, boulangerie/patisserie Ledoux, 26, Avenue Longueil, real bread old traditional way nothing added, and great pastries such as the almond and chocolate croissants. Tel +33 (0) 1 39 62 02 11, no webpage but alongside the avenue of restos above.

The ultimate upscale grocery store, and a tradition at Maisons Laffitte, my buys are here even for that special olive oil crackers from Seville, Spain.  As well as the cheeses and wines. The Epicerie de Longueil, 28, avenue de Longueil , right along and there since 1880. The webpage has it all in French, http://www.epiceriedelongueil.com/accueil.htm

You then can wandered around the lovely town, see its wonderful architecture houses of great value, and see the unique church of St Nicolas, 43 Rue Fossé  with the parrish webpage http://www.paroisse-maisons-laffitte.com/les-paroisses-mainmenu-27/eglises-mainmenu-79.html

Right across it an intimate little passage way park that you can cross from the church of Saint Nicolas to rue lavoisier. Just a lovely town waiting to be discovered by my intrepid readers. Cheers

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