Archive for January, 2019

January 29, 2019

Some news from France, CCXVIII

So let me put a pause on my posting on wonderful travel places to come to you on the latest in my belle France. It is light raining in my neck of the breton woods Morbihan but hardly any winds and definitively no snow. I believe the weather might get worse as the day go by with storm Gabriel around Europe. The Paris region will be hit worse because of the snow. Be careful if driving around here visiting from those other European countries!

UPDATE !!!!

February 1 2 3 2019. The 8th edition of Paris Face Cachée or Paris hidden face with the city of Paris and RATP transport network to go and discover the off the beaten paths of the Grand Paris area.  The metro station Porte de Lilas, not in use but only for films.! This was the metro abbesses in the film Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.  The station was called Haxo done in 1921 but never used. In a building of 6 floors not far from the train station Gare du Nord where you do not see nothing from the exterior but in the interior is an air space for the RER trains extraction of air!  There is an anti-aircraft bunker under the Monnaie de Paris in the 6éme. On the other side of the BP =boulevard périphérique or beltway of Paris in Montreuil (Seine-et-Denis 93) there is a studio for doubling voices and to do it for real with recordings and all. Over 100 experiences will be serve this year with hoping of reaching 10000 curious visitors. The only holdup the places are hard to come by as the demand is big and only done on the online site. The official site in French: Paris Face Cachée 2019

The entire programming for reservation online here: Paris Face Cachée reservations online a must

The Weather Channel  has placed 33 departments on alert Orange(next to highest) such as the Ariège,  Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques for avalanche hazards; The Charente-Maritime,  Gironde and  Vendée  for violent winds; The Aisne,  Ardennes,  Aube,  Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Marne, Haut-Marne,  Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Paris,  Seine-Maritime,  Yvelines , Seine-et-Marne,  Somme, Yonne,  Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and the Val-d’Oise for snow.  From the morning, this Atlantic disturbance will bring rain between Brittany (it did but not much chez moi)  and Aquitaine. The winds became violent on the southern coasts of Finistère and Morbihan (not inland just the coasts) with gusts between 90 and 110 km/h. This afternoon, the wind will strengthen near the ocean with gusts up to 130 km/h on the south coast of Finistère and up to 110 km/h on the coasts of Vendée and Charente. In the east, ice can affect the pavement in the morning between the east and the north of the Alps.  Tonight and in the night, the disturbance will collide with cold air. When contacted, the first flakes will appear in the northwest before winning the central regions to the north in the evening. These snowfalls, sometimes strong, will be directed in the night to the Grand-Est and the Rhône-Alpes region. At the same time, winds will increase on the Vendée and Charente coasts with gusts of up to 130 km/h (115 km/h in the land).  Normandy, Paris region, Hauts-de-France and Champagne and Ardennes for snow with an average of 3 to 8 cm, locally between 10 and 15 cm and to a lesser extent peripheral regions with 2 to 5 cm on average. In prevention, the road N 118, which connects Pont-de-Sevres (Hauts-de-Seine) to the Ulis (Essonne) via the Yvelines, will thus be closed to all traffic, in both directions, finally starting at 15h  on Tuesday. Have it on F degrees but can be change to C on top right. https://weather.com/fr-FR/temps/10jours/l/FRXX0076:1:FR

Salvador Dali, who died just 30 years ago, said: “The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not crazy.” Yet his face and that of the misunderstood genius Vincent Van Gogh appear on the poster of the event “The madness of the artist.” And  “at the edge of the Abyss” at the Library des Batignolles 17éme, 30th January at 19H. The Georges Brassens Library 14éme, organizes a writing workshop “Madness in All States” (19 January and 2 February from 10h30 to 12h30 pm), inspired by excerpts from Antonin Artaud, Marguerite Duras and others. Then, an evening of reading the texts of the participants by two actresses will take place (February 2 from 19h to 21h). The  exhibition of the Museum of Art and History of the Hospital, ” The art of the fools at the Art psychopathological/the collection Sainte-Anne around 1960» at the library André Malraux  6éme. It will be followed by a guided tour of the latter (February 9th at 13h).

“Dice-integrated” (Feb. 14 from 19h  to 21h) is a dramatized reading of Albert London’s madmen, his investigation and immersion in insane asylums. It will be held at the Bibliothèque François Villon  10éme. One of the members, Alex Adarjan, will host a 14h30 workshop (February 21 from 17h  to 19h30) where participants take possession of a plateau of the Valeyre Library 11éme to feel what the incarnation of a crazy character is. How to interpret a disturbed personality with accuracy and fragility? At the Library Andrée Chedid  15éme, the troupe revived Camille Claudel, interned during the last thirty years of her life, through archives and letters (7 February from 19h to 20h). The Library of Police Literature  5éme will deal with the relationship between madness and crime. The first French serial killer, the Ripper Vacher will be at the heart of this subject that defies reason (February 2 from 16h to 17h. More in link below

https://bibliotheques.paris.fr/les-frontieres-de-la-folie.aspx?_lg=fr-FR#

The Festival Jazz a Saint Germain des Prés ,Paris unveils the first names of the programming of its 19th edition, including Richard Galliano on May 17 or the Biréli Lagrène Trio on May 23rd. To not miss these concerts events, the passes are already on sale for a very jazzy spring. More here:   http://festivaljazzsaintgermainparis.com/accueil/

I love these anywhere but these orangettes, are delicious at the Sous les Amandiers,  65, rue de Maubeuge  9éme. Tél.: 09 86 08 19 40.Metro line 7 Poissonniére. They have a facebook page no web.

The story Un Regard Moderne à rue Gît-le-Cœur is an Ali Baba cavern full of books everywhere by a great enthuastic owner . Philippe le Libraire. 32, rue des Vinaigriers 10éme. Tél.: 01 40 38 11 39. https://www.petitscommerces.fr/page/philippelelibraire/

Wonderful Cinema which we have enjoyed and the boys love it is the MK2 Quai de Seine. 14, quai de la Seine  19éme. More here : https://www.mk2.com/salles/mk2-quai-seine-quai-loire

It is an Australian who has settled in a large warehouse and who produces his own beer, with a restaurant menu inviting ; it is very nice in the summer. Paname Brewing Company. 41 bis, quai de la Loire 19éme. Tél.: 01 40 36 43 55  http://www.panamebrewingcompany.com/

The Charles. If only the bar of the Burgundy Hotel in the Saint-Honoré neighborhood, (great area my walking rounds to go to work in Paris by there for 2,5 yrs!) freshly revamped, is much more chic than Bohemian. A monumental fresco on the ceiling of the bar around the collection of Baudelaire. On the bar side, Marco Del Re’s wall collages have been preserved, making a vibrant homage to Matisse. Where the cocktails are re invented for 17-18€ inspired by music, from Walt Disney’s film and history, naming his cocktails by key dates like 1492, 1515, 1789..And big names such as Oscar Wilde, who, like Rimbaud, Joyce, Hemingway, Poe and Baudelaire frequented this muse to the excesses. In homage to these illustrious characters, the  Barman has listed a selection of absinthes on his card, accompanied by a menu of light tapas from 9€. Le Charles (Hôtel Burgundy). 6-8, rue Duphot, 1éme. Tél.: 01 42 60 34 12. Hours every day from 18h to 0h30. More here : https://www.leburgundy.com/restaurant-le-baudelaire

News of the street ! While the Oscar de la Renta brand was about to settle in its new Parisian boutique, but it is a majestic 17C oil painting that was discovered behind a wall.. The old Reed Krakoff shop, located in the 8 rue Marignan, dates back to the 19C. The family that owned it demolished its walls to connect two floors, when a piece of wall broke loose, unveiling the work of art. The oil on the discovery canvas dates from 1674 and would be signed by the painter  Arnould de Vuez, close to the court of king Louis XIV. It shows to recount the adventures of the Marquis de Nointel, Ambassador of Louis XIV to the Ottoman court, when he arrives in Jerusalem with a procession and meets Oriental characters. ! http://madame.lefigaro.fr/style/une-peinture-mystere-retrouvee-dans-la-boutique-oscar-de-la-renta-230119-163277

Every Thursday from February 7, the restaurant everyone talks about organizes an open raclette (with or without pork) from 19h to 23h, with open white and red wine as well as open softdrinks. On the program, a raclette dinner will be from 19h to 21h, followed by a clubbing atmosphere with the best of general sounds to eliminate the raclette smoothly. The rooftop  of the Tout le Monde en Parle,  above the Galeries Lafayette and the C&A, at the foot of the Montparnasse tower, 4, rue du Départ – 15. Reservations : https://www.weezevent.com/chalet-d-hiver-sur-les-toits-de-paris-all-inclusive-open-raclette-tlmp

After the Place de la Bastille, Pantheon , and  Nation, it is the turn of the Place Gambetta to be refurbished, within the framework of the program Reinvent our squares in Paris; which concerns 7 squares of the capital. It’s the beginning of seven months of work. The configuration of the Gambetta sector will not be transformed, and only one small section of the rue du Cambodge will become pedestrian, while on the square, the traffic will continue to be done in the roundabout around the main Fontaine Jean Dismier. The terminus of  bus lines 60, 69 and 102 will be transferred to the rue du Japon, behind the City/Town Hall. https://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/urbanisme-et-architecture/projets-urbains-et-architecturaux/reinventons-nos-places-2540

With 2 217 new cars sold in 2018 in Paris intramuros (Paris city only 1-20 arrondissements or districts) where 14 383 vehicles were sold in total in the region, Peugeot, according to the figures of the AAA Data study that we publish this past  Monday, arrives at the top of the sales in the automobile market in the capital. In front of Renault which has sold 1 860 cars, Volkswagen 1 261, Toyota 1 099 and Citroën 960. https://www.aaa-data.fr/actualites/

There you my latest tidbits from the most visited country in the World ,again. 90M in 2018 and we say merci beaucoup! And of course, Paris, 32M!! in 2018 and we say Paris ça fête or a movable feast! And 2019 is looking great! thank you all merci à tous et toutes!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 27, 2019

Basilica minor San Francisco el Grande, Madrid!

And why not continue this wonderful ride in my beloved Spain and sublime Madrid! Well for the bragging rights, lived there and visit every year for many years, Madrid is it. ahh sorry grands I am a citizen too! And it has so much to offer seldom seen by visitors. Even if Spain is the second most visited country in the world (85 M 2018) according to WTO-UN and many others.

I have several ,many posts on Madrid in my blog. However, consider many to be in the general sense and on some spots deserve a post on their own. This is the case for the Basilica minor San Francisco El Grande. I like to give you a bit more on it now.

The Royal Basilica of San Francisco El Grande is in the district of Palacio, within the historic center of Madrid. It presides over the western face of Plaza San Francisco , set by the intersection of Calle Bailen  and the Carrera de San Francisco street. It is part of the Franciscan convent of Jesús y María, founded at the beginning of the 13C, on a now gone  hermitage dedicated to Saint Mary.  The current Basilica was built in neoclassical style in the second half of the 18C. The Basilica stands out for its dome, considered as the third largest diameter circular plant in Christendom. For its sumptuous interior decoration, made in eclectic style at the end of the 19C, and for its art gallery, representative of the Spanish painting from the 17C to 19C, with paintings by Zurbarán and Goya. Its management corresponds to the pious work of the Holy Places of Jerusalem, an autonomous body dependent on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

madrid

A bit of history I like

The place was previously occupied by a convent-Franciscan hermitage, which, according to the legend, was founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1217. When king Felipe II converted Madrid into the capital of the kingdom, in 1561, the convent was gaining in wealth and importance and came to receive custody of the holy places conquered by the Crusaders, through a protective Junta of the pious work of Jerusalem, and the curated General of the Indies. In 1760, the Franciscans demolished the primitive building to built, on its plot, a larger temple which the works had to be suspended in 1768, due to the technical complications , the cupola, finally was done in 1770. The Basilica  as a whole was finally completed in 1784. Eventually, it was converted into a hospital, according to decree of  1812. In the year 1836, the Franciscans were expelled and the Basilica was in the hands of the Spanish State, through the Royal Heritage Organism (Patrimonio Real). In 1838, it served as headquarters to an infantry barracks, while recovering the religious cult.  In 1869 the idea of the national pantheon was resumed. During the next five years, it housed the mortal remains of different personalities of Spanish history, including those of Calderón de la Barca, Alonso de Ercilla, Garcilaso de la Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Ventura Rodríguez, Juan de Villanueva and Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (The Great captain). They were deposited in a chapel and returned in 1874 to their respective places of origin.

The rehabilitation period  was used to decorate its interior, in a process that extended from 1880 to 1889 and in which different Spanish artists specialized in mural paintings and decorative arts participated. In 1926, King Alfonso XIII returned the temple to the Franciscans. On June 30, 1962 was declared a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII and on November 8, 1962 it was under the patronage of Our Lady of the Angels, after a new consecration. In November 2001, after decades of work, the church reopened to the public.

madrid

A bit on the construction and external look:

The Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a central and circular plant, with vestibule and apse. The roof is solved by a large dome, guarded by six small domes, which surround the base of the building by the north and the south. The dome of San Francisco el Grande is 33 meters in diameter and 58 meters high (72 meters from the ground level). As far as the circular plant domes are concerned, it is the third largest diameter of Christendom. It is made of solid brick, made on a single sheet. At its start, the leaf has a thickness of three meters, which goes down to the coronation, where the thickness is lower than the meter. The dome is crowned by a circular lantern, with spire and wrought iron cross over the arrow.

The main façade is east-facing, and presents two bodies. At the bottom are three arches of half a point, fastened by Doric pilasters. The Ionic order dominates the second body, consisting of three roofed windows.  The façade is dominated by two towers, one at each end, slightly recessed. They are covered with wavy spires, topped with vanes. In its vanes, 19 bells are lodged, eight of them in the South Tower and the remaining eleven in the North Tower. The bell towers are framed with paired pilasters. The dome and its lantern protrude between the two towers, dominating the whole.

A bit more on the interior:

The most notable parts of the hall are the seven doors that allow entrance to the enclosure, which were carved in walnut wood in the 19C. The interior roundabout is paved with marbles, as well as its plinths, sumptuously decorated, its main artistic values are concentrated in the mural paintings of the cupola, the result of the renovation and refurbishment works, in the last third of the 19C. The main chapel is installed in the apse. Until the reform of the late 19C, it was presided by a canvas depicting the appearance of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary to St. Francis of Assisi.

The six secondary chapels are distributed symmetrically, three on the northern side of the roundabout and three in the Southern. They are separated from the large circular space by means of pillars, which are supported by different half-point arches, which allow access. The chorus is installed in the upper part of the lobby. It was ornamented with the Gothic ashlars of the Cartuja de Santa María de El Paular, carved in walnut wood. The Basilica of San Francisco El Grande house a museum formed by 51 paintings, among other artistic pieces. The most valuable pictorial works correspond to the Spanish and Italian Baroque. Other romos are the Ante-Sacristy and the Sacristy.

Around the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande are some interesting buildingns. One of the most important is the Capilla del Cristo de los Dolores or Chapel of the Christ of Sorrows for the venerable Third Order of San Francisco, located in an adjoining building, next to the northern facade of the Basilica. It was built between 1662 and 1668. In the year 2007, it was inaugurated the Dalieda of San Francisco, which extends to the south of the Basilica, where, in the Middle Ages, was located the cloister of the primitive convent on which the temple rises. To the west of the building, extends towards the Almudena Cathedral, the next door parque de La Cornisa, so called by its location to the edge of the hollow that forms the valley of the Manzanares river.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Madrid on the Basilica

Tourist office of Madrid on the Basilica

There you have it in a nutshell , one of the nicest off the beaten path sites in Madrid, even if in an area very much frequented near the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral. Enjoy the Basilica minor San Francisco el Grande.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 26, 2019

Classic wine of France and the world!

And I embarque again on the wonderful world of wines. I have written several posts on the subject, maybe not as much as I like;so no need to repeat on what has been my trail.

Needless, to say wine is part of my life since that frutiful day at age 8 my maternal grandmother gave me a sip of Spanish wines from then on, the fable story of them and me has continue. Prohibited to lunch or dine without wines in our home.

And what has become of me, well a fierce loyal customer of the Médoc of France. Been around, visit and tasted on site many of the world best known and some unknown wine areas, but after my mind takes me always to the Médoc. Oh yeah, many call it Bordeaux, but this is just a city, in which many varieties and areas can be call as such. My pinpoint concentration takes me to simply the Médoc.  Oh yes, need to tell you, the best in the world, the rest just tries to imitates. Now let me tell you about two properties that have been with me for many years, tasted, drank, purchase, and aged them some of my favorites of them all ,and I have already told you some others too in my blog.

Bruno-Eugène Borie evolves the Domaine Ducru-Beaucaillou at Saint Julien, Médoc. This is his story. ‘ It is a wine of gourmand, as can be the greatest crus of Bordeaux (Médoc), and gluttony is universal. Behind Ducru, the name of the owner in the 19C, and Beaucaillou, a reference to the thrusted rocks by the Gironde giving its specificity to the terroir, here is a beverage of character, full of aromas and flavors, which does not forget to remain light, aerial like a 1995(my first bottle of the property!) , excessively fresh, but very present, vibrant even, a rich, aromatic, fragrant cuvée that caused the American critics to succumb to it. Or the 2005, combining finesse and power, a lesson of balance derived from worthy grapes, it is said, of the most beautiful manuals of Ampélographie, these books dedicated to the study of the vine and often accompanied by superb illustrations. Or a 2009, a 2010, with your eyes closed. The 2011, with the garnet dress, with spicy and floral flavors, is not lacking in charm, and the 2012 is a sublime sweet. 2013, difficult year, shows solar and sympathetic, closer to an Italian sangiovese than a Bordeaux… The last harvest gave very nice cuvées. As such, 2018 is very promising.

The use of only new barrels while looking for the most neutral wood possible, which does not mark. Wood is not a stylistic factor in his domaines. They want a robust wine but not a carpenter. As a general rule, they do not want the new entrants to shape our cuvées. They seek precision, and want to find the purity of the original grape in the wine. For this, the selected grains do not support any disadvantaged. The matter must be impeccable. Hygiene helps to strive towards this, especially when one goes further and further in the extraction.

Mr Borie presides over the Executive Board of the company that manages the Pôle Saint-Julien of the family vineyards with Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Lalande-Borie, (this was my contact with the house, back in 1992! )also in Saint-Julien, and Château Ducluzeau, in Listrac.   Fifty pairs of hands follow each other on their bottles. Wine is an addition of manipulations, know-how, hours of sunshine. In the end, it is an accumulation of care and details that make a great cuvee. The place of the machines increased during the arrival of the harvest, in order to improve the sorting. So their yard lines are longer. Here, the most sophisticated technology to refine the work of the vine. They now have several weather stations. Tools allow them to know the thickness of the moisture layer on the sheets, and all this is viewable from a smartphone. They are also looking to use less significant products for the plant and the environment. This means that it is necessary to use treatments with a reduced lifespan-mainly sulphur and copper. A culture which is worth the property of an esteemed certification ISO 14001 high environmental value level 3!

Today they are too often in dogma. He would like to go towards more pragmatism and above all towards more benevolence. They must both have faith in man and believe in the genius of science. A form of positivism adapted to contemporary viticulture.

They have gone from about 16 000 cases of first cru wine per year (192 000 bottles) to 8 000 now. This corresponds to a general evolution of Bordeaux, to a process that they may have pushed a little further than others. He noted in passing that he is proud and fan of what he see today in their vineyard, where the owners are driven by the pleasure of doing well and protecting their environment, whatever some think.    Because Mr. Borie is one of those rare Médoc growers who live in their vineyards, summer and winter!. Inactivity does not seem to be problematic for the one who was a great international nomad. After having travelled a lot and enjoyed this, in the United States, he consider that we make good wine when you are in its vineyards, in the midst of its teams. Nobody harvest in an airport lounge. You have to agree to make yourself available to nature. Maybe at one time we thought the opposite.

Since 2005, the La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou, a former second wine of the property, constitutes a full-fledged Cru, while the Le Petit Caillou, born in 2007, now takes the place of second wine. It is concocted from the lots that were not retained for the other two cuvees.

They offer each year a collection of 21 different formats of Ducru-Beaucaillou, customisable. Good to see that 90% of the first wine is destined for export, and Asia accounts for about half of these volumes, with Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Macau on top. The Chinese love to banquet, drink and eat, celebrate the good bottles. The Americans are different, very tasters but perhaps less enjoyers. And those who take the time to take a break in Saint-Julien taste the cuvées in the best conditions. This is Ducru-Beaucaillou, go upper right hand side stripes menu to see more here: Official Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

A century already that the Cordier family owns the Château Talbot. In the adjacent tasting room at the château, a long topped white table gathers a remarkable vintage of every decade for a hundred years: 1919, 1926, 1934, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1975, 1986, 1995, 2005 and the very young 2010. The silence welcomes the bottle of 1919. It is the minimum of respect that one owes to the elders. The wine should not be shaken by too many wrist turns; It must oxidize smoothly. The taster must understand their relationship to the air that wakes them smoothly.

The years 1926, 1934 and 1945 followed this first anniversary. Ah, 1945! As if the wine had kept in him the hot breath of the cannons, recalled by deep smoky notes, a minerality that draws on oil and which leaves room for a mouth still ample to the final peppery and ironstone. 1955 is very different, charming, the fruit is riper and dominates the spices by scents of strawberry filled with rose and sandalwood. The mouth is dense, sensual, held by an acid weft, spine of the wines of Château Talbot.

The vintage 1962 follows the 1975, very refined, with an Earth profile, pronounced aromas of pepper and a great dynamism. It is the one that performs best its final, of an astonishing length and elegance. The character of the 1986, (my first bottle of Château Talbot) ,the blood side of the 1996, the musculature of the 2005 and the finesse of the 2010, while juicy and spiced with a beautiful bite at the end of the mouth, are held.

If the production techniques used in the past century were very different from those which are today, the wines retain an air of family. The imprint of the terroir gives them a pronounced minerality, an invigorating acid weft, a flax grain and a peppery finale. Mr Désiré-Nicolas Cordier purchased the fourth Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Julien in 1918. In 1934, then mayor of the town, he organized the “Feast of longevity” in the presence of the President of the French Republic Albert Lebrun. If the longevity celebrated is that of the inhabitants, the diners drank with the centenary vintage 1834. Désiré Cordier, the man and his wife Nancy Bignon-Cordier are today the attentive guardians of Château Talbot, whom they gradually transmit to their three children; Philippine, Marguerite and Gustave, the fifth generation. The succession is assured. This is the Château Talbot : Official Château Talbot

And if these two powerhorses of the wine world and my world are not enough, we have more by Paris, capital of the world.

From February 11th to 13th , 2019, discover the first edition of Wine Paris, the first major international meeting of wine professionals to be held in Paris: World Wine Capital! Wine Paris was born from the union of Vinisud, the world of Southern wines, and VinoVision Paris, the International Exhibition of Northern Wines. Wine Paris will host from this first edition with more than 2000 exhibitors representatives the completeness of French terroirs and a variety of international vineyards.

These vineyards reps are

France: Alsace, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Corsica, Jura, Languedoc, Provence, Roussillon, Savoie, South-West, Rhône Valley, and the Val de Loire.

Algeria: Oran.  Croatia: Slavonia, Continental Croatia, Istria, Dalmatia.

Spain: Andalusia, Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia, Navarra, Basque Country, La Rioja, and the Valencian Community.

Greece: Elide, Achaea, Korinthia.  Italy: Veneto, Piemonte, Friuli, Lombardia, Trentino Alto Adige, Emilia Romagna, Liguria, Il Lazio, Abruzzo, Puglia, Sicilia, Sardegna, le Marche, Campania, Basilicata, Calabra, Molise, and Toscany.  Lebanon: Bekaa Valley.  Israel: Golan Heights.  Moldova: Codru. And  Portugal: Douro, Dao, Bairrada, Valpaços, Alentejo, Madeira, Minho, and Bucelas

All this as per above dates February 11-13 2019 ; at the  Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles, 1 place de la porte de Versailles, Paris 15éme : Hours Monday and Tuesday 9h30 to 18h30 and Wednesday 9h30 to 17H30. Admission is 20€ reserving online or 40€ on site. More here on Wine Paris: Wine Paris

Also, at Vinosud : https://www.vinisud.com/index.php/en

And VinoVision Paris: https://en.vinovisionparis.com/

The above material translated and taken from my favorite wine journal Le Figaro VinLe Figaro Vin journal in French

Hope to enjoy it as much as I/we do. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2019

Memories forever, Las Majadas!

And on this sunny bright cool  8C day in my new Morbihan breton dept 56 of Brittany, in my belle France; I like to be nostalgic if I may please. Spain is in me no matter where I go, or live, and so lucky to found a French women who spoked Spanish and like the idea of vacationing there even already thinking of retirement. Well the luck of the devil it could not be done as she passed away last April 30th 2018 from pancreatic cancer. My hopes were dashed and a new life is slowly coming together. However, the memories ,the souvenirs, the joys of the past with my dear late wife Martine will always be there intact.

las majadas

I like to bring back our magnificent lately Summer vacations we had in Las Majadas, Serrania de Cuenca, Province of Cuenca in the Castilla La Mancha autonomous region of the Kingdom of Spain. I have several entries on the area around Cuenca.

We have come here in 2016 and 2017 , we love it!!!  My dear late wife Martine did not mind coming back again to same house, she love it too . We always  enjoyed our summers family vacation . We quickly always decide it must be Spain again !!! There are other places in Europe but when it comes to decision time, it seems we have a magnet on Spain, and a lot of blood roots!!!. Last year 2018, we did not go as was too sad for me and the boys to go back, maybe next time.

We always sit around the kitchen table and decide where to go in our long Summer vacations , but at the end we came back to the same place as always with little exceptions over the years. The house we always rented from Luis and Maria Isabel is wonderfully roomy cool and in the center of the town; the owners are wonderful human being very laid back country folks who enjoyed talking and sharing stories.

las majadas

The town is Las Majadas in the Serrania de Cuenca mountainsabout 1400 meters up and 36 kms from the Unesco World Heritage site of the city of Cuenca. The house is Casa Pitu at calle Anastacio Lasso near the clock tower which houses the pharmacy and library of the town.

las majadas

For a change , will post some webpages that will help you plan your trip here, and I highly recommended.

The city/town hall of Las Majadas has a site in Spanish here Ayuntamiento de Las Majadas

Casa Pitu again is here in Spanish Official Casa Pitu in Spanish

The autonomous region of Castilla La Mancha has more in Spanish here Castilla la Mancha on Las Majadas

The Guia Repsol (sort of the Michelin of Spain) has more in Spanish here Guia Repsol tourism on Las Majadas

Serrania de Cuenca site in Spanish where on the bottom you can print in pdf a brochure on the mountains is here: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on the Serrania de Cuenca

And the province of Cuenca tourist site in Spanish in here  tourist office province of Cuenca

The town is very friendly and easy to walk, with great pathways into the mountains for the courageous runner/walker/hiker is a paradise.  We were always tucked to the city and the great bars and restos in it. Sad to hear the bakery has close down and now bread is deliver after 10h at the local school.  We were at 1400 meters altitude (about 4593 feet) and the driving down and up is winding and zig zag’s roads with gorgeous mountains views with lookout stops along the way to enjoy the scenery more.

In all, it was a great place to be at. We are always remembering and réminiscences of times past where we had so much family joy here. It will be with me for the rest of my life. There are several posts on the Las Majadas/Cuenca area , but sorry if it is repeated, I will never be tired of writing about it in my blog. For now ,enjoy Las Majadas, Province of Cuenca, autonomous region of Castilla La Mancha in the  Serrania de Cuenca mountains of my beloved Spain.

las majadas

And this was our first impression from the first visit in 2016: Just to say it has been our best vacation ever ,not only because the location was great, the house fanstastic with all the trimming ,and the price right, but the host Luis and Maria Isabel were fantastic beyond the call of duty to make our stay a wonderful one full of great memories and even friendship. You will do well to rent from them in the future as we will definitively look forward to another opportunity. And we did!

And this is one way on how I wrote to get there from south of Pau by Gan,  along the N134, follow Laruns on the D934 into the mountains looking for the col du Portalet mountain pass wonderful views real driving pleasure and into Spain on the N260 to Huesca to take the N330 into the wonderful road A23 to Zaragoza here take the beltway of the city, the Z-40 direction Madrid but get off on exit 28A to Teruel/Cariñera and then exit 176 into the N211 direction Montalban/Caminreal/Alcaniz.  Near the town of Caminreal take left on the N234 ,and near Monreal del Campo continue on avenue de Madrid still on the N211 passing by nice Molina de Aragon  (gas/petrol  station here) to connect with the CM210 that becomes the CM 2106 into the Serrania de Cuenca mountains and our home at Las Majadas!

And this is how I wrote one way back to France: This time we headed first to Guadalajara , passing by one special town of Calatayud. This is the town I stopped with my then girlfriend for gas and something to eat at the next door restaurant/hotel that had a wedding going on ! appropiate it seems.  We sat in the middle of the restaurant with the wedding party on one side and always remembered by us. At the end of town  ,we link up with the A2 direction Zaragoza that we bypass on the beltway road Z40.  We took the A23 direction Huesca where we link up with the N330 direction Jaca passing by Sabiñanigo.  We continue on the N330 direction France and the Somport pass tunnel. This was memorable too as when I first started traveling by car between Spain and France there was no tunnel but had to go on first gear with a VW Golf  (owned by my girlfriend later wife Martine) up the Pyrénées mountains over the Col de Somport mountain. Here passing Castiello de Jaca, and then Vilanua ,a great memory as usually we had stayed at the Faus Hutte mountain hotel here,now it is call Lacasa. We remember arriving very late like 10PM or 22h and the hotel owners opens up the restaurant to give us something to eat and stayed for the night before continuing on to France !!! Memories never to forget.

So travel soothes everything and is doing me so, writing this blog helps a lot. Las Majadas will be forever in my mind. Thanks for the memories!!!!  I thank you for your support. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 21, 2019

Some news from France CCXVII

And here I am direct at you again on the tidbits of my belle France, which thanks to you all have become as popular as I wanted to be over the years. This is in Roman numerals the but is the 218th post!! Thank you.

It is cold and sunny today -1C or about 31F today and even colder in Paris this morning. As I write , it is 3C  (about 38F) in my neck of the woods and the same in Paris, still morning. But hey nothing to stop me or you to enjoy the beautiful France; 90 millions this past year wow its awesome! and expecting 100M in 2019!!!!!

In 2018, the Louvre was the most popular museum in the world, with 10.2 million visitors, 25% more than in 2017. With a bonus for the Louvre, which combines the advantages: its collections cover several centuries of history within a majestic historical monument; It houses masterpieces including the most iconic, the Mona Lisa; It is located in Paris, the world’s number one destination. In fact, three quarters of its visitors are foreign. The permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou recorded an increase of 18% of their attendance; the Museum of the Quay Branly-Jacques Chirac saw its growth of 7%, Versailles of 6%, Orsay of 3%. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, received incredible media coverage for its opening in November 2017 and attracted for more than a million visitors, valuing the Louvre in the Middle East, Africans, and Asian region. The museum currently has 70 international collaborations: Exhibitions, research, excavations, various exchanges. The Centre Pompidou has installed antennas in Malaga, Brussels and is going to establish itself in Shanghai… The French regional metropolises, which have invested a great deal to equip themselves with attractive museums, are thus able to drain several hundred thousand visitors a year. On the other hand, the Paris Opera receives 97 million euros of state subsidies (from happy French taxpayers like me), compared to 28.5 million for the twenty operas in the regions combined, to which 18 million euros came from private patrons in addition. Compile from various newspapers.

In Marseille, the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM), for which it is necessary to book and justify its identity as a conservation and resource Centre, a 800 m² “control apartment” presents a rotating sample of the funds Preserved by the museum, pieces from all eras, provenances and dimensions. The Marseille institution now retains the collections. Georges Henri Rivière , his founder, to whom the MuCEM is currently dedicating an exhibition, had imagined, from 1937, to show the gallery of studies to the general public.  The artists ,also take up the reserves is to expose anonymous artists whose creations are taken from the reserves of the museums where he intervenes, for example the Museum of Arts of Nantes, the MuCEM, and until February 3, at the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. In Paris, the Museum of the Quai de Branly-Jacques Chirac has long been the example of the reservations visible with its tower of instruments, 27 meters high and which exhibits 10 000 musical instruments. These reserves are not  visited but an application gives elements of information and the walls diffuse the sounds of the instruments that are kept there. The Louvre-Lens goes even further in this logic. The reservations, visible from the lobby, are visited by groups on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Visitors were able to benefit from a guide in the food shop to see the reserves. News from various newspapers in France.

Imagine a health course of 40 km that meanders between the marshes and the boulevard périphérique of Paris, along a vegetated weft dotted with sports challenges. This dream for aspiring marathoners and sportsmen of Sundays may become reality by 2024. At the request of the City/Town Hall of Paris, the Parisian planning workshop Apur has just made a long study on a project of “Urban Sports Walk” along the green belt. Specifically, the course, already equipped with seven sports challenges sites, would be equipped with ten new challenge sites for bodybuilding or cardio-training work. Many recreational facilities such as children’s games, petanque, table tennis, foosball, climbing walls, board games, etc are also provided on 17 points along the route as well as convivial spaces such as picnic tables, fountains, Superloos etc. According to Apur, 600 new alignment trees will have to be planted, sidewalks widened for 9 km, a band of 42 000 m2 cleared of bitumen from the trees, 6 km of vegetated walls and about 15 pedestrian crossings created in the most perilous zones. See attached map. More info here: https://www.apur.org/fr/nos-travaux/parcours-sportif-ceinture-verte-plans-programme-2024

400 years is a celebration! To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the departmental estate of Sceaux  (Hauts de Seine 92) where he lived, inaugurates an exhibition of family portraits of this minister of Louis XIV. Until April 21, 2019. Château de Sceaux stables.Every day except Monday from 13h. to 17h. until 28 February and from 14h  to 18h30  starting March 1st. Admission is 3-4€. More here:

http://www.hauts-de-seine.fr/actualite/tourisme-patrimoine/la-ville-de-sceaux-et-le-departement-celebrent-lannee-colbert-en-2019-3295/

http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.fr/les-expositions/who-is-who-chez-les-colbert/

This is the year of the 7th art in the Yvelines dept 78. In 2019, no less than 31 new cinemas should be opened. In total, the department will count 6 780 new armchairs. The most important will be located at the Vélizy 2 shopping center,(Vélizy-Villacoublay) (nice shopping and cinema we like) which is to open in February 2019 ,a complex of 3 800 armchairs in total in 18 rooms on two levels. More here: https://www.velizy2.com/cinema

At Plaisir, UGC also invests in pleasure, where the opening at the end of 2019 of a multiplex cinema Cité of 9 rooms and 1 280 armchairs to play the role of Open Sky locomotive, the shopping center whose work continues along the road D11. The developer also builds the Open Sky shopping mall, for fun. The signs Primark, Zara, H & M or Undiz will be the locomotives of the center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. More here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/plaisir_78490/yvelines-plaisir-multiplexe-ugc-9-salles-futur-centre-commercial_18088098.html

In Maurepas, the multiplex, the first stone of which was laid at the end of November, will have eight projection rooms and 1 700 seats on 5 000 m² and two levels in the area of the Leisure Village. A parking space of 500 is planned to accommodate the 400 000 annual visitors expected per year. To achieve this attendance, the complex will be equipped with the latest technologies with an ICE room (immersive Cinema Experience) and a MX4D room with seats that move according to the action of the film. The establishment is expected to be opened by October 2019. More info here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/maurepas_78383/maurepas-futur-multiplexede-8-salles-attendu-2019_14429803.html

And it’s not over: next year, 12 rooms should open at the Parly 2 shopping center, at Le Chesnay next to Versailles! This is great our favorite cinema is improving! More here in French: https://www.parly-2.com/projetcinema

And after all the above you might be hungry , really hungry, so heads for…aka for serious meat lovers only.

Is meat consumption down? For the-good-restaurateurs, this may be a godsend. As long as you don’t just push a trivial rib steak on the plate but offers an “experience”, a moment. Its Beefbar, just open last October in the former Marbeuf farmhouse in Paris, a few steps from the prestigious Avenue George V, is already filled. A few days ago, walking between carpet rolls and plasterboard, we were struggling to believe that the deadlines would be kept. He never doubted.  The place, magnified the Art nouveau room. Beefbar , created in Monaco in 2005 and present since then in Monaco, Mexico City, Cannes, Budapest , and Hong Kong, and now Paris. The meats served will be chosen and worked with the utmost care, including a limousine of Auvergne refined 60 days and of course Kobe beef. More info here: http://paris.beefbar.com/

There you go happy Monday lol! always a drag I know, but hey there is always going to be a first day of the week! Enjoy your week wherever you are!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 20, 2019

Markets of Valencia, Spain of course!

And I bring out east of my beloved Spain, and into the mediterranean. I came here as a boy when my Aunt lives just south in El Saler, then spent many years without coming back,and then voilà came often the last few years! This is Valencia the city of the paella and a lot more.

I like to take you into a bit of history on its gastronomy delights ,and what better than the markets or mercados of Valencia. The two I love are the Mercado Central and Mercado de Colon, with the later been my favorite of all.

Let me start you off by showcasing the Mercado Central or Central Market to many is the most popular and the most visited of all in Valencia.

The Mercado Central is located in the Plaza Ciudad de Brujas.   It is considered as one of the masterpieces of Valencian modernism.

Valencia

valencia

It is a construction of Valencian modernist style began to be built in the year 1914 and ended in 1928. The Mercado Central combines metal, domes, glass, columns, the Gothic memory of modernism, as if it were a cathedral of commerce, combining with the neighbouring Lonja de la Seda. In the center of the building you can see a large dome topped by a weather vane.

It is located on the Plaza del Mercado , next to the Lonja de la Seda or silk market and the Plaza de la Ciudad de Brujas. The old Calle de la Paja separates the Mercado Central to the Church of the Saints Juanes. On the opposite side, the Mercado Central gives to the beautiful Calle Palafox, Plaza en Gall and Calle de las Calabazas.

This spectacular market, has 1,200 stands in which sells all kinds of food such as fish, shellfish, fruits, meats and sausages both for domestic consumption and to supply important restaurants in Valencia, which is crowned as the market biggest fresh produce in Europe. The purchase in this place is loaded with great charm by the beauty of its architecture and the tradition and history of the market.

Valencia

valencia

I like to give you here some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must.

Official Mercado Central

Tourist office of Valencia on Mercado Central

City of Valencia on Mercado Central

Then , I move on to the one we like the most and do parking there when visiting the city lately. This is the Mercado de Colon or Columbus market.

The Mercado de Colón is located in Calle Jorge Juan ,19 , the building, was conceived and realized between the years 1914 and 1916. It is one of the best examples of the architecture of the Valencian modernism of the beginning of the century.

valencia

The Mercado de Colón is located in the city’s Eixample, between the Calle Colón and Gran via Marqués de Turia (Calle Conde Salvatierra, Calle Jorge Juan, Calle Cirilo Amoros, and Calle Martínez Ferrando), located in what was formerly the gas factory of the Marqués de Campo

The administrative antecedents of the Mercado de Colon (Columbus market) are in the continuous requests of owners and neighbors to the city council towards 1890, in which they requested the implantation of provisional or definitive markets in the area of the Ensanche to avoid the itinerant sale that was generated with the need to obtain goods and necessities without the inconvenience of reaching the remote Mercado Central markets or that of Ruzafa.

The Mercado de Colon, like any modernist work, participates in a vast vision of architecture as a total work of art, in which design extends from the conception of the building to each of the elements that form it, with special emphasis on the applied arts. The design of the cast iron columns, in brick, in polychrome ceramics: used as an aesthetic and ornamental element in mosaics and claddings of facades, glass, stone ashlars, artificial stone, used for the program Iconography of the market and carpentry.

valencia

The Mercado de Colon has a total area of 3,500 m². It presents a basilica plant of 3 naves, a central one of 18.60 meters high and two smaller sides of 9.70 meters. With lighting with cantilevers of 6 meters. On each side, organized in 9 bays of 7 meters of separation. The structure consists of trusses and metal lattice arches made by profiles composed of colonnades joints, and screws in the links with the foundry pillars that support the roof, with heights of 8 meters and 5 meters, with capital and ornamented base. The cover is made by means of square fibre-cement plates , which are fastened with wire to their diagonals. The access to the enclosure is produced by eight large doors that provide a great permeability and connect functionally with the environment throughout its perimeter. They are made with profiles and steel plates, with ornamental elements of smelting and forging.

valencia

The doors are located in the chamfers and in the centers of each facade. In the facade towards to the Calle Jorge Juan is located a pavilion for municipal uses, 31 x 7.5 meters base, which rises in a pointed arch of 16 meters high and 13 meters of light between supports , with the depth of a creak. It starts from two rectangular base bodies, in one of which is the access staircase to the upper gallery. In the other there are several municipal galleries distributed on three floors. Between the two elements it crosses a gallery destined to offices, built like a bridge between the supports of the arch.  Two chimneys topped with curved shapes lined with ceramic fragments are raised on the canopy deck. This façade presents a complete iconographic and symbolic program, in which they are present from the poultry (turkeys, ducks, hens pheasants, geese, roosters) until the butchery (meats, pigs, cows, rabbits), passing by the fish (crabs, crayfish , eels, fish, molluscs), vegetables (pumpkins, corn, peppers cucumbers, tomatoes), snails, flowers of different type and, of course, the fruit (figs, lemons, apricots, pineapples nuts, pineapples, vines, bananas, melons, pomegranates, apples, oranges , pears).  Unlike the facade of the Calle Jorge Juan, the towards to that of Calle Conde Salvatierra, consists of a single plane lacking volumetry, executed in brick and with combination of natural and artificial stone .

The plane of this facade is limited laterally by troncocónics columns finished in pinnacles, in whose center opens a large parabolic arch of brick of similar dimensions to the other and whose eardrum is closed by a colossal window. The lower part is topped up to about 4 meters high by means of a glass canopy on metal carpentry. At the base of the two great side pinnacles are placed the flower stalls, of great lightness and wavy cover also covered with ceramic fragments. This façade, on the other hand, appears without ornaments, except for some isolated and imperceptible details in the whole as the Rams, the Snails, the pears and the strips of garlic.

valencia

On December 24, 1916, Christmas Eve, the Mercado de Colon was inaugurated, and according to a local newspaper, it was a spectacular event: from the bullring came a cavalcade formed by the mounted Municipal Guard with the timpani and bugles of the city , the rock of fame, market vendors, the fishing groups, birds and meats and flowers, fruits and vegetables, a chariot occupied by the Queen of the party accompanied by her court of Honor. The Municipal Band and a section of the Civil Guard closed the celebration.

valencia

The Mercado de Colon has been transformed into a hotel center, with a traditional horchatería, a biocafeteria, Biobrewery, a cafeteria-franchise, two foreign breweries and a restaurant coexist with a florist and the only three original establishments that have lasted: a delicatessen , a fish shop and a fruit shop. A   basement that houses a parking area, leaving the central part free for cultural events.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Offical Mercado de Colon

Tourist office of Valencia on Mercado de Colon

City of Valencia on Mercado de Colon

And there you go , a shopper’s paradise full of history and gorgeous architecture. IN addition, a great city ambiance and people pleasers, a joy to be there. Hope you enjoy the tour of the wonderful Mercado Central and Mercado de Colon of Valencia.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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January 17, 2019

Some news from France CCXVI

And I am back on my regular news coverage of France , my take, my opinion, my tastes. Today is sunny!!! temp 6C or about 45F no rain of course just lovely in my beautiful Morbihan breton 56. In eternal Paris is about the same at 43F as well as in my beloved Versailles.

Let me tell you the latest news on my belle France.

There are three weeks of filming in Paris for the production of Roman Polanski’s film, “J’Accuse or I Accuse”, a feature film devoted to the Dreyfus affair with the principal actors Jean-Dujardin and Louis Garrel. The shooting started last November 26th to end on March 7, 2019 for allow a release in early December 2019. The Church of Saint-Germain L’ Auxerrois, was in the spotlight. Inside, while a huge luminous veil occupies the top of the church, an ambient mist creates an atmosphere of the end of the 19C. J’ accuse, the tribune of Emile Zola, denouncing one of the largest anti-Semitic cases in France, starring Louis Garrel in the role of Captain Dreyfus, accused of espionage. Jean-Dujardin is Colonel Marie-Georges Picquart, head of counter-espionage, who will eventually discover that the evidence against Dreyfus was false. More here in Allôcine: http://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm_gen_cfilm=229982.html

In this period of Epiphany (I am a bit late sorry), the galette de Rois is in the spotlight on all the displays of our bakeries. This winter pastry, more commonly known as Parisienne, makes the happiness of the 7 to 77 years old. Glazed, caramelized or creamy, these artisans of the capital revisit in their own way this traditional dessert, of the New Year. At Douceurs et Traditions, 85, rue Saint-Dominique, 7éme, Metro La Tour-Maubourg. At Karamel Paris, 67, rue Saint-Dominique ,7éme, Metro La Tour-Maubourg.  And  Un Glace à Paris, 15, rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie , 4éme, Metro Hôtel de Ville.

Webpages for above pâtisseries :

https://www.yelp.com/biz/nelly-julien-douceurs-et-traditions-paris

https://karamelparis.com/

http://uneglaceaparis.fr/web/

Beans and patties of kings are the inseparable of the pastry. Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Château de Chambord ( dept Loir-et-Cher), slips in his patties, beans with the effigies of historical figures, such as François I and Louis XIV, who contributed to the fame of the castle. Gluttony, the beans of the houses Hugo and Victor ,7éme and Karamel Paris, 7éme celebrate the desserts with unpublished pieces. More sporting, the 11 winning and red beans of the boutique Un Glace à Paris 4éme, will make you meet Emmanuel Petit, world Champion 98 and Emmanuel Ryon, best worker of France, to celebrate together the Epiphany. The wine of course will be white, and sweet enough to embrace the sweetness of the dessert. A semi-dry Champagne; or a muted Muscat ,whose fermentation was brutally halted by adding pure alcohol are in order.

A story of France and the people that belongs as French. 1954,the cold envelops France, at Saint-Denis, Smaïl, a worker, is sleeping outside, at minus 13 °C, on the site where he works. A few steps away from the location of the future Stade de France, where 44 years later, his son, help gave the football World Cup for France in 1998; his son Zinedine Zidane. Histoire d’Une Nation or Stories of a nation,will be projected this Thursday evening today 20h15  at the cinema L’Ecran  in Saint-Denis. This series in four episodes was aired in September and October last on France 2 TV. It interweaves the little stories and the great, drawing the portrait of a France that was built, sometimes in pain, according to successive waves of immigration, from 1870 to 2005. This suburb, where the generations of immigrants from Spain, Italy, Algerians, Malians mingled, inevitably fed the work. The film also gives the floor to immigrants and children of immigrants from Marseille, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand… There is a common history, a French history that has not been told. And from this point of view, the Seine-Saint-Denis is not atypical, Free entrance.More here in French: https://www.lecranstdenis.org/evenements/on-en-parle-histoire-dune-nation/

During the night of 12 or 13 October 1973, five wooden sculptures dating from the 16C and 18C were stolen. Only Sainte-Anne and the Virgin could be found. Forty-six years after being stolen from Houdan, a statue representing St. Anne and the Virgin will return to her place in  the Church of St. James (St Jacques) the Major of Houdan. The statue of Sainte-Anne and the Virgin, with a height of 94 cm in polychrome wood, was to be auctioned  last December 8th by a sales hall which has a street-corner in Heidelberg (Germany) for a starting price of 6 000€. Luckily it was found before the sale by Eurojust an European service tracking these stolen goods. In a similar story, a statue of St. Christopher in Wood, stolen from the church of Cergy-Village in Cergy (Val-d’oise 95) in November 1973, resurfaced last October. The work was spotted in Frankfurt (Germany) when it was to be sold. Be aware of what you buy in these markets in Europe.

A WWII bomb was discovered on the site of the future Tramway line 13. The bomb discovered in St Cyr l’Ecole, right next to the train station. It’s an English bomb dating back to WWII, weighing 500 pounds or about 250 kg and 115 kg of explosives, this bomb, in the event of an explosion, could cause a crater 4 meters wide and 3 meters deep by projecting splinters within a radius of 300 meters. This kind of discoveries remains rather common in this area.More from the agglo area here in French: https://www.versaillesgrandparc.fr/actualites/toute-lactualite/details/article/operation-de-deminage-a-sai/

A chemical transformation, more accurately, carried out by micro-organisms, bacteria, yeast or mold on the sugar in the absence of oxygen. And now it gives us the three pillars of French gastronomy: bread, cheese and wine. Moreover, two of them (hint: not the cheese) symbolize the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The fermentation holds the divine. When it is controlled by the human hand, fermentation gives a more complex taste to the food and keeps it longer. It’s useful. Enjoy it the tip.More in French from the La Revue du Vin de France: https://www.larvf.com/,fermentation-definition-dictionnaire-du-vin-vocabulaire-lexique,10355,4025490.asp

In the opinion of professional buyers like designers, Paris offers this season the most beautiful stage for the fashion of men. The American, British and Japanese labels feast on the public. Fashion Weeks, from last Tuesday night, first day of parades in the city.  56 shows (10 more compared to the previous edition) , and 26 presentations, 15 nationalities are on the program until  this coming Sunday evening, making once again (and even more than ever) Paris the great capital of men’s fashion; definitively, Paris is a springboard to fame and fashion for the youngest but especially for the most adventurous. The LVMH brand is set up under the dome of the Opéra Garnier; where the men’s fashion has never paraded. The company eco-friendly Lime will make available to the small world of fashion, a fleet of electric scooters, in partnership with Paris Fashion Week. More here in French on the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode: https://fhcm.paris/fr/paris-fashion-week-fr/calendrier-des-defiles/?session=session_1539768337

The first 12 cars sold in France are indeed produced by one of the two French car groups,no surprise very local mindset. The top 3 is made up of the Renault Clio, followed by the Peugeot 208 and the compact SUV Peugeot 3008. In fourth position , the first model of the Citroën C3. Next comes the entry-level model of the low-cost Dacia manufacturer, the Sandero. In sixth place is the Renault  Captur, followed by  the Peugeot 2008 and the compact 308. Dacia Duster in 9th, Renault Twingo ,10th, Renault Megane ,11th and Citroën C3 Aircross 12th. The first foreign car on the list is German. This is the Volkswagen Polo, which is followed by a Japanese: the Toyota Yaris produced in France in Valenciennes! . Follow again by locals Peugeot 5008 and the Renault Kadjar. A second Volkswagen, the Golf, slips to 17th place, been the most sold car in Europe, and due for a generation change this year. The 18th place is occupied by the Opel Corsa which will also change generation this year. It will be developed on the platform of DS3 Crossback and Peugeot 208, Opel being passed into the lap of PSA. In the penultimate position is the small Fiat 500. The Ford Fiesta manages to climb to 20th place.Of course, I am a Ford lover, but not the Fiesta, mine  done in Saarbruken and Valencia!  According to the French Automobile Manufacturers Assoc or CCFA: https://ccfa.fr/

My Ford dealer has invited me to a party this coming Saturday with food and drinks and maybe can get another deal from my salesperson lol!! Always out you never know…Stay tune ::)

The company Novaxia is planning to reallocate the phantom metro station Croix Rouge into a culinary space. Located in the 6éme arrondissement, the station will be transformed into a Halle halfway between an underground market and a restaurant with a cocktail bar on long quays of 75 meters. Another project is the Le Chai subaquatique or the underwater cellar; here not only can you have a drink (or two) but you can dive! Led by Winereef , the project includes a diving pit, a food market and urban agriculture garden. Réservoirs de Passy 16éme arrondissement. These and more new to paris at Reinventer Paris webpage : http://www.reinventer.paris/fr/resultats/

Do not recall if told you before but a classic is coming nearer me at Montparnasse (my entry point to Paris for the last few years).

It’s the Bouillon, the real, the only, the first in the matter.At the bottom of a small courtyard, the Bouillon Chartier captivated by its beauty preserved since 1896. Here is all the traditional French cuisine that is in the spotlight with low prices that make the house proud. And this, the group Joulie (owner of the Bouillon Chartier) understood it well, since a second  Bouillon  will open its doors at 59, boulevard de Montparnasse. More here: https://www.bouillon-chartier.com/fr/

The Le Chalet des îles on an island in the Bois de Boulogne, is since its creation under Napoleon III,  been a high-level spot for meetings. In the evening for  the social evenings and the day to sink into one of those armchairs by the fireside. As a country house that you would never want to leave, you can stay for hours to enjoy the quiet, yet so close to Paris. Le Chalet des ïles; 14, Chemin de Ceinture du Lac Inférieur 16éme arrondissement, open very day from noon to 22h30.  Webpage here: http://chalet-des-iles.com/en

We are painting you think of period furniture, grand piano and monumental chimney. You want some more? At the bar of the hotel Aubusson you can spend the evening enjoying the Jazz concerts (from Wednesday to Saturday evening) sipping a whisky by the fire. For the workers (or the most connected) the WiFi is free. Café Laurent, 33, rue Dauphine 6éme arrondissement, open daily from 12h to Midnight. Webpage here:  http://www.hoteldaubusson.com/en/cafe-laurent.html

On a non tourist news, I close out this news bulletin,  but me think worth telling you.  On Saturday 12 January at 9h (9am), a violent explosion caused by a gas leak erupted in the Boulangerie Hubert at rue de Trévise in the 9éme arrondissement of Paris. Since then, the city Hall of Paris has indicated that 6 Parisian buildings are at risk of collapse. Nine buildings are temporarily banned from occupancy, six of which threaten to collapse. The city of Paris remains fully mobilized in support of the victims. At the request of the mayor of Paris, they will all benefit from an accompaniment in their rehousing. They will also do everything they could to facilitate their efforts, particularly with regard to insurance. The commitment is clear: they will be at their side in this very difficult moment and we will not leave anyone without accommodation solution, City of Paris, the eternal city. A tribute was given this Thursday to Simon Cartannaz and Nathanael Josselin, the two firefighters killed in the explosion of the rue de Trévise in Paris. The Barracks Champerret,(HQ of firefighers brigades of Paris)  in the 17éme arrondissement of  Sergeant Simon Cartannaz and Corporal Nathanael Josselin had a farewell emotional tribute to these under 30 men who risk all to save, according to police more than 20 lives here. RIP

http://www.pompiersparis.fr/fr/news/interventions/deces-du-caporal-chef-simon-cartannaz-et-du-sapeur-de-premiere-classe-nathanael-josselin

Enjoy your visit to our eternal Paris  you are in good hands here. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

January 12, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXXI

And on a cold cloudy wintery day in my beloved Morbihan just back from doing my routine and temps at 3C ,let me bring you up to date on my ramblings in my neck of the woods.

Today is another round of the gilet jaunes or yellow vests protest that are now in their 9th Saturday. Just trying for more social justice and stopping the plans of an opportunistic President Macron who should not be there but that is another long story. There was more than 100 at the La Fôret area of Auray with police looking at them at a distance so far calm. However , others like in Paris and Bourges not so much. It will continue until we get a new government, period. This is the people, by the people,and for the people democracy power at its best; and France is leading the way again!

We got up early and by 9h we were out ,first to the bank in Auray to do our paperwork routine and found out our best account manager is leaving the bank on February 6th yikes!!! so bad she was the best we had there . We will have a farewell meeting and to meet our account manager on January 26th; it will be emotional I am sure. She was our account manager for 6 years and was tops!

From here we went to EasyCash store for my son to sell his old guitar that actually was hardly ever use! and of course from there to their must stop Micromania for more video games all in Vannes. We parked at place de la République underground parking! 2.50€!

We continue onwards to the market as this is the best market in the department on Saturday mornings at Vannes Place du Poids Public and Place des LIces areas. Here we got our usual fruits and cheeses from our favorite vendors of always. We come late for best prices and more talk!

While in the market we went to visit the new Belle Iloise and not having our fish soup available , the counter lady call her other store up the road at the place des Lices where they waited for us open to sale us the fish soup Breton style, simply awesome!

On our way down, we stop at our friendly Nicolas store for some red porto and Bordeaux wines  which were on sale as this is winter sales days in France!

once done, I got around those round points or traffic circles to avoid the yellow vests folks and come to our hypermarket E Leclerc in Vannes for the rest of our groceries. This is in Vannes but over the expressway N165. We took some time here as the boys were a bit slow in shopping lol! habits of the mother…. We finally finished and came back to relax and let this hectic day of protesting ease on down.

We settled in our lovely home of Pluvigner in our beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the gorgeous region of Brittany. You all have a wonderful weekend!

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 9, 2019

Winter Sales are on in France!!!

So usually post this on a Some News regular postings but this year is different. Different because the laws are in the process of probably change by the time Summer 2019 is here and this could be the last. Different because all the upheavals going on in France now with the yellow vests/jackets and what’s not , the streets will be different. Sales already are down 25% according to several news media here.

So let me give you a quick rundown and if in France do take advantage of them. One rule know the prices for the items you want, then you would know is the sales is worth it.

Today January 9 2019 starts the Winter Sales in France! These sales will last during all of January and will end on February 19.  These sales are very regulated such as the articles for sale needed to be offered for sales at least one month before sales can be allowed.  The shops could bring the prices down to empty their stock during this period and only on the period of sales as before mentioned. The shops can even bring the price down to a loss to sale the article.  The online sales are also to respect the same rules as in the shops without distinction of site or brand.

All this is regulated by the  DGCCRF=Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes. Something like the General Direction of the competition consumers and repression of frauds and it is dependant on the Ministry of the Economy… here  https://www.economie.gouv.fr/particuliers/dates-soldes

It is important to tell you all that the project call PACTE  or Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises; something like the plan of action for the growth and transformation of the entreprises is currently in discussion in the Parliament to reduce the sales period from the current 6 weeks to 4 weeks hoping for better impact on sales.  This law even if pass will not include the current Winter Sales but will take effect in the Summer Sales of 2019. The general public will be inform if the new law is passed;

Some of the nice centers in my area to go for these sales in addition to individual stores are:

Centre Commercial Carrefour of Vanneshttps://www.carrefour.fr/evenements/soldes

Centre Commercial Leclerc of Vanneshttp://www.e-leclerc.com/auray/evenements/soldes-hiver-1

The Center La Galerie Geant of Lanester: https://www.la-galerie.com/geant-lanester/boutiques.html

The Centre Commercial Atlantis of Nantes: https://www.atlantis-nantes.com/evenements

NAntes

And my old reliable Parly II of Le Chesnay (next to Versailles 78): https://www.parly-2.com/stores

le chesnay

Going to the big plaza of Paris we have the department stores such as :

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann : open normally will have exceptional opening hours today until 20h .

paris

Galerie Lafayette Montparnasse  another often visited store has normal hours , and for the winter sales will open today from 8h to 21h and Thursday to Saturday next from 10h to 21h Sunday next from 11h to 19h

Printemps Haussmann : open Mondays to Saturdays  9h35 to 20h, Sunday 11h to 19h, night opening Thursday until  20h45

paris

Bon Marché : open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 20h, night opening Thursday and Fridays until 20h45 with an exceptional opening today from 9h to 21h

BHV Marais : open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h30 to 20h, Sundays from  11h to 19h30

Citadium Caumartin : open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 20h, night opening Thursday until  21h

The shopping centers of Paris will be open as such :

Carrousel du Louvre normal every day from 10h to 20h ;  Forum des Halles normal every day from  10h to 20h;  Passage du Havre by gare Saint Lazare open Mondays to Saturdays from  9h30 to 20h,Sundays from 11h to 19h ; Bercy Village normal open every day from  11h to 21h;  Italie 2  open normal Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 20h, Sundays from 11h to 19h;  Montparnasse Rive Gauche  normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 19h30;  Beaugrenelle  normal open Mondays to Saturdays from  10h to 20h30, Sundays from  10h to 19h;  Passy Plaza  normal open from Mondays to Saturdays  10h to 19h30;   Les boutiques du Palais normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h30 to 19h30, Sundays from  11h to 19h.

paris

Then, some of my favorites in Seine et Marne dept 77 is near Disneyland  Val d’Europe (Marne la Vallée) normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 21h,Sundays  10h to 20h, and  La Vallée Village (Marne la Vallée) normal open every day from  10h to 19h, Sundays  10h to 18h.

In my beloved Yvelines 78 my favorites webpage posted above are the Parly 2 (Le Chesnay) normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 21h ;   Vélizy 2 (Vélizy-Villacoublay) normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 21h, Sundays from  10h to 19h;  L’Usine Mode et Maison (Vélizy Villacoublay) normal open Tuesdays to Fridays from  11h to 20h, Saturdays and Sundays from  10h to 20h.

And in my old work area and neighbor Hauts de Seine 92, my favorie is  4 Temps – CNIT (La Défense) open every day from 10h to 20h30.

Another old working area and neighbor is  Val d’Oise 95 at  Quai des Marques (Franconville) open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 20h, and Art de Vivre (Eragny closed)) open every day from  10h to 20h.

Voilà , and it even get me the opportunity to put up some old nice memorable photos of these places that I had handy in my hard drive. Enjoy the shopping thus, I will be out this weekend lol!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 8, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXIII

And here I am back on the news of my Spain! It is weird entry as my site is telling me to use HTML and not visual text lol! Will see how it come out!

Anyway, it is mild in my beloved Madrid; quite sunny at 58F or about 14C pretty much the same in my neck of the woods now a bit cloudier and cooler at 11C or about 50F. Well let me tell you about Spain!

The Altamira museum suspended this past Friday in exceptional way the visits to the World Heritage Cave by the increase of the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) inside the cavity, an increase that is natural and seasonal and that is determined by the climatic situation. It had decided to maintain the regime of controlled access and limited to the cave of Altamira consists of a visit per week for five people of 37 minutes of duration, which is carried out under a strict protocol of clothing and lighting, and with a tour and times of permanence defined for each area of the cave. The visit to the cave of Altamira takes place every Friday at 10h40 and can participate in the selection procedure of the five participants all persons over 16 years who are visiting the museum between 9h30 and 10h30 of that same day..More info in Spanish of course:  Cuevas Turisticas de Espana on Altamira
The museum webpage in English: Min of Culture site on Altamira caves  And the local Cantabrian tourist site: Cantabria tourist office on Altamira caves

Banksy’s work arrives for the first time in Spain with an “unauthorized sample of works from private collections” that will be exhibited in the Espacio 51 de Ifema (51 space of Ifema) , in Madrid, starting this past Thursday. The exhibition : Banksy, genius or vandal?  will include more than 70 creations, including original works, sculptures, installations, videos and photographs. Of those selected by the Lilley Fin Art/Contemporary Art Trade Gallery,  the main curator of the British artist, highlights the original serigraphy of the series ‘ Girl with Balloon ‘, similar to that recently self destructed in London after being auctioned by more than a million euros. will also be present works of the series ‘ The Walled Off Hotel ‘, created last year in Bethlehem with views to the Israeli wall that surrounds the city, and photographs of the project ‘ Dismaland ‘, the dystopian amusement park that Banksy inaugurated in Somerstet, as well as pieces dedicated to ‘ Brexit ‘ and other topical issues.  In Madrid, visitors will be greeted by  an impressive audiovisual surround installation, specially created for this exhibition. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/agenda/banksy-genius-vandal-feria-madrid

The coolest neighborhood in the world is closer than we thought and specifically in the center of Madrid. Lavapiés or Embajadores in the end it is the same, a multicultural neighborhood where the mixture of ethnicities, countries and cultures prevails. At least it is the opinion of the magazine ‘ Time Out ‘, which on the occasion of its 50 anniversary was proposed to find the coolest neighborhood on the planet and see where it was in Madrid! See more here: https://www.timeout.com/coolest-neighbourhoods-in-the-world

And from my angle to choose something unique and nice of Madrid you can go to

Taberna La Elisa  : This Castiza Tavern offers traditional Castilian cuisine without great secrets, hence the success among the neighbors and visitors of the area. Try your potatoes bravas, your pig’s ear or its version of the classic Pincho matrimonio (marriage) is immerse yourself in the usual gastronomy, although updated, from Madrid. Calle Santa Maria, 42.More here: http://eltriciclo.es/la-elisa/

Sala Equis, here the gastronomy and the culture go directly from the hand. Not only is it a restaurant (located on the ground floor of the premises), it is a cultural center where movies, thematic clicks and other types of encounters are exhibited. A place where the tapas premium is the tapas: Pan bao of Bull’s tail, hummus of coconut and lime, or sandwich of black bread with squids. And everything while you enjoy a free concert. At Calle Duque de  Alba, 4.  More here: http://salaequis.es/comer-y-beber/

La Fisna , (great place if you are into wines like me) One of those places always with tradition and solera that is still successful in Madrid. It stands as the ideal place for wine lovers, not only because it is a shop, it is also a tavern where to eat and pairing well are insured. In his menu a little bit of everything: homemade chicken marinade, Madrid tripe, truffled Bologna or Pacenta bao. And, of all, a lot of wine to choose from.  A cozy wine bar , beautiful bar hall with brick seen on the walls, aluminium bar and barrels as a candle-holder to enjoy the more than 300 references that propose, good stock of foreign labels, references of the Jerez, Champagnes.etc All wines are priced at store prices plus four euros of corkage. At Calle Amparo, 91. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-fisna-madrid

A bit of tourism into wine country of my beloved Spain

Haro, in La Rioja Alta, is much more than viticulture and wineries, although everything or almost revolves around them. These are lands of the Ebro river basin, which arrives here from Miranda, and continues to draw sinuous meanders, passing through the bridge of Briñas, Gothic and seven-eyed. It is this river water that waters the vines, this and the one of the Oja-Tiron river. But, in addition, Haro boasts no seven hills such as Rome, but three hills, which are the ones that escort the villa, and two mountain systems that shelter it, the Obaerenes mountains, which start in the impressive gorge of Pancorbo, and the Sierra de Cantabria. The lighting here dates from 1890, which is not bad, and took place-if you want to recall such a milestone-in the Plaza de la Paz, where eight spotlights and 260 bulbs were lit. The first particular house to enjoy light was… guess what? The Doctor’s! In 1891 the electrical installation was completed and Haro was placed on the route of the cities of Modernity: Haro, Havana,  Paris,etc.

What to see other than vines well;  from the medieval tower, next to the Arch of St. Bernard, which was to reach the village, converted into a museum (also the Santa Barbara), or the city/town hall, which is in the aforementioned Plaza de la Paz, which is 18C and neoclassical , the Church of Saint Thomas, Renaissance, known for its tower, passing through which was the Convent of St. Augustine of which today  is a hotel (Los Agustinos), or the Bretón de los Herreros theater. And do not leave, there is still more: the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vega, in the square of the same name, this of the 10C, although it is mainly baroque; The hermitage of San Felices, which is in the crags of Bilbio, in what is called Conchas de Haro, four km from the village. The famous wine battle is celebrated here. You said palaces well see the  Bendaña, also called “Terni”, Plateresque, with Mudejar gallery with stars and intertwined flowers; that of  Salazar, almost Herrera and Pre-baroque; That of the Counts of Haro, Renaissance lower  and Baroque details, and that of Tejada, emblem of the villa, rococo; the ones of Condestables, and Bezaras. Enjoy them.

But wait this is after all wine country par excellence.

An interpretation center of Rioja Wine, or Centro de Interpretación del Vino de Rioja where it was going to be but here. To know everything about the vine, its cultivation and the elaboration of wine, which has much to say also the neighborhood in question, which is the Estacion ( station), where they camp at its wide seven wineries, five centenarians, which make it a whole theme park!.More on the Center here: https://www.haroturismo.org/en/wine-tourism/rioja-wine-interpretation-centre/

Some of its beauty I have enjoyed for many years and now fruit of their labor are winning prizes galore.  It is no other than the Muga Aro 2015, which has just been named best wine of Spain 2018 with 99 points from James Suckling, awarded by the guru , in addition to being placed in the position 32 in the Top 100 of the world and be the only Spanish reference among the first 50. It was James Suckling himself who has described this wine as “supersexy, sophisticated and tasty.” And if you are pink, lean down the Flor de Muga, in the 19th place of the Top 100 of Spain and with 94 points on 100. This one with a hint of raspberry and some watermelon. You are in Haro, remember, Bodegas Muga, founded in 1932! Here is the bodega: https://www.bodegasmuga.com/en/

And you should walk and do some serious tapas rounds here and enjoya ll these and many other wines , do so at this neighborhood. The one at Herradura, the must area to be ;includes the streets of Calle de Santo Tomás (the Church’s tower on the back) and Calle de San Martín. Haro that is Enjoy it!!! Haro tourist office here: https://www.haroturismo.org/en/

Let me bring you back to an area very dear to me as spent many summers here with the family and dear late wife Martine.

Too mountainous if compared to La Mancha and little uneven rough in relation to the Serranía de Cuenca. This is the Manchuela, the region that extends between those  provinces of Cuenca and Albacete. With a river, the Júcar. Much of its course runs through a deep canyon that water has been carving in the limestone land for millennia. Gorgeous!

This is the biggest whim of the Júcar river  in the Manchuela conquense (Cuenca). The meanders of the river have chiseled the rock to give rise to a kind of peninsula on which the town was built. If we add the forests of pines, ramparts, towers, bridges, gorges and the castle, it seems a place out of the imagination. The majority of these elements overlook the path of the small circuit Hoz de Alarcón (see my post on Alarcon). In one of its recesses is created the town of Alcalá del Júcar, already in the province of Albacete. Start exploring the streets on the slope of this town built on the canyon wall, in the caves of Masagó you can see how they are, or how they were, those houses built by scratching the mountain. A tunnel enters its bowels to the other part of the rock. Inside, these caves house a bar, a restaurant and a couple of museum spaces. Like Alarcón, Alcalá del Júcar also has a castle. It was Muslim and from it comes its name: Al Qalat, fortified place. And, like Alarcón, it also passed into the hands of Juan Pacheco, Marquis of Villena, once the Christian conquest. You will arrived now at Jorquera or Sucro as  called by the Romans and Xuquer, devastator , the Muslims of Al-Andalus, in allusion to its indomitable character. To the bridge of Maldonado ,this bridge, precisely, leads to a very special place. The cave-houses of the other half-deserted river margin have now have  become stylish accommodations. Until Alarcón, the first stage of the trip, comes the autovia del Este (Madrid-Valencia)  or  A-3 and its link to the old national road  N-III, from which comes a small road. Afterwards, just follow the Júcar river, downstream. Well posted.More info here on the Cuevas:  http://cuevasdemasago.com/

Las Pinturas Murales de Jesus Mateo more info at  http://muralalarcon.org/eng/pi/info.html

And at on the área of Manchuela tourism  in Spanish: http://www.lamanchuelarural.com/index.php?menu=27&id=0&nombre=A-donde-ir-que-hacer_es_27&idioma=en

And back to my Madrid for more wines, simply awesome store and lucky I have it closer too in Paris (Madeleine). Lavinia at Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. The winery store of this establishment is one of the best in the world and in its small gastronomic space (that this year, in addition, it has premiered a terrace in the Madrid Milla de Oro (Golden Mile) ). It is possible to try any of these references at store price. In addition, it has a small tavern menu, with an offer of wines by glasses (some of them of high range, they are preserved thanks to the system Coravin) and dishes of season (salad, anchovies). Every Friday there’s bouillabaise! Awesome!!! More info here: https://www.lavinia.es/es/paginas/contacto

And to do credit for those that credit is deserve. The newspaper El Mundo of Madrid from which I get many of my articles has a section call El MundoVino or the world of wine and they offered prizes to the best winemaker and their work. This is the XXV edition and the winners were:

The Red wine of the year is the least named of the great wines of López Heredia, the Viña Bosconia Reserva 2006 R. López de Heredia-Viña Tondonia, (which is just darn good mind you oops sorry my words), which in this vintage reaches a particularly notable level of delicacy and finesse, and also represents one of the best relationships pleasure/price of the entire Spanish wine spectrum. A wonderful bargain and a classic. Classic is already the splendid  Do Ferreiro Cepas Vellas 2016 Gerardo Méndez Lázaro, in one of his best vintages, coming from the astonishing vineyard of more than 200 years that together with Jancis Robinson discovered two decades ago without being able to almost believe our eyes. Albariño as a great white wine worthy of those of the Rhine or of Burgundy. And finally that pink work of a French artist, Bertrand Sourdais, (and the French are here of course) who arrived at the Douro from another river, the Loire, where the tradition of the rosé is important. But here, in the Highlands, its Le Rosé de Antídoto 2016 Bodegas Antídoto collects and updates the local tradition of the clarets: two thirds Tempranillo, one third greater Albillo Mayor. The result is an immense and complex wine that surpasses the color classifications.

Honorable mention goes to these worthy liquid of the gods (seek them out wherever you are!) : Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2009 Marqués de Murrieta, DOC Rioja. El Misterio 2015 Compañía Lebaniega de Vinos y Licores, sin DOC.  Finca O Figueiral 2016 Coto de Gomariz, DO Ribeiro.  La Bota 83 de Manzanilla Pasada Bota Equipo Navazos, DO Jerez y Manzanilla La Plazuela 2011.  Las Beatas 2015 Cía. de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez, DOC Rioja. María 2013 Viñedos Alonso del Yerro, DO Ribera del Duero. Pago Valdebellón 2015 Abadía Retuerta, VT Castilla y León. Pedro Ximénez de Sacristía 2011 Alvear, DO Montilla-Moriles . Tilenus Pieros 2011 Bodegas Estefanía, DO Bierzo. Viña de Martín Escolma 2013 Luis A. Rodríguez Vázquez, DO Ribeiro. Viña El Pisón 2015 Viñedos Lacalle y Laorden, DOC Rioja.

En Vinos Veritas indeed!!  And I leave you this time with the fruit of the gods, enjoy it. Enjoy Spain, everything under the Sun!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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