Archive for July 2nd, 2020

July 2, 2020

Of course, again Vannes!

Rare is the case where you can come to a French city and realise all that you see is real, never redone rebuilt from the ashes of a war. This is the case of Vannes, capital of the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. My capital city and work and many afternoons.

Each visit brings back wonderful architecture and history surrounding these old buildings. I had to go back to Vannes today, for my Dad’s doctor visit and took advantage to write again on this wonderful city  Gwened as known by the Bretons. Oh yes my Dad is well nothing ,like a rock at soon 85.

vannes rue thiers towards le port jul20

Let me tell you about the curiosities of Vannes I saw again, maybe took a photo as not before but nevertheless is magical Vannes.

And here , well, a bus line ! Kiceo network bus line 2 goes from the park and relay west or P+R ouest ,then Fourchêne, Le Pargo, Le Bris Patriotes, Madeleine,école normale, Liberation (square); Hôtel de Ville (city hall), République’(city center), Le Port (old town), Jaurés, Calmont, Becquerel, – Marcellin, Petit Tohannic, and Tohannic groupe scolaire Université. The Kiceo Line 2 is here: Kiceo bus line 2 Vannes


I highlighted all the stop that will bring you to city center and the wonderful old of Vannes. I was today around place de la République. But before , notice, P+R ouest or park and relay west, this is what some big cities should had done (Paris!) a central bus location with free parking to drop off your car and then take the bus into the city. Of course, a wonderful Kiceo bus network to boot. Good planning ahead.

Now , having said the above, I do come by car always. The rest of my family have done the bus and of course my boys for school done it more. The best parking to come into the city and be worry free for the rest of the day are the one handle by Indigo at above and underground parking pl de la République. More here: Park Indigo Republique Vannes

vannes parking de la republique jul20

And those handle by Q-Park such as underground parkings of Centre, du Port ,and pl de la Loi. More info here : Q Park parkings at Vannes

The Place de la République is a public square in city center/downtown Vannes capital of dept 56 Morbihan. It is one of the largest public squares in Vannes. Crossed by rue Thiers, which leads from the City/Town hall to the port, it is located on the edge of the historic center. Covering an area of approximately 1.8 hectares, it is rectangular in shape. It has a bus terminal and an underground car park is also provided under the square. The main public transport interchange at Vannes is located here.


The Place de la République was created in 1862 under the name of “place de la Halle-aux-Grains”, in reference to the covered market which was built there at the same time. Initially square, the square takes a rectangular shape from its origin, when the construction of a court (courthouse and prefecture) is decided there. It also expanded towards the historic center, when the space east of rue Thiers, corresponding to the ditches of the old ramparts, was added to it. In 1955, the Halle aux Grain (grain hall), used as a post office since 1912, was demolished. It was replaced by a new post office in the 1970s.

The rue Thiers starts really by the Hôtel de Ville and bordering the old town of Vannes. It’s a street full of shops, restaurants and passes by the Place de la République. It ends at the traffic circle or rond point du Port on the harbor or Le Port of Vannes.


Some  interesting things to see on rue Thiers are

1 rue Thiers : Merchant’s house built in the latter part of the 16C. The date of 1663 worn on the right gutter wall of the second floor of the neighboring house during the elevation of the wall indicates for some of the alterations made on this date such as the demolition of the rear room and development at each level of a corridor between the spiral staircase and rooms and construction of an additional body posterior to the neighboring house, and others the construction of this house. The house belongs in the regards and the reformation of the royal domain of 1684 to the heirs of the “nobles Pierre Les Moyne” merchants on the port. It would have been an inn under the Ancien Régime.

3 rue Thiers is the former Chapelle des Ursulines or  Chapelle de la Sainte Famille or Holy Family within the walls of the Saint-François-Xavier middle /high school. The chapel, placed under the name of the Holy Family, was built between 1688 and 1690 to serve the Ursuline convent. This convent was built between 1627 and 1670 to accommodate a community of nuns from Tréguier. The convent, except the chapel and the sacristy, was sold during the French revolution, later it was erected an oratory in the chapel in 1802 . From the convent, burned in 1949 and largely rebuilt, only this chapel remained, transformed into a library on two levels. Only the facade has retained its 17C appearance.

4 rue Thiers, is the headquarter of the Maison des Plus Belle Baies du Monde or house of the most beautiful bays in the world founded at Vannes (which includes the Gulf of Morbihan). More info here: World Bays on the Gulf of Morbihan and Vannes

18 rue Thiers : House probably built in 1880 for Joseph Bernard, roofer, on the old ditches cut into gardens between the bastions of Brozillay and Haute-Folie. According to the archives, the house is built on the same plot as the neighboring house and by the same presumed family-sponsor. The rear outbuildings indicate the existence of a business at this location, probably that of the owner. In 1913, its known that the house is the headquarters of the General Coffee Warehouse Co.

31 rue Thiers, Hôtel de Limur.(see post). The construction of the Hôtel des Douves , former name of the Hôtel de Limur, probably begins around 1685. By 1748, begins the long and chaotic destiny of the Hôtel de Limur. It was acquired by the City in 1947, ceded to the State in 1980 and recovered by the City in 1991. It retains the name of the Limur family who owned it from 1820 to 1947.

The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town hall, is located on Place Maurice Marchais, was built between 1880 and 1886. This part really faces rue Thiers. The rue Thiers ends at Place Maurice Marchais. The other part of the municipal services of the town is in the municipal administrative center located rue Joseph Le Brix . More info in English here : Mayor’s office of Vannes

And we have to use the post office and very conveniently located as the main Post Office of Vannes is  at 25 place de la République running along rue Thiers. More here: La Poste Vannes

vannes parking de la republique back of post office jul20


And why not the main office of my bank BNP Paribas is at 9 Place de la République. More info here: Bank branches of BNP Paribas Vannes

And we got back doing the big item, buy the baguette and pastries of course. All at our favorite Boulangerie Y & E in Pluvigner rue de la gare! And home for another day that started earlier doing our big items surplus in the waste collection center in town.  We do the ecolo correct here: waste collection center Pluvigner

And now relax, see the news, eat good have that rose wine from the Loire and sit back, we are in France; la vie en rose or la vie est belle! Salut. Hope you enjoy this one and the other up close and personal posts of daily life in my belle France.

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

July 2, 2020


So when someone tells you that a town in France is name Thebaud’s castle or Château Thébaud ,you think a castle , or château right? Well not in this town, the castle is from times immemorials, what you have now is a nice quiet country town with wonderful wines and great quality of life.

We have been by here several times now, looking for those Nantaise wines or muscadet. However, we have found a lot more in wines and in the town of Château Thébaud. I like to tell you a bit more on it ok. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

It has a small modest church and we went in for the first time as we had to eat nearby!However, let me tell you first, a bit more on the town.

Château-Thébaud is a town located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region. Historically, the town is part of Bretagne/Brittany, in the traditional country of Nantes vineyards and in the historic country of Nantes. The neighboring towns are Vertou, Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, Saint-Fiacre-sur-Maine, Le Bignon, Aigrefeuille-sur-Maine and Montbert. It is about 15 km south of Nantes. The town is located in the heart of the Muscadet vineyard of Sèvre and Maine. Perched on a rocky promontory, the town of Château-Thébaud dominates Maine and its deeply enclosed valley, offering an incomparable viewpoint on the Pont Caffino site located at 40 meters below.


The name of the town comes from the Castrum Theobaldi first appearing in 1201, when the Abbey of Villeneuve, currently located in the town of Sorinières, was founded by the Duchess Constance of Brittany. The place called Château-Thébaud is therefore before 1201. On the eve of the French revolution, a conflict would oppose the parishioners of Château-Thébaud with the choice of the church. That of the parish, St Martin,  located in the center of the cemetery too far from the village. The dilapidated state of the church, as well as that of the parish which adjoins it, leads the rector to ask for the elevation of the St Vincent Chapel, located in the center of the town near the place called La Tour, as the parish church.  A trial will follow which will prove the friends of St Martin (who support the whites or those against the French revolution) right. But at the end of the revolution, its dilapidated state led to the choice of St Vincent (whose friends supported the Blues pro revolution Republicans as in Republic).

The Church of Saint-Martin-et-Saint-Vincent 19C. The church was built from 1808 to 1822 on the site of the old Saint-Vincent chapel. The first church of Château-Thébaud was in the enclosure of the current cemetery. The Saint-Martin church was sold nationally in 1790: the buyer transported the stones to build his house on the banks of the Maine river. There remains of the old building, a small ogival window in the south wall,and two three-lobed ogival arches.

Chateau thebaud

Chateau thebaud

Saint-Martin de Vertou born in Nantes lived in the time of Saint-Félix: his main foundations are in Vertou as Saint-Jean for men and Saint-Pierre for women, Saint-Georges de Montaigu and Aution at Saint- Jouin de Marnes, in Deux Sèvres. Saint Martin will die in his Montaigu monastery. The bells taken from Spain by Napoleon’s soldiers were bought by Father Agaisse and installed in 1813. The statue of Saint-Martin dates from the 18-19C.

Chateau thebaud

Chateau thebaud

Here is the city of Château Thébaud on its heritage and history in French: City of Chateau Thebaud on its heritage and history

While going for our wine tastings (see previous post) I decided to eat at a nice little restaurant the winegrower had recommended to me the last time. Not looking at the day as a Monday, we were lucky because here in the countryside the restos are closed Sundays and Mondays. Fortunately, this little gem was open on Monday! It is call Le Pain Coupé or the cut bread!

Chateau Thebaud

Chateau Thebaud

It is an unpretentious restaurant, located in the heart of the town of Château Thébaud. The owner, passionate about his work, will give you a warm welcome, and generous and tasty dishes, at a very attractive price.  This was a zeal, even the manager front desk was very friendly and the owner came out to greet us as well as the server. This is a country town restaurant very typical of good inexpensive eating in my belle France.

Chateau Thebaud

They have a huge menu serving such goodies as Pizzas, grilled meats, Muscadet sausage etc. Nothing like a grand presentation or small overprice quantities like in many Paris restos; here you get full.  The service and the cuisine make the difference. It’s simple, good and inexpensive, period. And the diversity is also to be noted as evidence by the ardoise or black board with 15 to 18 starters offered every day and 5 to 6 desserts. The establishment also offers a catering and home cooking service fyi if staying in apartments/apparthotels or even hotels in the area.

Chateau Thebaud

We got there by 13h45 no reservations and we got in right away, the Le Pain Coupé resto was half full with local folks. We had an apéro or entry drink of kir pêche or peach kir (white muscadet and peach liquor) to start. Then, you have a buffet all you can eat entrées with salads, cold cuts, pâtes, eggs, cheeses, etc. You ordered your main dish, mine was an Spanish omelette really well made and big piece! , then we had rice pudding desserts caramel and vanilla, we repeat! all this wash down with the local rosé wine. We finish off with expresso coffee. My boys all had different dishes and desserts the rest the same all for 16.50 euros per person, a find, recommended. We will be back!!!

Chateau Thebaud

Chateau Thebaud

Official webpage of Le Pain Coupé restaurant at Château ThébaudLe Pain Coupe at Chateau Thebaud

We , then left town after gathering our wine and well fed we headed to go our groceries, see next post. Hope you enjoy the tour of the Nantaise countryside, real Muscadet country! We will be back to Château-Thébaud!

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

July 2, 2020

Château-Thébaud: Poiron-Dabin!!!

So time are coming back slowly and we are off too. I am still working from home and it seems this will be the case for the rest of 2020, of course I am priviledge to receive full pay at home as my role of senior member manager of the Finance dept best is serve by advise ,details and guidance to the rest even my CFO! And taking advantage of this pre retirement episode and the fact that my sons were off as well we decided to go out and about our region.

Well the region includes the Loire Atlantique dept 44 now part of the Pays de la Loire region but historically part of Bretagne/Brittany (Breizh in Breton language). It is sort of like the Breton wine area ! And we go often and do get our house wines from there. I have written a couple of posts on this outings and this one was another one with new pictures. Hope you enjoy our daily life in our belle France.

One of our fav properties is the Domaine Poiron-Dabin at Château-Thébaud. They are only 15 km south of Nantes , and about 1h45 from our house. Let me tell you a bit on it for reference.

chateau thebaud

The winemakers of Château-Thébaud area have won seven times since its creation “la Bouteille d’Or”, or the golden bottle ,rewarding the local vineyard town which had the highest number of prizes in the Nantes and Paris wine competitions during the year. The town is a leader in this area, thanks to the quality of its terroirs and the skills of its winegrowers. And of course, one of these are the Poiron-Dabin.

Chateau Thebaud

Chateau Thebaud

The town located on the banks of the Maine river, Château Thebaud lends itself to nautical activities, its banks for climbing and hiking. More of these activities here in French: The winegrowers of Nantes on walks by the river

The folks at Domaine Poiron-Dabin have been winegrowers since 1858, the Poiron-Dabin family has always had the ambition to surprise you. With its many grape varieties, it produces wines of excellence and perfection. Sandrine, Jean Michel, Laurent and their team will have a lot of fun making you discover their profession. 70 Hectares make up this superb vineyard. Appellations: Muscadets Sèvre et Maine; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon fié Gris, Cot Malbec, Pinot Noir, Berligou, Pinot gris, Petit Manseng, Gewurztraminer, cabernet Franc etc They are at the place or Lieu dit Chantegrolle, 44690 Château-Thébaud right off the road D58 coming from Vertou and further Nantes.

Over the last several years we have enjoyed their wines and company visiting the domaine and participating in rando or walks in the vineyards chasing bottles and drink it on site! It is worth a detour if you ever by Nantes. More than good wines, the friendly talkative mood of the winegrowers is catchy, they love to talk about the wines, making it selling it, the works. Always a pleasant visit.

We have enjoyed the Berligou red and rosé, as it is a grape giving as a gift by the Duke of Burgundy to his cousin the Duke of Brittany around 1470. It is still grown in the domaine. They do an interesting cuvée call bit a red and a bit rose blending the two wines styles into one ,very fruity great for summer and apéros. Also, from the Berligou grape they do a sparkling wine too! delicious. All very modestly price the most expensive bottle is 16 euros!

This trip we took home, the Chardonnay, rouge et rose, Berligou rosé and red , and the Berligou sparklers. Also, we try a new bottle we like a blend of Côt /Malbec grape. A bit more on this interesting variety that has cross the frontiers from long time ago.

Chateau Thebaud

It is the essential grape variety of AOC Cahors, where it represents at least 70% of the blend. It is now widely cultivated in Argentina and Chile. The grape variety is known by the names of Auxerrois (Quercy), Bouchalès1 ( Haute-Garonne),  Côt (Loire), Mauzat, Noir de Pressac (Libournais), Mancin, Soumancigne and finally Malbec (Bordeaux). This last name is now used for the Cahors wine.  The name Auxerrois comes from the city of Auxerre; it could in fact be a deformation of Haute-Serre near Cahors ( Lot dept 46 ) even if there is a lack of documents attesting to this confusion; the name Cot  is a cacography of horn, horns , cos, itself a deformation of Cahors from 1800; and the name Malbec  is borrowed from a merchant, named Malbeck, who spread it in the Médoc.

The vineyards of Nantes on the Domaine Poiron-Dabin: The vineyards of Nantes on Poiron Dabin

The vineyards of Nantes on the appellation area and further information on their wines in French: Vineyards of Nantes on their wines

The official Domaine Poiron DabinDomaine Poiron Dabin

And already told you a lot on this property in different posts, now enjoy the new photos of the Domaine Poiron Dabin in the village of Chantegrolle, part of town of Château Thébaud. En vino veritas!

Recommended when in the area of Nantes indeed. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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