Archive for August 6th, 2021

August 6, 2021

Château Musée de Dieppe!!

So let me bring out to Normandie. We have come here several times especially when living in Versailles before 2011 , and have written on Dieppe briefly before in my blog. I feel it deserves at least to talk about its main interest there, the Castle Museum of Dieppe. I like to update this post for you and me, a bit older indeed but great family memories indeed. Hope you enjoy it as I.

At first we went there for the famous market and the fishing port as we love natural things… then we saw the cliffs and realised there was a castle there so obviously we went to see and it was a pleasant experience , a must to see while in town. Dieppe is located in the department of Seine-Maritime 76 in the region of Normandie . The town is nicknamed “the city with four ports” because of the the ferry / port Transmanche, the commercial port, the fishing port and the marina. The location is in North-West France, on the coast of the Channel , 170 km from Paris, and 60 km from Rouen. It is located at the mouth of the Arques coastal river, whose deep valley separates the Pays de Caux plateau from the Petit-Caux plateau. Dieppe is close to the famous resorts of the Alabaster Coast (Côte d’Albâtre), such as Varengeville-sur-Mer and Veules-les-Roses.

The Château-Musée de Dieppe is a seaside castle now a museum. It was built to defend the city by monitoring the coast of the English Channel. It is built on the edge of the western cliff, about thirty meters above the water level.


A bit of history I like

The exact origin of the castle is confusing. It was certainly built on the site of a first castle, built by Henry II Plantagenet and Richard the Lionheart, then destroyed by Philippe Auguste in 1195. What is certain today is that the oldest vestige is the dungeon or west tower. Its construction, located around 1360, is concomitant with that of a fortified enclosure around the city, then threatened by the Flemish and the English. Built as a fortress capable of withstanding assaults and sieges, the castle evolved in the 17C. The progress of the armament gives it roles of residence and barracks. Large, high windows are pierced with pepper-covered roofs covering the terraces of the towers. The castle becomes a place of residence and reception. The court is an illustration of this by adopting a ceremonial function. On the castle, barracks were built in 1630, on the site of the present temporary exhibition hall of the museum today.

The French revolution finds its political interest by turning the castle into a jail to lock up the counter-revolutionaries. In 1906, the City bought the castle. In 1923, the municipal museum created in 1897 is transferred there. The initial project was to set it up as a museum of fine arts. During  WWII, during the construction of the Atlantic Wall, the castle is again used as a fortress with  the whole of the defenses is then made up of walls and blockhouses, coming to reinforce the walls and the ancient enclosures of the castle.

dieppe beach to castle and bd Verdun sep07

The Castle Museum of Dieppe has sixteen rooms offering very rich collections, with having an exhibition of one of the richest collections of ivory objects and sculptures of France. The richness of this collection is explained by the fact that, for centuries, Dieppe was the main center of the work of ivory in France, the craftsmen working the defenses brought it back from Africa with the ships. A marine collection on three rooms is devoted to the sea with objects, and paintings, and a background of 15,000 to 20,000 letters retraces the correspondence of the composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The museum is not outdone with regard to painting, since it offers works of painters of the 20C such as Dufy, Van Dongen, Braque, Lotiron, among others and Impressionist painters like Renoir, Sisley, and Pissaro. You will also discover beautiful maps from the famous cartography school of Dieppe, models of traditional boats, paintings of the great European schools evoking the maritime adventure of the city and its port, since the time of the great expeditions of the 16C to 20C ships. Outside, the Esplanade du Belvédère offers an exceptional view of the city and the cliffs. Also, it  enjoys temporary exhibitions and many thematic guided tours.



Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Dieppe on how to get there

The Dieppe tourist office on the castle museum

The Seine Maritime dept 76 tourist office on the castle/museum in English:

The Normandie region tourist office on the castle/museum in English:

And there you go folks, another dandy in my belle France, a must to visit I say. Dieppe has memorable moments for us too ,see my other posts. Enjoy the Castle Museum of Dieppe!

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

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August 6, 2021

The beaches of Dinard!

Ok so let’s talk about beaches as we are in full swing of summer in my belle France! Beaches with boys I have been to several all over the hexagone; and lately base in Bretagne, I had my sandful of them! As we are in a peninsula , tuck in with wonderful creeks and bays we are literally surrounded by wonderful beautiful beaches. This is the case of this post updated for you and me ,of the beaches of Dinard!

The town of  Dinard is situated in the Ille-et-Vilaine department 35 of the region of Brittany/Bretagne. The seaside resort of Dinard is located on the Emerald Coast, close to the limit with the Côtes-d’Armor (dept 22) and the city of Saint-Malo (where the Rance makes the separation). This is the tidal power plant of the Rance, located in the village of La Richardais, a technological feat of the 1960s and a tourist attraction, which connects Dinard and Saint-Malo. Dinard is the first seaside resort in France to safeguard its architectural heritage of the late 19C by classifying 407 villas and buildings. The rest of the history can be found in my previous posts on Dinard.

The town has four main beaches with a monitoring station and seasonal equipment; these are Port-Blanc, also located in the town of Saint-Lunaire, along which is located the municipal campsite; Saint-Énogat, located near the old district of Saint-Énogat; L’Ecluse, main beach of the city near the city center; the casino, the Olympic heated seawater swimming pool, the convention center, are located along this beach; and the Prieuré  at the eastern end of the Clair de Lune promenade.

The one we go the most and really enjoy as one of the best beaches here is the L’Ecluse or lock.  It was at the initiative of Edouard Legros  that established mobile huts on the banks of the Ecluse for sea-bathing. In a petition addressed to the prefect, he sought permission to create on this beach, below the height of the plans of mars, a fixed hut and a furnace necessary for the exploitation of its establishment. He then undertakes to demolish his work at the first requisition. Authorization is granted for a period of 9 years from July 1, 1859. Each cabin contains a bench and a tub of warm water, essential to warm up after the bath taken to the blade. These therapeutic structures, which are more oriented towards the bathers than to the purists, offer many services to their clientele: rental of cabins, bathing suits, towels and other small beach equipment. The rest is history, the best beach in Dinard and the area.



Another nice beach is that at Saint-Enogat which is the historical center of Dinard. By the way, until 1879, the official name of the town was Saint-Enogat. The Saint-Enogat Beach benefits from a very well equipped beach. It offers a beautiful vieSome webpages to help you plan your trip here arew of the islets, rocks, forts that guard the entrance to the port of Saint-Malo.



And last for me is the Prieuré Beach located in front of the beautiful Port Breton Park. When the sea is low, its seawater pool allows you to swim without getting away from your towel. The young can paddle at leisure and the older ones indulge in swimming.



Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Dinard on its beaches in French:

The Dinard Côte d’Emeraude tourist office on the beaches of Dinard

My fav beach webpage plages tv on the beaches of Dinard

There you go folks, another wonderful spot to spend your summers in beautiful Brittany or Bretagne, up north indeed and still great beach fronts to enjoy with the whole family. Enjoy the beaches of Dinard!

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

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August 6, 2021

Wines news of France X !!

And back to the liquids part of a wholesome gastronomy that we in France does pretty well me think… Once in a while I lent myself to post about one of my favorite hobbies,wines. There are many posts in my blog relating to wines and other wonderful liquids which you can search if further interested. For now here are my latest pro and general public news on the wines of France! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Despite the health crisis and taxes , for the moment suspended , the Burgundy vineyard is returning to growth across the Atlantic, according to the latest data published by the BIVB.  As a reminder, Europe and the United States had been in a political-commercial standoff for many years over public aid to Boeing and Airbus, the latter having been deemed illegal. Wine, then innocent in the conflict, had therefore been targeted by the Trump administration after the World Trade Organization (WTO) gave the green light, in October 2019, to tax certain European products, including wines. less than 14 degrees, up to 25%.  An economic choice worsened by the consequences linked to the Covid-19 pandemic (closure of restaurants, wine bars, successive confinements and suspension of shipments) leading to heavy losses for the French wine industry, which announced at the beginning of the year a net loss of 400 million euros nationally, including nearly 80 million in Burgundy.  In the United States, the leading market for exports outside the European Union, the BIVB thus observed a drop in volume sales of 15.2% and a decrease in turnover of 22% compared to 2019.

The arrival of Joe Biden in the White House has indeed reshuffled the cards. Last March, his administration initially decided to suspend the taxes put in place in the context of the aeronautical conflict for four months and since June with the announcement of the lifting of additional customs duties of 25 % for a period of five years. led to a sharp upturn in Burgundian exports to the United States over the first five months of 2021, notes the BIVB: + 34.2% in volume and + 43.8% in value compared to 2020. As always on the American market, white Burgundy wines are at the head of exports (+ 38.1% in volume and + 49.7% in value). All the appellations are benefiting from this rebound, such as the Petit Chablis and Chablis AOCs, which Americans are very fond of, as are the Burgundy, Mâcon and Villages du Mâconnais AOCs. As for the reds, the recovery is also being felt: + 35.4% in volume and + 41.9% in value. At the top of the podium for exported wines, we find the AOC Villages and Villages Premiers Crus of Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, the AOC Régionales Mâcon and the AOC Régionales Bourgogne which usually represent the vast majority of purchases in the USA.. Its good for business, wine, and wine lovers!bravo!!

How about a tour with tastings in gorgeous Bordeaux. The excellent 2018, with more than a hundred Bordeaux Classés Crus, in the presence of the owners, in Hangar 14 itself, on the quays along the Garonne. An experience completed by an immersion on the Right Bank, in the midst of the harvest period, with a visit to the magnificent Château Figeac aspiring to the highest classification of Saint-Emilion and to the Château Gazin, renowned Pomerol. More reason to be back to France. Reservation and more info here:

The General Syndicate of Winegrowers (SGV) of Champagne authorized  last Thursday in Epernay the planting from 2023 of semi-large vines, breaking with the obligation to plant only narrow vines on the 34,000 hectares of the appellation. The winegrowers will thus be able to replant more spaced vines, between 2 and 2.2 meters against 1.5 meters currently, and higher, about 2 meters against 1.2 to 1.3 meters, which the rule prohibited until now. there in force, since the 1920s. This decision follows a study carried out since 2006 by the Syndicate, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) and the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine (CIVC) .It has shown that semi-large vines were more resistant to frost, drought and disease, requiring less or even more chemical inputs, and made it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% thanks to the use of more efficient equipment, while by reducing production costs by 20%. There are divided opinions by winegrowers so the effect will be seen by 2023.

How to explain the color of rosé? From bleeding rosé to pressing rosé, rosé shows all the colors. This world knows red wines and white wines, but we never mix the two (except in Champagne). These pressing rosés give weakly colored, rosewood or even gray wines. These so-called bleeding rosés are more strongly colored, and they are all the more so the longer the maceration is. We are talking about raspberry or redcurrant color. Experts use a nine-color swatch: currant, raspberry, rosewood, pink marble, flesh, salmon, onion peel, brick, and coral. The former are red and are in fashion, especially in Provence. The last tend towards the yellow and are rather in the Jura. But beware, these colors barely live longer the time roses live, that is to say a year or two. What to see life in pink! And of course, the grape juice is whitish expert winemakers makes them in all color shades!

If Provence remains the great favorite of lovers of rosé wines, there are also excellent ones from one end of the French vineyards to the other. I do get some Provence, but mostly my rosés are from the Loire valley, and Bordeaux, just delicious. A couple hoping they are available in your neck of the woods are: Negrette 2020 IGP Loire Valley Domaine de la Rose Saint-Martin (Vendée) .A true summer rosé with a salmon robe, whose very aromatic nose reveals aromas of fig leaves, gala apple, with a beautiful minerality. The palate is biblically simple, fresh, mineral and saline, ending a little sharply on a salivating finish. A natural wine to drink in its prime.  Château Caminade Haut Guérin 2019 Bordeaux Clairet Château Caminade Haut Guérin (Bordeaux) In nose that evokes a vacation in Cap Ferret, with aromas of red berries, anise and saffron. On the palate, a nice roundness, crunchiness, hints of spices that lengthen on a lively finish, with vibrant acidity.

Here are the dates of the 2021 autumn wine fairs in France if you are around. The main supermarkets such as Géant Casino hypermarkets and supermarkets from August 27 to September 12, 2021. E.Leclerc (my favorite) from August 31 on the internet, from September 28 to October 9, 2021 in stores. Intermarché, from September 7 to September 26, 2021. Système U stores from September 28 to October 3, 2021. Carrefour hypermarkets  from September 28 to October 11, 2021. My favorite cellar store Nicolas (get most from them) from September 8 to October 10, 2021. Of course, here I go on site to many of the properties that we like from the Loire valley! Keep these dates if in France ok.

The General Assembly of the Interprofessional Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) was held on July 12, 2021 at the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.  The commercial rebound is at the rendezvous for Bordeaux wines, with an increase in exports of 13% (China 13%, United States 21%, Belgium 9%, United Kingdom 6%, Japan by 14%). In France, we can see that consumption is also picking up again. We’re back to pre-crisis figures. We also have some very fine 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages in stock to satisfy our customers and consumers. Another reason to be optimistic: the tone of press articles is changing. Bordeaux bashing seems to be diminishing and, on the side of the inter-professional sector, we are pleased to read subjects on innovations in Bordeaux, on pleasure wines, on the proliferation of initiatives in favor of the environment, in short on the renewal of Bordeaux. Well done!!

To benefit in particular from the forces of the sea currents, we knew of the bottles of champagne submerged in the ocean, but we had not yet experimented with a second fermentation under water. This is the experiment led by Laurent Fédou at Canard-Duchêne Champagne house in a mysterious cellar discovered in 2018.  After 3 years maturation it can be say the result is out of tune. They decided on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the House to flood the cellar again and drop 150 bottles and magnums of the Léonie cuvée (base 2017) there. The bottles will thus undergo a second fermentation under water, completely sheltered from oxygen (we know that the capsules always let pass if not a little air). The temperature is perfectly constant and relatively low (10.3 degrees) which will slow down the foam. Champagne left in the open has much more evolution, it is much more ready to drink, but has already lost some of its aging potential. The one left immersed is incredibly fresh, it is still very fruity, and has a slightly reduced character. The wine is straighter, stricter and still has great aging potential. The acidity is the same, but the oxidation in the first case may have changed the perception.

The experience is interesting and complements that carried out by the Drappier and Leclerc-Briant houses. They also submerged bottles, but in the ocean!. However, they were not able to carry out the second fermentation under water, these places of immersion being outside the appellation. These are therefore bottles already champagne and dosed that had been placed in the seabed. Today, the submerged cellar is also used for exercises by firefighters specializing in non-free surface diving. Barely a hundred of them have mastered this technique in France, which saves lives when major floods occur, and works, for example, in underground car parks. This perilous discipline finds an ideal training ground here since there is only one entrance, a narrow passage, and the chalk quickly blurs, which can easily make divers lose their bearings. Ok so we are in research front maybe we will have a water tub to put the bottles in the future !!!

I might have told you this but came up in pro wine magazine I follow. Last April 11, 2019, the OIV published its data on the production of wine in the world during the year 2018. 2018 was a record year with 292.3 million hectoliters of wine produced worldwide, breaking the record from 2004 after a historically weak 2017 due to unfavorable weather. This is the last data available for cause of the pandemic issues on data.

In terms of production volume, Europe dominates the ranking with Italy in the lead at 54.8 million hectoliters, followed by France with 49.1 million hectoliters and Spain at 44.4 million hectoliters. The United States comes fourth after a gap in the ranking: 23.9 million hectoliters produced. In terms of wine-growing area, the predominantly European podium sees the presence of China being maintained. Spain remains in first place with 969,000 hectares of vines, China is second with 870,000 hectares and France takes last place on the podium with 800,000 hectares cultivated.

Let’s move on to consumption now. It won’t surprise you, but the nation of excess takes the top spot with a comfortable lead: the United States has an annual consumption of 33 million hectoliters of wine consumed. France is in second place with a consumption of 26.8 million hectoliters. Finally, Italy is in third place. Note that China occupies third place with “only” 18 million hectoliters consumed. (Always figure the population for a better idea per capita ok). Spain, Italy and France continue to dominate the podium of exports, Spain being the first exporter in value (19.3% of world trade volume) and France remaining the first exporter in value (9, 3 billion euros). The biggest importers of wine are, in order, the Germans, the British and the Americans.

And last but not least , our ciders. I grew up with them over time consume less and less until move back to Bretagne/Brittany and have taken up the tradition again. Nice with a galette! Now let’s meet in Armorique to follow the Cornouaille cider route, to meet passionate and fascinating producers. With no less than six hundred varieties of apples throughout Brittany, one can imagine that the Bretons invented cider ..!!

The origin of the famous beverage remains in fact a mystery. Could it be from the Basque Country, Normandy, Finistère? According to the very serious CIDREF (Cidricole Committee for Development and Research from Fouesnantais and Finistère), since Antiquity, men have produced an apple drink for domestic use. And according to the writings of the Greek geographer Strabo, apple wine is the popular drink of northwestern Spain where locals call it Sizra  (sidra sp.). This thesis supports the idea that Basque sailors, who took cider aboard their ships to combat scurvy, introduced it to their counterparts in the north. After the Bretons had actually gone south to find apple scions in the 12C, it seems that this drink spread very quickly in medieval Brittany. Ahh there you go, basque cider=Breton cider sounds good to me!

By making its makeover and gleaning its signs of quality , a Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) Cidre de Bretagne, and even a Protected Designation of Origin (AOP), the only one in Brittany, for Cornish cider. Raw or sweet, farmer, corked, it is made almost everywhere, well helped by these 2,500 hectares of orchards where countless varieties are cultivated including the “briz kannig”, the “ou bihan”, the “kroc’hen ki “, The” marie menard “or” the bitter Saint-Jacques “. And not to leave out our favorite royal Guillevic superbe even as aperitif!

And there you folks, my rants on the world of wines and else. We are very much into it, long story , you can search my many posts on the liquids in my blog. Hope you enjoy this post as I

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

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