Archive for August 24th, 2021

August 24, 2021

SQY, and Montigny, my memories of the Yvelines!

On a sunny day in my neck of the woods I take the blog to remind myself of wonderful times of the past, sometimes bits of it in my blog but feel they merit more. This is an area near my old home that I frequented a lot with the family for shopping, entertainment and just plain sightseeing in the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. I like to dwell on them a bit if i may, thanks for reading me !  I never figure this out but in France, the trend in the last 25-30 years is to do regrouping of smaller towns into intercity communities or agglomérations and create new bigger towns. Vive la différence!! This is the case with Saint Quentin en Yvelines.

The agglo area of Saint Quentin en Yvelines new town union includes the towns of Coignières, Élancourt, Guyancourt,La Verrière,Les Clayes-sous-Bois,Magny-les-Hameaux,Maurepas, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, Plaisir,Trappes, Voisins-le-Bretonneux,  and Villepreux.  I had hightlight the towns where we spent lots of time while in the area.  Just to mention this is not the only agglo or intercity zones in the Yvelines alone there are plenty more maybe more than 15 agglo or metro areas ! Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines is an agglomeration community  west of Versailles. It owes its name to the Chapel Saint-Quentin, in which rested the remains of Saint Quentin, chapel located on the site of the present leisure base, whose site was chosen to become the center of a new city. Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines at about  20 km from Paris.

The outdoor and leisure base (base de loisirs) , offers an area of ​​600 hectares including a lake of 120 hectares. There is a unique whitewater course in Europe, a sandy beach of 5,000 m2 dedicated to swimming, and a water ski lift. The base also has a golf course, an equestrian center and a pony club. It also houses 90 hectares of nature reserve classified Natura 2000.  The Vélodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, which hosts the headquarters of the French Cycling Federation, was inaugurated in December 2013. The city hosted the world championships in track cycling in 2015. Base de Loisirs webpage: https://saint-quentin-en-yvelines.iledeloisirs.fr/

Vélodrome webpage: https://www.velodrome-national.com/

Montigny-le-Bretonneux is a simple town that had  discovered prehistoric remains in the last century, near the pond Caillon, confirms the distant existence of this locality. However, its history will remain, until the early 1970s, that of a small traditional village in the Ile-de-France countryside, naturally devoted to agriculture. Montigny-le-Bretonneux is the central and main town of the agglomeration of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The city is made up of nine neighborhoods, including Saint-Quentin, which is at the same time the main center of the agglomeration and that of the town.  Go figure!

I have personal pictures here as the area we went always together as a family, older pics of course when we lived in Versailles and short road warrior trips abound. Hope you enjoy them as I.

In Saint Quentin en Yvelines we used to love to come shopping at the mall there ,for the cinema and celebrated many younger days birthdays for my kids with friends at the bowling alley. The cinema Cine Cité SQY: http://www.kiosq.sqy.fr/cinema?structures=all

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A beautiful shopping area where we find the main brands around the Carrefour hypermarket. In any case, the purchases have always been made in serenity …. with free parking 3h nearby, just convenient and essential. Shopping center Espace St Quentin : https://www.espacestquentin.com/

montigny-sqy-20nov2010

The shopping center has many stores and the memories are many . The bowling center is mentioned in the town’s site of Montigny-les-Bretonneux which is part of the Agglo area of SQY. Webpage : https://www.montigny78.fr/275/sports-et-loisirs/equipements/bowling-billards.htm

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The town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux ,we used to go to see the baseball games of the Montigny Cougars playing in the French second division or like Triple A level; since 2017 There abouts ,they have move up to the First division top league in France, their stadium was on our way to the shopping center/cinema/bowling; webpage:  http://www.montigny-baseball.com/

The new agglo area of the new towns of Saint Quentin en Yvelines now grouping also Montigny-les-Bretonneux  as tourist info on them: 

Town of Saint Quentinhttp://www.tourisme.sqy.fr/decouvrir/decouvrir-saint-quentin/

Town of Montignyhttps://www.montigny78.fr/36/decouvrir-montigny/patrimoine.htm

We came here by car with me but my sons did took public transports here too and it was ok even if the road warrior trips were better aha! For info. ;the Saint-Quentin / Montigny-le-Bretonneux train station hosts, in particular, RER  line C towards the Paris, as well as a connection to La Défense in about twenty minutes. You can reach the Montparnasse train station in about forty minutes maximum. The bus network SQYBUS can take you to Paris with the line 475 To move in the region of ïle de France use Mobilités IDF:   https://me-deplacer.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/itineraire

The area has a huge amount of cultural centers and heritage monuments as well as theme parks that I have touch briefly in previous posts in my blog. This entry is for the memories but at the same time to get you ,hopefully, to get out of Paris and see the beautiful region and especially royal Yvelines,  especially a huge history of France was played in this area  and the Yvelines played a major role with its several Royal towns like my beloved Versailles.

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France, Hope you have enjoy the brief tour and hope you can see my other posts on this wonderful memorable area of mine and my family.  Saint Quentin en YvelinesMontigny-le-Bretonneux are just two wonderful happy spots in my life.

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

August 24, 2021

Memories of always, the Maison Louis Jadot!!!

No secret I love wine as evidence by my many posts on the subject , There have been many memorable moments with the family indeed, I feel a bit nostalgic today so will update this historical post for me on my wine tasting/drinking/traveling days. The pictures were taken while visiting France from Florida USA in August 1995!!! Of course, we have been back there in Beaune but not just to the wines, see my posts,

This is in the Côte d’Or dept 21, region of Bourgogne-Franch-Comte in my belle France and the town of Beaune of the Maison Jadot !!

My short story on this is that many years back in the early 90’s I met the recently name President of the house Pierre-Henry Gagey inperson while doing a wine tasting event at the Crown Wine & Liquors of South Miami. I was already well versed on wines and recent graduate of the wine connaisseur course of SOPEXA or Food and Wine from France export arm of the French government; I still have my diploma!!

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In a pleasant conversation of his wines, I told him that I was married to a French lady and was visiting France shortly. He suggested I visit his house and gave me his business card to show it at Beaune and be given a personal wine tasting tour. This of course I did. It was done by the Europe Sales Manager  Marc Dupin and it was wonderful beyond words. We were picked up at our hotel and brought over to the property in Beaune. The tour gave me the chance to taste some of their top wines that even my income at the time would not have allowed!!! A lasting impression that took me to buy ,drink their wines for years, always with great memories of this trip encounter.

beaune maison jadot edro et marc-dupin aug95

Beaune maison Jadot tasting cent vignes 1 cru visit aug95

Let me give you the story of the Maison Louis Jadot as briefly as I can. Hope you enjoy it.

The Maison Louis Jadot is a wine producer-trader based in Beaune. The company now controls 220 hectares (2.2 km2) in Côte d’Or, in the Mâconnais and in the Beaujolais, within the Burgundy vineyards. Its products bear a single label for its entire range. This label, characterized by a frieze, the head of Bacchus and its pale yellow color, remains unchanged. The history of Maison Louis Jadot began in 1826 with the acquisition of the Beaune premier cru Clos des Ursules by the Jadot family. Louis Henry Denis Jadot founded the Maison Louis Jadot in 1859.

Rudy Kopf, founder of the wine department of Macy’s and later of his own distribution company Kobrand Corp, in 1945 became the importer of Jadot wines to the United States. In 1985, Mrs. Jadot widow at the time, decided to sell the business to the Kopf family to ensure the sustainability of the House. In 1992, Pierre-Henry Gagey , the son, became president of the Maison Louis Jadot.

In 1996, Maison Louis Jadot acquired Château des Jacques in Beaujolais, in 2008 Domaine Ferret in Fuissé. In 2013, it bought an estate in the United States in Oregon with 13 hectares the Resonance Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA  . The 80 hectares of vineyards of Château des Jacques are spread over 6 appellations located in beautiful climates such as Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, Chénas and Fleurie. The Domaine Ferret is a wine estate located in Fuissé. The vines owned represent a total of 18 hectares in the heart of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation.

There is the quality of the vineyards, which are made in all possible shapes of color and bottling with 86% of production represents the percentage of export sales, The wines are beautifully crafted whites with better and better balanced aging, even if I would like nothing more density and depth in the major vintages. The reds are of high quality, with less severity than in the past thanks to the extractions which seem more measured. The Santenay Clos de Malte smells like vanilla from the farm. The mouth displays density, but the finish is a bit short. Meursault Narvaux is a taut, muscular, energetic wine. The Clos Blanc stands out with a sweet, but consistent fruit. Les Combettes clearly transcribes the finesse of its place of birth but lacks density for a premier cru of this caliber. The Corton-Charlemagne is juicy and sapid: nice length on a delicious, elegant and nuanced fruit. In red, the marsannay is slightly folded. Clos des Guettes can be drunk now or expected, with its supple texture and juicy fruit. Clos des Ursules shows a slight wood grip; there is no shortage of volume. The Gevrey-Chambertin respects the fruit and its mouth transcribes the refined power of this beautiful terroir. The finely wooded Clos-Vougeot offers fruit of great purity. After a fine attack, the telluric power of the soil resumes its rights in the final, straight, solid, which recalls that the wine is built for very long aging. The above are the ones I tasted at the property.

The official Maison Louis Jadothttps://www.louisjadot.com/en/wines

You can buy direct at the Cuverie boutique store at 62, route de Savigny in Beaune.  Webpage: https://www.louisjadot.com/nous-trouver

The Beaune tourist office on the Maison Louis Jadot:  https://www.beaune-tourism.com/tasting/wineries/jadot-louis-la-cuverie-2900367

There you go folks, a wonderful memorable visit and many wines afterward, the good deeds are still there, never to forget, Maison Louis Jadot is a classy winery and great folks, Hope you enjoy the post, and even better try the wines they are awesome, exceptional Burgundy !

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

August 24, 2021

La Baule and its beaches!!

Let me update this older post to tell you about another place very popular with locals but seldom visited from abroad. The thing is you need a car, but is all worth it. This is just south of me and it is a nice upscale beach town. I like to give you an introduction and the beaches of La Baule ; see my other posts on the town in my blog.

The proper name for the town is La Baule-Escoublac and is in the dept 44 of Loire Atlantique in the region of Pays de la Loire and part of the coastal Atlantique on the love coast between Le Pouliguen and Pornichet. There was a village of Escoublac from the 10C and twice rebuilt and replace in the 15C and then the 18C. Early in the 19C, investors came here seeking the potential of the bay of Pouliguen and create balls of sand and filled in to create a beach town of 8 km long so La Baule was born. And call La Baule-Escoublac, since 1962 even if can be call Escoublac-La Baule as well. La Baule is integrated into these dunes in the form of stairs that favors massive sand hills or dunes one is 55 meters high, one of the highest in France.

La Baule, for short, is 12 km from Saint Nazaire and 50 km from Vannes (my capital city) and 62 km from Nantes . It is served by the road D213 also known as the blue route or the Route Bleue  ,this road connects Les Moutiers en Retz to Guérande and is a major road on the coastal area , just gorgeous ride indeed. It ends on the extreme west of the road D171; the town is also by passed by the D92 connecting the streets of avenues Maréchal-De-Lattre-de-Tassigny, Bois-d’Amour, l’Étoile, and avenue du Rhuys, allowing to reach Le Pouliguen to Pornichet via the center of La Baule ,and allows reaching the train station. The avenue Charles-De-Gaulle and avenue Lajarrige, are perpendicular to the roads D213 and D92, also, the main shopping streets in La Baule. I have no experience with trains/buses here but it has two train stations one is the La Baule-Escoublac located at La Baule and the other is La Baule les Pins to the east of the town. 

The beach here is often call the most beautiful beach of Europe ! Surrounded by the districts of La Baule-les-Pins, La Baule-Centre and Casino-Benoît. From Pornichet to Pouliguen you have the beaches of plage de la Grand Jument ,then the plage de la Petit Jument, at Pornichet and the plage de la Baule and after the plage Benoit; there is a foreshore of sand that has great quantity of shells. You can see the island or ile des Evens at 4 km from the beach which is a coral island just a bit higher than the sea and has a beach of white sand in a sort of triangle shape.

My fav webpage on beaches plage tv on the beaches of La Baule: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/la-baule-escoublac-44500

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A bit of history/architecture I like goes like this:

In 1787, there was a huge storm that damage the littoral and the salt sea marshes west of Escoublac as a consequence the parliament of Brittany ordered a dam of 400 meters long to contained the sea waves, finally finished in 1788 keeps apart the sandy marshes or balls from the dune in the south and still in the 21C serves as support for the avenue de Lattre –de- Tassigny in Pouliguen.  You have three levels of  architecture here, first the grand hotels or mansions, then the villas or castles and then the building and urban houses . The coastal front  has  200 to 800 meters wide with 6 km long  and includes the sea front area and the neighborhoods of villas . the sea front has a band of 30-80 meters wide by 5 km long . The city center of La Baule has a market, and the avenues of Général-de-Gaulle and Maréchal-de-Lattre-de-Tassigny, the city hall, the train/bus station and the post office. The neighborhood of the beach plage Benoît is on the west of city center and reach the port of La Baule-Escoublac – Le Pouliguen.  The great hotels such as Hermitage Barriere, Royal Thalasso, Castel Marie-Louise, and the Majestic are all here as well as the Casino and the congress center Atlantia.

You have hotels such as Hotel Mauspha from 1886, and then the Hotel de l’Institut Verneuil in 1896 that becomes the Hotel Royal in 1902 and the Hotel Castel Marie Louise in the belle époque style, the Tennis club build in 1925  as well as the Hotel Hermitage a anglo Norman palace hotel. The villas of  neo gothic and medieval inspiration such as the villa Ker Vary in 1896 , villa des Halles in 1912, and villa Pax. From 1920 the style is Anglo Norman, Basque, and Landais and from the 20C has different styles such as Art Nouveau, Art Déco, rationalism, Expressionists, Futurism, postmodernism, modernism international and from the 21C favoring the environment with natural products. The buildings are  the Le Bellevue Building,  7 floors done in 1928 and then the  Le Constellation (1959), the  Panorama ,and the Les Héliades (1960), and the  Spendid (1962). The  Santa Clara , aka the La Vague on the limits with Pornichet from 1979.

Things to see other than the above beaches are:

The lighthouse of Banche or phare de la Banche, the British military cemetery of Escoublac-la-Baule  at avenue de la Ville-Halgand keeping in peace 325 tombs of which 74 are still not identify, and Three Polish soldiers. Many of these soldiers were navy posted on the Lancastria that sank here in 1940 and soldiers that participated in the landing of the port of Saint Nazaire in 1942 on the operation called opération Chariot. There is the Church of  Saint-Pierre d’Escoublac  opened in 1786, at Escoublac, with a medieval style tower. Notre Dame Church built from 1931 to 1935 in the city center of neo roman style, with stained glass in the choir to the Virgin Mary; the Saint Theresa Church built from 1928 and rebuilt in 1972 . You have the Saint Anne Chapel built from 1880 to  1886 and extended by two nave in 1903. The town of La Baule-Escoublac ,also belongs to the regional natural park of the Briére or parc naturel regional de Briére. More on the park in French: Parc Naturel Régional de la Briére

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The city of La Baule-Escoublac on its heritage: https://www.labaule.fr/decouvrir-sortir

The La Baule Guérande tourist office on La Baule: https://en.labaule-guerande.com/discover-la-baule.html

The Loire-Atlantique dept 44 tourist board on La Baule: https://tourisme-loireatlantique.com/baie-la-baule/

The Pays de la Loire region on La Baule: https://www.atlantic-loire-valley.com/visits/nature/plage-de-la-baule

There you go folks, another dandy and ready for the season at La Baule for short! Hope it help and time to get some splash around, this is wonderful, the parking if early can be had just on the main boulevard de l’Océan at plage de La Baule. Now all they need is you and me and all.

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

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