Archive for February 12th, 2022

February 12, 2022

The Beaujolais wine route !!

Well, again written plenty on wines my other passion. However, left this one out for no reason. It’s true the call to fame is the Beaujolais noveau, which had become a fad which we followed until several years back. Well, we have stayed in the area and would like to have an imprint in my blog on the wonderfully fresh young Beaujolais which is a lot more than nouveau! Which by the way should be out November 17 2022. Therefore, here is my take on the Beaujolais wine route!! , and in my black and white series, no pictures,,,ok a couple on the wines lol!

We start in the town of Beaujeu, very fitting me think. Beaujeu keeps its past when this barony reigned from Forez to La Bresse, very beautiful remains especially in the area near the Saint Nicolas Church built around 1130 under Guichard III sire de Beaujeu on the site of a pond where the legend reports that his son would have drowned and was consecrated in 1132 by Pope Innocent II. A few steps away, a Renaissance style half-timbered house and galleries shelters the oenological center of the Sources du Beaujolais, another 17C residence houses the town hall and the Marius Audin museum dedicated to the popular arts and traditions of the region. Another remarkable building, the Hôtel de la Tour, on Place de la Liberté is said to have welcomed Louis XI during one of his stays in Beaujolais, But the Hospices are undoubtedly the major monument of Beaujeu, If the origin of the Hôtel Dieu remains difficult to date, the foundation of the hospices dates back to at least 1240. The great turning point in its history occurs However, on March 19, 1797, the decision was taken to put the wine from the vineyards belonging to the hospices up for sale at public auction. Today 81 hectares of vines from which three famous crus are produced, reignie, morgon and brouilly.

The sources of Beaujolais today the La Maison des Terroirs Beaujolais:

The Hôtel-Dieu hospital on its history:

Let me tell you briefly as an introduction to the 10 crus of Beaujolais!

Brouilly fruit red plums and peaches. The largest with 1200 hectares and with the coast of brouilly and windmill do not bear the name of the village, Especially see the Chateau de La Chaize (great wine had plenty) 1676 for the nephew of the revered father La Chaize confessor of Louis XIV by Jules Hardouin Mansart for the house and André Le Nôtre for the gardens, has a spectacular winery that is the longest (100 meters) in the region, Also 98 hectares of vines. Known as one of the international city of vine and wine that only a hundred cities in the world have been awarded

Côte de Brouilly, fresh grapes and irises. Culminating at 485 meters, Mont Brouilly with a hillside covered with vines sports at its summit a small chapel with the welcome name Notre Dame des Raisins, A place of worship for the Celts is still a place of pilgrimage today.

Morgon Cherries, peaches and apricots. It is the town of Morgon and not Morgon 2 km further south which is the capital of the appellation, In a town center park stands the 17C Château de Fontcrenne, admittedly transformed into a city hall ​​but which has kept its pleasant vault,

Saint Amour, kirtch, spices and reseda. The village owes its name to a Roman legionnaire martyred in 286 for having converted to Christianity. In 1793 Saint Amour became Bellevue. A happy choice and so justified that we no longer speak today that of Saint Amour-Bellevue,

Chénas, floral and woody notes. The only wine that Louis XIII accepted at his table! ,It is also the smallest of the crus, The Château de Chassignol built in the 17C and remodeled during the Restoration (1815) in an Italianate style now houses the headquarters of the winemaking cooperative. Its vaulted cellar with a basket handle justifies she alone the visit

Chiroubles, Pivones and muguet. One of the rare female brotherhoods, the Damoiselles de Chiroubles since 1996 their Grand Chapter is held there every spring during the festival of vintages. Near the Col de Truges, the Terrasse and Col de Durbize you can see superb views beyond the Saône plain extending to the Alps and the Jura. One of my latest drank bottle.


Fleurie, Iris, violets and blackcurrant. The most feminine of the Beaujolais wines are grown on the slopes of Le Puy, Mont Genas and the Madone hill.

Régnié, Currants, blackberries and raspberries. Although their vines are with those of juliénas the oldest of Beaujolais, it was not until 1988 that the winegrowers of Régnié-Durette had their wine recognized as a Beaujolais cru. Enjoy to go in search of the three castles which are near the village, that of the Tour Bourdon, of which only ruins remain but located on a hill, that of the Pierre built in the 16C, that of the Vergers finally that served as a frame for Robert Mazoyer’s TV movie A nous les beaux dimanches (1986),

Juliénas, peaches and red fruits. A tenacious legend tell us the vineyard took its name from Julius Caesar. See the Château de Juliénas built in the 14C and entirely rebuilt in the 16C, has remarkable vaulted cellars, the Château du Bois de la Salle is a former 17C priory which in 1960 became the headquarters of the cooperative. The old church has been transformed into a tasting cellar, adorned with a joyful fresco of satyrs, bacchus, and fairly naked nymphs, You can go to the nearby village of Jullié and see the Chateau de la Roche, swing bridge, its ditches, its entrance gate and its central body flanked by four pavilions, And one of my latest drank bottle:


Moulin à Vent, irises, wilted roses and spices. The Moulin à Vent area spreads out over gentle slopes dominated by the hill on which the buildings are perched. In Romanéche-Thorins the Plaisirs en Beaujolais park, try to make discover the wines of the appellation with your family, Gathered by the merchant Georges Duboeuf (RIP) the pope of Beaujolais, The highlight of the visit is the tasting room designed like a station buffet where you can drink a cannon to the sound of a colossal lemonade.

The Hameau Duboeuf :

The Beaujolais Destination area tourist office:

Around that wonderful Beaujolais Nouveau wine there is a festif marathon, which we have not participated but seen passing by, i put their webpage here for reference:

I could not finish this post without telling you a bit about the bigger town in the area and one we have been too. We visited briefly way back to buy toys for my boys lol !! While we were on the road warrior trip been lodge in a gîte or rental house by Buxy. Villefranche sur Saône is one of those sleepy town not much known but nice as in France. The town was created by Humbert III de Beaujeu in 1140, A wonderful street here is one that initially was called Grand’Rue, then rue Royale, rue Impériale, and finally rue Nationale.

At the lower point of the rue Nationale, the Notre Dame des Marais Collegiate Church, built from the 12C, was rebuilt in the 15C with the addition of the central tower then in the 16C with the construction of the Flamboyant Gothic style facade. higher up see the St. Peter’s Church,

The rue Nationale is awesome for shopping and sightseeing in town. At No 834 maison des Bourbon built between 1492 and 1507 . At No 816 maison de la ville des Echevins renaissante style like the Maison Giliquin at No 810. At No 761 Maison de la Tourelle early 16C. At the corner of rue Nationale and rue Paul Bert two attach facades of the Pêcherie one gothic and the other renaissance, You see La Coupe d’Or at No 528 very old auberge with a tower in the courtyard as well as a water well dating from Louis XIV time. At No 524 a door opens on a long corridor that take you to the last wooden gallery surviving Villefranche sur Saône. On the other side of the street at No 523 a wooden tower cut from the Hôtel Mignot de Bussy as well as the monumental kitchen in the street level floor. At No 407 the Maison de l’Italien with an octagonal tower and mofits in its facade that reminds you of the palace Jacques Coeur in Bourges,(see post), It has a renaissance gallery and back with houses from the 17C.

The street nearby the rue Nationale has some pretty buildings as well such as at No 125 rue Corlin, a narrow ally that takes you to the courtyard of the Maison des Fleurons work of art from the transition period of the gothic to the renaissance. Also, the Hôtel Gayand with its small courtyard decorated with sculpture stones and the Maison du Patrimoine at No 30 rue Roland, buildings of the 15C with temporary and permanent expos as well as the musée de la Conscription. You can see the musée Paul Dini place Flaubert with a collection of over 450 works retracing the history of painting from Lyon to the Rhône Alpes of 1875 to our days.

The Beaujolais destination tourist office on Villafranche sur Saône:

The city of Villafranche sur Saône on its history:

There you go folks, a dandy area to explore and explore more indeed. Memorable moments on my road warrior trips and family visits of yesteryear always remember and always looking forward to be back. Hope you enjoy the post on the Beaujolais and its cities as I

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

February 12, 2022

Hyde Park of London!

I am updating this older post of one of my visits to London , this time was with the family in tow, We stayed in a studio by Earl’s Court and saw the city using double decker, underground/metro , and lots of walks. Of course, we came to the parks, and what a nice encounter at Hyde Park London.  We enjoyed the trip here with the family, and now it brings lots of good memories for me. I have written bits before but feels needs a post of its own for the wonderful Hyde Park of London. Let me tell you my bit about it.


Hyde Park is the largest park in central London, as well as one of the nine royal parks of the city, with a length of over two km and almost one km wide. It is in the  Westminster section of London. Only the Serpentine separates it from the Kensington Gardens , so that they are sometimes considered as part of Hyde Park. Its 140 hectares, added to that of Kensington Gardens spanning 110 hectares, gives a total surface of 250 hectares. The oldest part of the park belonged to the Ebury Manor and had a surface area of ​​a “hide”, a former English surface unit and varying in soil construction from twenty-four to forty-nine hectares, which gave the name of the park. While Kensington Gardens are largely flat, Hyde Park is slightly hilly. 

london-hyde-park-boat-rentals-serpentine jul10

The grounds of this park once belonged to Westminster Abbey until 1536, when the land was taken over by king Henry VIII. It was in the 17C that this land became a public park. The park hosted the Great Exhibition of 1851, where the Crystal Palace was built for the occasion. But at the end of the exhibition, the palace was dismantled and removed from the park because of the pressure exerted by the citizens. The main entrance of Hyde Park, which was built in 1824-25. It is in the form of three vaulted passageways joined by a colonnade, all of a length of about 33 meters. The central passage has a particular fore-body: it is formed of a portico supported by four columns, and is surmounted by a frieze representing a triumphant procession of the navy. The two outer columns of this portico have carved capitals so that they always have two full faces. The grilles closing the passages, are in iron and bronze, decorated with a Greek honeysuckle ornament.

The Hyde Park was also home to famous rock concerts: Jethro Tull (1968), The Rolling Stones (1969), Pink Floyd (1970), Roy Harper (1971), Queen (1976), The Cure (2002), Red Hot Chile Peppers (2004), Blur (2009) and Bruce Springsteen (2009). The Beatles pictures for the Beatles for Sale album were taken in Hyde Park in the fall of 1964. In July 2012, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney held a join concert. The Rolling Stones also staged a second concert at Hyde Park in 2013. Hyde Park is also well known for its Speakers’ Corner . The latter is located near Marble Arch. Founded in 1872, it is a space of free expression where everyone can speak freely in front of the audience of the moment.

Some things to see while in Hyde Park are

Facing the main entrance ,see the Apsley House (or Wellington Museum), the London residence of Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington, another is Hyde Park Corner, in which stands Wellington Arch, a triumphal arch erected in memory of the winner of the Battle of Waterloo. The Serpentine Gallery is located on an unexpected location for a contemporary art gallery: lots of natural light and greenery all around. This part of the park is already part of Kensington Gardens. On the south side is Kensington Palace, in which lived Princess Diana of Wales.


The Cavalry Memorial was built in 1924 at Stanhope Gate. It moved to the Serpentine Road when Park Lane was widened to traffic in 1961,  South of the Serpentine is the Diana Princess of Wales memorial, an oval stone ring fountain opened on 6 July 2004, Also in the Serpentine, just beyond the dam, is London’s Holocaust Memorial. The 7 July Memorial in the park commemorates the victims of 7 July 2005 London bombings, The Standing Stone is a 7-tons monolith at the center of the Dell, in the east of Hyde Park. Made of Cornish stone, it was originally part of a drinking fountain, though an urban legend was established, claiming it was brought from Stonehenge by Charles I, An assortment of unusual sculptures are scattered around the park, including: Still Water a massive horse head lapping up water; Jelly Baby Family, a family of giant Jelly Babies standing on top of a large black cube; and Vroom Vroom, which resembles a giant human hand pushing a toy car along the ground. There are several other works in Hyde Park, such as the memorial to William Henry Hudson, featuring his character Rima caused public outrage when it was unveiled in 1925. There has been a fountain at Grosvenor Gate since 1863 ,There is another fountain opposite Mount Street on the park’s eastern edge. A pet cemetery was established at the north edge of Hyde Park in the late 19C, The last burial took place in 1976.

london-princess-diana-memorial-at-hyde-park-kensington jul10

We were not but worth the return to see Hyde Park Winter Wonderland set again for November 2022, More info here :

We walk here as we were walking all over London after the tube to Leicester Square. However, direct you can take the tube/metro/subway at Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner, line Piccadilly ; Lancaster Gate, Queensway and Marble Arch, Central line, .Hyde Park is free to enter between the hours of 5h and midnight every day, all-year round. Boating on The Serpentine is open from April until October 31st, from 10h to around 16h (during the winter) and 10h to 20h (during the summer).

The official Royal Parks on Hyde Park

The London tourist office on Hyde Park

There you go folks, do come to Hyde Park in summer is fantastic the activities around it and be inmerse in the big city lifestyle that is London. Hope you enjoy the post as we.

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: