Archive for February 25th, 2022

February 25, 2022

My walks of Nantes!!!

And I bring you to Nantes for another of my favorite walks, I have been saying in my blog, the best way to see a city is by walking it ; we do go in by car but then is walk all over, Above ground you see more of the beautiful architecture and read up on the magnificent history, I have plenty of posts on Nantes in my blog, so this one will be on my black and white series,no pictures. Therefore, here is my take on my walks of Nantes !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Nantes is a city along the Loire river and its quays, You can see it at the Place de la Petite Hollande with arch circle going around the ïle Feydeau where we start our walk. Here every Saturday along the Quai Turenne and Quai de l’Ïle Gloriette in the morning the fisherman brings their catch as well as vegetable vendors for a wonderful market, Before leaving the square look up the mansions telling us of the richness of the seamen in the 18C. Go up to rue Kervégan crossing the ïle Feydeau in half and at no 13 see the details of the macarons making reference to the sea ; push the door at no 11 and see a beautiful courtyard all this wonderful architecture around the allée de Turenne, Cour Ovale, and quai de la Fosse as well, At no 40 cours Clisson you see the birthhouse of Jules Verne and more narrow streets where you come to the Chapelle de Bon-Secours dedicated to the fishermen.

Return these streets to the allée Duguay-Trouin, and go across place de la Petite Hollande again to go over the quai de la Fosse ; at no 15 and 17 you see beautiful mansions with great sculptures showing once again the seamen past of Nantes, Around the pont Anne de Bretagne that you encounter again the Loire, you can go along with the tramway stop/arrêt Chantiers-Navals and descend at the next stop Gare Maritime, Or go on foot along the trails of the Loire Quai de la Fosse, then Quai de l’Aiguillon and see the vast river behold of the mighty Loire ! You can visit the musée Naval Maillé-Brézé a floating military museum , by here you can take the Trentemoult the navibus that takes you to this tranquil island still looking like a fishing village of old, You have a nice view from the hill or Butte Sainte Anne, Going back to the quai de l’Aiguillon go up to the rue de l’Hermitage and see the neighborhood of Sainte Anne for a nice view of the old Nantes and see the city center from the quai des Antilles.

I take you to the Bouffay neighborhood, and the medieval old town with its wonderful shops,restos at the heart of Nantes, The heart of the neighborhood is of course the Place Bouffay with the medieval look on its restaurants, bars and shops where we start our walk.

Every wednesday you have a bio and brocantes are held here, You go right into the rue de la Vieille-Monnaie , rue des Echevins and follow the rue du Bouffay then that of rue Vieil-Hôpital you are at the heart of the free town of Bouffay declare as is since 1976. Come back a few steps and go into rue de la Bletterie and turn immediately right into rue Beauregard and continue straight into the Place Sainte Croix, in front of the Church Sainte Croix you see a beautiful classic facade with a belltower from the 19C. Here since 1803 reign the store Devineau selling wax candles, Very near see the rue Travers to the place du Change, see again beautiful mansions in wood covered with tiles especially the Maison des Apothicaires a nice medieval one, come back to the Place Sainte Croix and go around the church on your left. At no 7 there is a wooden house from the 15C and at no 7 rue de la Juverie another mansion with a cross of Saint Andrews.

You can continue in this medieval beautiful part of Nantes by walking on the rue de la Baclerie, and rue des Petits-Ecuries, Follow here on your left to rue des Chapeliers, than right into rue du Château that takes you straight to the château des ducs de Bretagne (castle of the dukes of Brittany) passing the vast rue de Strasbourg. Take your back to the castle and go on rue Prémion and then go up rue Mathelin-Rodier, See the curious letter P let all know in the middle ages the present of wells in these houses in case of fire, you know where the water was ! At the top you come to the Place Saint Pierre that takes you to the magnificent Cathedral St Pierre et St Paul. The Rue de Verdun along the cathedral to the porte St Pierre at the limit of the old town see the column Louis XVI (one of five still in France) where it dominates the cours St Pierre that gives you a nice walk to the castle and not far the dome of the tour LU telling us of another era of the Lefévre-Utile (LU).

We come now to the classic Graslin neighborhood, all arts and business and again a naval past. Here you have the Place du Commerce where we will start our walk. Beautiful architecture all around you, not far from the square you come to the rue de Gorges that takes you to the Place Royale created in 1790. There is a monumental fountain celebrating the Erdre,Loire, Sévre,Cher and Loiret rivers (see post) Also, the city of Nantes represented by a women crown at its feet curious personages to tell us of the rich past of fisherman, mariners, and the industrial port, Behind it the narrow streets takes you to the Church St Nicolas.

You go down rue de la Fosse to reach the quai de la Fosse and stop to seee beautiful facades of mansions at no 7 and 9 a rich library and chocolaterie dating from 1850. You must stop enter admire the Passage Pommeraye (see post) and go up the wonderful wooden stair inside. This building was done in 1843 along the spirit of the passages of Paris. Go down a few meters to the corner with rue Crébillon that takes you to the place Graslin with a beautiful theater Graslin with sumptous decorations of busts of Voltaire, Rousseau, Racine, Corneille, Moliére, etc. Right here see the famous restaurant Cigale deco 1900 ( see wooden clock a cicada on the facade , which rang at the end of each intermission and invited spectators and actors to return to the theater). Continue on the rue Voltaire and its wonderfully beautiful mansions of the 19C heritage of shipbuilders of yesteryear, To the right of this square you come into the building of the Monnaie that houses since 1875 the National History Museum, continue to the place Jean V and see the Archeological museum Dobré inside the park see the nice manoir de la Touche. Finally go into rue des Cadeniers straight ahead you see mansions of the boat chain and metal builders with a pretty view of the Loire on your right and on the left the rich cours Cambronne.

The Nantes tourist office:

The city of Nantes:

The Loire Atlantique tourist office on Nantes:

There you go folks, another dandy spot for us and a must to visit, Nantes is wonderful. And now you know walking in Nantes is sublime, worth the walk! Another beauty in my belle France! Again ,hope you enjoy the post and visit when possible

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

February 25, 2022

Wines news of France XVII !!

And I bring you back to my latests series of wines news of France. This is my hobby and do drink everyday in moderation.. with the meals. I could not think of myself eating without wine!! Let me tell you the latest to keep warm as a cold front is coming down to 3C or 37F…We still call it a cold front lol!

The exports of Bordeaux wines are on the rise again in 2021 with a “spectacular recovery” in marketing with the United States, according to the Bordeaux Wine Interprofessional Council (CIVB). With 33 million bottles exported and a 67% increase in turnover or 349 million euros , sales in the United States had never reached such a high level since 1985 !. Overall, despite a health crisis , persistently, exports from Bordeaux (45% of sales) increased by 30% in 2021, to 2.3 billion euros. Good health due to historical customers: China, Belgium, Japan, which is now ahead of Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Switzerland. But “less traditional destinations such as the Ivory Coast or South Korea are also showing interest in our wines,” the CIVB pointed out in its annual report. Official CIVB webpage:

The various representatives of the 48 Member States of the International Organization of Vine and Wine met this Monday at Dijon City Hall for an extraordinary general meeting. At the end of this extraordinary general meeting and after a unanimous vote of the protagonists, Dijon will host the new headquarters of the OIV in 2024. A reality that will be set in the Hôtel Bouchu d’Esterno, a building built in the middle of the 17C, located in the historic heart of Dijon. As a reminder, the soap opera started last spring with France’s desire to find a new headquarters for the OIV, more commonly known as the “wine UN”. An intergovernmental organization created in 1924, made up of 48 States which represent 85% of world wine production (and 80% of consumption) and whose objectives are to inform, assist, harmonize, standardize and provide support to the wine sector. Webpage :

This is a first in the history of the Burgundy wine industry. In 2021, it recorded record turnover of 1.3 billion euros, an increase of 28% compared to 2020. Results that far exceed those of before the crisis and definitively erase the Covid effect since, compared to 2019, export sales recorded a growth of 27% ! According to the Federation of Traders-Breeders of Greater Burgundy (FNEB), all the main geographical areas are on the rise, and particularly the United States, with an increase of 45%. Burgundy wine houses will, however, be wary of over-enthusiasm due to the poor 2021 harvest , hard hit by last spring’s frost, and ever-lower stock levels. Well aware that commercial activity will automatically be calmer in 2022, houses have already entered into a logic of managing the shortage. FNEB webpage:

The specifications of the Crémant de Bourgogne appellation, validated by the INAO (National Institute of Appellations of Origin), have come into force. The Gamay grape variety is now authorized up to 30%. Three production techniques are validated: maceration, bleeding and blending. The size, the planting density, the height of the trellised foliage, the storage temperature of the bottles are now supervised… Behind these measures which could seem anecdotal, the will of the Union of producers and elaborators of Crémant de Bourgogne (UPECB) to retain producers located in 84 appellations from Yonne to Beaujolais, around much clearer and more precise specifications! 22 million bottles were sold in 2021, including 46% for export. INAO webpage:

At Château Lafon-Rochet, the imminent arrival of a director from a Premier Grand Cru Classé reflects the desire to improve the quality of the cuvées from the 2022 vintage. Passing through the Médoc, the traveler first spots this fourth grand cru classé of 1855 from Saint-Estèphe with its saffron yellow walls , Today, the property’s production oscillates around 180,000 bottles (110,000 bottles for the first wine and 70,000 for the second). The estate, located a stone’s throw from Château Cos d’Estournel, Château Montrose and Château Calon Ségur, is getting a fresh start with the imminent arrival of a director from a Premier Grand Cru Classé, who will work under the leadership of Emmanuel Cruse. A recruitment that reflects the desire to improve the quality of the cuvées from the 2022 vintage. Webpage :

We knew Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental commitments. It is therefore now in Champagne that the American actor is investing in the Champagne house Telmont, known for its commitment to eco-responsibility. Telmont has thus set itself the objective of converting its entire vineyard to organic by 2025, and to support its winegrower partners in the total conversion of their vines by 2031. But the house also intends to act on all fronts in order to reduce its environmental footprint, in particular by abandoning cases and boxes, by using only bottles produced from 85% recycled glass, by excluding air transport for its supplies and distribution, and finally by using only renewable electricity ,webpage :

With the arrival of Artémis Domaines in the capital of Maison Jacquesson in Dizy, the Pinault family, owners of the second largest luxury group in the world, entered the appellation. Artemis via its subsidiary Kering now ranks second in the world and notably owns Yves Saint Laurent, and recently open the art contemporary museum in the Bourse de Commerce of Paris. The Pinault family has also long invested in the world of wine. It all started with Château Latour in Pauillac in 1993. The acquisition of a stake in Maison Jacquesson announced today is therefore a historic event. Admittedly, Artémis Domaines (a subsidiary of Artémis) remains a minority shareholder in the capital of the company, which remains the property of the Chiquet family. We will also note the modest size of this house which markets 250,000 bottles a year, a volume very far from that of the big Champagne houses. On the other hand, this small trader from Dizy is positioned in an ultra-luxury niche position completely in line with the values ​​of the group. Sales are thus exclusively reserved for wine merchants and restaurateurs. By launching the principle of 700s cuvées, the house had distinguished itself from 1999 by revolutionizing the principle of bruts without years. While little thought was given to differentiating the base year, and it was considered that the blend made it possible to obtain exactly the same result regardless of the majority vintage, Jacquesson, on the contrary, chose to distinguish each new edition by numbering them. Its desire was to emphasize that the addition of reserve wine must always respect and serve the spirit of the vintage. To better appreciate the effect of aging on great champagnes, the house also offers these cuvées on two different ages. The partnership that is opening up between the Chiquet family and Artemis Domaines should therefore prove to be rich in synergies, including in terms of distribution. Webpage :

There are two main families of yeasts, these unicellular fungi which transform sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide during alcoholic fermentation. Those that the winemaker adds and the others, called indigenous… Indigenous yeasts are found on the surface of the grapes. Their cuticle, this impermeable membrane, is made of small scales invisible to the naked eye. They form the bloom, from the Latin pruina (frost), the small powdery envelope, clearly visible on the surface of the berry. This is where native yeasts nestle. In winter, for example, where are these yeasts found? Answer: in the digestive tract of social pollinating insects (including bees and fruit flies) where they hibernate. They are released in the spring when insects forage Since Louis Pasteur, we know that yeasts, like microbes, are everywhere in the environment. There are, for example, cellar yeasts, which can be projected during fizzing, during fermentation, and proliferate. This is why the winegrowers who use indigenous yeasts are very strict about the cleanliness of the cellar. If the Saccharomyces cerevisiae do not take over quickly to start the fermentation, or if the fermentation stops, other yeasts, such as the Brettamonyces can come into action and give rise to a deviant wine with a mouse taste…

Adopting vines to receive your own wine, soon a new trend? Less than four years after its launch, a Champagne start-up has 20,000 “customer-adopters” and around twenty partner winegrowers. The concept: to offer amateurs the possibility of “adopting” an emblematic plot from a “favorite” producer. Among the partner producers, there is in particular Champagne Forget-Chemin, which proposes to adopt plots of Premier Cru from the Montagne de Reims, or a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, the Château de la Cour. For their part, the partner winegrowers , who all work in sustainable, organic or biodynamic viticulture , undertake to offer regular visits to the estate, workshops and tastings.

Ahead of the exhibition “Picasso, the effervescence of Shapes”, scheduled soon at the Cité du vin de Bordeaux, a gala dinner orchestrated by Guy Savoy is offered to great amateurs on March 14 2022. On the program: seven exceptional wines to accompany a six-step surprise menu by Guy Savoy. All within the framework of the Hôtel de la Monnaie, again ranked best restaurant in the world 2022. The wine list is already salivating: Krug La Grande Cuvée 161st – Jeroboam; Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett Alte Reben 2015; Domaine de Chevalier 2016; Vega Sicilia-Unico 1996; Chateau Latour 2004 – Magnum; Château d’Yquem 2007 and Mas Amiel – 1969, This will be held at the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux from April 15 to August 28, 2022. The profits will indeed be used to finance the Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilizations, the body that manages the Bordeaux museum dedicated to wine. it is necessary to count 1200 € per person. A totally tax-deductible amount. This means that after deduction, the real cost of a place is €480 for a company (60% tax reduction) and €408 for an individual (66% tax reduction). At this price, we can speak of a very good deal! Cité event webpage :

Cité dinner info :

there you go folks, another dandy wine review from yours truly. Hope you enjoy the series and share along the joys of wines with me. Stay warm and safe. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!!

February 25, 2022

My walk of Rennes!!!

I bring you back to my lovely Bretagne. This time in the dept 35 of Ille et Vilaine and the historical city of Rennes!! I have several posts on this pretty city ,but need to tell you that is wonderful sublime to walk on it, so therefore, here is my walk of Rennes!!! Of course, this will be in my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me take you on a walk of Rennes old neighborhoods, I will write about the Ville haute, Rive gauche, and de la gare or upper town, left bank and the train station respectively.

The Place des Lices in ville haute is the departing point, here you have the second market in France ! Font columns and brick walls this is from the 19C, At the No 26 and 28 place des Lices you have medieval mansions as a inverse boat done in the 17C for parlamentaries of Brittany ! At the top of the square next to it, you have the rue Saint Michel with beautiful wooden houses and vast terraces very much in vogue at nighs, Next to it the Place Sainte Anne preserves wooden houses from the 14C and 17C.

You leave the squares and look for book sellers along rue Bonne Nouvelle and take a look at No 9 of the rue d’Antrain of the first department stores in Rennes,the king Mercure is shown on the facade, Near too is the rue Saint Melaine where the roman Decumanus is one of the oldest in town, This was the axis east west in Roman towns, At its extremity you find the Church Notre Dame, the former abbey of Saint Melaine of 14C, and the huge parc Thabor, behind it at allée de l’Enfer you see the small jardin des Catherinettes, When you leave the park you come into rue du Général Guillaudot and the contour de la Motte pass in front of the square de la Motte just after the prefecture and hôtel de Cuillé , Just in front the palais Saint Georges huge building in arcades of the 17C, You left the rue Saint Georges with more wooden houses and restaurants, See the nice hôtel de la Moussaye at No 3 with half timbered and medieval decorations like figures of Adam and Eve, Facing it another 16C with horizontal windows looking for more light.

The old cité showing the chevet back of the Cathedral Saint Pierre and the Hôtel de Ville within narrow streets, Go back to the 16C and 17C in the rue du Chapitre, rue de la Palette, rue Saint Guillaume, rue des Dames, and rue Saint Yves, In the rue de la Palette No 1 you have a prebental house where a dignitary of the church who levied the taxes lived, it dates from about 1609, At No 8 the Maison de la Palette built in 1476 site of the meeting of the children of the master of the Cathedral St Pierre, At No 14 is the Maison de la Prévoté, taking the name of the supervisors and receivers of the cathedral chapter.

We go now to the immense Place du Parlement de Bretagne aka palais ,built in 1532 after a fire in 1720 it was rebuilt in the 18C style, You see the Hôtel de Ville in the place de la République done between 1732 and 1742 much later the Opéra, Go up to the Place du Champ Jacquet then take the rue et allée Rallier du Baty to the maison dite du Guesclin at No 2 (never lived) ; a bit down close see the rue de la Palette when a curve shows the choir of the Cathedral Saint Pierre, and in a few steps arrive at rue du Chapitre and its houses from the 15C, Continue down toward the rue des Dames back of the Chapelle Saint Yves, making a curve of the old remparts of the 15C taking you to the parvis of the Cathedral, At the end pass under the Portes Mordelaises. Under these gates the Duke of Brittany must past to take possession of Brittany with the words, « who’s there ?»

We move on to the rive gauche neighborhood or left bank of Rennes. Long quays with the romantic look of quai de la Prévalaye and the quai Saint Cyr, First you come to the Place de Bretagne and next the quai de la Prévalaye and see the union of two river Ille and Vilaine (the dept 35 is Ille et Vilaine), You go to the rue Poullain-Duparc then left into the rue du Champ-Dolent with a simple passage,There is a contemporary building on stilts.

Cut across the rue Lanjuinais to discover the trade of leather makers and butcher shops of old,one of these house Guenzel was renovated into the theater la Parcheminerie. By the rue de Nemouirs see the Haussmanian style buildings , In this neighborhood stop by 34 rue Vasselot and see the convent of the Carmelites in Rennes since the 15C, Later change during the French revolution by the 18C it was a military hospital and recently restored, By the quays and Place de la République you see the halle centrale and the criée or fish market, This is done like a pagoda at boulevard de la Liberté that is on the former medieval ramparts that protected the lower town in the 15C and today mark the limits with the neighborhood of the gare or train station.

On the Vilaine river and by the Place de la République there were done wonderful buildings like the university palace and museum palace done in 1858, Short periof afterward, the inspiration art deco on the quai Duguay-Trouin, By 1912 it was thought to cover the Vilaine from the pont Jean-Jaurés to the Pont de Nemours by a grand dome, however, today there is just a big terrace to link the north and south of Rennes with parterres French style.

Lastly but not least, my memorable quartier de la gare or train station neighborhood. Vast interconnected spaces with architectural works, The avenue Jean Janvier long from the quais de la Vilaine to the pont Pasteur and to the train station, After the bridge you can do a wonderful walk, You see a great view over the Abbey Benedictine of Saint Georges, former palace of the 17C, Before enjoy the long facade of the fine arts museum (Beaux-Arts) at 20 quai Emile Zola.

The boulevard Jean Janvier is one of the most important arteries of the left bank, Do a left orientation here to go into the rue Duhamel to your left to see the building Art Deco 1931 gray and cover with mosaics of Odorico. This street is known for having kept Captain Dreyfus while his case revision was going on ; a bit further see the arm of the Vilaine river with the Grands Moulins mills dating from the 19C to 20C.

You continue your walks into rue Saint Héllier , to the right built in 1966 the National Theater of Brittany, not easy to imagine if I tell you that here in 1857 was the train station. Now there is a much more modern train station with bars and brasseries terraces etc. The back of the train station you are in boulevard Magenta and see the wonderful architecture of the Champs Libres, a cultural space ,it leans back and reached the Esplanade du Champ de Mars, the current esplanade du Général de Gaulle.

The city of Rennes on its heritage :

The Rennes tourist office :

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the post and do get out and walk the towns, cities ,villages of my belle France. They will amaze you with their beauty, architecture,and history. Rennes will not be behind the city is a marvelous medieval field of sublime buildings and great ambiance on the bars, restos, brasseries, and else. Enjoy my walk of Rennes!!!

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

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