Archive for April 23rd, 2022

April 23, 2022

Curiosities of Pontivy!

I am near me a bit north and very well acquanted with the town of Pontivy, This is a wonderful small town in my beautiful Morbihan 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. We have come here often as it is only about 40 min from us,and one of my son’s worked here. There is always pleasant to be here, on Napoleonville now Pontivy ; you can see my other posts on the town in my blog. Let me update this nice post me think on the curiosities of Pontivy!

A bit of history tells us that on  November 9, 1804, Pontivy received the name of  Napoléonville  from Napoléon I.  All is arranged to make this a model city with new architecture whereby the first stone was put on August 12 1807 in his presence. The town asked to be called Bourbonville after the first Restauration (monarchy) 1814-1815, and takes the name of Pontivy after the return of king Louis XVIII , later it comes back to be called  Napoléonville again under Napoléon III. From  1870 the town regained the current name of Pontivy. Which of course in Breton is Pondi.

The modernization of the Rue Nationale involves lowering the speed limit to 30 km / h or even 20 km / h on the shopping area in order to allow cohabitation between pedestrians, cyclists and cars.  Between rue Nationale and place Anne-de-Bretagne, the story of the Duchess is now told. Anne’s family tree and the route she took in Bretagne in the summer of 1505 are all little stories that shape the big story.


The Place Aristide Briand before called  the Place d’Armes and, commonly known as the Plaine, reflects classic architecture. There is our nice preferred central, public and free parking for all types of vehicles. There are squares marked on the ground for motorhomes, two places must be used at the head of the rows. Half of the parking is free without restriction. The other half, painted blue, is limited to 90 minutes (disc compulsory) and generally has more places. But we never had a problem on the free unlimited parking here. This is the square where the flea market takes place every Monday on the plaine from 8h30 to 14h. Thirty food stands offer you,  fruits and vegetables, cheeses, fish, meats, pancakes, coffees and various prepared meals . The rest is more clothing, leather goods, linens etc.


Around the Place Aristide Briand you ,also, have the Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall and the sub préfecture of Pontivy. 


The Maison des Trois Piliers (the house with three pillars), the only remaining example in Morbihan of a 16C porched house. It is located at rue du Docteur-Ange-Guépin;  formerly place du Martroy, the front of which has a projection supported by three granite pillars . An emblem of the city and supported by it.


I like to introduce on this post, two emblematic monuments of the city of Pontivy. First, the Chapelle Saint Ivy at rue Saint Ivy corner with the Place Bourdonnay-du-Clézio. The Chapel of Saint-Ivy or of the Congregation. Built in 1770_78 by the corporation (congregation) of artisans of the city, it replaced a previous chapel built in 1672 ;fallen into ruins which would have been the parish church of Pontivy, supplanted in the late 15C by the Church Notre-Dame-de-la-Joie . The chapel offers a facade in cut stone having used the porphyroid granite of the Pontivy batholith. According to tradition, it is on this site that Saint Ivy established his oratory at the end of the 7C. The chapel was restored from 1984 to 1989.


Another monument emblematic of the history of the city of Pontivy is the Monument de la Fédération Bretonne Angevin. Located on the small park with a fountain. It was setup in 1896 here in honor of the volunteers of 1790 who fought for the French Republic  with the motto, « Ni Bretons, ni Angevins, mais Français. » or Not Breton, Not Angevins, but French. The official site of the association is here in French: The Federation 1790 on the monument.


La paysanne et le paysan de Pontivy are two granite statues of a peasant man and woman, both in dress of the Pontivy region. The statue of the man is also called “Le Mouton Blanc ” or white sheep. The woman has vegetables in her hands, installed on the pillars that end the basement walls of the terraces on boulevard d’Alsace-Lorraine, towards avenue Napoléon-Ier.

pontivy gare parking blve alsace lorraine apr13

The Square Lenglier is a small area inside the park of the St Joseph Imperial Church (see post) ,and here is a place for small concerts or big held by the city. It is a pretty park to relax after long walks in the city and well recommended in addition for the monument there, more of it later.


The city of Pontivy on its heritage

The metro area of Pontivy tourist office on things to do/see

The Bretagne region tourist office on Pontivy

There you go folks, another dandy town in my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne, Pontivy, imperial Napoleonville is worth the detour me think, Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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April 23, 2022

Always Quiberon!!!

I have written plenty of posts on this beautiful peninsula and main city of Quiberon. I was just back there yesterday to see how things are going before the full summer season starts, Well, it was packed early,,,folks are enjoying their new freedom and coming out in mass, The Presqu’île de Quiberon peninsula in my beautfiul Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Bretagne. Always a welcome opportunity to be here in heaven!

Once Summers hit the season the activities in Quiberon pops with a lovely beach and plenty of restos/bars along the coast. You go there from the expressway or voie express N165, and then continue on the D768. The time varies according to the season and the crowds but always about 45 minutes from home. It is our beach area town central since coming to live in this part of the world on May 30 , 2011 to start my new job on June 1st. Happily to tell you my last days on the job was February 28 2021, and into retirement, Sadly missing my other half, Memories forever at Quiberon !!!

Our routine has not change much over the years coming to Quiberon, We arrive at parking Varquez which is an extention of place Hoche (where the great Sat morning market is held) looking towards the Grande Plage or Big Beach! The parking is metered and we use it for convenience, however, a bit drive and a bit farther you can find free on street parking.

quiberon parking varquez to pl hoche apr22

We came for our favorite bar, L’ Esplanade Café but it was still closed, a bit late for the season ! So we decided to eat at a new resto in an old spot, Just by the end of Place Hoche before going to the beach ramp of the Grande Plage, there was La Cabana which we love, Sadly, it has closed for good, and in its place open Voglia, an Italian style resto, The place has a terrace on the Hoche square very nice, However, sadly our biggest disappointment yet , the service was uttely slow !! We waited 30 minutes without even ask for the meal ! By the time the waiter came, we needed to get back as no time to eat, We left without trying it and I don’t believe will ever go back there, They were unimpressed with us leaving as don’t care, As the competition here is strong, my feeling are if they do this on a regular basis they won’t last.

quiberon pl hoche by carrousel apr22


Of course, we could not leave without taking a peek of our favorite beach, the Grand Plage had activity already even if another favorite Fisher’s Club right on the sand was still closed, Normally the beach season starts on July 14 National Day but weather can be good from now on, Another favorite the Quai des Glaces for ice cream was closed as well as still not full Summer season and this is a beach town par excellence.

quiberon grande plage by fisher club apr22

The Grande Plage is always nice to see and be at, The Grande Plage ,900 meters of fine white sand! This beach, in the heart of the resort town of Quiberon, is accessible to all and has a parking for bicycles, a carpet and an armchair hipocampe for people with reduced mobility.

quiberon grande plage entrance apr22

Not to worry if crowded in Summer, the town of Quiberon has 11 beaches !!yes! and even on cool days like now it has plenty of family visitors with kids playing in the sands. These beaches are :Grande plage (the best),plage du Goviro, plage du Conguel, plage de la Jument, plage de l’Aérodrome, plage du Fort Neuf,  plage du Porigo, plage de Kermorvan, plage du Castéro, plage de la  Thalasso, and plage de Saint Julien.

quiberon grande plage on promenade apr22

The city of Quiberon on things to do/see :

My fav beach site, Plages TV on the beaches of Quiberon

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Quiberon :

There you go folks, another nice walk tour of my lovely Quiberon. Beach and town is a great combination here, especially in season but we come any time of the year and is great to walk it, Hope you enjoy the new post on marvelous Quiberon, and do see my many other posts on Quiberon. You can always let me know and have a drink lol !

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

April 23, 2022

Wines news of France XXI !!

And the days are getting hotter in my neck of the woods, Time to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Spring is in full swing, and looking forward to Summer already ! Time to plan work around the house and get it done by September , Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

In the vineyards, Muscat brings together between 150 and 200 different grape varieties. In the wine world, the most common is Muscat blanc à petits grains. It is also one of the oldest grapes grown for wine. In France, it is already cited under Charlemagne for the quality of its production. It originated in ancient Greece, where it is still used today for sweet wines, including the very popular Muscat of Samos. It is found in Germany from the 12C under the name of muskateller, but also in Italy, with the noscato of Asti, in Switzerland, in the Valais, and as far as Hungary. The Muscat of Alexandria is another famous variety. Spread by the Romans around the Mediterranean, it is found today as far away as Australia where it bears the affectionate diminutive “lexia”. In France, it is mainly used in blending, especially in Roussillon. In Spain, it is used to produce moscatell, in Portugal, moscatel de Setubal. And it is naturally found in Italy, especially on the islands of Sicily and Pantelleria, where it produces sweet straw wines (whose grapes dry on a straw mat). There is also Syrian muscat, Cypriot muscat and many others that are not very present in France. Muscat Ottonel, finally, is much more recent, created by a hybridization of Muscat and Chasselas in the mid-19C. Today, it is used in Alsace, in blends with Muscat à petits grains, to produce Muscat d’Alsace, a dry or sweet wine depending on the harvest date. Muscat represents seven natural sweet wine appellations in France: Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Saint-Jean-de-Minervois, Mireval (all in Languedoc), Muscat de Rivesaltes (in Roussillon), Beaumes-de-Venise (in the Rhône) and Cap Corse. So what do all Muscats have in common? They are generally sweet or syrupy wines, with low acidity, which can be recognized by their “muscate” aromas. Very intense, they would evoke musk, but are recognized above all by very characteristic scents of flowers and fresh or dried grapes, as close as possible to their original fruit.

Even if the time difference is unexpected, no less than thirty-six centuries separate, historically, the first written mentions of the word “wine” from the expression “rosé wine”! It was indeed from the 23rd century BC that the obscure Sumerian sovereign Ouru-Ga-Gina, king of Lagash, had a scribe write the word qualifying our favorite subject. However, it was not until the year 1300 that two scholars, the Dominican Jofroi from Waterford (probably Irish), and the Walloon Servais Copale, put down on paper, in old French, the first mention close to the expression “rosé wine”, The Church tries to reserve the darkest juices for the liturgy, in the name of the sacred principle of transubstantiation (the wine presented to the faithful should have, if possible, the ruby ​​color of the blood, that shed by Christ); until the 13C, Christianity in fact communicated under both species, bread and wine. The landscape changes when a shrewd merchant invents a more stable, deeper color, which constitutes the ancestor of the current red wine: it is the “new French claret” , formalized in Ho-Bryan (Château Haut-Brion) by a certain Arnaud de Pontac. The great vineyard of Argenteuil (near Paris) is credited with the invention of the expression via the rosaceous juices obtained then by the assembly of the meunier, meslier and morillon grape varieties. At the same time, the grammarian César-François Richelet made enter the expression into one of the very first dictionaries in the French language, Dictionnaire françois, containing words and things (1680) ! Voilà for rosés !!!

The Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of Bordeaux judges dry and sweet white wines to be exceptional. The red wines do not have the level of intensity and concentration of the three previous vintages, but there are great successes on both shores. Oenologists taste “exceptional” dry white wines. The cool summer maintained good acidity and preserved the aroma precursors. “The Sauvignon Blancs, in particular, are brilliant. Despite high levels of malic acid, they are ripe, with a chiseled profile and intense aromatic expression Semillons have sometimes suffered, on light soils, from a form of dilution, but on the best terroirs they are slender, tasty and fragrant. Meager in quantity, the harvest of sweet wines 2021 can however reach an amazing level of quality. As is often the case, the Merlots suffered more from the gloomy summer and the late stunting, particularly on the light soils. If they are fruity, correctly colored and supple, the large size of the berries, a singular characteristic of this year, is felt by a frequent lack of concentration in the middle of the mouth, Cabernet-francs from the right bank are considered very successful. The high pressure episode at the beginning of October made it possible to postpone their harvest and they took full advantage of it. “Perfumed and velvety, they play an important role in blends, Colourful, fresh and aromatic, Cabernet Sauvignon wines have serious tannic structure and good depth, especially on great gravelly terroirs. In response to frost, hail and phytosanitary damage, yields vary greatly from one cru to another, and even sometimes within a property. This is for harvest year 2021. webpage:

Michel Reybier on the one hand, the businessman, at the head, among other things, of the Domaine Cos d’Estournel, in Saint-Estèphe, the Jeeper champagne house, the La Réserve luxury hotels and activities related to the better living in Switzerland. On the other, former San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker aka “TP”. The second joins the first to relaunch the domain of La Mascaronne, a small wine gem, in Luc, in the Var and also to give a boost to Jeeper, the champagne housed in the purse of Michel Reybier. In 2014, Tony Parker became the majority shareholder and president of the Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne basketball club, then in 2017 of the Lyon Asvel women’s club. He acquires the company that manages the ski lifts of the Villard-de-Lans ski resort. It is found in the world of horse racing. He has a coaching activity for former sports professionals “because, five years after the end of their professional sports activity, 60% of them are on the street”. He creates an academy for 105 children in Angola, intends to invest in other African countries…Again, one more star in Provence, already loaded with the Brad Pitts, Kylie Minogue, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and other George Clooney run their properties as savvy entrepreneurs and shed global light on the southern vineyards. Michel Reybier knows Provence. “I have been living in Ramatuelle for forty years. The region is great, it has many more qualities than California’s Napa Valley and is at least as attractive as Tuscany. Great places have sprung up here and this is just the beginning.” webpage :

The Kylie Minogue cuvée from Château Sainte-Roseline has arrived, The Australian star unveils the new wine she signs with Château Sainte-Roseline, the Kylie Minogue cru classé cuvée, presented as “a great gastronomic rosé”. More info :

Jean-Louis Escudier is one of the world’s leading oenologists A long-time researcher at Inrae and an expert at the OIV, this oenologist became famous in China with his book From oenology to viticulture. The Chinese went faster. In the Chinese Napa Valley, in Yantai, Escudier is received like a Nobel Prize. The first edition of his book, co-authored with ecophysiologist Alain Carbonneau, received a resounding 1st prize there. Precisely, the two friends publish in March an updated edition of their opus. The book, soon to be translated into Chinese, takes stock of the latest innovations in viticulture and oenology…His book showing at FNAC :

The Champagne house Nicolas Feuillatte will present Collection Organic, its first organic cuvée in its Parisian setting. From April 25 to 30, the Parisian boutique Nicolas Feuillatte 254 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré will be changing green, offering a decor and an immersive experience. Webpage :

The cross of Charlemagne, emblem of the hill of Corton and of the entire Côte de Beaune. The building had been smashed by a very ill-inspired sportsman…He received a mission from heaven and did not shirk: Louis-Fabrice Latour swore to raise the Cross of Charlemagne on the hill of Corton. In its exact place, under the grand cru Languettes, facing Beaune. And on May 5, 2022 , he will keep his word. There is something sacred in there: the Hospices de Beaune had offered it to the town of Aloxe in 1943. Which has since sold it to the house of Louis Latour, the first owner of Corton. Challenged by passers-by in Beaune, Louis-Fabrice Latour never hesitated. He mobilized the best craftsmen to restore the beloved cross. With a will to raise the monument before the summer, in the presence of all the winegrowers. Great sight !! Maison Louis Latour webpage:

As the demand for white wines is on a gentle slope up, the Luberon has chosen to bet more on color with a palette of grape varieties and a fresh and saline style. Whites already represent 23% of volumes (10% on average in the Rhône Valley), a relatively stable figure, but benefiting from a potential of around 30%. The Luberon would like to achieve this in the medium term with new plantations but also by recovering some of the white grape varieties used in rosés, in particular Rolle. The AOP, which extends over 36 towns in the south of Vaucluse, has many white grape varieties, those coming from the northern Rhône valley such as Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier, rather in decline, those from the southern Rhône, grenache blanc (more than a third of the appellation) and Clairette (10%), the Provencal Rolle (27%) and Ugni blanc (18%) but also Bourboulenc , Found always some nice white whites here of good price/quality ratio. The Luberon wines webpage:

Let me tell you a bit of a story as this property was found in the Vannes wines fair of the last two years held (except the virus year), The Château Tour Birol , great timing as just got it delivered this afternoon April 22nd my batch of purchases of the Les Remparts de Birol and the Hommage aux Roy, all malbec grape base and superbe !! Now on the property ! Damien and Anaïs, son and daughter of a line of winegrowers, passion in the soul of this profession, diplomas in viticulture and oenology in hand, respective professional experiences have made them become young winegrowers through the acquisition family of Château TOUR BIROL, a 12-hectare wine estate in the heart of the Côtes de Bourg appellation, 45 km north of Bordeaux, which benefits from a privileged exposure on the southern slopes of the AOC. From their know-how and terroir was born a very varied range of wine, favoring the selection of plots, in order to obtain quality wines. One of the characteristics of the estate is before “the” Côtes de Bourg grape variety “Malbec”. The wines will combine pleasure, festivity and elegance that will seduce both ladies and gentlemen. Chateau Tour Birol, EARL Labiche Courjaud 4 Passage de la Jaugue, Birol, 33710 Samonac , Today, the estate covers 35 hectares of privileged land with the original property was built in 1850 by a Bordeaux archbishop who came to take refuge in Samonac to flee the French revolution. As soon as they arrived, the monks identified a particularly favorable location for the vines and planted vines to produce their wine. The town of Samonac on the Tour Birol castle:

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

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