Archive for January, 2023

January 31, 2023

Saint Gildas de Rhuys and its beaches !!!

I have come and enjoy this town several times with many posts ,however, nothing on the beaches !! I found me new older pictures and would like to tell you more about them, This is Saint Gildas de Rhuys in my beautiful Morbihan (Breton language for small sea as French would be petite mer), and my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. It never cease to amazed me the wonders of my Morbihan. Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys is on the Presqu’ïle de Rhuys peninsula. Its coasts open onto a part of the Atlantic Ocean called Mor Braz (sea from the Gulf of Morbihan to the Atlantic Ocean), but also on the Gulf of Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The best beach at St Gildas for the wild look at it and nice dunes is  plage du Goh Vélin beach , this a vast beachfront wild with nice rocks and the impressive Pointe du Grand Mont rocky overlook nice above it. For the rocky mount Grand Mont is a medium effort walkers route all bordering the beaches and also a bit inland into the marshes.


The Plage du Goh Vélin is a fine sandy beach of 1, 3 km. Behind the dunes, you will find the magnificent beach with a direct view of the bay of Quiberon and its islands. Practical: 3 car parks are equipped to accommodate vehicles: – Abraham Bay road car park (picnic tables, children’s play area, Le Vert d’O bar-restaurant) – Car park at the bottom of the Sables (access to lifeguard station, seahorse chair) – Parking route du Rohu (access to sailing school). In summer, public toilets are installed on the 3 accesses. Swimming supervised in July-August. Pets not allowed.



My fav beach site plages tv on the Goh Vélin beach

Another better beach we like around this area is the Kerver beach or plage de Kerver.  This beach goes into the city limits of Arzon and Port du Crousty as well. It is very expansive white sand beach with plenty of water sports available and snacks beach hut across it. Simply a great family beach and safe waters too; highly recommended.

st Gildas de Rhuys plage de kerver aug11

The plage de Kerver beach is the largest beach in Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys and extends to the town of Arzon – Port du Crouesty – Port Navalo. Practical: On Saint-Gildas, there are 3 main accesses: – Bois du Kerver – Municipal campsite of Kerver (entrance side) – Municipal campsite of Kerver (side of the motorhome parking area). Pets not allowed



My fav beach site plages tv on the Kerver beach :

The Port Aux Moines , formerly a natural shelter in a rock fault used by the monks of the abbey,  Note in winter the port is empty of boats all in protected garages.  


The Port aux Moines still exists within the current port. It was inaugurated on August 15, 1965. Its capacity is 117 boats. Pitches are rented by the month or year. The majority of its users are recreational anglers. Waiting times vary depending on the places freed up, the length and the type of boat. The number of sailboats tends to decrease each year in favor of motor boats. The office is open every day from April 15 to October 15, except Thursdays. The opening hours depend on the tides.


The dolmen of Port-aux-Moines located by Rue Pierre Messmer, is a megalith located at the Pointe de Men-Maria, just west of the Port-aux-Moines. The dolmen is made up of half a dozen orthostats covered by a single capstone. This slab is approximately 3.5 meters long, 1.7 meters wide and 80 cm thick. Nearby, lie several stones that could be elements, some of which were used in the construction of the enclosure. Nothing remains of the original corridor of this dolmen.   By the Pointe de Men-Maria  you have a  rocky projection making it possible to protect the boats from the swell Between these two ports (Men Maria and Aux Moines); there  is a cross, in memory of the missing sailors.


The city of Saint Gildas de Rhuys on its beaches:

The city of Saint Gildas de Rhuys on the Port aux Moines:

The Gulf Morbihan tourist office on Saint Gildas de Rhuys

This is a great natural area along the coast with great big cliffs overlooking the ocean and nice places to unwind with the whole family. Beautiful natural beaches indeed as the two above, You will have a great time on the Saint Gildas de Rhuys beaches, Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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January 31, 2023

More of the Saint Gildas de Rhuys Abbey !!!

I am again back to tell you more of the Saint Gildas de Rhuys Abbey in the Presqu’ïle de Rhuys peninsula in my beautiful Morbihan and my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France. A wholesome package of beauty and unbelievable history and sights. The best way to get here is by car along the N165 expressway Brest -Nantes and get off from Vannes at exit Sarzeau follow it on the D780 road until the roundabout for direction Saint Gildas de Rhuys on the D198. Each town has its marvels, gems of our history and architecturally stunning. This is the case of the marvelous Abbey Church of Saint Gildas . I found me some pictures in my vault that should be in my blog, therefore, time to tell you more of it. Hope you enjoy the post as I.



The present Saint Gildas de Rhuys Abbey  still preserves beautiful elements of the Romanesque Abbey  such as the Choir, north transept, 32 capitals with geometric decorations and several tombs. The monumental altarpiece of the south cross brace dates from the first third of the 17C. By their sobriety, the nave and the crossroads of neo-classical transept harmonize well with the surviving Romanesque parts.  



This former Benedictine abbey, built on the Rhuys peninsula, faces the Atlantic Ocean. Today integrated into the village, the monastery was near a large forest that covered the entire peninsula in the Middle Ages. Ancient writings attribute the founding of the first monastery to the 6C. The abbey would then have been founded by Saint Gildas, a monk from Scotland, in 536. The beginnings of the monastery are actually known to us through historical facts dating back to the Norman invasions of the 10C.



The Saint Gildas Abbey was sold as national property in 1796 during the French revolution, and in 1804 the town obtained the right to buy back the church which had then become parish. In 1825 the monastery was bought by Mrs. Molé de Champlâtreux who installed the nuns of the Congregation of Charity of Saint-Louis there, The Church Abbey of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys, has a Latin cross plan consisting of a nave of four bays bordered by narrow side aisles preceded by a facade with a bell tower decorated with classical pilasters and pediment. All this part preceding the crossing of the transept is modern since completely rebuilt at the end of the 17C after the fall of the crossing tower in 1668.



The treasury of the Saint Gildas Abbey, considered one of the most remarkable in Brittany, consists of works from the 14C to the 18C. During the French revolution it would have been hidden in the attics of the surrounding houses. Composed essentially of two hunts and four morphological reliquaries, as well as various objects of worship: chalices, quarter panel, reliquary cross, etc The treasure of the Abbey, saved during the French revolution by the Rector Le Duin, whose tomb is still in the cemetery of Saint Gildas.

Discover, under the Roman vaults, the more than a thousand-year-old   and mysterious history of one of the most prestigious abbeys in Brittany and its famous characters: Saint Gildas, Saint Félix, Saint Goustan, Abélard, the Dukes of Brittany. The precious goldsmith’s treasure still contains relics. To discover it is to embark on an extraordinary journey through time. Awesome ,recommended to see them, Some must sees me think are : .

Saint Gildas, founder of the abbey of Rhuys, died in 565 and was buried behind the main altar of the church piping on the sides. A beautiful white stone statue is standing near the tomb; it represents Saint Gildas with his bare head, his eyes raised to heaven, and holding a pastoral staff in his hand,


Saint Félix, restorer of the abbey of Rhuys, died on February 12, 1038, and was buried in the north transept of his church, under a curved arcade, on the side of the altar. His tombstone, in granite, cut in the shape of a shrine, offers the design of a pattée cross, in relief, with some ribs, and an inscription in Roman capitals.

Saint Goustan, simple lay brother of the house and companion of Saint Felix, died on November 27 around the year 1040 on a trip to Beauvoir in Poitou. His body was brought back to Rhuys and buried in the north transept, opposite his master. stone coffin, which still contains some of his relics. Its dimensions are indicated there; as a particularity it should be noted the dug cubicle fear to receive the head. As it was broken, it was replaced in 1896 by another lid from the 11C, which remained unused. It features a cross pattée, with ribs and two spoked circles.

Saint Gingurien, another lay brother of the monastery, died on September 28, we do not know in what year, but certainly before Saint Felix. He was buried in the apse chapel, where a relatively modern stone bears some simple words in Latin,

Saint Bieuzy, the disciple of the founder, was buried in the vicinity; but the primitive church having been ruined by the Normans in 919, his tomb was not found by the monks of Saint Felix, and even today the precise place of his burial is absolutely unknown.

Saint Ehoarn was living alone in a cell near the abbey church, when one night he was attacked by brigands and killed with an axe. It is probable that he was buried in the church, but today there is no trace of his tomb.

Nearby, under the second arcade, is the sepulchral stone of the monk Rioc; it has the same dimensions as the previous one, bears a cross pattée in relief, with a few straight lines, and presents an inscription, This monk was not abbot, but simply prior; it was by honor that he was given the first title. There is probably a stone coffin under this lid, as under the previous one. Another monk from Rhuys, named Simon, died in his prime, and was buried outside the north transept, between the apsidiole and the choir.

Four children of the Duke of Brittany Jean I and Blanche de Champagne, who died at Sucinio, were buried side by side in the choir of the Saint-Gildas Church. Their funerary slabs, adorned with their image in a single line, and framed in an intaglio inscription, have been worn under the feet of passers-by. You have here ,Thibaud I of Brittany represented standing, hands joined , We then have Aliénor de Bretagne, born and died in 1248 , Then comes Thibaud II, born in 1247 and died in 1251, We finally have Nicolas de Bretagne, born in 1249 and died in 1251 in his third year. Intended for the ecclesiastical state, he wears the costume, and his epitaph is in Latin

The Saint Gildas Abbey’s reception center is open all year round to accommodate individual stays, groups, training courses and spiritual retreats. At your disposal, 80 rooms for a capacity of 140 people. For today’s tourist, Saint-Gildas de Rhuys is a charming and busy summer resort on the south coast of Brittany, very close to the Gulf of Morbihan. By the sea, alternate high granite cliffs, small sunny beaches, coves sheltering small ports like le port aux moines or monks port are sublime, nice trip there for sure.

The official Abbey Church of Saint Gildas

The Friends of the Abbey Church of Saint Gildas

The city of Saint Gildas de Rhuys and its heritage:

There you go folks, indeed I believe my beautiful Morbihan and my lovely Bretagne has an endless amount of things to see and do and this just one region of my belle France where I live for the last 9 plus years of my life. Hope you enjoy the post on the Abbey Church of Saint Gildas as we have and share the enthusiasm and awesome experience with you.

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

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January 31, 2023

The Notre-Dame Church of Billio !

I bring you back to quant off the beaten path Billio in my beautiful Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France.  Billio is a small territory, limited to the north by Guéhenno, to the west by Saint-Jean-Brévelay, to the south by Plumelec, and to the east by Cruguel. The city center is only 7 km from Saint-Jean-Brévelay, 24 from Ploërmel, and 28 from Vannes.I like to show you new text and pictures on the Church Notre Dame of Billio ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Billio Ch Notre Dame clock front jan23

The parish of Billio would be of monastic origin. Its first name being Monstoer which became Mouster-Biliou, then Billio in homage to Bili, the bishop of Vannes killed by the Normans in the 10C. Independent in 1422, it was then united with that of Cruguel and remained so until the French revolution. Erected as a town in 1790, it became independent again in 1802.

Billio Ch Notre Dame side left jan23

It was probably in the middle of the 16C that a first church was erected since a sculpted stone from a previous church bears the date of 1553. This one was dedicated to Saint-Corentin, the bishop of Quimper and one of the 7 holy founders of Brittany in the 5C.

Billio Ch Notre Dame belltower entr jan23

The Notre-Dame Church  built from 1471-1860. This church was erected to replace an ancient church dedicated to Saint Corentin and whose structure was decorated in the 17C. From this old church, there remains a carved stone giving the date of 1553. The oldest parts date from 1471. The present Church is built in 1860. The stained glass of the Virgin, dates from the 20C  representing  the Virgin surrounded by little angels. One can admire a chalice in vermeil from the 18C  to the arms of the family of Lantivy, and two processional crosses, of the 18C also, one of them in silver. The square tower, built in granite, stands out slightly in front of the two side chapels. In its hemicycle, the choir retains the stalls and high woodwork placed in 1872. At the entrance, we notice a granite font which does not lack elegance.

Billio Ch Notre Dame back jan23

When you enter the Notre Dame Church, you notice its beautiful proportions and the pretty light that bathes the whole. This is due to the three magnificent stained glass windows in the choir. These were made by the master glassmaker Bonneville when he was a refugee in Rieux between 1939 and 1945.  They represent, from left to right, Joseph, the Virgin surrounded by cherubs and Saint Anne. The stained glass windows of the side chapels represent the appearance of Lourdes to the north and the appearance of the Sacred Choir to the south. The current configuration of the church results from the arrangements of 1961 and 1971. Gradually decorated, the whole has some beautiful objects such as the two altars or the granite stoup near the entrance. Note also some beautiful statues including Notre-Dame de la Salette which protects the church and which is above the entrance.

The town of Billio on its Notre Dame Church

Pretty pond behind the Notre Dame Church of Billio!

Billio pond garden behind Ch Notre Dame jan23

There you go folks, another wonderful ride thru the nice off the beaten paths little towns of my beautiful Morbihan. Bear with me and you too can have an unique visit to unique places on the off the beaten path trails such as nice Church of Notre Dame of Billio, Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

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January 30, 2023

The Church of Saint Nicodème of Quily/Val d’Oust !

And we go on, on an endless tour of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the lovley region of Bretagne in my belle France. The views,sights are indeed endless here and I am doing my best to introduce you to the off the beaten paths of my Brittany. Let me bring you back with new text and pictures on a new visit to quant small Quily ,and its Church of Saint Nicodéme ! To note this town is now under the Val d’Oust name since 2016, Hope you enjoy it as I.

Quily Ch Saint Nicodéme front jan23

The main thing to see in Quily is the Church of Saint Nicodéme. It was built in 1689, is in the architectural style known as the “Latin cross”, in a pseudo classical style , and the 16C cemetery. The church houses altars dedicated to Saint Anne and the Virgin Mary. Under the southern porch is a chest with sculpted panels from the 16C. The Church was originally built as the Church of Notre Dame des Neiges (our lady of snow). Since 1802 the name is that of Saint Nicodéme.

Quily Ch Saint Nicodéme side entr jan23

This was an anclosed parish. The main entrance gate into the cemetery was once permanently closed. One entered by this door only for the baptisms, the marriages and the burials. This door is located in the cardinal point where the sun sets, symbol of the night, darkness, death. The ordinary passage is made by stepping over the stile stone. The current wall is a very simple gable wall, a construction derived from 16C belfry walls. The rampants are interrupted by the bell tower ending at the 4 corners with animal heads. The southern rampant carries in the thickness of the wall stair steps for access to the bells. The many crossettes of the rampants represent dragons, monkeys, dogs, lions, chimeras, etc. The nave contains several statues including a Pieta, a Trinity and a Saint Derrian. The lectern features a child’s head with a deformed face.

Quily Ch Saint Nicodéme back jan23

The new city of Val d’Oust on its heritage includes the above church

There you go folks, again on the beaten path town of Quily and the quant Church of Saint Nicodéme ! Again hope you have enjoyed the new post as I

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

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January 30, 2023

The Canal Nantes to Brest at Val d’Oust !!

The new town of Val d’Oust  since 2016 and formerly Le Roc Saint André from 1951  was the town where one of my boys worked and has a wonderful brewery reasons to visit a few times, However, I came back to it for the memories and to bring you more of its wonderful Canal Nantes to BrestThis post is new text and new pictures. Hope you enjoy the post as I.


The Canal Nantes-Brest is a small gauge canal that links the cities of Nantes and Brest and follows the Erdre, Isac, Oust and Blavet valleys (which it joins at Pontivy) , Doré, Kergoat, Hyères and Aulne; these rivers are connected by three junction canals crossing water divides. The Canal Nantes-Brest is dotted with 238 locks, 17 of which are submerged by the Guerlédan dam .The canal is long of 360 km with 236 locks (not done them all!) linking four rivers , the Loire, Vilaine, Aulne and Blavet, Also helps linking 8 rivers such as the Erdre, Oust, Blavet, etc, It ends at 184 meters below the sea level. Below pic from the Church Saint André (see post)


The towpath of the Nantes to Brest canal is a royal road that offers kilometers of walks in peace and safety, for those who dream of discovering at their own pace and effortlessly, by bike, on foot or on horseback all of inland Brittany. Through locks, bridges and other weirs, the Nantes to Brest canal offers a diversity of water landscapes, wild or tamed nature, exceptional works of art… In the town of Val d’Oust, there are two locks: that of Ville aux Figlins at Roc Saint André and that of Blon at Quily.

Val d'Oust canal nantes brest river oust back of church jan23

Val d'Oust canal Nantes Brest river oust to club jan23

The new town of Val d’Oust on the Canal Nantes to Brest:

The Canals of Brittany on the Canal Nantes to Brest :

There you go folks ,some more interesting trips off the beaten path in my beautiful Morbihan.  Again ,hope you enjoy the new post with new pictures of the Canal Nantes to Brest now in the new town of Val d’Oust as I

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

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January 30, 2023

The Church of Saint André of Val d’Oust !

The new town of Val d’Oust  since 2016 and formerly Le Roc Saint André from 1951  was the town where one of my boys worked and has a wonderful brewery reasons to visit a few times, However, I came back to it for the memories and to bring you more of its wonderful Church of Saint André. This post is new text and new pictures. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Val d'Oust Ch Saint André front jan23

At the origin of the village had a simple Chapel ,the Chapel of Rotz  which becomes in 1608  the Chapel of the Roc  and at the French revolution, Pont du Roc. First erected as a town in 1790 and in parish in 1802 , the town takes in 1951 its current name of Le Roc-Saint-André, and last became, on 1 January 2016, a common delegate of the new town of Val-d’Oust. It merges with the towns of La Chapelle-Caro and Quily within the new municipality of Val-d’Oust. (see their posts).

Val d'Oust Ch Saint André altar jan23

Val d'Oust Ch Saint André nave to altar jan23

The Church of Saint André was first a trevial church built in 1608, in the ogival style and, having become dilapidated, was razed in 1901 ,thenwas rebuilt between 1901 and 1903. The church adopted a one-vessel Latin cross plan with a steeple 35 meters high, The neo-Gothic Church of Roc Saint-André is part of the great movement of reconstruction of churches that marked the 19C. The vast bays with flamboyant fenestrations, concentrated on the south facade, bring a very great luminosity to the interior of the church. To the west, the Cornish-inspired bell tower is flanked by a staircase turret and bears a granite masonry spire

The oils on canvas of Lhermitais date from the 18C, and come from the abbey of Roga (Saint-Congard), destroyed during the French revolution. The side altars are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and the Sacred Heart. A statue of Saint  Andrew, the patron of the parish, appears on the façade dominating the Canal Nantes Brest on the Oust river.

Val d'Oust Ch Saint André chapel ste Anne side right jan23

Val d'Oust Ch Saint André arriving back statue St André jan23

The new town of Val d’Oust on its heritage:

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on Val d’Oust St Andrew’s Church:

There you go folks , some more interesting trips off the beaten path in my beautiful Morbihan.  Again ,hope you enjoy the new post with new pictures of the Church Saint André now in the new town of Val d’Oust as I

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

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January 29, 2023

Wines news of France XLII !!

Well, we are fully in Winter, we are now 4C or about 39F clear skies in my neck of the woods. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wines news of France. By the way for the non Romans XLII is no 42, First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers since November 26 2010 of my blog! 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 you some news shall we. Hope you enjoy it as I.

How do you know if a wine is good to drink? The five signs that should alert you , A smell of dust or the “taste of cork” , A strange color; Yellow or even orange for a white wine, dull or brown for a red wine, An abnormal level in the bottle ,Unusual smells, The appearance of the cork, Check it out always.

What wines should be used in cooking? Good wine, good sauce, as the saying goes in my belle France. And its corollary: bad wine, bad sauce. White for fish and white meats, red for red meats light red in cooking freshwater fish, dry white wine in beef mode. The rosé will reveal itself in a sauce closer to a red than a white, while the orange wine, which is a white wine vinified like a red, will associate the finesse of the first with the tannins of the second and is halfway between path between one and the other , As for sparkling wines like Champagne, if their bubbles disappear during cooking, they will lighten the texture of a sauce emulsified over low heat. In addition to its color, three criteria should guide your choice of wine : its tannin content (which will structure the sauce), its sugar level (which will determine its sweetness and smoothness) and its acidity (the main raison d’être of wine in the kitchen). Sweet, syrupy or fortified wines are superb last minute additions. Jerez, yellow wine from Jura, pearl wine from Gaillac, give dishes a smoky and elegant touch that makes them irresistible. It all depends on the ingredients, the recipe and the type of cooking. Wine in the kitchen is also a matter of timing. The stage at which it is used makes all the difference in marinade, at the start or during cooking, or as a final touch. It is better to avoid prolonged marinating for red meat, or even simply add wine at the start of cooking , A long marinade will be more suitable for large game, wild boar or deer. There is also a lot to be said for the wine added at the last moment, because the alcohol, not eliminated by the heat, invites itself into the resulting flavor. Kitchen tips indeed !

Questions to ask the vineyard/winery during your visit : On the vines : As you stroll through them, you may ask: What is the area of the estate? What grape varieties are grown? What are the yields per hectare? How many pickers come each year to help with the harvest? What is the planting density? What is soil type?, On the cellars : Do not forget to ask there: What is the capacity of the vats? Are there any inputs during vinification? How to control the alcohol content of wine during vinification? How many barrels are there? Are they oak barrels? stainless steel? For how many months does this cuvée remain in barrel? What impact does the stainless steel barrel/tank have on the wines? And at the tasting? On the cellar Whether you are an amateur or an expert in the art of tasting, ask: Which cuvée is most influenced by the terroir? (soils, climates, etc.) Which is your favorite and why? By asking these questions, you will be unbeatable on the vineyard and on what the winemaker does during his days. Beyond your knowledge of the subject, these questions will also show the winemaker that you have a real interest in his world: the guarantee of a successful visit! Indeed tested for many many years all over the world, Enjoy the visits !

For the past fifteen years, signals have shown a profound change in wine consumption in France and the latest figures reinforce this development facing the wine regions. All indicate the same drop in wine sales in 2022, and therefore, a drop in wine consumption in France. The latest comes from data from IRI World Wide, the company specializing in the analysis of market data recorded on December 4, 2022, which confirms a 6% drop in the volumes of still wines, all categories combined, in retail and a 4.91% drop in turnover. Red wines are the most penalized (-9.7% in volume and -3.2% in value), and rosés are doing the best (-1% in volume and 3.6% in value). In detail, AOP wines are particularly affected, with a drop of 7.2% in volume and -4.7% in value. And if we compare this study with the sales statistics published regularly for fifteen years, we see that the phenomenon is not new, contrary to what the sector suggests, which suddenly seems surprised by this phenomenon of consumption. Not surprise here after all the propaganda to drink less because is bad for you nonsense, wine has shown to be beneficial in health in many studies, Of course, in moderation and with a meal as we do at home every day !

Like raclette, fondue is an essential winter dish that brings its share of comfort after a day spent on the ski slopes! Originally from Switzerland, this dish consists simply of dipping bread in melted cheese mixed with white wine. However, the fondue is not limited to the only preparation based on cheese. This dish also offers a meat version, called Burgundy fondue. For the greediest, it is also possible to dip some fresh fruit in a delicious creamy chocolate! The best match are white wines from Savoie such as Roussette which has a tension with notes of white-fleshed fruit. For red wines, it is the traditional Mondeuse, emblematic grape variety of Savoie. It is a fresh and light red wine that offers a slightly spicy bouquet on the finish. For a Savoyard fondue, we can stick to the regional pairing with Roussette de Savoie which has enough freshness to balance the very creamy and rich side of the melted cheese, Yes, charcuterie can modify the food and wine pairing In this case, a fresh and delicate red wine can match the fondue like the Chinon, a supple and light Cabernet Franc with notes of crunchy fruits that will perfectly accompany charcuterie without taking over the melted cheese. For the Burgundy fondue, a plethora of red wines are possible. Beef goes perfectly with red Burgundy wines ,also red wines from the Rhône Valley also made from Syrah , Chocolate fondues are often paired with fruit. In the case of a dark chocolate fondue, it is necessary to take into account the families of fruits and the bitterness of the dark chocolate. Most often, these are citrus fruits and red fruits that have enough acidity to pair with wines. This goes wonderfully with sweet natural red wines made from Grenache such as Maury or Rivesaltes for example, We do both raclette and fondue at home nowdays every week at home !

The businessman Stéphane Courbit (LOV Groupe), as well as his associates, the Nicolas Sarkozy-Carla Bruni couple and the Bordeaux Prats family, have just bought Villa Beaulieu to the west of Aix-en-Provence ( Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation) Château Beaulieu in the Bouches du Rhône and the Cantarelle estate in the Var, north-east of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (Coteaux Varois appellation). Mr. Courbit (majority) and his associates in Provence where they already exploit the Château Estoublon (around Fontvieille, in the valley of Les Baux-de-Provence) to produce wine in AOP Les-Beaux-de-Provence and Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, an olive oil of excellence and developing a luxury hotel industry. The worldwide success of rosé wine from Provence and the tremendous tourist potential of this region open to the Mediterranean attract many wealthy investors. In recent years, the LVMH group (Château du Galoupet, Château d’Esclans), the Pernod-Ricard group (Château Sainte-Marguerite), the Wertheimers (Domaine de l’Île and Domaine Perzinsky in Porquerolles), several film personalities such Brad Pitt (château Miraval) and Georges Lucas (château Margüi), the former president of Medef Pierre Gattaz (château de Sannes) have acquired wine properties in the region, Glitz and wine pairs well,Know more about the LOV Groupe :

In the heart of Reims, the Villa Demoiselle is a particularly successful blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Acquired in 2004 by the Vranken house, and renovated by the best craftsmen, this former private mansion is an opportunity to discover French excellence and Champagne know-how. It is also an exceptional setting in which to savor classic cuvées and exceptional vintage cuvées from one of the most important wine-growing players in Champagne, the Vranken Pommery Monopole group, which produces the brands Pommery, Charles Laffite and Heidsieck & Cie Monopole, among others. Stay and enjoy with the best, Webpage :

The return to school/work really the re-entrée! in September announces a new edition of the Médoc marathon. Considered the longest marathon in the world, this event brings together several thousand runners from all over the world each year. The 32nd edition calls on the imagination of competitors for a race that already promises to be historic and legendary. Dressed in their finest outfits, participants will cross the vineyards of the famous Pauillac, Médoc, Haut-Médoc and even Saint-Estèphe appellations. Around the race, many activities will be organized by mixing conviviality, celebration but also sport and health: medical-sports conference, evenings in the heart of the castles, tastings of regional specialties and many other surprises! Now now I do not do the marathon but visited along the route indeed superbe !! Official webpage :

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. Stay warm and see you in the vineyards of France

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

January 29, 2023

Wines news of Spain VI

We are fully in Winter 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain VI !!

And we arrive at Madrid Fusión, The Wine Edition 2023 kicked off this past Monday with an opening day that gives clues to the most relevant topics and trends on the scene. The Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros has led a talk about the territories to be explored in our country; exploration in the broadest sense has been addressed, including the recovery of historic areas such as Betanzos, the study of the best acclimatized native varieties, or the wines of origin over those of style. Copa Jerez international competition in search of the perfect pairing with Sherry wines, in which seven countries participate. The finalists for the selection of the Spanish candidate have been the Ambivium, Atrio, Casa Marcial and Slow&Low restaurants ,The winners have been the tandem formed by Laura Rodriguez and Cristobal Muñoz from the Ambivium restaurant in Peñafiel, They will be the representatives of our country in the international final that will be held on October 3 and 4 in Jerez. In the tasting room, the Tenerife wines have been used for a walk through the six denominations of origin that occur on the island , To conclude, there has been a review of the sixty-year history of the Jean Léon winery, with a selection of vintages from the winery founded by the brilliant visionary Webpage:

On the last day of the congress, Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition 2023 and Spanish Wine Academy awarded the III Juli Soler Future and Talent Award from the World of Wine to young people with the greatest projection in the different fields of the sector. This award, promoted by Ramón Bilbao through the Spanish Wine Academy and delivered by Rita Soler, daughter of Juli Soler, aims to discover the new generation of wine professionals. The five winners this year have been: Sara González (vine grower and winemaker at Bodegas Margón, León), Tomás Ucha Altamirano (head sommelier at Berria Wine Bar, Madrid), Pol Contreras (pastry chef at El Portal de Echaurren restaurant, La Rioja ), Rocío Benito (sommelier at Jaleo restaurant, Dubai) and Frederic Oliva (sommelier at Enigma restaurant, Barcelona). Webpage : see above

The gastronomic tourism association Saborea España (Taste Spain) has spent a decade bringing out the flavors of the main destinations in Spain. It is the first national platform that works to promote gastronomic heritage as a tourist attraction and already brings together 25 routes: A Coruña, Badajoz, Cambrils , Ciudad Real, Cullera, Dénia, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote, León, Logroño, Madrid, Mallorca, Oviedo, Pamplona, Segovia, Seville, Talavera de la Reina, Tenerife, Tudela, Valencia, Valladolid, Vinaròs and Zaragoza . The Canary Islands, with four destinations (Fuerteventura, La Palma Lanzarote and Tenerife), is the autonomous community with the greatest representation, followed by Castilla y León (Segovia, León and Valladolid) and the Valencian Community (Cullera, Dénia and Valencia), Saborea España from which is part of the Association of Gastronomic Destinations, It is made up of the Spanish Hospitality Federation (FEHR), the Spanish Association of Destinations for the Promotion of Gastronomic Tourism, the European Chef Organization (Euro-Toques), the Federation of Associations of Chefs and Pastry Chefs of Spain (FACYRE) and Paradores de Turismo. Webpage :

Wine consumption in Spain has fallen to 9.64 million hectoliters, 7.2%, in the interannual period to November 2022, according to information provided by INFOVI (Market Information System for the Wine Sector ). The TAM (acronym in English for the size of the market) already showed a slight fall of 0.4% in October, which worsened at the end of a very negative month of November, according to the Spanish Wine Market Observatory. Of course, still reeling from the covid and wars etc, As steady as it goes it should improve this year 2023.

The X Feroz Awards toast with Ribera del Duero, which continues to celebrate its 40th anniversary at this festival of cinema and series that celebrates its tenth edition in Zaragoza this past Saturday, January 28 2023. The Ribera Spirit will flood every moment of the Feroz Awards . Guests will receive a special gift before walking down the red carpet, a unique edition personalized bottle of Ribera del Duero that pays homage to their artistic facets. A particular award that will be given to all the professionals nominated in the 20 different categories, who attend the gala as guests, and to Pedro Almodóvar, recognized for his entire career. All of them will also receive a special gift courtesy of the Bodegas of Briego, Fuentespina, Briones Abad, Yllera, Ismael Arroyo, Nabal, Resalte, Valdubón, Alílian, Bardos, Tamaral, Tierra Aranda, Carrasvilla, Finca Villacreces, Vegaclara, Viña Mambrilla, Viña Mayor and Figueroa. You can also enjoy the suggestive Ribera del Duero proposal during the pre-gala cocktail, in the wine bar that will be set up for the occasion. The Bodegas Avelino Vegas, Milvus, Yllera, Nabal, Resalte, Valdubón, Alílian, Bardos, Tamaral, Fuentespina, Carrasvilla, Viña Mayor, Finca Villacreces, Sociedad Vitivinícola Villalba , Vegaclara, Figuero, Arzuaga, Briones Abad, and Neo wineries.Hola magazine with the winners webpage :

From June 5 to 9, the 44th edition of the World Congress of Vine and Wine and the 21st General Assembly of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) will be held in Jerez de la Frontera (province of Cádiz). More info webpage :

These are the best Spanish wines according to the 37th Gourmet Wine Guide 2022: I am only telling you my favorites because the list is long, highlighted tops ! Cappuccino Palo Cortado VORS (Osborne) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry; Dalmau 2017 (Marqués de Murrieta) DOCa Rioja; Don PX Convent Selection 1958 (Bodegas Toro Albalá) DO Montilla-Moriles; Noé VORS (Bodega González Byass) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Pingus 2018 (Dominio de Pingus) DO Ribera del Duero, Tío Pepe Cuatro Palmas (Bodega González Byass Jerez) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Vega Sicilia Único 2012 (Bodegas Vega Sicily) DO Ribera del Duero.

The Ribera del Duero DO, forty years of a denomination with the name of a river, In 1982, forty years ago, Spain became modern and I was at the Soccer World Cup in Madrid! The movement began in 1976 on the anniversary of the Santa Eulalia cooperative in La Horra, In 1980 a provisional Regulatory Council was formed in Aranda to create a first regulation. Those who founded this were a true family ; only five wineries, in addition to the cooperatives, which were the ones who had the strength as they produced 85% of the wine in the area at that time , and, without them, the Denomination could hardly have been created. The ‘château’ of Aranda was where the first provisional Regulatory Council met in this city especially, Torremilanos, The winery occupies a building next to the four-star hotel, a large building from whose windows part of the 200-hectare vineyard can be seen , and it seems as if moved to a Castilian Médoc The first Ribera ,before the D.O. only included terroirs in Burgos and struggled to extend the line of the Duero to Protos and Vega Sicilia, in Valladolid. In fact, the Denomination includes grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot precisely for this reason, From those early years, in which they entered the D.O. some reference brands: Alejandro Fernández with his Tinto Pesquera,(family carries on) which did very well positioning itself in the Anglo-Saxon market, Vega Sicilia and Protos. The creation of the D.O. has been the salvation of these peoples. If it hadn’t been for work, people would have gone to live in other places. Thanks to the vineyard today there are young people, in the village nursery and in the school you have children. And a vineyard has been planted again. And the history goes on I admit prefer these Riberas over the Riojas, DO webpage:

One of my favorites over the years and this year is no exception is Viña Ardanza Reserva 2016 , It is a wine steeped in history. And as such, its easily recognizable style remains unchanged while its presence evolves with a single objective: to be a little better every day. The blend, dominated by Tempranillo, 80% exhibits a percentage of Garnacha 20% much higher than what is usual in those lands. Clusters of one variety and another that have come from their own vineyards for a few harvests. The aging, separated by variety and time (three years for Tempranillo and two and a half for Garnacha), is carried out in used American oak barrels. . One of its hallmarks and one of its clearest nuances integrated into the whole like nobody or almost nobody knows how to do. The result boasts aromatic beauty (ripe red fruits and abundant spicy tones) crossed by intense flavors, sweet nuances and outstanding freshness. Elegance, depth, balance and strength -combined with the counterpoint of its smooth texture- that allow this red to surpass itself once again Bodega Rioja Alta webpage :

It was the 1960s and various artists, including Fernando Zóbel, Gustavo Torner, Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares, Luis Feito and Rafael Canogar, chose Cuenca to exhibit their works, turning it into an avant-garde city. The chosen place was the most famous monument of the capital: the Casas Colgadas or Hanging Houses. A building dating from the 14C, whose balconies overlook the Hoz del Huécar and which, since 1966, houses the headquarters of the Spanish Abstract Museum and also gives life to one of its best-known restaurants in the old town, called, of course, Casas Colgadas. Jesús Segura, the new chef at Las Casas Colgadas, confesses that many years ago he dreamed that he ran this restaurant at number 3 Calle Canónigos. After going through more than 38 kitchens and having achieved a Michelin star in his first restaurant, Trivio, in the lower part of the city, his dream has came true twice. sublime !! webpage :

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news from Spain as I

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

January 29, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLI

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLI is old Roman for 141, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

‘La Dolores‘ sings 100 years without Tomàs Bretón, After the success of ‘La verbena de la Paloma’, Bizet from Salamanca, he elevated Spanish opera to the altars with ‘La Dolores’, which returns to the Teatro de la Zarzuela on the occasion of the centenary of the composer’s death, Between January 27 and February 12, 2023 the Theater will offer thirteen performances of La Dolores, an opera that was premiered in the same room in 1895 and that since then has remained a symbol of the best of the Spanish opera. Theater webpage :

The San Isidro Fair 2023, the earliest in history, already has posters with the presence of the main figures hired for three afternoons -Morante de la Puebla, El Juli in his 25th anniversary of alternative, Alejandro Talavante and Roca Rey- and the quadruple presence of Emilio de Justo, who adds his fourth appointment as head of the Charity series, The fair will start on May 10 with two very strong posters, breaking the tradition of starting from less to more, The very early preparation of San Isidro 2023, with the intention of of better marketing. It will be the first fair, by the way, with the release of prices for single tickets, out of subscription, that is. Webpage mundotoro (Spanish):

Emeritus King Juan Carlos I plans to be in Paris on February 9, 2023 where he will attend the ceremony of access to the Académie Française or French Academy of Mario Vargas Llosa as a guest. It should be remembered that Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded a marquisate by Don Juan Carlos in 2011, Don Juan Carlos was the first person who called him when he received Spanish nationality in 1993, as Vargas Llosa recalls , Vargas Llosa, lived for a few years in Paris, The academy (French) webpage :

The new house of Ortega y Gasset and Gregorio Marañón, after six years of construction, goes forward to open, The José Ortega y Gasset-Gregorio Marañón Foundation can now boast its renovated headquarters. The 1847 mansion on Calle Fortuny, 53, which has a window from which it is easy to dream of a better world, same house as the foundation, Webpage foundation :

The Royal Collections Gallery, built in the Royal Palace complex in Madrid, will open next summer 2023. For now, the process of assembling the museographic elements that will house the 650 pieces of the inaugural exhibition continues, a third of which will rotate continuously. From what is known so far, the main access will be through the Plaza de la Almudena, (by the cathedral) although it will also be possible to enter from the Campo del Moro, National heritage webpage :

The great hotel of Canfranc train station. There is no official opening date yet, but Barceló is already selling rooms at Canfranc Estación hotel , a Royal Hideaway Hotel 5*, for February 1 2023. This station was inaugurated in 1928 , and railroad and history buffs know that the Canfranc International Station (Huesca) was one of the most important railway complexes in Europe in the first part of the 20C. The railroad is open up to here, from Zaragoza awaiting ok between France and Spain to continue into Pau as before Stay tune, Webpage :

The Best European Destinations association, dependent on the EU, has drawn up a list of the most beautiful places in Spain preferred by foreigners, I just pick my favorites ok, Their webpage :

RONDA (province of Màlaga), The New Bridge is the main protagonist of this Malaga town, as it is prodigiously raised over the Guadalevín river, saving the so-called Ronda pit, a spectacular gorge. Built in the 18C, the bridge was considered the highest in the world (it measures 98 meters) until 1839. You should also visit the town for its taverns, its ancestral homes, its palaces, its gardens, its museums, its bullring and its literary corners that writers such as Ernest Hemingway or Rainer Maria Rilke fell in love with.,

CUDILLERO (Principality of Asturias), It is one of the most beautiful towns in Spain and also one of the favorites for foreign tourists. Its hanging houses, its cozy port, its seafood taverns, its intricate alleyways… Everything in Cudillero is a fairy tale.

AGÜERO (province of Huesca), Located just 40 kilometers from the Huesca capital, this beautiful mountain town stands out for its imposing rock formation known as Los Mallos,(saw them many times passing by!) some stone monoliths attached to the old town. One of them, Peña Sola, exceeds 200 meters on its western slope. To get here you have to go through a lush forest and a winding road.

SAN ANDRÉS (Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife), The town of San Andrés, was founded in the 15C, making it one of the oldest on the island, which can be seen in its architecture, of colonial court. Its colorful houses and its Teresitas beach are two of the hallmarks of the largest town in the Anaga district.

PEÑÍSCOLA (province of Castellon), One of the hidden jewels for the Best European Destinations association due to its monumental castle of Papa Luna, its beaches, its charming streets and its privileged climate, which makes the sun rise 300 days a year !

Born in the 13C to serve the nearby Monastery of Santa María la Real, today the town of San Martín de Valdeiglesias is a prosperous town located at the western end of the Community of Madrid, where it borders the Castilian provinces of Ávila. and Toledo. For its part, the aforementioned monastery located next to the nearby and well-known San Juan swamp, is undergoing a slow and laborious restoration after decades submerged in abandonment and ruin. The castle of La Coracera is the emblem of this town. It was built in the 15C by Don Álvaro de Luna, a patron of King Juan II, father of Enrique IV and his sister, the all-powerful Queen Isabel la Católica. Not surprisingly, the castle functioned as the monarch’s chamber during her proclamation as Queen of Castile in the nearby town of El Tiemblo in Avila. We must not forget that it was even the headquarters of dictator Napoleon’s French troops during the War of Independence (peninsular wars). Close to the castle is the Enchanted Forest, another of the essentials of the town. It is a well-kept botanical garden that integrates more than 500 plant species. More than this, it stands out because more than three hundred sculptures have been created inside it from plants. Bordering the San Juan swamp, at other times of the year it would be obligatory to go to the so-called Madrid beach to take a bath and sunbathe on the shores of this enclave in the Sierra Oeste of the Comunidad de Madrid. Even so, there is always some adventurer who does not hesitate to enter its waters in the middle of the winter months to practice kayaking, wakeboarding or paddle-surfing, some of the water activities most frequented in these parts. You can also sail, paraglide or mark a hiking route in its surroundings. The town on tourism:

Guadalajara can boast of being the second Spanish province with the most castles in the country behind Jaén. In total, this corner of my nostalgic Castilla La Mancha has 198 fortresses spread throughout its territory, many of which are in an admirable state of preservation. The Torija castle is located in a privileged area as a crossroads and natural transit to Aragon. The origin of its current plan dates from the 15C and was the work of the Mendonza family. Since the end of the 16C it has ceased to be inhabited and only on exceptional occasions was it used to house kings such as Carlos V or Felipe II and other distinguished visitors. In the 19C it would be occupied by the French occupying troops of General Hugo and later by Juan Martín el Empecinado who blew it up, leaving it in ruins. The current restoration was carried out in 1962., The castle of Sigüenza, erected in the 12C on top of a pronounced hill in this town, was used continuously as the residence of the bishops until the middle of the 19C. In the 15C it served as a refuge against the raids carried out by the Navarrese during the war of the Infantes of Aragon. During the Napoleonic occupation, the castle abandoned its character as a bishop’s residence to be the headquarters of the occupying French troops from 1808. In 1827 it returned to being the residence of bishops. It served as a fortress in the Carlist Wars for the last time, suffering extensive damage, a ruin that was completed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). One visited recently briefly see post is the Molina de Aragón castle located in the north of the province, perched on the slopes of the mountain that rises above the town and the valley of the River Gallo, the Molina de Aragón castle is the largest and most monumental of all that remain today in Guadalajara, The set consists of a first walled belt known as albacara that has numerous defensive towers and whose main access is the Puerta del Reloj. (clock gate) The interior is made up of the fortress itself, with six towers of which the remains of two remain and another four in good condition and which are connected by a crenellated wall walk, and by a large space , In this flat interior terrain are also the remains of the Romanesque church of Santa María del Collado and a natural chasm known as Cueva de la Mora. From the castle you can also reach what is known as the Torre de Aragón, a three-story pentagonal tower surrounded by a wall with battlements. It is a reconstruction from the 19C, although an Arab fortress was located here, which in turn was built on a Celtiberian castro.!Awesome !

The Exit Alcalá cocido roll, prepared by the chef Roseny Brito and stuffed with the traditional meats of the Madrid stew, has been the winning tapa in the final of the 1st Official Championship of Tapas and Skewers of the Community of Madrid, organized by the Higher School of Hospitality and Tourism of Madrid. In the final, the cocido roll from Exit Alcalá faced the bola de cocido from Taberna Casa Maravillas, the Madrid chotis from Welkhome Club (also made with stew) and the Asian reinterpretation of the squid sandwich from BLT. The winner Exit Alcalà from Alcalà de Henares webpage :

And finally, my rant of the month or year . I do not know if just me but I have been noticing many folks trying to follow my blog giving a few likes and once ok the « friend » contact they just disappears ! I do not know why people follow , but to me , me think, you follow me because you like my content lol ! Just goes without saying that once in a while you should stop by to say Hi ,give a « like » and so on, I have taken many down from as much as 3000 followers to just over a thousand, Still a lot with hardly any real following, Is it me ? Or is just my mind ? What do you think ?

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

January 28, 2023

More curiosities of Guer !

And coming back at you with another off the beaten path gem of my beautiful Morbihan. This Guer has lots of architecture and history in it, and you can see my previous posts on it. However, new passing, new pictures and a new post on more curiosities of Guer ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The town of Guer includes four subdivisions such as Guer-Coëtquidan, Saint-Raoul, La Telhaie and Bellevue-Coëtquidan where you will find the military schools of Saint-Cyr-Coëtquidan, (see post) located straddling the neighboring town of Saint-Malo-de –Beignon (see post). The town, also, borders on the forest of Brocéliande, where the legend of Merlin the magician, the fairy Morgane and the fairy Viviane is woven.

A bit on the town and city hall or mairie of Guer.  In 1795, the district was abolished and Guer became the capital of the municipality of the canton of Guer, made up of representatives of the towns of Guer and Monteneuf. In 1800, the municipal assembly was restored and Guer was integrated into the district of Ploërmel In 1801, it retained its status as chief town of the canton , maintained in 2014 delimiting the cantons in Morbihan . Since the abolition of the arrondissement of Ploërmel in 1926, Guer has been part of the arrondissement of Vannes. The current mairie or City hall was done between 1883 and 1889.

Guer mairie front jan23

Boulangerie des Arcades 1 Pl. Claire Fontaine It has closed unfortunately, Before was a former cloister, this remarkable house is certainly the oldest in Guer; it dates from the 11C !

Guer maison en bois near Ch St Gurval jan23

The city of Guer

The Guer-Coetquidan Broceliande tourist office on the heritage of Guer:

There you go folks, again, another gem and an off the beaten path site of my beautiful Morbihan! As said, plenty to see here and all wonderful architecture and history in magical Guer. Hope you enjoy this post on more curiosities of Guer as I.

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

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