Archive for ‘Food and Wine’

August 13, 2019

Boutiques, curiosities of Versailles!

And back to familiar territory of old, my beloved Versailles. Ok so the the city is more than a castle, I know. However, there is so much still to see inside and I am afraid folks rush thru it on just a one day trip from Paris! It really deserves more, really!

I like to tell you a bit on some of the nice boutiques and eating places inside. You will be in heaven! Enjoy my Palace/musuem of Versailles.  And it is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region, ok!

We dare go in the property to take some pictures, and I like to point out the many boutiques and resto to eat and shop inside, such as the Librarie des Princes, by the Cour d’honneur for books and music.

The Library of Princes  is on 200 m2, and in the form of an apartment. From the boudoir to the dining room, by way of the library and the bedrooms, works and objects celebrating the French way of life are on offer. These rooms with very marked atmospheres will allow the public to discover more than 1000 different books presented alongside objects and by-products. The disguises of princess, marquise and queen, rub shoulders with the chivalrous world of budding musketeers. Reproductions of 18C toys such as totems, spinning tops, bilboquets, drums and rattles of princes and princesses, invite to playful moments to shared. And many books as well. Worth the visit indeed!

Official Palace of Versailles Library info in English

And an official  precise site for it as you do not need ticket admission to the Château de Versailles to come here is : http://www.librairiedesprinces.com/

versailles

The  Boutique de l’Ancienne Comédie, for souvenirs and nice local castle oriented gifts. The boutique is located at the exit of the tour circuits of the Palace/museum, this shop occupies the historic space of the old cisterns of the bouche du Roi (King’s mouth), under the cour des Princes. You can see what is available on the below link.

Official Chateau de Versailles on the boutique items

versailles

Angelina at the Petit Trianon. This was our hangout when jogging/ walking in the domaine property at the time of me living there; enormous, awesome, grandiose magnifique to have a light meal while looking at the Palace gardens , the back view and the Petit Trianon next to you!!  Angelina installs during the beautiful days a beautiful terrace under the trees, in front of the Petit Trianon. It is used in an outhouse of the Trianon, then you brings your  trays outside. There is a very nice outdoor terrace of 100 seats and heated in Winter. Also in Summer, an  ice cream cart.

Official Chateau de Versailles on Angelina

Versailles

And of course, when talking about Versailles there is never enough on me. There are about 4 places in the world that are just too much of souvenirs! One of them is Versailles, of course. While now in Bretagne, my soul is still there and why not combine the two while in town , Breton foods and the Versailles ambiance!

The wonderful rue Satory off ave de Sceaux, (walk easy from palace) ,and of course a nice Breton lunch at Le Blé Noir, 9 rue de Satory, from a true citizen of Quiberon,Morbihan , my stop now when in town, lots of local discussion indeed took place; and we both agree we have the best of the world, Versailles and the Morbihan ::)  Great galette de chévre or goat cheese,lardons and tomatoes, 50Cl  pitcher of cider,and expresso coffee. Great!. And now part of a group with two outlets in Paris! More info here: Le Blé Noir at Versailles

versailles

versailles

One emblem of the city that actually divides Versailles from Le Chesnay (now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (which is actually the union of two neighboring towns) ) is the Monument aux Morts (monument to the fallen)  at Place de la Loi. Lovely photo of rememberance. Enjoy my eternal Versailles!

versailles

And I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did telling you about it. Versailles is it! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

August 8, 2019

Châtillon Chocolats at Pleyben!

As I have done several posts on my favorite family memorable restaurants of my travel history (some), I have done some on food and delicacies of my belle France. Well how about my beautiful Bretagne/Brittany! This is a must while in the region.

I like to tell you an off the beaten path chocolates to marvel your senses and once again proves that France is a movable feast! Let me tell you a bit about the Châtillon chocolates of Pleyben in the Finistére dept 29 of my beautiful Bretagne.

pleyben

However, another marvel to come here is the maître chocolatier Michel Chatillon. He has his production, making, tastings and presentation at the same spot right across diagonally from the parish Calvary ensemble. This is chocolate, fruit pate, candies, cider, and gifts but chocolates and especially the Florentins are to come here for it. The official site is here: Official Châtillon chocolat of Pleyben

pleyben

The chocolate Châtillon continue a long tradition. It was in Switzerland that the owner went  in for a couple years , he perfected himself in the knowledge of chocolate and the artistic side of the trade at a school in Basel. After these years in Switzerland and eager to fly on his own, Michel Chatillon returns to Brittany and settles in Brest in 1965 without a penny in his pocket. After successfully repaying his first loans, he opened several stores between Brest and Quimper. In 1992, Michel Chatillon decided to abandon Brest to join Pleyben, Finistére dept 29. Already present in Japan, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, England or Denmark, the chocolate Chatillon does not want to stop there. Just a step away from the extraordinary parish enclosure of Pleyben, with an entry which must not exceed 100 meters of width, wedged between two houses, the company Châtillon does not play the grandeur, it is clear. His delicious Florentins is the flagship product, exclusive, invented by Michel Châtillon himself. This delicious almond cakes melted in chocolate-covered caramel is divine,indeed. Our favorites we died for it. Try it!!!

pleyben

A bit of a tour of Châtillon chocolats!

Upon entering and while the audience contemplates the work, an audio tape explains the making. The steps are clearly numbered in the visit. The viewer is engrossed in the work of the pastry-cook, who stuffs the stepped plates on trolleys slid into a kiln larger than himself. Once this short but instructive visit is over, the group heads to a small room where the story of Châtillon chocolate will be projected. Exotic images of cocoa production in Africa. Industrial with container shipping. Images on the controls at the start and the finish, guaranteeing the quality of the cocoa bean. Transformation in chocolate, passage in the machines of the Châtillon chocolate factory, explanations on the white, black, milk chocolate. In short, you learn, you travel, and necessarily, you salivate of the display. It’s time to go back to the shop before leaving to take home some amazing chocolates especially the Florentins!!

pleyben

The Finistére tourist office here: Tourist office of Finistere dept 29 on the Chatillon chocolats in French

There you go if you like gourmet foods candies, sugar covered assortments, cider, miel and especially chocolates than this place is for you; simply delicious and next to a wonder of our times the  Calvary of Pleyben(see my post on it). Enjoy the Châtillon chocolates at Pleyben!

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

 

 

August 8, 2019

Retiro park and the Florida! Madrid of course!!!

And I bring you back to the culinary trails of me, well you know the series I am trying to bring back memorable places for me and my family over the years. All are listed in original posts in my blog, just bring them out individually for I hope all to enjoy as we do.

The next one is on my beloved Madrid, soon to be back in its dream nights. This one is very especial because it started out when just a teenager living in Madrid in the crazy 1970’s. Let me tell you a bit about the Florida Park or now call Florida Retiro.

The old Florida Park, inside the Retiro park, spectacles and fine dining with a show, the very best, and very nostalgic. Way back in my youth this was a community center where dances were held, now if you had a girl you could come here . I did. And, also, participated in several birthday celebrations of friends, mine and the girl….It is said you cannot forget your first real love at the tender age of 13!

You can come here Florida Retiro in the parque del Buen Retiro park at  Paseo de la República de Panamá, closest metro is Ibiza line 9. By the Calle Ibiza and the Puerta de la Reina Mercedes (gated entrance of the queen mercedes) straight in you will see the Florida Retiro ahead. This is an older photo of the old Florida Park. Pictures were scarse when young, but will be back this summer!

madrid

If you have read my blog you know this was my hangout place since teen years and always a memorable spot to come back to it with the family. Of course ,now the place is very chic and needs reservations for a great show. It is an ancient place where artists such as Concha Velasco, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Plácido Domingo, and Montserrat Caballé made one of the best nocturnal schedules of the moment.  Old Florida Park Madrid was never dull and always great surprises night after night, thanks to its good atmosphere of beautiful people, excellent music and repeatable evenings. Where you can see the Parque del Buen Retiro, and is one of the most important of the capital.

Now let me tell what is there now for the last few years under new management.

Florida Retiro is a multiple area consisting of six different spaces . These are ,

La Terraza, hidden among the trees of the famous park from where you can experience the Madrid sunsets. The Pabellon or pavilion is an elegant place overlooking the park through its large window. The Sala or hall, is the essential of the night of Madrid. With its dinner-show that combines gastronomy, leisure and fun.  The Galeria or Gallery is the ideal bar to meet friends for drinks with tapas and portions, based on Madrid cuisine.

There are ,also kiosks of different outlook such as a fun area converted into a market consisting of six positions that have been given names related to the Retiro Park ; like the La Jacinta, in honor of Jacinto Benavente, is the place of wisdom, El Estanque (pond) and La Bellota (acorn) to acquire drinks, La Casa de Vacas, (cows house) where the meat stand is located. The La Alcachofa (artichoke), referring to the source, to savor pickles, charcuterie and cheese and La Gloriosa,(glorious) evoking the revolution that opened the doors of the Retiro park to Madrid, for tapas and pintxos. Also, from Thursday to Sunday, you can attend the best live flamenco. And finally, La Cúpula is the area to have a cocktail en live with electronic music and disco until the wee hours of the morning.

You can see it all here Spanish or English: Florida Retiro at Madrid

Hope you enjoy it , the flamenco shows in the middle of the Retiro park are awesome so tell me my family, and I am looking forward to be there this summer. Enjoy the Florida Retiro of today at the Retiro park in my beloved Madrid!

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

 

 

 

 

 

August 5, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXXIII

And I am back at you with my latest tidbits of my beloved Spain. I am counting the days to my visit this year there and just can’t wait! For now the weather there is sunny and 91F ! or 33C while in my current neck of the woods is rainy cloudy cool and 67F! or 19C! I take Madrid weather anytime!!! Oh well just need to wait….

Some of the latest that have been determine worth to post by yours truly is to follow; enjoy it

«Fra Angelico and the beginnings of the Renaissance in Florence»  Prado Museum.; Paseo del Prado, s / n.  Until September 15 2019

Of course, Fra Angelico (1390-1455) was not from Florence, but from Fiésole, an old city of Etruscan origin located eight kilometers away, which began to become a residential neighborhood. There he worked first as a miniaturist and then making altar blades until 1436, date in which the Dominicans, order in which he entered eighteen years earlier, moved to the convent of San Marcos in Florence, recently renovated thanks to the donations of Cosme de Medici. In the convent in Florence Fra Angelico contributed to make his spiritually more suitable by painting the chapter room, the cloister gallery, the altarpiece of the church and the monks’ cells. The set of frescoes that he left there, his Sistine chapel, prove not only that he was a great artist, but a man of faith fully committed to the mystery of Christ. More info here: https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/fra-angelico-and-the-rise-of-the-florentine/c8c45536-59a2-5e3a-9615-6daf8c3ef9e9

Rosalia, the Spanish muse of the Pirelli calendar. The singer appears in the prestigious almanac . Rosalia is back in the spotlight for her presence in the prestigious Pirelli 2020 calendar, where she shares the spotlight with other great female celebrities today. Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson, Indya Moore, Chris Lee, Claire Foy, Yara Shahidi, Mia Goth and Stella Roversi are some of their companions in the calendar pages, made by Paolo Roversi under the legend of “Looking for Juliet”. Always a classy calendar indeed. More info here: http://pirellicalendar.pirelli.com/en/home

Only a few days ago, the Kings of Spain and the Netherlands, Felipe and Willhem Alexander, were invested by queen Elizabeth II as Knights of the Order of the Garter in Windsor Castle. Today the relations between both countries are excellent. Gone are the revolts led by another Wilhem of Orange  against another Felipe II, which gave rise to the Eighty Years War (1568-1648) and the independence of the Netherlands. This will end up with a show of painters from both countries in a presentation in the Prado Museum going on until September 29 2019. More info here: https://www.museodelprado.es/en

The wines of Navarra blends keeps growing with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and  Merlot that along the last 25 years have define the región before the coming back of the Garnacha grape. Some of my favorites for this blend of reds are:

Bodegas Ochoa  Ochoa Finca Montijo (2007);  Bodegas Azul y Garanza Desierto de Azul y Garanza (2016)            ; Grupo Chivite : Chivite Colección 125 (2012); Bodega de Sarría, Señorío de Sarría Reserva Especial (2013);Bodega Inurrieta  Laderas de Inurrieta (2015): Grupo Chivite Legardeta Syrah (2015); Pago de Larrainzar  Pago de Larrainzar Reserva Especial (2011);           Bodega Castillo de Monjardín  Castillo de Monjardín Deyo (2015); Bodegas Ochoa  Ochoa Finca Montijo (2014). Enjoy the Navarrese wines up and coming in my beloved Spain.

And the story of the chufa (tigernut) and the wonderful drink of Horchata.One memorable spot for me from visting my late Aunt at El Saler near Valencia in younger days . We drink it but wait to be in Spain to do so and from Valencia even better. I will look forward to my visit end of this month to Madrid to visit Horchateria Arboraya, Calle de Alcalà, 125. From Valencians! More info here: http://www.horchaterialboraya.com/donde-estamos/

And now a bit of history and how it is made the traditional way, look for it in Madrid from Valencians or Valencia area, simply the best.

The land is sown with chufa. This is in the Spring, when a process begins that will culminate in the elaboration of the sweetest ,and healthiest! drink we can imagine. In places like the village of Almássera, in the Horta Nord. Horta= the garden ,nord=north is already a multicolored landscape of cabbage, onions, lettuce, artichokes,  delimited by a network of ditches and roads. In June, after a few months of irrigation, the fields begin to be covered with a green tapestry. Somewhere between Alboraia, Meliana and Almássera, a thick smoke rises. And like here, many other fields are set on fire in a controlled way to burn the dried bush of the tigernut for later collection.

The orchard of Valencia is a strip of between 10-15 km that surrounds (less by the sea) the city. An area of ​​approximately 10,500 hectares irrigated by ditches, nine in total, from the Turia river and built during the Muslim period (between the 8-13C). In December, after the burning of the fields, it is proceed by the collect of this small tuber that is underground and that is one of the treasures, hidden underground, of the land. After a washing process in one of the three washrooms of l’Horta , the tuber will pass to the dryers. In the dryers, spread on the ground in airy spaces with large windows, the chufas will be removed periodically so that the tuber is losing all moisture. With the arrival of spring, horchaterías (horchata makers and call also the restaurant where it is serve) are preparing to receive the chufa. In the image, the triad process with state-of-the-art optical technology, at a rate of one thousand kilos of chufa per hour and finished off the old one, by hand and under the precise look of the careful hands. Already in the horchatería, the elaboration of the drink will take place with  a crushing process and the subsequent rehydration of the chufa based on a maceration of water, two sieves and sugar, a lot of sugar. All mixed and cooled quickly to temperatures around 0ºC. The road between Valencia and Alboraya, epicenter of the horchata, is the so call Avenida de la Horchata. Nothing better than tasting the drink accompanied by good fartons where the earth smells like chufa. Indeed try it! Horchata!

Enjoy Spain, everything under the sun; and do come to Madrid, from Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

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

 

 

 

August 4, 2019

Shopping in Madrid: Sanchez Romero!

Ok so back to my Madrid mood, (always there anyway) , and the idea of having a good meal in my beloved Spain. However, we come for long periods and we love the gastronomy side of it and love to cook; granted we are not experts but just amateurs! One of the thrills of coming to my Madrid is that  I find myself with familiar goodies that have come down from grandparents and parents generations and could not get it or get it right at a restaurant. At that moment, we look for the best and buy , take home and do it ourselves! or just have a nice cup of coffee and bocadillos at a nice place.

This is the place I like to tell you in this post. Supermercados Sanchez Romero; remember the name. This is a chain of not so long back but a must when in Madrid. Glad to be able to visit every year at least once lol!

madrid

A bit on who they are:

They were born as a small specialized store in Paseo de La Castellana, which opened, in 1954, by Eduardo Sanchez Romero.  The Supermarkets Sanchez Romero has everything you need for special days from exclusive gourmet products, high-end, national and international, which you will only find in their establishments. But ,they are also your trusted store for everyday purchases, with the best service and the necessary variety of quality and healthy products, so you can go home with all your needs covered. Because,  the everyday can also be extraordinary.  They want you to come to Sanchez Romero to be a source of inspiration that allows you to enjoy cooking and gastronomy in a different way.  They promote the health and healthy nutrition of all their clients, whatever their age, and taking into account the special needs. And, now, also through  their social networks such as  Facebook Sanchez Romero, Twitter Sanchez Romero, and the new blog Alma Gourmet. In short, their new e-shop and a mobile App that will offer you a unique experience will be added to the digital universe.

Some tips from others goers on Spanish sites.

“I think about the cafeteria-restaurant-terrace at the entrance of the establishment, which is a supermarket. The waiters are very attentive and the service is fast. We ate tapas and skewers and everything is reasonably good, at tight prices. The employees of this establishment have a deal towards customers of 11/10. Vegetables and fruits are an investment for me. They are very very good compared to what you find today in others. It deserves to pay its price because, what you eat, you will really know. They have just modernized the store and they have been very beautiful, with a modern touch. You feel at home. “

The above has been our experiences too since 1990 coming here for our needs in Madrid, simply the best, and the cafetería is tops.

And their future reads very well. Supermarkets Sánchez Romero is growing in Madrid with its tenth store in the Salamanca district of Madrid. At the moment they do not plan to expand beyond the community of Madrid. The company has recently launched its online store, which stands out for its wide assortment of products, with more than 7,000 references and a variety of high quality freshness, served in different formats and cuts and maturation.

And my own , latest experience on it last year. We will be back in 2019 again!!!

I am taking you up north along Paseo de la Castellana to lovely Plaza de Castilla (Castile square) in the Chamartin district. This is a huge local transport hub for Madrid and the province as well. It is one of my hangouts in Madrid ,and we love to shop by it, especially the gourmet grocery store of Sanchez Romero (many branches in Madrid) at Paseo de la Castellana 196 not far on right hand side to Plaza de Castilla. Closest metro Plaza de Castilla lines 1,9, and 10 or Cuzco line 10. From Cuzco stay on the right hand side of Castellana and from Plaza de Castilla cross over to your left side and walk down. More info here:   https://sanchez-romero.com/tiendas/castellana/

And there you go another dandy in gorgeous Madrid for all your best foods and wines shopping nothing beats Sanchez Romero. See it and then tell me about it ok. Supermercados Sanchez Romero, Madrid!

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

August 3, 2019

Restaurant: Jaca, Aragon!

So back to my latest routine showcasing the best memorable family eating places in my world. This time take you back north to the wonderful town of Jaca, Province of Huesca in the Autonomous Region of  Aragon, Kingdom of Spain. Just before hitting the mountains of the pyrénées going or coming from France.

And while here to see the wonderful Cathedral , etc, (see my posts on them)  we have to eat! and eat we did well a feast for my nostalgic memories of my beloved Spain. Let met tell you a bit more on two memorable spots in Jaca.

First we went for the food and found a nice busy restaurant overlooking the Cathedral so we sat in to eat lol! This is Casa Fau, Plaza Catedral 3,  Jaca.

Jaca

Ideally located in front of the magnificent portico of the Cathedral. The tapas are really excellent, we prefer the tapas and raciones to share. The reception is correct and fast service.  An unbeatable situation in front of the Cathedral of Jaca, terrace under the stone arcades, a bar full of tapas and skewers … Casa Fau is a classic in the world of tapas.  You  have a loyal clientele eager to try these delicacies in one of the most emblematic spots of the city.

Jaca

Jaca

We had our lunch right across it while seeing the world go by at Plaza de la Catedral,3 at Casa Fau, very nice folks , fast service, good food. We will be back! They have a Facebook page to show it here: Facebook page of Casa Fau in Jaca

Jaca

We really had seen the bakery before and opted to come here for the dessert and what a great decision that was, and continues. After much wandering to the side streets having cheese breads from the local bakeries and did went shopping for sweets to take home at Confiteria/Pasteleria Etcheto , right next to the restaurant above.

Jaca

Pasteleria Etcheto , Plaza Catedral 5,  Jaca.  The confectionery Echeto is one of the ones of all your life and to enter it is to go back in the past. Everything was delicious, but in particular the ice creams (homemade) and especially the chocolate ice cream are very good. La Pastelería Echeto, is one of the great  confectioneries, famous for all the great traditional sweets of Jaca, such as the Besos (kisses) , the coronettes (crowns) and the bows of Santa Orosia. If you come to Jaca to visit , do not forget to visit this bakery. It’s really is a must. Enjoy it

Official Confiteria pasteleria Etcheto in Jaca

Jaca

There you go a short but memorable places as we needed to stop for the sweets as my dear late wife Martine adores them. We had a great one two combination right next to each other in beautiful Jaca.

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

 

August 3, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXV

So here I am on a bright sunny Saturday with temps of 25C or 77F very hot for our sun rays and a huge beach day. The traffic pros were saying today was a red going and a black coming back from vacation periods here which is huge this month. Well they were not wrong in my neck of the woods.

More than ever at least since the 8 years already living in the Morbihan breton dept 56 of the Region of Bretagne in my belle France.  For those new to the blog I am on my close to 17 years in France (French citizen for 20) . I went out with the boys by car as usual to do my errands of an everyday citizen.

vannes

I told the boys lets try to reach Quiberon which is a beautiful peninsula/isthmus that I have written plenty on it in my blog . The traffic jams were so bad they went all the way to the expressway N165! Needless to say we needed to turn around.  I try to get around it by Locmariaquer but there too with market day the place was packed with no parking and folks finding parking way out of city center to walk in! Never seen it like this either.

We have the usual British, and German tourists and some from Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain etc and those from all over France as Bretagne is the 3rd most visited region of France! However, this start of August is huge, never seen it this busy and crowded, do not know why!

Let me tell you our brief day! As we started out going to our Castorama store in Vannes as the handle of our lawnmower arrived, and they call us. So we went and they fix it on the spot! For this we needed to do a round trip as the trunk of our car was full! I have written on the store before so for now this is their webpage: Official Castorama Vannes

vannes

We, then decided to try what I mentioned above to no avail. We got into downtown/city center Locmariaquer and saw it crowded too but we took a peek of their market always a wonderful place to be  but today too crowded for us. City of Locmariaquer with its heritage in French

locmariaquer

We headed back to Vannes and feeling a bit hungry we decided to give a try at the ice creams of Flunch, Le Glacier in the centre commercial Leclerc. We had our sandwich menu , for me tuna sandwich, big chocolate cookie, 33cl Orangina soda, and a banana split ice cream, similar for the boys all for less than 10 euros per person! Restaurant Flunch at CC Leclerc Vannes

vannes

After the above, we were ready to do our main groceries at E Leclerc hypermarket; where we buy our misc items and sometimes meats. It was packed too but not overwhelming so we were able to finish quickly and head back home! E Leclerc hypermarket of Vannes

vannes

Now at home we are again reviewing our must see while in Spain end of month. There is so much I want to see never enough time but we will make our best run for my beloved Madrid.

And of course, what to do on Sundays! Stay tune…..Oh I am also trying to get early retirement from my management functions and probably can do so by end of 2019 together with continuing as an outside independent consultant___finance issues! Stay tune for this too lol!

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

 

 

August 3, 2019

Restaurant: Quimperlé!

And I come back to my area well sort of; this is in neighboring Finistére dep 29 and I am in the Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Brittany. We have cross all over this region by now and numerous opportunities of great meals. However, this one is one of those of wonderful memories with the family.

I like to tell you about the Créperie du Pont Fleurie, 5 rue de l Elle in Quimperlé!

quimperle

The bit of history here is the Pont Fleurie, or flowery bridge,  crosses the river Ellé at the level of the place Lovignon ,and was  until 1643 the only means of access to Quimperlé from the east.  It has been renovated by the 15C and the central arches done after the flooding of 1746 . The bridge was guarded by two towers on heavy thick walls surrounding the lower city or basse ville opening out with three portes or doors following to roads , Vannes-Quimper and Quimperlé-Carhaix. The ramparts were done between  1250 and 1270, became in ruins after the war of the 100 years and were erased for good by 1680.  The granite blocks salvage were then used to built the quai Brizeux bordering the river  Laïta. the bridge inspired several painters from the 19C on, and one  Théa collection of songs collected, words and music, in the Breton langauge, written by Théodore Hersart de la Villemarque , wrote  Barzas-Breiz (= poems of Brittany ,which is a collection of songs , words and music, in the Breton part of Brittany in the 19C)  has a statue there by the pont and square.

Quimperle

The story is that as usual we arrive by car and set on foot to discovered the town. Having had lunch in  a couple other places ,this one we were looking at the Church Sainte Croix (holy cross) and saw it, went in without reservations and was warmly welcome. The first time my dear late wife Martine love the fact the owner server offered to serve more slices for the same price! We keep wonderful souvenirs of this and have come back again.

And it was here that we had lunch , at least a couple times , the Créperie du Pont Fleurie. We come here for the pizzas cochonne with the local andouille sausage and potatoes, and cheese huge really for two persons, and the owner ask you if you want more !!! my boys have a ball, they always said yes lol! The banana splits, coffee, and bottles of cider Patrick Gourlay local fermier just great! must be back again ,must you visit them . The service was prompt and very friendly ,we spoked with servers and owner all nice.

Quimperle

quimperle

The local reviews are the same. Nice home, nice little restaurant. A menu that combines galettes, crêpes and pizzas. A very nice place !! You can tell the boss loves his/her job for sure! It is rare to this date !! So blameless kitchen very good for the money !!! Family atmosphere I love it !! I highly recommend this little creperie where you can eat succulent meats!

Quimperle

Their webpage is Créperie du Pont Fleurie at Quimperlé

Tourist office of Quimperlé on the Pont Fleurie

Another gem in my lovely Brittany, hope you can enjoy it as we do. This is in lovely Quimperlé in the Finistére dept 29!

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

August 2, 2019

Restaurant: Fontainebleau!

And onwards with my tour of memorable restaurants and what is coming to France without going to them! Culinary and wine capital of the world!!! This one is short and sassy but lots of good souvenirs.

If you have read my blog , I will cut it short. Fontainebleau is in dept 77 Seine-et-Marne the region of ïle de France. The department 77 is the native dept of my dear late wife Martine. I came here early since 1990, and never stop, I am friend of the castle.

Obviously, this is very close to family and good for same day visits, so not too many eating adventures here, and even one is already closed. However, the Le Délice Impérial is a classic there and a must to go eat.

Au Délice Impérial at 1 rue Grande, Fontainebleau. At the corner of rue Grande and rue de France, the superb stall of pastries can not escape the eyes. It must be said that three pastry chefs officiate every day in this house founded in 1889 for our greatest happiness. The house offers on-site catering, but also takeaway.

Fontainebleau

I have been there a couple of times , and the last one in town all day, we ate again at the Le Délice Imperial. They have a huge dessert center where 3 pastry chefs change each day the menu. At the side of the restaurant, they is a small fast food place for sandwiches etc, and you can take home too. We had several beers, coffees, two desserts for each, milk shake, tagliatelle bolognaise, burger dish, and 3 roasted pork dishes, all delicious. Worth the detour when taking time to see the Château de Fontainebleau walking distance to it.

More info on the restaurant: Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the Au Délice Impérial

Hope you enjoy it as we did/do and have a great time in a wonderful city with a hugely important castle, Fontainebleau.

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

 

August 2, 2019

Restaurant: Vannes!

Ok so we continue shall we? After all, not others but for me, gastronomy and wines and France is simply the best. And if you read my blog you know where I have been and what credentials I have on wines. Anyway, let me give you a off the beaten path beauty to salivate your best desires.

This is in my capital city of Vannes, and the district of Saint Patern, the oldest part, and less frequented by visitors who usually stay around the Le Port and the Cathedral area of old town. However, you need to come up higher …. best way from the ramparts take rue Francis Decker, that runs alongside them, and take a right at Rue Alain le Grand ,and then left at Rue de la Fontaine go up and just in front of the Church of Saint Patern on your left hand side is the Le Gavroche restaurant! Ok go for it!!!

Exactly ,Le Gavroche,  17 Rue de la Fontaine, Vannes, don’t leave the city without eating here ok.

vannes

We walk around looking for a restaurant in the Saint Patern district of Vannes. In our walking tour of a city and this one is our Capital in the Morbihan, we came upon this picturesque restaurant. We went inside and voilà a friendly conversation right away with my dear late wife Martine and the owner of Le Gavroche. We came to know them well and even provided us with some contact to paint our house the same way as the restaurant sort of…. Using the same local painter!! Needless to tell you we have come here several times even for anniversaries of our family. We love it ,and hope you do too! The very warm welcome, which is becoming rare nowadays , the attention of the waitresses and the owner throughout the meal. All the way eaten out in France was meant to be. Highly recommended.

vannes

Smiling welcome, aperitifs with or without alcohol (cocktails) very good, a corner apart so as not to disturb other customers. Very good dishes overall. small “shotgun”  digéstif of rum and sweet liquors like vanilla are arranged and offered by the house.

vannes

We prefer to warn you, you risk immediately fall in love with this restaurant in which you warmly welcome Chantal, Francis (the owners)  and a young team of Le Gavroche. It goes without saying that here everything is fresh, traditional cuisine is simmered beautifully .Discover: the superb collection of rum bottles arranged!! The shotgun!!!

Official Le Gavroche restaurant at Vannes

Yelp reviews of Le Gavroche at Vannes

vannes

PS. Le Gavroche is news vendor urchin with a beret like hat.  A fictional character in the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. He is a boy who lives on the streets of Paris!

There you go something off the beaten path in my lovely old Vannes of my Morbihan breton. Hope you enjoy the find and treated kindly! Le Gavroche is really a nice place to be in Vannes.

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

 

 

 

 

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