Archive for ‘Versailles’

September 17, 2022

Wines news of France XXXI !!

Well, we are cruising the last days of summer and soon be in the Fall (Sept 23rd France) , so we try to enjoy these days. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

In 2021, world wine consumption was around 236 million hectoliters, an increase of 2 million hectoliters (+0.7%) compared to 2020. Discover the top 10 countries that drink the most wine in 2021. The EU’s share was estimated at 59% in 2000 and in 2021 it represented 48% of world consumption. 1, The United States: 33.1 million hectoliters, the equivalent of approximately 4.4 billion bottles of wine sold in 2021 ! 2. France: 25.2 million hectoliters ,the biggest consumer country in the EU, and represents 11% of world wine consumption in 2021 In 2021, 56% of French consumers are ready to spend between 11 and 20 euros to buy a bottle of wine, compared to 22% in 2013, and 23% of them say they are ready to pay more than 20 euros, compared to 6% in 2013. 3. Italy: 24.2 million hectoliters, 4. Germany: 19.8 million hectoliters, 5. The United Kingdom: 13.4 million hectoliters, 6. Spain: 10.5 million hectoliters In 2021, Spain recorded a 9.9% growth in its consumption compared to 2020, and thus returned to its pre-pandemic level,7. China: 10.5 million hectoliters, 8. Russia: 10.5 million hectoliters, 9. Argentina: 8.4 million hectoliters, and 10. Australia: 5.9 million hectoliters, Remember to do an exercise in per capita consumption,,,,,!

After a complicated 2021 vintage, 2022 portends an overall quality harvest. A year marked by drought and heat, of course, but which spared the vines from disease, In Provence, the first blows of the secateurs were given on August 11 on the earliest sectors of Cuers, Puget-Ville, Pierrefeu and La London. And the ball is slowly coming to an end in the territory of Provence Verte around Sainte-Baume , In Roussillon, the harvest also started early, 12 to 15 days ahead of the previous vintage, with particularly water stress important in hillside vineyards. The first estimates announce a harvest close to 540,000 hl. A volume equivalent to that of 2021, On the Bordeaux side, in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation area, we expect a rich, concentrated 2022 vintage, with rather modest production volumes, In the Rhône Valley, earliness is more contrasted. The areas harvested first, around Die with the Muscat, started around August 9-10, as did the Costières de Nîmes. This is unprecedented earliness, 15 to 20 days ahead of the 2021 vintage. Time changes indeed,

The Champagne EPC with 50,000 bottles sold in its first year and 150,000 bottles sold in 2021, and a second fundraising of 5.5 million euros in 2022, nothing seems to stop this young start-up from Champagne, exporting already its bottles across 30 countries and four continents. The brand relies on digital tools aimed at transforming the customer experience: the scanned label tells the story of the bottle, while the back label, fitted with a heat-sensitive sticker, indicates whether the champagne is at the ideal temperature to be tasted. The amount raised will be used to develop the brand on the French market initially, then for export, particularly on the American market. The brand, created in 2019 is based on a collaborative system between the cellar master and the partner winegrowers. Neither winegrower nor cooperative, EPC has the status of distributor-buyer, and works hand in hand with winegrowers, selected according to certain quality criteria and with an eco-responsible approach. To be continue,,,webpage: https://www.epc-champagne.com/#particulier

The Terressecrets cooperative launches the Cerço range with cuvées with a very good price-pleasure ratio, The Mâconnais is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful wine-growing landscapes in the world, but few people know it. This could justify the name Terressecrets or Secret Lands of this cooperative established for almost a century in Verzé and Prissé. The juices produced by the 120 families of winegrowers on 906 hectares of vines, almost half of which in the Mâcon Villages appellation and more than a quarter in the Saint-Véran ,are labeled Vignerons Committed to Sustainable Development. The cooperative, whose production oscillates around 6 million bottles, highlights the Cerço range, born from a desire to create a cuvée that is as neutral as possible for the environment. The range, largely dominated by white wines, brings together two appellations from the Mâconnais and three from the Côte d’Or. The well-balanced Mâcon-Villages will satisfy a wide audience. Mâcon-Verzé, chiseled, sapid, tense, shows more character. We also appreciate the great minerality of the Les Cras cuvée and the Pouilly-Fuissé, very precise, delicate, characterized by a more advanced ageing. Finally, Révélis, a blend of five climates from Saint-Véran, is more complex, riper, while remaining harmonious. Cerço production is currently limited to 85,000 bottles, webpage : https://terres-secretes.com/

We go once in a while and it has a store in Vannes so here is the Monoprix wine fair, from September 16 to October 2 2022. This year’s letimotiv: more fruity reds, whites and bubbles. Bordeaux, the first region represented, is followed very closely by Bourgogne, Rhône, Loire and Champagne , Note the marked presence of foreign wines and new generation Vins-de-France which are now a category in their own right named rebel wines and moreover, always very popular with city dwellers , An immediate 30% discount will be made at the cash desk with the loyalty card from three bottles purchased, according to the offer of the day, webpage: https://foire-aux-vins.monoprix.fr/

Saïd El Yousfi. This is the story of a boy born in Morocco, who grew up near Avignon, and whose wine-grower father worked for forty-five years for three families in Châteauneuf-du-pape , He joined PricewaterhouseCooper, and manages for seven years the wine-growing center and its 120 properties, including Château Margaux, Château Cos D’Estournel, Maison Louis Latour, Dom Pérignon. In 2021, at age 34, Saïd El Yousfi created his own trading house, Wineted, with partners such as ex-basketball player Tony Parker (San Antonio NBA), Offering wines from the fifty largest properties in the world, coming directly from the estates, via its website and a mobile application. 1,300 references are available, the oldest of which is a Château Gruaud Larose 1810! Wineted, which claims 600 customers, offers a concierge service from 1 euro per month in high-end storage locations in Bordeaux, Paris, Monaco and soon a fourth near Avignon. A home delivery service also exists. Finally, from September,2022 Wineted will offer high-level master classes in partnership with Alain Ducasse. They will take place every Thursday at the Salon des Manufactures ,11 Rue des Petits Champs in Paris. With such an offer, Saïd El Yousfi wishes to develop in Japan, the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Middle East. To be continue,,,webpage: https://maison-wineted.com/

On October 28, 2022, let’s celebrate Champagne! Every year, on the fourth Friday of October, Champagne is celebrated on Champagne Day. Many events are organized this year; some have already been identified in Japan and the United States. Are you a wine professional? You too can register your event on the website dedicated to Champagne Day: https://champagneday.champagne.fr/

Maison Dourthe (old house many years ago used to sell their wines in US) is launching a major plot selection project at Dourthe, we are passionate about the terroirs of Bordeaux. Their Châteaux and partner winegrowers, join hands to develop the “Lab Dourthe” on both sides of Bordeaux , with the ambition of creating the Bordeaux wines of tomorrow. The “Parcellaires” of Dourthe were therefore born from a desire to shake up the codes of a land of blending, and to reveal with purity the taste of the place. In the Graves ,they have selected two plots: a Sémillon planted in 1954 on gravelly clay soil, and a Cabernet-Sauvignon on deep gravel, in Haut-Médoc. This is a micro-project, they said will always be limited by the plots in terms of quantity. The production now is 2,500 bottles for each plot, and will distribute them on allocation in their various markets. Some examples I like is the Sémillon plots 54 2020, from Château Rahoul, Graves. This is a plot of Sémillon planted in 1954 (hence the name), on gravelly clay soil and limestone soil. On a wide range, find yellow fruits, especially mango, apricot, dried herbs, heather, marked aromas of warm butter and French toast, very clean cumin, and a hint of freshness thanks to the mint. The palate is finely textured and slightly oily. Yellow fruit, a hint of grapefruit, candied lemon, sweet spices (cumin) and peppermint on the finish. A deep and refined wine, The Château Reysson, Peykem plots, Haut Médoc ,the clay-limestone terrain faces due north. The maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon is slow. Aged 100% in amphorae for 12 months. The nose has a milky side, Reine Claude with brandy, crushed strawberry, menthol and bay leaf. The attack is on the freshness and the noble vegetable then the red fruits take the hand (currant, fruits of the forest). The finish is slightly milky and sweet, with a nice freshness. A straight wine, carried by a nice acidity. The dense and tight side of the tannins is attenuated by the micro oxygenation of the amphora. Love it !! webpage: http://www.dourthe.com/en/

And as we are also, great cheese consumers of many kinds and lived in the best country for them , me think ; here is a bit of helpful hints from the pros I follow too,

The main principles of cheese and wine pairing, First, avoid great wines, especially old ones, with cheese. Fragile and delicate, they risk being masked by too strong flavors With blue-veined cheeses, such as Roquefort, blues, Fourmes d’Ambert, go for a soft white that will envelop these cheeses with a strong personality. For strong flavored dry cheeses, such as Comté, Beaufort, Tomme, or Emmental, uncork a light, fruity wine such as Beaujolais, Saumur Rouge, or Sancerre Blanc, Arbois, Savoie, or Jura. For dry cheeses with a mild flavor, such as Cantal, light, dry and fruity red wines such as a Chinon, Bourgueil or Cabernet will be very suitable. White wines, such as Sancerre or Saumur, can also do the trick. For goat cheese, definitely go for white wine! Even semi-dry or even sweet wines can be excellent depending on the ripening of the cheese. For soft cheeses with a mild flavor, such as Brie or Brillat-Savarin, opt for light red wines such as certain Loire wines or tannic on Saint-Nectaire. Finally, for soft cheeses with a strong flavor such as Livarot, Maroille, Munster or Camembert, favor light red wines so as not to mask the flavors of these cheeses. A Burgundy, a Beaujolais, a Loire wine and sweet white wines will be perfect. En vino veritas !

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

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

September 15, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVIIII

Well news in my belle France happens fast and need to tell you more, always more. Therefore, time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXVIIII is 369 ! , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are coming to the end of Summer ,and temps came back hot like 28C then rainy but Fall is waiting by Sept 23rd. Times like this are great to be in our veranda and have a glass of wine, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The cardboard t+ ticket book says goodbye! The disappearance of cardboard t+ ticket books is taking place in three phases in RATP stations, During 2023: progressive end of the sale of t+ cardboard ticket books at all RATP network ticket machines and counters. In addition, the books of magnetic t+ tickets or the Origin/Destination ticket are no longer available from RATP approved merchants. If you are an occasional traveler or a tourist: Booklets of contactless t+ tickets will be available for sale at 2€, cheaper than the cardboard t+ booklets: On a Navigo Easy pass, sold for 2€ and reloadable afterwards from ticket machines sale from all stations and at ticket offices, from approved merchants or at any time with your smartphone via the Île-de-France Mobilités and Bonjour RATP applications.

In order to allow travelers to park their bicycles near stations , Île-de-France Mobilités is continuing to develop bicycle parking throughout the Île-de-France region. These bicycle parking lots are easily identifiable thanks to a uniform visual identity. The collective Bike Parking lockers are secured by: access control via a Navigo pass; video surveillance. All Île-de-France Mobilités bicycle parking lots are: accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; sheltered and lit; located as close as possible to stations and stations; easily identifiable (uniform visual identity). Daily / Monthly / Annual subscription paying 4 euros / 10 € / 30 € the RATP webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/

The Nuit Blanche (white night) October 1st 2022; for an adventurous stroll in the heart of historic Paris, designed as a large exuberant garden, from the Hôtel de Ville to the Canopée des Halles, passing by the Académie du Climat and the Théâtre du Châtelet… , many associated artistic events are offered in the center of Paris. Nuit Blanche continues north of Paris with a cosmic journey from the Parc de la Villette and the Canal de l’Ourcq, opening the way to the cities of the Greater Paris Metropolis, Aubervilliers, Bobigny and Saint-Denis. In the south, the fervor of the supporters filling the stands of the Charléty stadium resonates in the distance, or could it be the fever that has taken hold of the Molitor swimming pool with its psychedelic and sensual appearances? The route continues around these places in Paris, and behind the ring road, to the cities of the Greater Paris Metropolis, from Malakoff to Vitry-sur-Seine. Webpage : https://www.paris.fr/nuit-blanche-2022

The Place de la Concorde will soon be renovated ! The City of Paris plans to partially renovate it by the 2024 Olympics. The two fountains located on either side of the obelisk in Place de la Concorde will be cleaned from of spring 2023, Sculptures blackened by pollution and others whitened by the calcareous waters of the fountains. In addition, there are sentry boxes with smashed doors, rostral columns that have lost their marble slabs, rusting street lamps or loose cobblestones… Welcome to Place de la Concorde, in the very chic 8éme arrondissement of Paris. In the center of this vast mineral space of more than 8 ha, the golden tip of the obelisk of Luxor towers over the Tuileries gardens and those of the Champs-Élysées. From Place Louis XV to Place de la Concorde, First a royal square erected to serve as a setting for a monumental equestrian statue of Louis XV, the largest square in Paris was then transformed according to the upheavals of the French revolution, The Place de la Concorde, which took its current name in 1830 , has been for more than 250 years, a privileged witness to major French events. First place Louis XV, then place de la Révolution or even place Louis XVI, its name and its uses have evolved according to the jolts of history. It’s one of the jewels of Paris, But it’s also where everything happened for the French Republic (France).

The Eiffel Tower extinguished, swimming pools cooler… Paris unveils its energy sobriety plan to save money ! This past Tuesday, the City of Paris unsheathed its emergency plan to deal with the energy crisis affecting the country, the largest since the 1970s , Especially since its finances are in the red, forcing it to find 250 million euros to complete its budget. Oh oh oh life is good in Paris, more news to come here,,, The lighting of Parisian buildings and monuments is also the workhorse of the city. After the announcements relating to the extinction of the Eiffel Tower from 23h45 from September 23, the Hôtel de Ville, the Saint-Jacques tower, the municipal museums and the City/town halls of the city’s arrondissements, lit up until a morning hour, will now cease to be lit from 22h on the same date. On the other hand, public lighting is not affected by these measures for safety reasons. Life goes on under the Paris skies , just a bit darker….

Roman silverware, Dagobert’s throne… after 12 years of work, the BNF Richelieu unveils its treasures, On the occasion of Heritage Days, the historic site of the National Library in Paris (2éme) will reopen its doors to the public, in a completely redesigned version. The oval room with impressive dimensions (43.7 m X 32.8 m for 18 m high) and its gigantic glass roof, its 16 bull’s eye windows and its kilometers of shelving. a few days before the opening of the historic site, scheduled for Heritage Days from September 17 to 18 2022. After 12 years of work and a project costing 257 million euros, the institution has resolutely taken a turn. That of a place open to all, far from its image of a somewhat dark and dusty refuge for scholars and students, without abandoning these missions of conservation and research assistance. Be there is awesome !

The Sacré-Coeur Basilica, soon to be classified as a historic monument ! (about time!!), pushed back the file because of the commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the Commune. At the next city council, in mid-October, Parisian elected officials will vote to authorize the State to classify the famous basilica as a historic monument. The white stone church perched on the Montmartre hill, the most visited in the city after Notre-Dame.

Right in the center of Marseille, on Cours Honoré-d’Estienne-d’Orves, the Grandes Halles du Vieux-Port opened on July 15 this year 2022. This joyful concentration of stalls where mouth-watering products can be tasted on site has the air of a small village. From Thursday to Saturday, the doors remain open until 02h (and midnight on other days)! Webpage : https://www.lesgrandeshalles.com/

One of the biggest real estate rental portals on the web, Rentola, has published a ranking of the best departments in France thanks to different studies, Based on studied data provided by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies ( INSEE) and exchanges with people who move often, the property rental portal has ranked the best departments in France. By determining a quality index ranging from 1 (worst) to 10 (best) and based on 7 criteria that indicate different aspects of quality of life: sport, agriculture, aging, crime, l education, standard of living, and housing, The top 10 are: Lozère (48) Savoie (73) Hautes-Alpes (05) Ille-et-Vilaine (35 Brittany) Hauts-de-Seine (92) Morbihan (56 mine!!) Haute-Savoie (74) Yvelines (78 my former), Haute-Loire (43) and the Jura(39).

The Château du Marais has found a buyer. According to the Bloomberg agency, the amount of the transaction could amount to 43 million euros. Eventually, the site should be developed by the new owner, Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky, into a luxury hotel. Located in Val-Saint-Germain (Essonne 91), the Château du Marais , renowned for its water mirror 550 meters long, webpage: https://www.lechateaudumarais.fr/

The Impressionist House, the residence where the painter lived from 1874 to 1878, has been rehabilitated. It opens to the public for the first time on the occasion of European Heritage Days, from Saturday September 17 2022. The house where the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived, 21 boulevard Karl Marx in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise 95 ), with his wife, Camille, and their son, Jean, from 1874 to 1878. Webpage: https://www.argenteuil.fr/fr/actualites/la-maison-impressionniste-claude-monet

After 33 years of restoration, the ramparts illuminate the upper town of Provins as in the Middle Ages, work on the enclosure erected from the 12tC has just ended. An additional tourist attraction for the medieval city, which is celebrating the event this coming Saturday by adorning its ramparts with 129 spotlights, and with fireworks, The ramparts of the medieval city, here between the Tour aux Engins and the Porte Saint- Jean, saw their restoration end last week, Great !!! Webpage: https://provins.net/en/discover-visit/the-medieval-town-of-provins/

Yannick Noah, Véronique Sanson, Juliette Armanet..and many others at the Estival de Poissy, the stars come as neighbours, The French-speaking song festival, which now sails from Poissy to Achères via Le Pecq and Montesson (Yvelines 78), juggles between musical styles to appeal to all audiences. Kicking off on Saturday September 17 2022 with, to celebrate its 35th birthday, Véronique Sanson will open the ball on Saturday September 17 for a large free concert given from the Maison de fer, in the parc Meissonnier of Poissy , One week before the first of the 19 concerts at the festival in Poissy, Webpage: https://www.lestival.fr/

One of my favorite French designer house , Chanel ,and now its seamstresses adapt clothes for sick children ! The association created in Val-d’Oise (95) by little Élise, who died of cancer in 2019, organizes alteration workshops to allow sick children to have adapted clothes. Chanel seamstresses come to support her during these sessions at the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne 94). The Élise Princesse Courageous association has already organized several clothing alteration workshops within the institute. The Gustave-Roussy de Villejuif is a regional center for the fight against cancer. This is one of the (many) side effects caused by the disease, and about which we speak too little. Cancer causes many changes in the body of patients, marked in particular by significant weight gain and loss, or even strong irritability of the skin. Cudos for Chanel and its seamtresses , my dear late mom Gladys was one working for other leading brands like Botany 500, Calvin Klein, London Fog, Van Heusen shirts etc,webpage: https://www.chanel.com/gb/

Tributes to Queen Elizabeth II of the UK (RIP)

When the Palace of Versailles pulled out all the stops for Queen Elizabeth II, Among her many trips to France, the British sovereign visited the royal city of Yvelines (78) three times: in 1948, 1957 and 1972. A record for a Foreign Head of State, It’s quite exceptional, it’s the only one to have come so many times. Queen Elizabeth II, who died this past Thursday September 8 2022 ,evening at the age of 96, regularly visited the French people, whom she particularly loved. Us too !

The polo community took advantage of a match of the Open de France on Sunday in Apremont (Oise 60 ) to salute the memory of the Queen of England, a great fan of this sport. Many of them have met her. At the Apremont farm on this sunny Sunday at the end of summer, the kick-off is imminent. Lined up in front of the small grandstand, the eight polo players freeze. Under saddle, even their mounts seem impassive. On the side, the few dozen amateurs who came to watch this quarter-final of the French Open are silent. In tribute to Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, who died on Thursday September 8 at the age of 96, the first notes of “God Save the Queen”, the British national anthem, sound.

It was her greatest victory on May 16, 1974, Queen Elizabeth II won the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, The only passage in the Oise (60) of the British sovereign, who died on Thursday,September 8 2022 marked in the minds. On June 16, 1974, Queen Elizabeth II witnessed the success of her mare Highclere at the Prix de Diane de Chantilly, under the gaze of many spectators. The Chantilly racecourse (Oise 60) found its audience, without gauge, last June 16 2022, for the 173rd edition of the Prix de Diane. Every year since 1843, the event crowns the best 3-year-old filly after a race of 2,100 meters. In 1974, it was the mare Highclere who won, to the delight of its owner installed in the gallery: the Queen of the UK, Elizabeth II.

And by now usual, ending with some foodies news

The Social Food has enough to drive us crazy. And starting this past September 10, 2022 we’re going to be totally crazy about their new hot dog corner, Poly. At Poly, we come to taste good New York-style hot dogs, From September 10, head to rue des Gravilliers, in the 3éme arrondissement to enjoy their good homemade recipes, Poly 53, rue des Gravilliers 3éme From Tuesday to Saturday from 12h (noon) to 17h. webpage pending

The 50 Top Pizza guide presented for the first time its ranking of the 100 best pizzerias in the world o arrive at this ranking, the transalpine guide was based on the model of the Michelin Guide in order to respect the anonymity of the visits but also on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, for the collective survey based on consultation with culinary experts. The results finally fell this past Wednesday, September 7, 2022 within the walls of the famous Teatro di Corte of the Palazzo Reale in Naples, the cradle of Italian pizza. For the first time, 100 pizzerias from all over the world were in competition. Among those selected, 40 were Italian, 25 European, 15 American, 15 from Asia-Pacific, 4 from Latin America and finally 1 present on the African continent. What a surprise one from Paris won the bronze medal… Well it is Peppe, held by Giuseppe Cutraro with already three addresses present in the 20éme, 5éme and 9éme arrondissements. Already elected best pizzeria in Europe 2022 and best Neapolitan pizza in the world, the restaurateur leaves with a more than honorable prize, that of the pizza maker of the year, Webpage: https://www.peppeparis.fr/en/

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for finishing Summer with a bang and welcoming Fall (here Sept 23rd) , And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

September 8, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVIII

It’s time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXVIII is 368 ! , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are coming to the end of Summer ,and temps already back to normal range , cooler rainy so perfect for a glass of wine,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Paris bike operators Lime, Dott and Tier have recorded a number of journeys never seen in the city since the start of the summer. The mass return of tourists has something to do with it, but also the enthusiasm of Île-de-France region residents for these micromobilities. And it’s not over. The cycle path along the Quai Branly, (7éme) has change in ten years, it’s crazy how Paris has changed, with all these cycle paths! When for example you arrived near the Eiffel Tower, place your three bicycles on the arches. The trip from the Opera district will have cost only 15€. So more bikes, more trotinettes and less cars good for business,,,,,,,,,time will tell but already many are leaving Paris.

For your bicycle breakdowns the SNCF sets up a free bicycle repair workshop. From May 20, 2022, it is at the Rosa Parks station on line RER E that you will be able to take care of your little worries. According to ActuParis, the SNCF is setting up 269 bicycle repair workshops in several stations in Île-de-France region. So if you have a problem head to Rosa Parks Station, September 9 and 23, and October 13 to get your bike back to new!

The monumental clock “The Defender of Time” returns to Paris, will soon find its place in the quariter or neighborhood of L’Horloge in Paris, not far from the Pompidou Center. The Quartier de l’Horloge is a group of buildings in the 3éme arrondissement located between rue Saint-Martin , rue Rambuteau , rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare , and rue Beaubourg next to the Centre Georges-Pompidou. The six or seven-story buildings evoke the earlier medieval parcel grid. One of the buildings bearing the inscription “Le Piazza Beaubourg”, located at 156 rue Saint-Martin is described during the sale of its apartments as a “Millionaire’s Row in the heart of Paris”, At the intersection of the Rue Rambuteau and Rue Brantôme features a work by Max Ernst, Le Grand Assistant. The maintenance being the responsibility of the condominium associations. Originally occupied by restaurants and luxury shops, there is currently the big Leroy Merlin of Paris Centre, and reprography workshops.The routes within the neighborhood are: Impasse Beaubourg; rue Bernard-de-Clairvaux, which begins rue Brantôme and ends at no. 172 rue Saint-Martin, passage Brantôme, which begins rue Rambuteau and ends rue Brantôme, rue Brantôme, which begins at no. 46 rue Rambuteau and ends at no. 11 rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare, passage du Maure, which begins at no. 33 rue Beaubourg and ends rue Brantôme, passage des Ménétriers, which starts at no. 23 rue Beaubourg and ends rue Brantôme, Wonderful walks indeed !

On the occasion of the bicentenary of the Canal de l’Ourcq,(see post) many excursions and cruises are organized to learn the secrets of this canal, which has many surprises in store, Soufflet has therefore sold the land of its mills to a bank named… Meunier. You can’t make it up! to liven up a walk in Pantin along the Canal de l’Ourcq. City of Paris info : https://www.paris.fr/evenements/bicentenaire-du-canal-de-l-ourcq-21454

Among the Most Beautiful Villages of France for 40 years, Gerberoy benefits from tourism, The Most Beautiful Villages of France label celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend. Gerberoy was one of the first towns to obtain it, in 1982, becoming one of the tourist centers of the Oise (dept 60). A bit more info on the tourist office of Picardie Green : https://gerberoy-picardieverte.com/nos-essentiels/gerberoy/

You love Rimbaud, you will love Charleville-Mézières, The poet was not always kind to his hometown, locals continue to celebrate the author of “A Season in Hell”. The most literate will say Rimbaud, the tormented poet, who was born there in 1854, lived, wrote. The bookstore bears the name of Rimbaud, as does a quay on the Meuse river and the college where the poet studied. The media library has been baptized “Voyelles”, like the poem, the bistros offer the “Cuvée d’Arthur”, a craft beer, etc, The Charleville-Sedan tourist office : https://www.charleville-sedan-tourisme.fr/en/discover-charleville-mezieres/

One hundred years later, Paris is once again hosting the Olympic Games, in 2024. The budget for Paris 2024 is estimated at 6.6 billion euros despite everything, compared to 31 billion for Beijing 2008 or 16.5 billion for Rio de Janeiro 2016. Even if 93% of the sites are already existing, a few new ones will be added to the list. Add to that the Grand Paris Express project … Things are going to change in the city! It is in Seine-Saint-Denis (93) that the new Olympic village will come to nest on 46 hectares, 11,000 apartments, 120,000 m2 of offices, 3,200 m2 of shops, 7 hectares of green spaces… All to accommodate the some 17,000 athletes who will land from July 26 to August 11, 2024 (for the Olympics) and from August 28 to September 8 (for the Paralympic Games). Obviously, the Olympic Village could later be transformed into new housing for the residents of the city. A new Olympic aquatic center will be installed on the Plaine Saulnier, still in Saint-Denis, opposite the Stade de France. The new site will consist of 50 meter long pools and diving spots. The little extra? It will be equipped with 5,000 m2 of solar panels with an economical thermal design, a wooden roof and stands made of plastic recycled from corks. A new room will see the light of day in the Porte de la Chapelle neighborhood in Paris. 20,000 m2, 8,000 seats… It will mainly host wrestling, basketball, handball, etc. events. It will later become the main center of Paris Basketball, or even PSG Handball. The new climbing center at Le Bourget with six indoor and outdoor walls and a large gymnasium, that’s the project. For once, these are temporary facilities, except for the warm-up structure which will be kept. We will be entitled to green courtyards, pedestrianized streets, more developed cycle paths… All within the framework of the “Embellir votre quartier” or beautify your neighborhood project, an approach launched by the City of Paris. Other work is also planned as part of the Grand Paris Express, which should create 4 metro lines, 2 extensions and 60 new stations. This project is however likely not to be fully completed before the arrival of the Olympic Games. The official Paris2024 webpage : https://www.paris2024.org/fr/

The four-star hotel reopens in the hope that the étangs de Corot ponds (see post) will regain their splendor, The establishment and its spa area have just been completed after more than a year and a half of work, Eight spa cabins offer a view of the ponds, to relax facing an exceptional environment. The hotel Les étangs de Corot located in Ville-d’Avray, on the edge of the emblematic ponds immortalized in the 19C by the painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, This four-star establishment and its spa area, called Les Bains de Corot, have reopened discreetly their doors this past August. At the beginning of September, it is the turn of its bistro and its one-star restaurant to welcome the public again. Webpage : https://www.lesbainsdecorot.com/en/

At the Palace of Versailles, a little less tourists and a lot less thieves, Thefts recorded near the tourist site decreased by 50% this summer compared to 2019, according to the prefecture of Yvelines. And this, despite the return of foreign visitors …. except Chinese and Russians. The Palace of Versailles remains a safe bet for tourists ! The site attracted 825,000 visitors in July, almost twice as many as last year. It is thus approaching pre-Covid levels. This renewed vigor is correlated with encouraging figures in terms of safety: “only” 25 thefts were recorded there between January and August, according to the prefecture of Yvelines. That is a big improvement as this place has become a lot more touristy than ever !

Other castles in the region produce their wines. The stars Chenonceau and Cheverny, and others, less known, from Indre to Maine-et-Loire.I have written on these castles and their wine is good, took them home each time, Could be source of Wines from France but rather for a touristic point of view will list them here for all to enjoy the castles and the wine bien sûr ! (See posts on the castles in my blog).

The Château de Valençay (Indre 36) ,The castle and the town of the same name gave birth to the Valençay appellation, which covers an area of ​​2,400 hectares. Specificity of Valençay Indre, in addition to the AOC of wines, it also offers an appellation of cheese, the pyramid of Valençay , and very good, a goat from Berry, At the castle itself, the vineyard extends over 165 hectares, with the main grape varieties gamay, for the reds, and sauvignon, for the whites.

The Château de Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire 37) ,The vines and the cellar have always belonged to the most visited private château in France, The vinification of the 10 hectares is nevertheless entrusted to the Caves du Père Auguste, a few km from Chenonceaux (town), in the village of Civray-de-Touraine. The traditional grape varieties are Chenin (white) and Cabernet Franc (red), to which Sauvignon and Côt, or Malbec, have been added. Two cuvées (white and red) are offered in the Touraine-Chenonceaux appellation, which extends over both banks of the Cher, the rest of the wines in AOC Touraine.

The Château de Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher 41), It’s hard to miss the architecture of Cheverny, the inspiration for Moulinsart d’Hergé, The vines that grow a few hundred meters from a château that belongs to the Hurault de Vibraye family: the first half a hectare was planted in 2018. The first harvest, last year, could not be done due to an episode of frost. The grapes (Sauvignon and Chardonnay) will give white Cheverny, vinified by the cooperative cellar of Mont-près-Chambord winegrowers.

The Château de Brissac (Maine-et-Loire 49), The 28 hectares of vines of a château in the town of Brissac-Loire-Aubance, 15 km from Angers, are cultivated by the Caves de la Loire, a cooperative which brings together 180 winegrowers. The cuvées, baptized “Château des Cossé”, named after the owner family since the beginning of the 16C, are made from Chenin in white, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Grolleau in red. They come from multiple appellations: Anjou, Cabernet d’Anjou (exclusively in rosé), Crémant-de-Loire, Anjou-Villages-Brissac…

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay (Maine-et-Loire 49) ,15 km south of Saumur, the château, which combines Renaissance and medieval military architecture, houses 16 hectares of Cabernet Franc, Chenin and Chardonnay. We are here in the Saumur appellation, of course, and the vineyard offers several cuvées, in white and red, without forgetting the bubbles with the essential Crémant-de-Loire.

The Château de Chambord, (Loir et Cher 41), The rebirth of a vineyard, The beautiful heritage vine, replanted on 14 hectares of the estate in 2015, has benefited from a new cellar since July 14 2022. You have to be attentive to notice the vines, planted within sight of the castle. The Chambord vineyard covers 14 hectares. When the young King François I ordered its construction in 1519, there was no vineyard. The same year, by an order of September 6, the King had 80,000 vines planted with white grapes originating from Burgundy at a forty km away, near the castle of his mother, Louise de Savoie. The village, Romorantin (Loir-et-Cher), then gave its name to the grape variety which would become the only reference for the small area of barely fifty hectares with the Cour-Cheverny designation of origin (AOC). This differs from the adjoining appellation, Cheverny, which covers some 600 hectares.

Star chef Mory Sacko will have from this Wednesday, September 7,2022 a new fried chicken restaurant within the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. A second address will open a little later in October, in the 14éme arrondissement, very close to his MoSuke restaurant. The MoSugo, Mory Sacko’s take-out and delivery street-food offer, had already delighted us during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns, this time focusing on what it does best: fried chicken. On the program: chicken aiguillettes breaded to perfection, sweet potatoes fried or roasted with a delicious Cajun sauce and above all the big expectation of the menu, the fried chicken burger. With its very soft pretzel bread, delicious miso mayonnaise and cucumber pickles ! The first address within Galeries Lafayette will have around sixty seats, while the second, a few meters from the star restaurant MoSuke, will take the form of a counter with a room of fifteen place settings,webpage : https://mosuke-restaurant.com/chef-mory-sacko-2/

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for finishing Summer with a bang and welcoming Fall (here Sept 23rd) , And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

September 1, 2022

The Tour Saint Maclou of Mantes-la-Jolie !

I used to lived not far from it and did visit several times and my sons studied in higher education training for Chef here, Therefore, it is time for me to update this older post with new links ; hope you enjoy it as I, This Mantes La Jolie in the department 78 of the Yvelines in the region of the Île de France, sub prefecture of the dept 78 of which the prefecture and capital is Versailles. So let me tell you about a popular monument that must be seen while in town the Tour Saint Maclou of Mantes-la-Jolie !

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The Saint-Maclou church was one of the parish churches of the city of Mantes-la-Jolie, and was dedicated to Saint Maclou. The early church was Romanesque. Originally built around the beginning of the 11C, around 1015, the Saint-Maclou church was, according to the local tradition, the Hôtel Dieu of the city. Burned by William the Conqueror in 1087 along with the rest of the city, it was rebuilt nearby towards the end of the 11C or the beginning of the 12C.

The French revolution arrived and the parish was abolished in 1791 to establish the Temple of Reason and, in order to finance the work to be done, sold the materials from the demolition of the choir and the tower. If the choir was effectively demolished, the tower, whose demolition was already scheduled, was only saved in extremis thanks to the action of the Arts Commission. The church was closed again and never served as a temple. It was sold to private individuals. In 1806, when it was no longer known what to do with the church, the walls of the nave began to collapse, so the owners were ordered to demolish all the walls until three meters above the ground, leaving only the tower and one end of the elevation facade.

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Many restorations of the tower were carried out in the second half of the 19C, accelerating until the beginning of the 20C. It was shaken by the bombings of 1944 and required numerous restorations until the 1980s before being considered restored, when it was cleaned of the pollution film that covered it. Today there remains the 16C tower, as well as a section of the Romanesque wall, along two arcades, with the pillars of the aisle which correspond to it. The facade, although greatly altered, still has original elements. Of the primitive church, there remains the crypt. In addition, it will be noted that one of the corners of the Saint Maclou Tower is made up of a turret surmounted by a dome which rises to the top: it is here that the spiral staircase gives access to the the top of the tower, from where the view over the Seine valley is impressive. Exceptionally, visitors have access to this part of the building, need to confirm now with the tourist office. The tower is left for immortality and very beautiful in city center Mantes La Jolie.

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The city of Mantes-la-Jolie on the tour Saint Maclouhttps://www.manteslajolie.fr/ma-ville/decouvrir-mantes-la-jolie-1-1/la-tour-saint-maclou

The Saint Maclou Tower is not far from the Seine river and the Collegiale Notre Dame and the Hôtel-Dieu (see posts) that I had already written about. Hope you enjoy the post and I thank you for reading it.

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

August 28, 2022

My favorite gardens of the Île de France region of France !!

I have decided to be romantic ok, and talk about gardens; we have many beautiful ones and some are well known. I like to update this monumental task to remember my dear late wife Martine who was the inspiring gardener who took me to so many of these. I am no expert but will try go give a general description on them. Let me tell you about my favorite gardens of the Île de France region of France !!

Now , let me tell you my stories on them. Briefly ok, because it can be long stories, lol !

Thoiry. is a castle and open air zoo but it has beautiful gardens of the castle and a great labyrinth ,the English style garden, a flower prairie , a hill of roses, garden of rhododendrons, garden of perfumes and garden of autumn. It’s a bit awkward in going there from Paris, I have been there by car. Thoiry on the gardens: https://thoiry.net/animations-vip/decouvrez-le-chateau-de-thoiry-et-ses-jardins-remarquables

More noble,the parc du Bois de Préau in Rueil-Malmaison, was a property of Imperatrice  Joséphine and she has a statue there. It is a real English style garden of 17 hectares. It has rare centenary trees like the hazelnut of Byzance or the common charme, the Corsican pine, or the giant sequoia. TheChâteau de Bois-Préau remind us of the time of the Emperor in Sainte Hélène  and the return of his ashes to Paris. it was the last acquisition of Joséphine, where she house her doctor and has many memorable objects. After her death in 1814, many owners went by until purchase in 1920 by the American couple Tuck that eventually did a donation of it in 1926 to the national museums of France to create an annex to the Château de Malmaison. Webpage: https://www.rueil-tourisme.com/en/discover-rueil-malmaison/heritage-culture/parks-and-gardens/park-and-ch%C3%A2teau-bois-preau

Then, I take you to tranquil surrounding of an old abbey. This is the medieval Abbey of Royaumont. There is a garden and a cloister, vegetable garden and a long canal. It is all in 6 hectares with many signs of medieval times.  The Cistercian monks of the 13C were master of the hydraulic canalization to bring the water to the one point in the monastery. Today there are medicinal  plants from the middle ages still there and shape in 1912 into a French style garden with renaissance lawns.  There is a vegetable garden or potager of 160 varieties of vegetables, 3000 plants, and 60 fruit trees! Abbey webpage : https://www.royaumont.com/en/decouvrir-labbaye/the-monument/

The Arboretum de Chèvreloup, is handle by the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle. Here in more than  200 hectares you can discover over  2500 species and varieties of trees with the best collection of western Europe. This is practically attach to Versailles, it was part of the domaine and even king Louis XIV planted trees there; after the French revolution it was split and now is a stand along park, It was one of my hangouts when in town, webpage: https://www.arboretumdeversailleschevreloup.fr/fr/plan-visite-2485

Since 1766  the students of the veterinary school of Alfort have their own botanical garden and you can visit it in groups to discover toxic plants and medicinal plants, This is at 7 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, Maisons-Alfort in Val de Marne dept94 contact; musee@vet-alfort,fr  botanical garden webpage : https://www.vet-alfort.fr/domaine-d-alfort/jardin-botanique/presentation

The Jardin botanique de Luzarches or botanical and it’s 2500 plants awaits you and do not missed the purple oak dating from the 18C.  The garden is open on weekends. Tourist office of dept 95 Val d’Oise on the botanical gardens: https://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/fiches/jardin-botanique/

The national conservatory of plants of perfumes, medicinal, aromatics and industrials  or  Conservatoire National des Plantes à Parfum, Médicinales, Aromatiques et Industrielles  welcomes you to its greenhouse garden center, botanical garden , agronomic center and interpretation center with a sensorial walk into it’s collections of more than 1500 species , completed with a museographer presentation. Located in an old plant dryer building you will be walk into the history of plants ,their origins and their daily use. This is at Route de Nemours, 91490 Milly-la-foret (Essonne 91). Webpage : https://www.cnpmai.net/fr/visites-animations-boutique/visite-tourisme-gatinais/

In one of the best medieval towns in the region or even France, that of Provins in Seine-et-Marne 77, you have a beautiful Rosary or Rosarie, where you will see, know, and learn about the old and new roses of our world.  City of Provins tourist office webpage : https://provins.net/en/discover-visit/nature-soul-of-the-gardens/the-provins-rose-garden/

If you like contemporary art, then go to these two. Rentilly you need to go .The cultural park of Rentilly or  Parc culturel de Rentilly ,and it castle offers every year expositions , webpage : https://www.marneetgondoire.fr/parc-culturel-de-rentilly-michel-chartier/le-parc-268.html

Or the Domaine de Chamarande , the expositions and spectacles, shops on the program  with the opportunity to visit a wonderful garden paysagiste ; located at 38, rue du Commandant Arnoux , 91730 Chamarande.  Webpage : https://chamarande.essonne.fr/a-voir-a-faire/decouvrir-les-balades-du-jardin/

There is a wonderful garden and beautiful castle, need to be visit more. A magnificent park of 75 hectares with botanical curiosities such as a labyrinth and a playground. The Chateau de  Breteuil was built on a hill overlooking the natural regional park of the valley of the Chevreuse or Parc Naturel Régional de la Vallée de Chevreuse.  There is a French style garden there over 400 years with a lake glass of water,and parterres of ifs trees and nicely cut shrubs while the Castle garden are in the English style on one of the lawns looking at the Chevreuse valley or  Vallée de Chevreuse.  There are massive rhododendrons in flower trees in the Spring, for wonderful bicycle trails in autumn and a promenade that takes you to two lakes with plenty of ducks.  In the vestiges of a plantation dating from the 18C are now terraces Italian style with the oldest the current prince gardens or Jardin des Princes  with a nice collection of plants, trees, and flowers around a vegetable garden  and a pergola covered with roses in spring. In another terrace, you have the  the laberynth with 1000 shrubs or the  labyrinthe aux 1000 buis, opened in 2000, and a current interpretation of the forest lost of the 19C. Castle and gardens webpage:  https://www.breteuil.fr/en/the-gardens-of-chateau-de-breteuil/

In the regional natural park of the upper valley of the Chevreuse or the Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse, you have the wonderful semi private Château de Saint-Jean de Beauregard , always sought after for its wonderful gardens The Castle has seven courses and the park and garden French style in a perfect square where you find the Chapel, commons areas, stables, vegetable garden , pigeonier , orangerie, freezer, and pigeons cellars , all the element for life in the 17C. The Domain ofSaint-Jean de Beauregardis a family owned property inhabited year around with the current owners showcasing their gardens.  Their passion allowed for the creation of the first festival of plants or Fête des Plantes in 1984 becoming one of the main garden events in France. The pigeon house or pigeonnier of Saint-Jean de Beauregard  is one of the biggest in the region of Île-de France with 12 meters high and a bending roof , a must on the visit. One of the best vegetable gardens since the 17C, the flower garden here is one of the rare that have survived to our days; it has 2 hectares with flowers, fruits and vegetables rare or hard to find. The walk is very nice and allowed you see wonderful trees and grape green houses , fruit trees etc. Part of the park has been changed into a garden English style early 20C allowing the creation of a lake and new tree species such as oaks, etc. Castle webpage:   http://www.chateaudesaintjeandebeauregard.com/en/

One of the best known rosaries is the one at Hay les Roses or  Roseraie de l’Haÿ les Roses, today more known as the rosary of the Marne valley or Roseraie du Val de Marne. It is located at Rue Albert Watel L’Hay Les Roses Val de Marne dept 94, It has the most important collection of old roses in the world! They were made and designed by  Edouard André,a well known gardener of the 19C upon the request of an avid  collector Jules Gravereaux. Webpage : https://roseraie.valdemarne.fr/english-version/discover-the-roseraie

The park of the Champs Castle or the Parc du Château de Champs in Champs-sur-Marne, dept 77 Seine-et-Marne is a wonderful garden with a Castle.  Garden started in 1710 due to Claude Desgots a grand nephew of the master André le Nôtre that followed his principals very well. A big axe with basins and sculptures, a big alley along the wall of the property, lawns in the middle and bordered with trees, parterres and division of small forests with transversal alleys; however, the lawn surface are more and closer to the castle. This is one of the best preserved garden and castle combination in the region, and only 18 km from Paris. National Monuments on the castle/garden: https://www.chateau-champs-sur-marne.fr/en/

Another one in the good department 77 … we have the Templars commanders garden or the Jardin de la Commanderie des TempliersIt’s  a center of culture and history of the commanderie of Templars with a medieval inspiration in Coulommiers (also another good Brie cheese area AOP) , the garden is composed of square borders of chesnut trees. The plants were chosen and raised taken example of miniatures from the middle ages and old maps of the abbey of Saint-Gall. They are vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants that today serve to raise funds for the center. This is a great place to visit for the history of the Templars and the gardens, The Coulommiers Brie country local tourist office on the garden: https://www.coulommierspaysdebrie-tourisme.fr/offre-touristique/727340-jardin-medieval-commanderie-templiers/

Another wonderful castle and garden in my beloved Seine-et-Marne 77 is the castle of Ferriéres or Château de Ferrières and its old park, former owned by a certain Rothschild.  The park passed by many gardeners and botanical folks until in 1854 an English architect and gardener  Joseph Paxton upon the request of James de Rothschild,gave it the look we see today.  The castle and garden were done again with lakes and streams with bridges done like harbors like the one at the island or Île d’Amour,love island surrounded by trees, lovely indeed.  It is now private functions castle such as wedding but you can inquire about visiting the gardens and its ok, Castle webpage: http://www.chateaudeferrieres.com/histoire-du-chateau

At the heart of the departemental domain of the wolves valley or the Domaine départemental de la Vallée aux Loups you can discovered another interesting arboretum with over 500 species of trees on 12 hectares.  This is a park done on the English style with small ornamental construction called factories to surprise all along the walk. It was created by the pharmacist of Napoléon I facing the property of Chateaubriand in the park with many rare trees . In 1890, it changed owner to a gardener who re arranged the arboretum with lakes and suspended bridges as well as kiosks and factories while cultivating the essences of the Americas and Asia today over 100 years old trees  such as China poplar, hairy oak trees , myrsine oak, heavy wood pine and a weeping blue cedar of 680 m2 in diameter that can be look on the lake reflexes. Here do not missed the house of Chateaubriand where he lived and where he writes the first chapters of his memories of the grave or  ‘Mémoires d’Outre-tombe’, with welcome visits, conferences and expositions.  Located at 46 rue de Chateaubriand / avenue Jean Jaures,   Chatenay-Malabry (92 dept Hauts-de-Seine). You are best by car direction rue Eugène Sinet on your GPS. At the end of this street is the intersection with rue de Chateaubriand: opposite, a public car park accessible all day; on the left, the house of Chateaubriand (whose entrance gate is a hundred meters further on, right side), webpage : https://vallee-aux-loups.hauts-de-seine.fr/l-arboretum/histoire-et-botanique

We come to a wonderful garden castle. This is the Château d’Ambleville with a feudal origins, gardens in three terraces inspired from the Villa Gamberaia in Florence, Italy and the portraits of Villa Arthena in Rome. A corner of Italy in the region of Île de France, the sun garden or Jardin du Soleil is a huge chessboard, the moon garden or jardin de la Lune with 6 statues of the times, and the Eyes garden or Jardin de l’Oeil taking you to four rooms of greens, Italy at your feet. The city of Ambleville on the castle/garden : http://www.ambleville.org/decouvrir-ambleville/sites-monuments/le-chateau/

One of my favorites is the gardens in the donjon castle of La Roche Guyon, in the same dept 95 Val d’Oise. This is a French style garden with a vegetable garden or the Jardin Potager du Château de La Roche Guyon . It has four parterres or square lawns divided into 32 triangular parcels with octagonal alleys, a central basin in each square and fruit trees bordering them.  At the time, around 1740, the garden had 675 trees of which  442 pears, 143 apples, some of peach and prunes. After a long period of neglect the garden has had a revival to find its initial vocation of the 18C by the owner  La Rochefoucauld ; a space of production and experimental agro, where seeds and biodiversity are a primary place all around a central garden.  Do not missed the castle and especially the underground cellars famous from WWII. Webpage: https://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr/le-potager-fruitier/

Another wonderful garden, moat and domain that I love going with my family for their medieval market days is the parc de Villarceaux  with  63 hectares of walks and the mansion or Manoir de Ninon, renaissance style and the high castle or Château du Haut in the Classical style.  Beautiful views, alignments and water basins. The  domaine de Villarceaux (which includes all of the before mentioned)  is a must in the area even if by car is a must to visit; take the A13 direction Rouen to exit/sortir 11 at Mante Est,and follow direction Beauvais and you will begin to see signs for Villarceaux at Chaussy.  You have gorgeous gardens, terraces and water basins all around you and history of course. Domaine webpage :https://villarceaux.iledefrance.fr/

The official gardens in all of France,just go « selectionnez une région «  and go to Île de France: https://www.parcsetjardins.fr/jardins/carte#resultats

There you go folks, a wonderful gardens of the Île de France post, I wanted to show you and update long ago, These brings lots of wonderful family memories for us here. I hope with this post for you to enjoy them too and maybe one day visit them too. All worth the detour me think. I do have some individual posts on some of them in my blog,

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

August 28, 2022

Let’s go again to the Potager du Roi of Versailles !!

I  have written so much on my dear Versailles, sorry if sometimes I repeat myself. Of course, written on the wonderful Potager du Roi ,but have some new older pictures to tell you a recap and encourage you to visit it. This is a wonderful historical part of my dear Versailles; hope you enjoy it as I.

At the request of king Louis XIV, gardener Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie made this vegetable/fruit garden between 1678-1683.  It provided the king with its own supplies of veggies well done for his taste. The design is of three central trails of about 3 hectares ( 7,4 acres) divided into 16 squares all around a fountain. At the center of each square, surrounded by fruit trees, you have rounds of vegetables flourishing. You will have a wonderful view of this from the terraces. You will discover about 12 enclosed gardens with its collection of fruit trees where still the art of growing them continues. You can,also, with time take a course in gardening at this wonderful place.

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The Potager du Roi is located at 10 rue du Maréchal Joffre, just in front of the Cathédrale Saint Louis (see post). You can come from Paris on the RER C to Château Rive Gauche station, take a left on Avenue du Général de Gaulle ,take right on Rue du Général Leclerc and  take left on Rue du Maréchal Joffre, about 10 mins walking. It is open from April 1 to October 31 every day except Mondays from 10h to 18h, and from November 1 to March 31 the tuesdays and thursdays from 10h to 13h. However these are the general times, it can change each year.

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The King’s Vegetable garden, or potager du roi ,which has an orchard of some 5 000 fruit trees (more than 400 different varieties), produces good year bad year about 50 tons of fruit and 20 tons of vegetables, part of which is sold in the store boutique (open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays morning). It is a nice place and recently given the attention it deserve for renovation and keep it for generations to come.

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The official Potager du Roi : http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/site/pot_histoire/index.htm

The official l’École nationale supérieure de paysage or the National School of Landscape management of the Potager du Roihttp://www.ecole-paysage.fr/site/ecole_fr/potager_du_roi.htm

The Versailles tourist office on the Potager du Roi :https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/visit-and-explore-versailles-the-royal-town/a-town-to-discover/the-king-s-vegetable-garden

There you go folks, another dandy in Versailles, and like i always repeat, the Royal city is more than a Palace/Museum even if this is huge indeed. Hope you enjoy your visit here a lot more than a one day trip to the palace and enjoy fully my dear Versailles. Hope you have enjoy the post and even more enjoy your visit to the Potager du Roi too!!! superbe!

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

August 27, 2022

Versailles : Hôtel de Ville , part II !!!

Seldom folks go to see government buildings ,however, in France that should be an exception. Some of these city/town halls are a work of art and full of history. The one in my dear Versailles is one of the best and worth the detour to see it. I have written before on it, but found new pictures not yet on my blog and feel they should be.  Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the Hôtel de Ville of Versailles or city/town hall !!!

Versailles hotel de ville front mars07

The seasons came and gone, and I still remember the errands on the city /town hall of Versailles or mairie or Hôtel de Ville as it is known in Versailles. This is a lot more than a government building ,it has a wonderful history, and it is very well kept inside and beautiful. I must add that even when not doing official business, I would go inside just to marvel of its beautiful architecture. It is central straight ahead is the Palace of Versailles !

Built under king Louis XIV, the core of the current city/town hall was the much-loved home of his natural daughter, the Princess of Conti. It later passed under king Louis XV to Louis IV Henri de Bourbon-Condé, Duke of Bourbon, Grand Master of his House.

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It was in 1670 that the current building at 4 avenue de Paris was built, a very beautiful residence whose gardens extend to the park of the castle. Opposite it, on the other side of the avenue, the Hôtel du Grand Veneur, which no longer exists, gives it the replica with equal magnificence. Like the Princess of Conti, the Duc de Bourbon organizes in its bosom of sumptuous receptions. He even opened the gardens to the public to facilitate communication between the booming Saint-Louis and Notre-Dame districts.

Versailles hotel de ville back nov12

Unoccupied during the French revolution, in January 1790 the hotel temporarily housed the town of Versailles, which until then had been housed in the former royal furniture store, currently no, 11 rue des Reservoirs. In 1821, the extension of rue Royale towards avenue de Paris also dates from this period. The building, whose entrance is via avenue de Berry (now avenue du Général de Gaulle), is adorned with a steeple surmounted by a clock. In 1859, the city officially became the owner of the hotel. Woodwork from this period is preserved in the modern part of the building. The one, which faces the avenue de Paris, is an imposing neo-Louis XIII building dating from 1897-1900, The city/town hall was inaugurated on November 18, 1900. It is surmounted by a campanile dominating the city and now opens onto the avenue de Paris around a main courtyard surrounded by gates. In 1945, the building lost its campanile, considered too high, while the gates of the main courtyard disappeared.

Versailles hotel de ville 2fl to patio deco mar13

The city of Versailles on its historyhttps://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/decouvrir/histoire-de-versailles/

The Versailles Tourist office on the Hôtel de Ville: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/city-hall.html

There you go folks, a wonderful building of the history of Versailles, and France. Like ,I said, worth the detour indeed and just steps from the magnificent Palace of Versailles, and just around the corner from the train station RER C Rive Gauche-ChâteauMy kind of town, memories forever, Versailles !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

August 26, 2022

Wines news of France XXIX !!

Well, the temps have settle down into the usual nice Summer, and we enjoy it. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! We have done quite a bit of work around the house, and still some more until early September. Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

For decades, the grape harvest was considered locally as the event of the year, a period during which entire towns came together, a sort of line of flight between the end of summer and the arrival of autumn. Today, they still evoke for our elders sweet memories of work in the countryside, village festivals and lunches on the grass, carrying with them the nostalgia of a “France before”. Nowadays, the harvest always takes place from July to October, depending on the climates and regions, and still gives rise to its share of traditions, some of which have disappeared. Because since the appearance of the first harvesting machine in Bordeaux in 1975, the bucolic ritual has taken a serious hit , and in 2010, nearly three-quarters of the vineyard was still harvested by machine. A trend further reinforced by the health crisis, during which many areas had no choice but to invest in machines, for lack of being able to count on seasonal workers stranded behind European borders. If the market continues to grow, with ever more efficient technologies , except in Champagne, where the specifications impose manual harvesting , the time has come to reconsider, and in the ranks of the new generation, they are more and more numerous to backtrack, favoring human and animal work to the detriment of the race for yields. Man or machine, impossible to say with certainty who will win. I hope man, the tradition of what we eat and drink.

AB, Demeter, Biodyvin, Vignerons Engagés, Terra Vitis… Which labels to trust? AB, for Organic Agriculture, and European organic label, known as Eurofeuille, still pass, the specifications have been the same since 2010. But concerning Demeter, Biodyvin, HVE, Terra Vitis, Vignerons Engagés… It’s a safe bet that our amateur will lose its lights. Normal, in this forest of labels, a cat would not find her young. Indeed!!! According to a 2021 Sowine/Winedata study, 53.4% of buyers take the time when buying to see if the bottle of wine displays an environmental certification. This boosts sales. As for the reputation of the different labels, 85% of respondents have already heard of AB, 36% know what Vignerons Engagés is, at least on paper, 29% for HVE and 26% for Terra Vitis…Very confusing you have to be in the business to know it well, the consumer is lost and really do not know the definition of these termes!!! AB  designs an agricultural biological label in France. Demeter is a private certification for food, cosmetics and textiles from biodynamic agriculture. Biodyvin. International Syndicate of Winegrowers in Biodynamic Culture.The Vignerons en Développement Durable association brings together winegrowers committed to a CSR approach from vine to glass. Its Vignerons Engagés label is the first CSR and sustainable label dedicated to the world of wine in France. Terra Vitis is a network of women and men, winegrowers or winegrowers, all committed to responsible viticulture. Distributed throughout France.

Great young wines can seduce with their generous fruit and power. But the same ones, with a few more years, can bewitch with their complex aromas and the velvety silkiness of their tannins. It all depends on the age of the wine. Normally, a bottle of 10 or 15 years of age does not require special attention. On the other hand, when you enter the world of bottles that are over 20 or 25 years old, you have to be more attentive and delicate: start by handling the bottle with care to avoid putting the probable deposit in suspension, be careful with the corkscrew and handle it with great care to prevent the cork soaked in wine from falling into small pieces, possibly and very delicately decant the contents just before serving in a decanter if the deposit seems very important to you, otherwise, handle as little as possible the wine before serving and therefore avoid decanting it even if it does not show a noticeable deposit. Prefer to puncture a small glass in order to place the level at the height of the shoulders of the bottle for a gentle aeration. If you haven’t downed the small glass in question out of relish, pour it back into the bottle just before serving! finally, the serving temperature can be rather a degree higher than the same wine in a young vintage because, as they age, wines normally lose a little alcohol. We will therefore be around 18° for most Bordeaux, Burgundy and northern Rhône wines, and rather around 17° for southern Rhône wines. For whites, stay between 13 and 14°, excessive cold not being a friend of mature white wines because it kills the complexity of their aromas. En Vino Veritas!

Thanks to the few rains in mid-August, the ripening of the Muscadet grapes continued positively. The harvest ban was declared on Tuesday 23 August. The vintage promises to be exceptional. This year, Tuesday August 23 marks the start of a strategic three-week period during which the quality of the vintage becomes clearer , three weeks earlier than in 2021, on September 15. In addition to Muscadet, there are other Nantes appellations such as Coteaux d’Ancennis Malvoisie and Gros Plant du Pays Nantais. In August, the winegrowers were impatiently awaiting a little rain and it finally came in the middle of the month, offering between 20 and 30 mm of water depending on the sector. This rain made it possible to reach an ideal balance between the sugar of the grape (potential alcohol) and the acidity. Professionals from Nantes claim that the vintage will enter the pantheon of Muscadet, just like 1976 or 2003. The 450 winegrowers spread over the 6,500 hectares of the Muscadet appellation estimate, at this stage, a harvest of around still far from the yields of the AOC, but close to a year of marketing. Much better than last year’s 145,000 hl.

The harvest began on August 20 2022 in Champagne. They promise to be of extraordinary quality, in line with the three great vintages of 2018, 2019 and 2020. The relative dryness has also been beneficial. Because if an excess of water is never good for the quality, too intense a drought can cause blockages of maturity and heterogeneity in the progress of the grapes which complicates the picking circuits. Finally, the third highlight is that this is a warm vintage. For the rest, the sunshine, the heat and the drought allowed the grapes to reach good levels. The only downside is the difficulty of recruiting pickers.

For the Provençal winegrowers ; the first secateurs were launched on August 11 2022 in the traditionally earliest sectors such as the golden triangle of Cuers, Montfort sur Argens, and the Var coast. Thanks to rains in mid-August, the vintage promises to be of good quality with unexpected volumes. Despite the increasingly marked climatic vagaries, cool nights maintained the balance and Provence is expecting an average vintage in terms of volumes or around 950,000 hl for Côtes-de-Provence. Rather good news after three small problem harvests. The vintage will be fine, but the winegrowers will be encouraged, even more than in other years, to harvest during the coolest hours of the day, or even at night, in order to bring in the grapes as cool as possible and preserve the purity of the aromas of the famous rosés from Provence.

This white grape variety is not one of the international stars, yet it is the spearhead of two French appellations that are dear to our taste buds. Who is the Mauzac? Mauzac is an indigenous variety from the southwest. He is probably from the region of Gaillac, although that of Limoux also claims his paternity. Truce de guerre de clocher, this white grape variety is productive, late in terms of maturity, fan of limestone and clay-limestone soils, much less admirer of Botrytis in the vine and worms in the bunch, Mauzac gives excellent sparkling wines . It is the exclusive grape variety of the Gaillac Mousseux Méthode Ancestrale and the AOP Blanquette de Limoux ancestral method. It represents 90% minimum of the assembly of the AOP Blanquette de Limoux traditional method. It expresses itself with intense aromas of ripe apple, pear, exotic fruits, acacia flower, reveals its bubbles with finesse, fills the palate with its beautiful material, well contrasted by a fair acidity. bloom longer in its original vine, its berries are adorned with a pretty red hue testifying to over-ripeness. In this case, it is perfect for making sweet wines like Gaillac Doux, with bewitching notes of honey, quince and candied fruit. It is also vinified in still whites in Gaillac, Limoux, Entre-deux-Mers, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux, Côtes-de-Duras, where it brings all its complexity and structure on the palate to blended wines. Mauzac is a niche grape variety, proud of its roots, a quiet force that deserves to be known. Indeed is excellent in the above wines , try it !

The Château La Tour Carnet anticipates climate change, This fifth growth classified in 1855, in Haut Médoc, owned by Bernard Magrez, has become the site of an experiment intended to simulate the effects of climate change by 2050. It is to study the adaptation of 84 grape varieties to new artificially induced climatic conditions. the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) recently authorized the integration of 6 new grape varieties among 52 tested according to the specifications of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur. 84 rows of vines corresponding to 84 grape varieties, 42 red and 42 white, (1 row per variety tested) were planted. The Touriga National is one of the 84 varieties tested. It has also recently been authorized by the INAO in Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur according to certain rules. Tasted, the 2018 expresses aromas of blackberry, tar, graphite, crushed tomato. Vegetal and rooty in the mouth, tomato leaf again, a bit drying. On July 6, 2022, Tour Carnet brought together 280 researchers from around the world, as part of the Terclim Congress. This is a great recognition of the work done so far. The 14th International Terroir congress and the 2nd ClimWine symposium was organized jointly in Bordeaux from the 3 to 8 July 2022, webpage : https://bernard-magrez.com/en/chateau-la-tour-carnet-grand/

Two Gaillac wines for the summer. We have enjoyed over the year and visited property know the owners well so fyi. The chicest, Blanc Perlé 2021, Château Clément Termes Blanc Perlé is a specificity of Gaillac wines. During vinification, the carbon dioxide released during alcoholic fermentation is retained so that a pearl of lightness stimulates the palate at the time of tasting. This cuvée delicately displays a necklace of citrus fruits, exotic fruits and white flesh. His mouth has the evanescence of great evenings. Sparkling pearls, a pretty freshness balanced by a beautiful material, a last dance with fruity scents. A finery of two well-matched white grape varieties, Loin de l’Œil and Muscadelle, which will tactfully enhance your aperitifs by the water on Marennes oysters, shrimp skewers, falafels. The most cosmopolitan, Château Clément Termes 2019, Braucol, Duras, Syrah, Merlot, varietals with varied origins which join hands brilliantly, for a beautiful lesson in life… A maddening diversity of flavors of blackcurrant, raspberry, liquorice , black pepper. A successful blend with pleasant roundness, well-coated tannins, which drags on with notes of black cherries. A red wine that makes you want to go beyond our gastronomic borders with a lamb tagine with prunes, a Kobe beef tataki, a duck breast with spices from around the world. Webpage : http://www.clement-termes.com/

My recommendation for today is the Château Rollan de By 2015 ; Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, Bordeaux red , A successful vintage in the Médoc, this 2015 has also had time to settle down. Well integrated, the tannins have softened, contributing to the smoothness of the wine. A surge of red fruity aromas followed by roasted notes for this vintage to drink today. Webpage : https://www.domaines-rollandeby.com/

The thunder of Grain de Sail (we buy from them our Mexican coffees) They are coffee roasters, chocolatiers and wine carriers all in one ! The Breton company based in Morlaix has put the wind in its sails and the wine in its holds. Sometimes chocolate maker, coffee roaster and wine carrier by sailboat, nothing seems to stop Grain de Sail. Returning to Brittany with arms laden with coffee and chocolate from the other side of the world, all with a carbon footprint at the level of the daisies. It was the dream of Jacques and Olivier Barreau, two twin brothers from Brittany, at the origin of the Grain de Sail project. Today, in addition to bringing back cocoa and coffee from Latin American organic farming by sailboat, subsequently transformed in their optimized factories equipped with photovoltaic panels, they transport French wine, also organic to the United States. The Grain de Sail 2 sailboat will be 52 meters long and 11 meters wide, and will have a loading capacity of 350 tons, which represents around 180,000 bottles. This is 8 to 10 times greater than the capacity of their first cargo sailboat. In addition to having more storage capacities, it is faster and more economical. It’s simple, with Grain de Sail 2, they cut transport costs in half. It is modern technology that remains low-tech, because when it is too sophisticated, it is often also very complicated to manage. The first voyage aboard Grain de Sail 2 is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024. Last April, Heidsieck champagnes boarded the Grain de Sail sailboat, to reach New York on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the house. A crossing of the Atlantic in tribute to Charlie, the founder of the house, who was one of the first to sell his champagne in the United States by sending it by sail. The United States is one of the largest export markets for French wine and New York is in a way the gateway. The idea is to expand the distribution area on the East Coast afterward, with Boston, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, etc. The complete loop of a trip is three months with Grain de Sail 1 but on Grain de Sail 2, it will be done in about two months. The crossing between Saint-Malo and New York will last a fortnight instead of 25 ! Sail away and bring the best to France as well, as the best of France to the world ! Webpage : https://graindesail.com/en/

The cellars of the Longueil grocery store, Maisons-Laffitte, Open since 1950 ,8 avenue de Longueil, Maisons-Laffitte Yvelines 78, We shopped here when living in Versailles superbe !! Sharing and discovery. Pleasure to meet with the winegrowers that we pass on to our customers. We have a very wide range of wines and spirits for neophytes and great wine lovers. Website : https://www.epiceriedelongueil.com/

For the fourth consecutive year, a small artisanal French brewery has won the prize for the best beer at the World Beer Awards, A dark beer from the confidential Cap d’Ona brewery, in the Pyrénées-Orientales. Brussels Beer Challenge, European Beer Star, World Beer Cup, and finally the World Beer Award in London, which has just awarded the prize for best dark beer in all categories to the Cap d’Ona brewery, a small family business located in Argelès-sur -Mer, for its Wood Aged Grand Cru , which is also awarded in the best barley-based beer category ,The three previous editions of the World Beer Award have also been particularly generous, with in 2019 the prize for the best beer of Belgian style, in 2020 the best rye beer, and finally in 2021 that of the best beer with spirits (awarded to their amazing chestnut rousse). This year, their blonde matured in barrels of grand cru Chardonnay, as well as their brown and their amber grand crus, competed. I need to try this beer not yet done, Webpage : https://www.worldbeerawards.com/

The Cazottes distillery, or an ode to eaux-de-vieIt is at Carlus, a few km from Gaillac, known for its production of solar wines that will make you finish the four irons in the air, that the charismatic Laurent Cazottes has taken up the torch of the small family farm. A kind of garden of Eden cultivating an English charm, where cereals, vines and oilseeds rub shoulders with expanses of pear trees and other juicy golden greengages. Lush orchards bending year-round under a blazing sun, whose thorny extension extends over nearly 1,000 meters of blackthorn bushes, elderberries, guigniers and other wild quince trees. The crystalline purity of its eaux-de-vie quickly enabled it to appear on the finest starred tables, starting with the celestial Tour d’Argent, and to grow its business by expanding its scope to the production of Tarn wines. and amazing new world juices. Among his finest successes, a liqueur in which 72 varieties of tomatoes are sown and then transplanted in the midst of herbs and plum trees, the names of which alone make up a symphony with soft oriental overtones: Golden Jubilee, Noire de Crimee, Rose de Berne, Merveilles des Marchés, Cornue des Andes… Picked when perfectly ripe, they are then sorted before being manually cut into quarters, then copiously drizzled with homemade grape eau-de-vie, so that the slow period of maceration. Endowed with a finesse on the edge of acidity, with bitters so sublime that one would almost forget the delicately carnivorous bite of the degrees, this marvel would make the greatest liqueurs pass for dark drops, and whose devastating effects prohibit for long hours to get back on the road…webpage : https://www.distillerie-cazottes.com/en

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

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

August 26, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVII

It’s time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXVII is 367 , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are in Summer ,and temps already back to normal range , cooler rainy so perfect for a glass of wine,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I have written posts on transports in and around Paris , however, the pricing and ticketing have change from these and the times of me working in the City, Let me give you an update from the official RATP.

If you want to o you want to visit Paris, and travel at will and in complete freedom in Île-de-France, then the Paris Visite Pass day pass is for you! This Pass is available for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days and is valid according to the formula chosen: In zones 1 to 3: trips to Paris and near suburbs, Zones 1 to 5 travel in Paris, inner suburbs & to Orly/CDG airports, Disneyland and Versailles, The Paris Visite Pass allows you unlimited travel on: metro lines, RER lines, Île-de-France bus lines (except on Fileo, Air France sightseeing tours and shuttles), Montmartre tramway and funicular. The validity, period goes from the first day at 0h to the last day at 24h. If your ticket becomes demagnetized, contact the agents present in the metro and RER stations who will replace it free of charge.

If you want to travel by metro, bus or tram and have a rechargeable pass? The Navigo Easy pass is made for you! Your Navigo Easy pass is valid for 10 years , The Navigo Easy pass is sold for 2 Euros and then offers more advantageous rates on t+ ticket books. You can load your Navigo Easy pass from the “Bonjour RATP” app. at all ticket offices and counters in stations and stations, at all ticket machines; at RATP approved retailers, At the time of validation, the control devices respect the following order of priority: First, the pass (when it is valid of course); Then, the ticket for a trip (t+/OrlyBus/RoissyBus, automatically detected depending on the mode of transport you use), It is not possible to travel with several people with a single Navigo Easy pass. Each traveler must have their own ticket.

If you want unlimited travel in Paris and Ile-de-France on all modes of transport (except Orlyval), then, as me the Navigo Month and Week passes are made for you. They exist in “all zones” or “two zones” You can travel on all modes of transport in Ile-de-France: metro, RER, bus, tram and train – with the exception of the Orlyval line, SNCF reservation lines and lines at special Optile rates. The “all zones” package gives you access to all zones, every day. The “2 zones” package allows you to travel in the chosen zones. I had the Navigo Month in all zones !!

The official RATP on the ticketing choices : https://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tarifs?utm_content=titres_tarifs

The museum of modern art has decided to definitively close the Eugène Leroy exhibition which was to be held until next Sunday August 28. Bad weather on August 16 caused electrical malfunctions preventing the smooth running of visits. The torrential rains that fell on the capital in mid-August got the better of the exhibition devoted to the French painter of the 20C sadly. During the heavy rains, the water seeped into the walls causing the lights to fail and slightly damaging the paint on the walls. The MAM does not rule out the closure of certain rooms of the permanent collections,. Work is underway to repair the electrical damage.webpage :https://www.mam.paris.fr/en

The Babyland amusement park has established itself as the leading leisure center in Essonne. Since its opening in 2008, the amusement park has continued to grow in number of rides and visitors. Babyland-Amiland amusement park is in Saint-Pierre-du-Perray (Essonne 91).webpage : https://www.parcbabyland.fr/

The Rock en Seine festival returns bigger than ever after two years of absence in the national domain of Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine 92) , It starts today Thursday, August 25 to August 30 2022, webpage : https://www.rockenseine.com/en/

If in France there are a total of 10,000 organs, until now there were only three in secular places. A fourth will soon be installed. And it is in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) that it will happen. A town that already had five organs for 56,000 inhabitants. But all the others are in places of worship. A large organ almost 6 meters high and 5 meters wide, baptized Bach, is installed in the lower vaulted room of the Bossuet museum. Webpage : https://www.musee-bossuet.fr/

The zoological park of Thoiry (Yvelines 78), has a new resident of size since this past Tuesday evening. It had been twenty years since a new pachyderm had been housed there. Ben, the only elephant at Thoiry Zoo , now has a new sibling. Moyo, 9, joined him on Tuesday evening after an exceptional and perilous operation lasting several hours. The young pachyderm arrived from Magdeburg in eastern Germany after traveling almost 1,000 km in a specially equipped container. He will now share an open-air roommate with his 42-year-old eldest. In the next few days Moyo will take possession of his new territory and meet Ben. They will be joined in a few weeks by a third male from Sweden. Work for the creation of a brand new “Terres d’Afrique” (African Lands) zone has begun. A house of 1,400 m2, with a territory of nearly 2 hectares, will see the light of day at the entrance to the safari. Educational nocturnal observation lodges will be created in this area, also allowing you to spend a night in the territory of the elephants.webpage : https://www.thoiry.net/plan-interactif

This is great to see the story in the Le Parisien newspaper because I have been saying it for years ! People are so crazy about Paris they want to rent a hotel next to the Tour Eiffel and pay for it, You know ,Paris has an excellence public transports network, just saying, Nowdays, to find accommodation, tourists no longer hesitate to cross the ring road: “Paris is too expensive”,lol ! The tourists from France and Navarre are back in Paris! New fact on the other hand: it is no longer rare to see them in outlying districts or on the platforms of lines 8, 3, 12, 13, direction… the suburbs. This summer, small and large Parisian towns are full of tourists. Yes indeed just prefer the west of Paris areas and you will love it !!

And the upgrading of the public transport network continues , it needs to, New works at the Gare de Lyon: easier connections, but not for a few years sadly, Not always easy to find your way around when you go from RER A to other lines, or when you join your train from the metro. In order to simplify life for users, the principle of renovation has just been adopted by Île-de-France Mobilités. The project should be launched in early 2023 and last until 2029. Funny I have used the station and find it ok but then again others might have use it a lot more….

Each year, Le village préféré des Français or the favorite village of the French highlights charming villages hidden across France. Since its first edition in 2012, the France Télévisions program, presented by Stéphane Bern, has already crowned 11 towns. I have visited all except those in Alsace, 2012: Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (Midi-Pyrénées), 2013: Eguisheim (Alsace), 2014: Cordes-sur-Ciel (Midi-Pyrénées), 2015: Ploumanac’h (Brittany), 2016: Rochefort-en-Terre ( Brittany), 2017: Kaysersberg (Alsace), 2018: Cassel (Hauts-de-France), 2019: Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (Normandy), 2020: Hunspach (Alsace), and 2021: Sancerre (Centre-Val de Loire), and 2022 : Bergheim (Alsace).

My belle France stretches on the sea side for 5850 km, including 2400 for the Atlantic coast alone, a few scuba diving spots on which beginners can discover the beauty of the fauna and flora at less than 20 meters deep. I love this my hobby in young men days but unfortunately nose breathing problems made me stop a few years back, These are spots I have been and seen, of course dove as was shallow waters last time in 2018, Marseille boasts over 70 dive sites. One spot is particularly resonant, that of Grand Congloué, an archaeological site of two ancient boats discovered in 1952 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his Calypso team (remember him follow all over his adventures!). Thousands of amphorae and crockery are then brought ashore. In 2010, around 250 of these amphorae were submerged at a depth of 14 meters, allowing as many people as possible to feel the soul of an explorer, in the midst of damselfish and octopus. The underwater cliffs at Belle-Ile-en-Mer (my Morbihan 56), . The sites of Grands-Sables, Bordardoué and Port York, in Belle-Île-en-Mer, allow you to discover the banks of maërl (red limestone algae), flatfish living on the sand. In Port Puce, Deuborh, Bordéry, Penhoet, the creeks are the refuge of spider crabs and lobsters. Ster Vraz and Port Scheul have a relief as impressive as that of the surface: cut faults, caves, holes in the rock illuminated by the rays of the sun. The biodiversity in the bay of Brest (Finistère 29) ,In Brittany too there are seahorses, you just have to look carefully in the seagrass beds. The rocks are carpeted with sponges and colorful anemones and on the small sandy bottoms it is not uncommon to see several kinds of rays. As for the colorful nudibranchs, they are a delight for photographers. Be aware that the more colors these sea slugs have, the more toxic they are to their predators! Divers, fortunately, risk nothing by looking at them. The Les Sept-Iles and Ploumanach’ (Côtes d’Armor 22), visitors and divers alike enjoy this area around Ploumanac’h where a colony of gray seals lives. Sometimes lobsters, lobster and crabs show the tips of their shells. The beauty of a multicolored spectacle is ensured on the rocks by the gorgonians, sponges, anemones. To filter their food, spirographs spread their colored filaments in a crown around their mouth, like a crown that ripples in the current. Do not get too close, otherwise these turbicolous worms immediately retract into their tube. Some info on scuba diving in Bretagne/Brittany : https://www.plongee-bretagne.fr/o%C3%B9-plonger/

Alain Ducasse opens his new gourmet address, Le Biscuit! To revisit this delicacy, Alain Ducasse only surrounds himself with the best. In the kitchen we find the pastry chef Flora Davies, already present behind the succulent ice creams of the Manufacture de la Glace and the executive pastry chef Arnaud Coutret who joined the Ducasse Paris family almost a year ago. Each cookie will be prepared on site by the team with the ambition to create cookies with precise recipes, complex textures and strong flavors. I will be there eventually ! Le Biscuit Alain Ducasse 42 Rue de la Roquette 11éme opens September 1, 2022, webpage Ducasse : https://www.ducasse-paris.com/en/addresses

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for an eventful Summer! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

August 25, 2022

My early life in France and my blog !!!

This is right off the back an update of an older post as just exchange with a fellow blogger on how long I have been in France , 19 years already since August 23rd 2003 !! My blog was a request by many friends in a now defunct travel forum that was very popular for a time and many convince me to write a book or a blog, Well me kept it simple and did a blog with the help of another friend from Madrid that had a travel forum on Spain, now abandoned, I guess I am strong to keep up this blog since November 26 2010. It keeps me going and I thank you all. I came first to lived in France with my in-laws in Chambry Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Île de France region,for free of course ,a great beginning! Then, once the rest of my family came from USA in Dec 2003 we went on to purchase a home in Versailles by July 2004, while always working in Paris or Suresnes. For job reasons and the wish of my wife Martine (RIP) I took a job in the Morbihan breton dept 56 of the region of Bretagne to start on June 1st 2011. We rented an apartment in Brech for me to stay while started working and the family follow early 2012. We then proceeded to purchase a home in Pluvigner on July 13 2013 , and we have been here ever since, except my dear late wife Martine who passed away from cancer on April 30 2018.

Now into retirement from a life that took me to visit 81 countries of our world in the Finance field,while doing expats work in 5, my blog is more than ever, my leisure and mind activity. Life on the road was nice , and the places visited interesting, but sometimes missed the boys back and Dad and wife back home. Now is the reverse I missed that hectic travel work pace lol !! The family lost two strong women of great courage and great mothers/wives, that we always missed, my mom Gladys (passed away Dec 27th 2007) ,and wife Martine. We taugh our boys well and they are pulling thru helping me a lot around the house ; they are good young men. My Dad Elio tumbled into a wheelchair and beginning to lose memory at 87 years old, but he is with us at home and the help of nurses and domestic help. My up to date news lol !!

I like to copy those earlier moment in my blog as a reminder of the nice blog that I build again thanks to many of you !! So these were my entries into my first blog posts ever!!! It all started back in November 2010!!! wow already 12 years time flies when having fun ! Hope you enjoy reading it as I did/do. Thank you all !!

Well I am finally into a blog after many years posting elsewhere. Hopefully this will allow me to share with my friends and family my travels and favorites pastimes over the years,and to hear back from folks similar stories. It will grow with us,looking forward to it. Posted: November 26 2010

Havana/La Habana it was once the Paris of the Americas, the Pearl of the Antilles, the most chic city of Latin America until the revolution destroyed everything;streets names were changed, city names were change, people left in hordes, and more poverty than ever sets in all under the glorious revolution still there.  Posted: November 28 2010,

Madrid .I arrived from Havana, Cuba on December 30th 1971 in a lonely long flight of 16 hours aboard a Britannia four propellers aircraft with a fueling stop in Santa Maria, Azores islands of Portugal. After much political pressure and the help of the Spanish government as Spanish citizens to leave the island dictatorship. I end up in another one Lol! Posted: November 28 2010

Where it all began for me and my family finally arriving in freedom at Perth Amboy , New Jersey ,USA on may 10, 1972. From Madrid ,Spain. After successful avoiding two dictatorships of the left and right, freedom sets in. Posted: November 28 2010

Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach /North Miami/ Hialeah/ Miramar. My first contact with the State of Florida took place in 1973 when I went from New Jersey to visit my Aunt in Miami Lakes; it didnt seem that great, I guess I was already used to the cold weather from Spain and New Jersey. Then in August of 1977 I went to pursue my university studies (ERAU) there, and settled at Daytona Beach. It was instant love, the city was warm, sunny but also cool in winter, nice folks and the beach and the girls was awesome. Posted:  November 29 2010

Versailles. Coming around my life, as a family we decided way back that one day we might end up in France. Being married to a French woman, and all French citizens, the time was just any minute. Life in South Florida has been great, and we were visiting France every year since 1990 together,even sometimes with my parents. The decision was made to come to live in France permanently in 2003. Posted: November 30 2010

Auray/Brech . Well here I am back and with new photos to share the wonderful world of  France. Today, I will talk a bit about my new area the Pays ‘Auray. Its a agglomaration of several towns into a metropolitan system of cities. The capital and main city is Auray or An Alre in Breton language.  I arrived here in May 30 2011. Posted: June 26 2011

Pluvigner. The town we are now is call Pluvigner, same department of Morbihan 56, in fact only about 11 kms from where we were, but a much bigger home. 255 sq meters of home and 1000 m2 of land!!! The house is great, we will do some adjustment to our convenience but no major works needed. I arrived here on July 2013. Posted: September 8 2013.

There you go folks, especially for the newies following my blog ,now you know a bit more of me in a nutshell!!! Again thank you very much for keeping with me these last few years (12) and hopefully many more to come on our road warrior ways of our world.

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

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