Posts tagged ‘Food and Wine’

September 17, 2021

The market of Brest!!

And back to one of my favorite subjects, the markets! Love these , go to them all over my belle France. The very essence of what French culinary excellence is known and the better ones are away from the big metropolis. I have been with the family to the one in Brest, dept 29 Finistére, in my lovely Bretagne. Let me tell you a bit more on the Markets of Brest.

You find the wonderful Halles Saint Louis or covered market St Louis. A must on any visit to the city for the local ambiance, the goodies from the French countryside, and the history. They are open Tuesdays to Fridays from 8h30-13h30 and 16h to 19h30, Saturdays from 8h-14h and 16h to 19h30, and Sundays from 8h to 13h. You see one picture on the old market and new one after the market was renovated in 2020.

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The Saint-Louis market had a redesigned formula to integrate sanitary and distancing rules, while maintaining fluidity and conviviality. A hundred traders are present.  Local producers are located around the Halles Saint-Louis.  The story began in 1845, long before its reconstruction after WWII, it had a metallic architecture in the Napoleon III style.It is conceived now as follows:

Zone 1 / Rue de Lyon, a special feature in front of the Halles Saint-Louis in addition to the deployment on one side along the rue de Lyon, some market traders will face the halls: they will be positioned on the south road, that is to say back to the church parking lot.

Zone 2 / The producers’ square. This is one of the major changes in this new organization: this part of the market can no longer be held on Boussingault and Picot streets, which are now too cramped and crowded. It is therefore repositioned on the rectangle around the Halles Saint-Louis on rue des halles saint Louis and rue Pasteur to rue de Lyon.

Zone 3 / World kitchens or the food trucks. Usually in the car park in the square of the Tour d’Auvergne, the food trucks will be repositioned, always on one lane, in the car park, for some of them, and on rue Boussingault for others.

My best reason to come in here was and is the cheese store in the Halles Saint Louis market, or La Maison du Fromage  webpage: https://www.lamaisondufromage-brest.com/nos-fromages

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Outside Saint-Louis or around the Halles Saint Louis open market on the sides of rue de Lyon and rue Pasteur) ,these are non food market sort of like a flea market. Open from  8h30 to 19h. On the side of rue de Siam ,rue de Lyon, rue Boussingault, Rue Colonel Picot you have a mix food and non food market open May 1st to September 30th from  8h to 13h , and from October 1st to April 30th from 8h30 to 13h.

The city of Brest on the Halle Saint Louis and othershttps://www.brest.fr/bouger-se-divertir/commerces-marches-halles/marches-et-halles-1619.html

There you go folks a great family outing to indulge on the best of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the shopping! we do lol! The Halles Saint Louis is now even nicer. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

September 15, 2021

A quick look at Pont L’Evêque!!

This is another of my road warrior trips going back and forth all over my belle France. I have not seen it all but working on it ! This is a find in my vault so the text is a new post, however, will do in my black and white series, no picture! I like to bring into my blog the quant old Pont-L’Evêque. This trip was about 2008. Hope you enjoy the post as it reminds me of former trips.

The town of Pont-l’Evêque is in the department of Calvados no 14 of the region of Normandie,sort of in between Caen and Rouen. We visited it coming down from Deauville on the road D677/D579 on our way to Lisieux. You can see these posts in my blog as well. In Jan 2019 it absorbed the town of Coudray-Rabut to create one town still under the name of Pont-l’Evêque. The new town extends mainly along the road D677/D579 ,which in itself is halfway between Deauville and Lisieux. You can, also, come on the A13 autoroute de Normandie to the A132 towards Deauville. There is a train station gare Pont-l’Evêque on the line Lisieux-Deauville.

A bit of history I like. n the Middle Ages, the town became an important administrative seat of the Viscount of Auge. Occupied by the English during the 15C, then affected by the Wars of Religion, Pont-l’Évêque then experienced an era of calm and prosperity. At the end of WW II, on August 24, 1944, after three days of fighting, the city, 65% destroyed, was liberated by the Allies.

What took our interest as my boys love was the Domaine du Houvre right off the D48 and A13 that takes you on the outside of Lisieux, This conservatory farm raises Norman farm breeds, say a total of 20 breeds of different domestic animals such as cows, goats, sheeps pigs etc. It has a nice nature trail for an interactive passion hike over 3 km, along the Touques river. Also, leisure team and carriage rides. It is seating right at the point of the Lac de Pont-l’Évêque or lake. Right at the lake there is a leisure water park with aquatics activities call Lac Terre d’Auge, All great for the country family in you and us ! There is a nice camping park next to it for fun activities and a nice vacation me think call the Terre d’Auge camping.

The Domaine du Houvre webpage: http://ecodomaineduhouvre.fr/UK/index.php

The lac Terre d’Auge webpage: https://loisirsnormandie.fr/lac-terre-d-auge

The Camping park Terre d’Auge webpage: https://www.terredauge-camping.fr/fr/

Some of the things to see in Pont-l’Evêque are :

The Church Saint Michel 15-16C located on the Place de l’Eglise. The Dominican Convent of Isle, 17C, which has now become the “Dominicans Cultural Space”, located on the Place du Palais-de-Justice. The City/Town Hall, former Hôtel de Brilly, at 58 rue Saint-Michel, Also, the wonderful half-timbered houses of the Vaucelles district , Interesting here since 1972, Pont-l’Évêque cheeses has benefited from a controlled designation of origin (AOC) and has contributed to Normandy’s reputation as a gourmet destination. On the grounds of the oldest Maison de Calvados, a new kind of museum puts visitors’ five senses to the test. Through seven rooms with unexpectedly realistic settings, the Calvados Père Magloire experience promises a fun journey through the centuries, from the Vikings to today, to learn more about the history of the department and the making of eau-de-vie which is the Calvados brandy, It is located at route de Trouville. This is great for a future visit,webpage: https://www.calvados-experience.com/en/

The town of Pont l’Evêque on its heritagehttps://www.pontleveque.fr/ma-ville/patrimoine/

The Terre d’Auge tourist office on Pont l’Evêquehttps://www.terredauge-tourisme.fr/fr/decouvrir/je-decouvre/pont-l-eveque/

There you go folks, another dandy off the beaten path of my belle France, These are road warrior towns because we passed rather quickly, will need to be back for an in depth look, Until then ,hope you enjoy this post on Pont l’Evêque as I

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

September 11, 2021

Barsac is more than wines!!

Well for lack of a better title we have been all over the wine country of Bordeaux, our favorite. However, there are some towns that even if not the favorite wine is worth the detour me think. One of these is Barsac; let me tell you a bit about it ok. For disclosure, the text is new ,the picture is old. See my many posts on the wine country of Bordeaux!

Barsac is a town in the department of the Gironde no 33 in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. It is only 27 km from Bordeaux, 8,5 km from Langon, and 6 km from Podensac, all in wine country!  The roads here you will see vineyards on both sides such as the D1113 that takes you further into Cérons and Podensac and up to Bordeaux city. Also , to Preignac out of Langon. The main highways here are the A62 (Bordeaux-Toulouse which we love), you get off at exit 2 for Podensac and exit 1 for Bazas to connect with the highway A65 (Langon-Pau, taken a lot). It has a train station on the line of  Bordeaux-Séte of the TER of Nouvelle Aquitaine (never taken).

We were struck by the Church Saint Vincent built in the 18C on the spot of an older church destroyed in the 16C. This church is dedicated to Saint Vincent, patron saint of the winemakers. It has a simple facade with a belltower with tiles. The church house furniture from the 18C such as an altar and retables of different work of arts in wood such as the Choir of Simon, marbre of Quéva, a organ tribune of Mollié, a Sacristy with wood from Combes and a nice retable. In one of the walls of the church you will read about a meter from the floor a sign telling the level of flooding of the Garonne river with the mention April 7 1770 flooding!

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Other things to see here worth the stop next time me think are

The Château de Bastard 17C, Château de Rolland medieval ruins. The castles of the wine country of Barsac area of Sauternes, appellation Barsac. The Barsac is a sweet white wine from the Sauternes line part of the wines of Bordeaux. The appellation includes the town of Barsac with most vineyards on the left bank of the Ciron river. One of the best we have tried here is the Château Coutet excellent. You can also visit the Maison des vins de Sauternes-Barsac. There are many wooden houses from the 18C . Also, the chemin de Croix and the Halle or market facing the city/town hall.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The Valley of Ciron on the Church Saint Vincent of Barsac: http://www.vallee-du-ciron.com/Barsac/BarsEglise/BarsEglise.htm

The town of Barsac on the Church Saint Vincenthttps://www.barsac.fr/eglise-saint-vincent/

The Syndicate (union) of the wines of Sauternes-Barsachttps://www.sauternes-barsac.com/en/the-history/

There you go folks, a nice town of Barsac. I like to put it up in my blog for memories’ sake of our road warrior trips with the family is this part of my belle France. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

September 11, 2021

The market of Lavaur!

And now I bring you back down to my dear late wife Martine’s family region where we still have family. Of course, we have been by here several times over the years and have plenty of posts in my blog, but as usual by quick road warrior me I have left out more on the some and especially the lovely market of Lavaur in the Tarn dept 81 of the region of Occitanie.

We came straight to Lavaur from where my dear late wife Martine’s  father was from. Of course, we have visited the place several time and written before in my blog on the town. The idea of the post is the two weekly markets in Lavaur which take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays by Allées Jean-Jaurès.

The small Wednesday market is reserved for local producers, from 8h 12h. The bigger Saturday market is open to everyone from 7h to 13h: here you will find the works such as cold meats, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheeses, poultry, fruit and vegetables and other producers of seasonal fruits and vegetables, but also headgear, clothing and accessories, shoes, hardware, thrift stores, second hand booksellers and various peddlers.

It is the essential meeting of Wednesday and Saturday morning, on the boulevards which surround the old town. Hundreds of stalls offer you the opportunity to discover all the producers of the surrounding farms. However, it is also and above all an incomparable place of exchange not to be missed . Indeed not just the purchase of wonderful mother earth best products but the talk and ambiance of any town and here they talk, you are in Cathar country!!

The covered market is been used as an exhibition hall for events so there are special days where the market is held indoors in the Halle aux Grains. Nevertheless, it is magical!

The city of Lavaur on its markets: https://www.ville-lavaur.fr/marches-foires/

The City of Lavaur on its heritagehttps://www.ville-lavaur.fr/votre-ville/visiter-lavaur/

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A quant visit to a nice architectural and historical building , the Halle aux Grains,(see above with my Martine ) now offering various cultural events throughout the year, including shows for young audiences and live shows, concerts. The Halle aux Grains was built from 1879 to 1881. On the ground of the cooler ,a former underground ice warehouse. It was intended for the market for silkworm cocoons, which lacked space at the Old Market. It is hexadecagonal and offers a lot of space because it has no pillars. The fall of the silk trade in Vaurais, at the end of the 19C, confined it only to the sale of grains. The central lightning rod vane represents a winged dragon: was it to dissuade the granivores? Ha good question. It is located at Place Stalingrad.

There you go folks, a wonderful region of my belle France very dear to me, memories forever. Hoping you too will see the enchantment and visit Lavaur in the Tarn department 81 of region of Occitanie (this is the old Midi-Pyrénées region).

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

September 10, 2021

Amboise fit for a king and a genius!

How about this one , well need to update my introduction to Amboise several years back. Oh yes of course, been here done that, very familiar for many years since living in Versailles ,and then now from my Morbihan breton , of course this is Amboise. Well we get some of our house wines from across the Loire and oh yes darn it, there is a castle here in fact two one for a king and one for a genius so we saw both! 

The wines are from the Domaine Dutertre (see post) across the Loire in Limeray. We tend to gravitate to the other side for the castle and its market days. Glorious within the two castles! Oh well, let me tell you a bit more on Amboise.

Let me repeat how to get here , we of course always do it by car. You can get to Amboise from Paris by road on the A10 direction Bordeaux and get off at exit /sortie 18 Château Renault D31 road  that leads you right into the Loire river, here you can turn right before the river into the D952 to go across to Amboise on the D431 or cross the river from the D31 and come alongside it on the D761 into the city. All is well paneled with signs so it’s very easy. You can do so by train station TER from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz, (never done it) by Blvd. Gambetta./rue Charles Peguy and walk along rue Jules Ferry towards the river crossing it you are in Amboise and the castle upon you.  Or by TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Saint Pierre-des-Corps (never done it) 20 km away and here by taxi or rental car. I come always by car and parking is very convenient by the castle at rue Victor Hugo above ground along castle walls,  and others are place du Marché, le Mail, quai Charles Guinot, place Richelieu, parking du Château, avenue Léonard de Vinci, and rue du Clos Lucé.

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I have other posts on the sights so pictures will be limited here but one to see is the Mini Châteaux park. Le parc des Mini-Châteaux / Parc de loisirs  La Menaudière – D81 road, Amboise. And the La Pagode de Chanteloup D31 road, Amboise. And the Val de Touraine aquarium now call  Grand Aquarium de Touraine  Lieu dit les Hauts Bœufs – 37400 Lussault-sur-Loire ,and easy with a car arriving from Amboise, you will pass the village of Lussault and signs will indicate the direction on your left.

We have enjoyed eating here wonderful by the castle, over the years, one nice quick bite place is the Bigot Chocolatier-Pâtisserie-Boulangerie-Salon de Thé . For desserts our fav and bring home too; wonderful sweets of different tastes for all and very good. Maison Bigot webpage: https://maison-bigot-amboise.com/

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One of our big meals favorite since our first trips here and continued is the  Anne de Bretagne resto right in the corner before moving up to the castle, friendly place, nice talkative servers, and good food at reasonable price. On this particular occasion ,we had our onion soups, galette St Jacques (scallops) steak and fries, spaghetti bolognaise, galette canard confit (duck) croque madame sandwich (with the egg) plenty of Stella Artois beers, coffee expresso,and diabolo menthe , and of course we have come back again and again right up the hill going to the castle. Great resto  with very friendly service always even if crowded/ Recommended; no webpage. Tel +33 (0) 2 47 57 05 46.

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Others we have enjoyed there over the years are the Les Arpents, L’Ecluse, Brasserie de la Loire, Cafe des Arts, and La Terrace, on our visits to lovely Amboise. Another good one especially for coffees or ice creams is Amorino Amboise, 6 pl Michel Debré .  And of course, we love biscuits , of all sorts so stop by the Biscuiterie d’Amboise 2 Place Michel Debré.

There is a wonderful walking town if a bit hilly towards Clos Lucé we enjoyed all the time. One specific street which is our hq for walking shopping eating all around as above is the up the castle at Place Michel Debré, this is a bit of its history I like

The Place Michel Debré was originally a street lined with houses on each side. The rampart was cleared under king Louis-Philippe and only the houses opposite it were preserved. Before the French revolution, it received the name of rue du Château; from the First Republic to the First Empire (1792-1814), it was the rue de la Citadelle. In 1833, it regained the name of rue du Château. Today, Place Michel Debré brings together the old Place du Château and the old rue du château. It was the most lively square in the medieval town. By a donation from Geoffroy Martel to Lisois de Basogers, we know that from the middle of the 11C the market took place there.  It was also the square where the route d’Espagne separated from the route de Montrichard or even the link between the city and the Petit Fort before they were gathered in 1469.  With the exception of the stone hotel at 4 place Michel Debré, only the half-timbered houses can date from the 15-16C. There are large facades like at 54 place Michel Debré: 9.2 meters!, and very narrow facades such as 8 place Michel Debré: about 3 meters!!. There is one of the two half-timbered houses which has kept its original sculpture at 54 place Michel Debré. One can imagine that the established houses dating from the 15-16C were most prestigious because of their privileged position in front of the king’s home (the castle).

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There you go folks, can’t get away from wines and here the Amboise-Touraine has some good ones just do a nice walk in fancy gourmand Amboise, of my belle France. Right in above square is our fav for tasting before heading out into the properties, this is the Caveau Des Vignerons d’ Amboise 1, Place Michel Debré! webpage: https://caveauvins-amboise.monsite-orange.fr/ !

The city of Amboise on its heritagehttps://www.ville-amboise.fr/12/patrimoine-et-histoire.htm

The Amboise Val de Loire tourist office on Amboisehttps://www.amboise-valdeloire.co.uk/destination-amboise/amboise/

Amboise, see it , come on in, its a lot more than a castle for a king and a genius here, the ambiance, the walks, the architecture, and history is all around us and we love it. Hope you enjoy the brief tour of Amboise, in the Indre et Loire dept 37 of the Centre-Val de Loire region ; the real valley of the kings!

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

September 6, 2021

Marché des Lices of Rennes!!

So let me bring you into something that I just adore and one big reason love my belle France. There are markets and then there are the markets of France, the good of earth locally done cannot be beaten and one reason the culinary heights of France are no 1! This is alone one reason to live in my belle France! And I am enjoying it fully!

The markets we chase, find ,become nostalgic about them and continue to visit them anywhere we go in our France. This is of course no different in my Bretagne and we do all our essentials here , the hyper/supermarkets are for the paper stuffs! Buy fresh, from the good Earth and be happy about it knowing you are eating the very best the world can produce, in France. We went by Rennes and stopped by and each time it gets better as was this latest visit with my sons. Many souvenirs of our dear late wife/mom Martine as she introduce them to us and absolutely love them. For the record, Rennes is in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine, name after two rivers and in the region of Bretagne, its capital city!

It is already four centuries at least that every Saturday from 7h30 to 13h30 the local Rennais and visitors converge in number to the Place des Lices. The Marché des Lices is a food market and a flower market created in 1662, for fear of the plague, a market was held to avoid the entry into the city of sellers and buyers from outside. It welcomes only artisans and local producers and is the third market in France in terms of sellers.  The Marché des Lices is a market of farmers producers, food processors and florists, from 1965 in its modern form. It is an institution in Rennes, it is the second market of France with more than 300 producers and craftsmen or tradesmen non-producers, The market takes place at the place of the Lices, and extends over to the place de la Trinité, Place Saint-Michel ,and partially to the Place Rallier du Baty. Two halls built by Martenot are also used called Halles Martenot , in each hall there is a large central skylight resting on 16 cast iron pillars, connected by spacers of the same metal and the spans are closed by a brick filling of 2.50 meters. The market reserved for butchery, is based on a stone base to compensate for the unevenness of the soil.

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The first trace of a market at the bottom of the Place des Lices goes back to 1483. After the French revolution, the n ° 18 of the Place des Lices is acquired by the city to install its office of incoming merchandise of the city. The market is then daily for the wholesale, and completed on Saturday by the fairground market. The market continues to grow, a third hall, less large, is built in 1907 for market gardeners and sanitary inspection, at the current location of the fishmongers. This fishmongers place was demolished later and an underground car park is built at its location in 1989. There is some controversy today as there are fears of merchants and producers to lose the presence of many small artisans and operators, in favor of large producers stalls. As said, the market is from 7h30 to 13h30 for sales. However, the Installation starts at 4h disassembly ends at 14h30 to allow cleaning operations. During this time parking and traffic is chaotic to say the least but we locals managed it , surely visitors will be surprise of it!

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The different activities are grouped by trade: butchers and delicatessens in the west market (butchers’ hall); caterers, cheesemakers, patties merchants and sausage patties between the halls (Place de la Trinité); cheesemakers, bakers, artisans, confectioners, Asian caterers in the east hall ; the fishmongers on the slab of the car park, at the former location of the pavilion ; market gardeners and farmers producing fruit and vegetables throughout the Place des Lices and florists in Place Saint-Michel, overflowing on Place de Rallier du Baty. Although most come from the countryside of Rennes, the sellers come from all Brittany to propose their products,  and are made up to 60% of producers and craftsmen. The market is part of the life of the city, it is not uncommon to meet musicians, dancers, bachelor parties, candidates in elections, political happenings or petitioners, restaurateurs and chefs from the region who came to shop, etc.

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The Rennes tourist office on the Lices markethttps://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/discover-rennes/gastronomy/lices-market-rennes-saturday/

The City metro area of Rennes on the Marché des Lices info and beautiful pictureshttps://metropole.rennes.fr/balade-au-marche-des-lices

There you go folks ,a wonderful experience for the visitors I am sure, and sublime for the locals like me, can’t get enough of them. The one in Rennes is super loaded with fresh produce, fruits and cheeses oh là là là I can’t wait to eat our bounty from there already this weekend. Enjoy it fully without moderation the Marché des Lices of Rennes!

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

September 4, 2021

V&B of Auray!!!

Well this is one of the nice liquor store and bar around here; been a franchise store with three outlets in my area. I have been to all three in Séné, Vannes and this one of Auray, our favorite. As have written on this entry before, and went by it today ,will condense and update the post into one. Hope you enjoy the off the beach activities around my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne. This is the V&B of Auray!!!

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As we were doing our errands and already with the health pass, we decided to test it in one of our favorite watering holes in our area. I must say, all employees there and the owners know us well. The entrance was to read the QR code on our phone and once validated we were in without the need of the mask. Nice and easy. I was there with my twin boys and Dad.

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I have written a couple…posts on beers in France and Brittany which unknown to many it is very popular. Especially here in Brittany the beers are more than wines and then we count the ciders! One of favorite hangout because it is family oriented and friendly folks whether at the V&B stores in Séné , or Vannes or Auray. Of course, we go more to the store in Auray in the porte Océane 9 rue d’Irlande; next to the expressway N165 and the point of depart for the beaches south.

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Oh yes, the stores are the V&B vins et biéres or wine and beers stores. The concept is very nice as they have a package store for take home sales and a bar with TV screen for on the spot pleasures. They stock Breton beers, and French but mostly the popular are the Belgians and Germans. We drink all of course, but again generally we go for the Germans…

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As said, they are a franchise chain, so won’t go into details here as me think not really travel related as my blog is. The DNA is expressed in store by a sale blend into a cellar of wines and beers and spirits, double from a bar space dedicated to the discovery and the tastings.  The concept is reinforced by the after-work or happy hour, this trend that pleases and brings together all generations at the end of the day after work around a drink. The stores close between 20h and 20h30.  

A bit of history I like

V & B was born in 2001 at the opening of the first store in Chateau-Gontier , in the department of the Mayenne 53, in the region of Pays de la Loire, a place where a wine and beer cellar lives, as well as a tasting area. In all, always a pleasant family place to have a cold one, watch some sports and just say cheers to the patrons and owners who are always very friendly and by now know us very well ho ho ho!!!

The V& B store at Aurayhttps://vandb.fr/v-and-b-auray.html

We again , went by there today and the effect of covid 19 are still fell. The bar was empty with just two customers and us. It will take a while and in the meantime will see how many businesses will hold after the aid is gone. We enjoy it here, family oriented nice owners and staff and friendly folks. It is just at the entrance off the N165 tot he D768 that goes to the beaches so a great place to have a happy hour or apéro as we say here. Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by , maybe a wordpress reunion !

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

September 4, 2021

Murtede, and Curia in country Portugal!!!

These are areas perhaps you won’t find in tourist books but there are wonderful beautiful places with great architecture and especially great wines of Portugal. I have the priviledge to travel by car, the best way around and can go into these places fairly easy. This trip was very nice and good cheers ; hope you enjoy my update as I. Let me introduce you to Muterde and Curia!!!

First, I arrived by plane at Lisbon,as usual, then went out from Porto or sometimes back to Lisbon (see posts). The airport is smallish and easy to navigate and direct link to city center by a metro line ! However, been the road warrior I am , this time took a taxi ! This taxi took me to my hotel the Radisson Blu , Ave Marechal Craveiro Lopes,390; this was a nice modern hotel, and near the main expressway out to and from the city, and the service was tops, I went down to the Malhoa bar,and watch the football/soccer games from Spain and France they were showing!!! heavens!!! The resto was very nice as Bordalo Pinheiro, very good service ,and prices, and the food was delicious. I have pictures in another post as stayed here several times. The hotel webpage: https://www.radissonhotels.com/en-us/hotels/radisson-blu-lisbon

And the next day, the car and into the countryside of Portugal ! The wonderful towns of Curia and Murtede in the Bairrada wine region.  A very memorable trip, always love to go to these places rather than the tourist trail so overburden in southern Europe these days.

Curia is a town in the Tamengos area part of the town of Anadia, closer to Coimbra;  where you have several spa thermes baths with a nice Belle Epoque or Art Nouveau architecture The thermes here are good with sulphuric calcium and magnesium especially good for gout , stones, urinary infections, hypertension ,rheumatic  pains and muscles strains. They were know since Roman times but not until 1865 they were utilised in mass like today.

Some of the things to see in Curia are

The Thermes spa park of 14 hectares with hotel beautiful trees and flowers , tennis courts, artificial lake of 1 km with boat facilities. The Palace Hotel da Curia, art nouveau style opened in 1926  has an Olympic pool built in 1934 the second oldest in Portugal.; the Hotel do Parque Curia, also style Art Nouveau built in 1922 and still with the same family. The train station of Estacao de Caminho de Ferro has decoration in ceramic tiles retracing local traditions like winegrowing or leitao da Bairrada ( small baby pig dish).

curia-palace-of-curia-portugal

The hotel I was based is one of the legendary spas thermes in the region;  The Palace Hotel Curia an Almeida hotels group, This was grand, belle epoque style with almost an empty hotel and full restaurant just for me!!! The hotel ,webpage: https://www.almeidahotels.pt/en/hotel-coimbra

coimbra-curia-palace-of-curia-front-lobby-dec12

curia-palacio-curia-hotel-restaurant-dec12

coimbra-curia-palace-of-curia-interior-walls-dec12

Murtede  is a village part of the town of Cantanhede, There is a Chapel of Santa Maria Magdalene, the Murtede Brige, Casa das Palmeiras and lookout. The area is part of Bairrada wine region as well,

In this town of Cantanhede you have plenty of wine tours with time. The muni page has wine adegas( wineries) to visit in Portuguese. My recommendation the Quinta de Baixo , part of the Niepoort family , webpage:https://www.rotadabairrada.pt/entidade/quinta-de-baixo_pt_65/

niepoort quinta de baixo merlot

Other than above  I ate at Cabana do Pastor near Murtede, just typical food with the local families just superb.webpage: https://www.facebook.com/cabanadopastor1/

murtede-cabana-do-pastor-resto-rua-estac3a7c3a3o-5-near-porto-mar17

The wine area of Bairrada, an up and coming region with more info on the winery or adega of Cantanhede: https://www.rotadabairrada.pt/experiencias/guided-tour-to-the-adega-de-cantanhede_en_260

The appellation area on wines of Bairrada from the official institute of the vineyards and wines: https://www.ivv.gov.pt/np4/507/

murtede-coimbra-bairrada-vinyards-portugal-mar17

The Portugal tourist board on the region of Curia/Murtede: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/search/site/curia

There you go folks, a dandy car ride into the countryside of Portugal. Many memorable moments in Curia and Murtede, and looking forward for a repeat, it is unmistakable real Portuguese heavens.

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

August 24, 2021

Memories of always, the Maison Louis Jadot!!!

No secret I love wine as evidence by my many posts on the subject , There have been many memorable moments with the family indeed, I feel a bit nostalgic today so will update this historical post for me on my wine tasting/drinking/traveling days. The pictures were taken while visiting France from Florida USA in August 1995!!! Of course, we have been back there in Beaune but not just to the wines, see my posts,

This is in the Côte d’Or dept 21, region of Bourgogne-Franch-Comte in my belle France and the town of Beaune of the Maison Jadot !!

My short story on this is that many years back in the early 90’s I met the recently name President of the house Pierre-Henry Gagey inperson while doing a wine tasting event at the Crown Wine & Liquors of South Miami. I was already well versed on wines and recent graduate of the wine connaisseur course of SOPEXA or Food and Wine from France export arm of the French government; I still have my diploma!!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

In a pleasant conversation of his wines, I told him that I was married to a French lady and was visiting France shortly. He suggested I visit his house and gave me his business card to show it at Beaune and be given a personal wine tasting tour. This of course I did. It was done by the Europe Sales Manager  Marc Dupin and it was wonderful beyond words. We were picked up at our hotel and brought over to the property in Beaune. The tour gave me the chance to taste some of their top wines that even my income at the time would not have allowed!!! A lasting impression that took me to buy ,drink their wines for years, always with great memories of this trip encounter.

beaune maison jadot edro et marc-dupin aug95

Beaune maison Jadot tasting cent vignes 1 cru visit aug95

Let me give you the story of the Maison Louis Jadot as briefly as I can. Hope you enjoy it.

The Maison Louis Jadot is a wine producer-trader based in Beaune. The company now controls 220 hectares (2.2 km2) in Côte d’Or, in the Mâconnais and in the Beaujolais, within the Burgundy vineyards. Its products bear a single label for its entire range. This label, characterized by a frieze, the head of Bacchus and its pale yellow color, remains unchanged. The history of Maison Louis Jadot began in 1826 with the acquisition of the Beaune premier cru Clos des Ursules by the Jadot family. Louis Henry Denis Jadot founded the Maison Louis Jadot in 1859.

Rudy Kopf, founder of the wine department of Macy’s and later of his own distribution company Kobrand Corp, in 1945 became the importer of Jadot wines to the United States. In 1985, Mrs. Jadot widow at the time, decided to sell the business to the Kopf family to ensure the sustainability of the House. In 1992, Pierre-Henry Gagey , the son, became president of the Maison Louis Jadot.

In 1996, Maison Louis Jadot acquired Château des Jacques in Beaujolais, in 2008 Domaine Ferret in Fuissé. In 2013, it bought an estate in the United States in Oregon with 13 hectares the Resonance Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA  . The 80 hectares of vineyards of Château des Jacques are spread over 6 appellations located in beautiful climates such as Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, Chénas and Fleurie. The Domaine Ferret is a wine estate located in Fuissé. The vines owned represent a total of 18 hectares in the heart of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation.

There is the quality of the vineyards, which are made in all possible shapes of color and bottling with 86% of production represents the percentage of export sales, The wines are beautifully crafted whites with better and better balanced aging, even if I would like nothing more density and depth in the major vintages. The reds are of high quality, with less severity than in the past thanks to the extractions which seem more measured. The Santenay Clos de Malte smells like vanilla from the farm. The mouth displays density, but the finish is a bit short. Meursault Narvaux is a taut, muscular, energetic wine. The Clos Blanc stands out with a sweet, but consistent fruit. Les Combettes clearly transcribes the finesse of its place of birth but lacks density for a premier cru of this caliber. The Corton-Charlemagne is juicy and sapid: nice length on a delicious, elegant and nuanced fruit. In red, the marsannay is slightly folded. Clos des Guettes can be drunk now or expected, with its supple texture and juicy fruit. Clos des Ursules shows a slight wood grip; there is no shortage of volume. The Gevrey-Chambertin respects the fruit and its mouth transcribes the refined power of this beautiful terroir. The finely wooded Clos-Vougeot offers fruit of great purity. After a fine attack, the telluric power of the soil resumes its rights in the final, straight, solid, which recalls that the wine is built for very long aging. The above are the ones I tasted at the property.

The official Maison Louis Jadothttps://www.louisjadot.com/en/wines

You can buy direct at the Cuverie boutique store at 62, route de Savigny in Beaune.  Webpage: https://www.louisjadot.com/nous-trouver

The Beaune tourist office on the Maison Louis Jadot:  https://www.beaune-tourism.com/tasting/wineries/jadot-louis-la-cuverie-2900367

There you go folks, a wonderful memorable visit and many wines afterward, the good deeds are still there, never to forget, Maison Louis Jadot is a classy winery and great folks, Hope you enjoy the post, and even better try the wines they are awesome, exceptional Burgundy !

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

August 20, 2021

One-two entertainment in Vannes!

Well as you know ,Vannes is my capital city and worked in its limits for almost 9 years. It is just about 30 minutes by car from my house ; however, most of the time tells you about its wonderful medieval monuments and we do have night life. Therefore, let me give an introduction on a cinema and popular bar we go around here. Hope you enjoy the change of pace! and updated post.

We come by car with me anyway, my boys have taken the bus to/from and within Vannes. They tell me is very good and lines all over. With me, we drive on the D779 to get to the parc lann commercial area and the movies. This was the first stop.

We went to see the new Transformers: The Last Knight movie with the family at Cinéville parc Lann a very nice cinema complex surrounded by our grocery shopping at E Leclerc and several restaurants I have mentioned in previous posts. The movie was seen in 3D a first for me ::) actually could not tell much difference and still prefer the old fashion 2D ::) the movie was ok, won’t tell you about it just a young girl took many parts of the movie that to me was seen out of the movie main story… that is just me lol!

vannes cineville parc lann jun20

However, the cinema is top notch very modern facilities with 9 rooms for movies and even theater film shows and video game tournaments (for my sons 2nd and 3rd place!) A huge counter for snacks/drinks clean personal facilities and great sound! Worth it to watch a movie here for sure. 

The official cineville parc lann presentation: https://vannes.cineville.fr/presentation?salle=vannes_parc

And we went over to the old town to have fun with collegues and a popular local bar into the night. 

This is the Les Valseuses, the name derives from a hotty French movie of 1974 with Gerard Depardieu Patrick Dewaere, Jeanne Moreau ,and Miou-Miou ;on the first  grand role of Isabelle Huppert. This was a film someone might call it porno but not classified as such with only a under 12 audience in France.

vannes

The bar has posters of the film all over , there is a front entrance room and the bar on your left, then another room and a bigger room in the back. All around dotted with medium size screen TV’s showing sports events. The outside or right hand side of the building ,there is an outdoor terrace with live music shows as well as inside in the back big room. The crowd has all kinds of ages showing up but adults. It is under new management since 2019 just by the pandemic.

Vannes les valseuses inside aug17

I had a great beer call the Bruges Triplet of 9% in a pint, great taste ,had a couple and still standing lol! Great cheers and good times on a Friday night by the ramparts of Vannes ,porte Poterne  ,the bar is very near that and the Constable tower or tour du connétable. A bit further walk and past behind the Château de l’Hermine (see post) and into the

They only have a Facebook Les Valseuses webpage: https://www.facebook.com/lesvalseusesvannes/

And there you go folks , a dandy nice and easy one two punch for a night of entertainment in Vannes. Something to do while in town and a change for monuments, museums, etc and of course great after beach time. Hope you enjoy it as I. Worth a detour indeed

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

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