The more observant amongst you (whoever “you” are), may have noticed this blog has been quiet for a week. The curious amongst you (again, whoever “you”) are, although if you’re not curious, you should probably ask yourself why you’re reading this blog 🙂 …er…anyway, where was I? Oh yes, for the curious, I’ve spent the past week in France, in a gite, with some very old friends, in Genevraye, a little south of Paris.
As with most holidays, it started with a rather unnatural early morning start in Portsmouth, which is not particularly picturesque. However, as the ferry left port for Caen, there was an impressive array of Royal Navy vessels docked, including two aircraft carriers. The journey by car was fairly uneventful, with no unpleasant surprises like driving on the wrong side of the road, although we did have an unexpected glimpse of an industrial area of Paris.
Most of the days were spent exploring the French countryside, with its vineyards and towns dotted about the place, sampling the fine cuisine and (for the others anyway) the wines of the region. Destinations included the wine cellars of Sancerre and Chablis, the historic town of Troyes, and the impressive Chateau of Fontainbleu. The only disappointment was the lack of evangelical churches, which meant Sunday, whilst being restful, was not as worshipful as usual. 🙁
I must admit, I haven’t eaten so well quite possibly ever! My previous visits to France had only been as a stop-off point to another European country, but this time, after spending a week there, I was well acquainted with the food. To say it is good would be an understatement. It was fresh, well-prepared, with just the right herbs and spices to maximise the experience, and very reasonably priced. In addition, the French idea of lunch is a leisurely three hour affair, with plenty of time to allow the food to be experienced.
The evenings were spent back at the gite, playing various card and board games, chatting and generally relaxing. A couple of the group are good cooks, so we ate well, and I had a plentiful supply of fruit juices to make up for my non-wine tastes. As the week developed, the weather grew hotter and hotter, becoming almost unbearable – although I’m told there was a heatwave back in Blighty as well. I even managed to pick up a few French phrases, successfully ordering a double-bouled sorbet without using a word of English. (I think I managed the whole week without using the phrase “Parlez vous anglais?” as well).
Eventually, the week came to a close and I arrived home safely, if not a little later than anticipated. Hopefully, I’ll sort out my photos and post some up soon.