Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Our loyal travelling companion

Well, we’re all packed and ready to go. We’re off for a long weekend in the French Alsace. The only thing that remains to be prepared is our picnic hamper, which has faithfully accompanied us on all our trips to France since the beginning of the 21st century.

My friend received it from his employer as a Christmas gift. Originally, it contained four heavy white stoneware plates and mugs and stainless steel knives, forks and coffee spoons for four. It was very heavy and awkward to carry. As we used to stay in hotels, where we had no possibility of washing up the plates and mugs, we decided to replace those by their cardboard equivalents. We kept the cutlery though, as plastic knives don’t cut very well.

What else goes in? A colourful tablecloth, pepper and salt, a small bottle of olive oil, some Tupperware-like cardboard boxes, paper kitchen towel, a bottle of mineral water, a sharp kitchen knife, a corkscrew, a tin opener, a large bread knife, a small plastic or wooden cutting board, some plastic bags … and a little bar of soap. No food, though, as we like to buy it fresh at the local markets and shops.

And here it is!

Our loyal picnic hamper and its colourful tablecloth.

We’ll be staying at a lovely chambre d’hôtes in the tiny village of Hipsheim, just south of Strasbourg. Our plan is to visit Colmar with its picturesque ‘Little Venice’ district and the town of Munster where the smelly cheese by the same name is made. Maybe we’ll see some storks, as the Alsace is one of their favourite breeding places. And we may do some wine tasting, although the Alsace wines don’t really agree with me. I like them, but they don’t seem to like me and give my heartburn. We’ll see. On our way back we’ll be staying overnight in the French Lorraine in the hamlet of Bérig-Vintrage.

There are three restaurants on our ‘to-do-list’: one in Phalsbourg, another in Colmar and the last one in Languimberg. We’ve been to the one in Phalsbourg some years ago and are anxious to try it again. The others are new to us, so let’s hope that they’ll live up to our (high) expectations. We’ll probably have our lunch at the restaurants and a picnic supper at the chamber d’hôtes. Both places – in Hipsheim and Bérig-Vintrage - have a large terrace with swimming pool and garden furniture. The weather permitting, it’ll be lovely to sit out there enjoying our charcuterie and cheese supper with a baguette and a bottle of wine. I can’t wait to be there!

Being ‘on the road’, I will be taking a little break from blogging. But I’ll be back next Tuesday or Wednesday with new stories.



Anonymous said...

Pret pour le depart !

Et plein de bonnes choses I suppose

ladybird said...

Anonymous, Thanks - I'm looking forward to it! Martine