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

Sunday, 30 May 2010

It’s a small world

On Monday, the second day of our Loire Valley trip, I surprised my friends with a day in the country and a visit of the castles of Chenonceau and Montpoupon in a vintage Citroën Traction Avant. The car is owned and driven by Simon from the blog Days on the Claise. Simon’s wife, Susan, was their guide for the day, while I went to see my long-time French friends Brigitte and Jean-François who live in Francueil, near Chenonceau. You’ll find photos of this ‘Time Travel’ journey on Susan and Simon’s blog.

Being driven around the Touraine countryside
in a real vintage car definitely has its charm!

We left our chambre d’hôtes in Vouvray around 9.30 a.m. After dropping B., J.L. and Susan off at the gates of Chenonceau castle, Simon drove me to Francueil where my friends were expecting me by eleven. As we were a bit early, Simon took the scenic route and showed me an unusual view of Chenonceau castle. We returned at that same spot in woods later that day with B. and J.L. to give them the opportunity to shoot some unique photos too.

Susan, Simon and Célestine (the car) in the car park
of Chenonceau castle.

When we got to my friends’ house, I was warmly greeted by Brigitte. Her husband, who’s deputy mayor of Francueil, was still at the ‘Mairie’ (village hall) when we arrived. I’ve known this charming couple since 1985, when I met them on a plane to Tunesia.

Simon, who usually waits in the car while Susan is taking clients on a guided tour of Chenonceau castle, was happy to join us for a cup of coffee and a glass of Montlouis bubbly. It was not long before Jean-François arrived. Very quickly the conversation turned to the subject of expats living in the area. My friends, who own and run a real estate agency, know many of them. Some of them are even among their closest friends.

At some point in the conversation Simon mentioned Jim Budd, the English oenologist. I regularly read his blog ‘Jim’s Loire’ on Loire wines, on which he’s an expert, and Jim has already left some comments on my blog. So imagine my surprise, when all of a sudden Brigitte said: “Jim, Jim Budd? But we know Jim. He’s a friend of ours. He lives in the next village and we’ve often been to his house for drinks and meals!” Now who would have thought that my long-time friends actually personally know someone whose blog I have been following. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

To be continued ...



Jim Budd said...

Martine. As you say a small world. We have known Brigitte and Jean-François for a number of years now having met them through the first ex-pat couple to settle in Epeigné.

Thank you for promoting me to an oenologist. However, I am but a humble writer and have never made wine in my life and couldn't claim that expertise.

Bon dimanche

ladybird said...

Jim. No need to be humble. You know an awful lot about Loire Valley wines, even if you haven't made wine yourself! Maybe I'll have the chance/privelegde of meeting you one day! Who knows ... !? Martine

Ken Broadhurst said...

The restaurant sounds very good. Maybe we'll get to go there when good friends from California visit later this year.

ladybird said...

Ken, The restaurant is perfect to give your friends from California a sample of good French cooking in classy surroundigs at an affortable price. And the garden and terrace are really lovely on a nice summer's day! Go for it ... Martine