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

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A quiet evening

Our chambre d’hôtes in Chantilly was definitely one of the nicest places we’ve ever stayed in. After our walk in the garden, we went in and took a long relaxing shower.

Next it was time to have our picnic supper. Our hostess had kindly offered to put our charcuterie and cheese in her fridge and when my friend went into the kitchen to collect it, the landlord invited us to have a drink with him. Apparently, during last night’s cooking lesson the guest chef had prepared sangria for all those present. However, it had turned out that many of participants didn’t drink alcohol and now the landlord found himself with two litres of sangria to drink on his own.

Click to enlarge in case you want to know the telephone number,
as it is wise to book in advance.

We accepted his invitation but asked if we could postpone it till after we had had our supper, as we had just had the Champagne and felt rather hungry. This was no problem for our kind host, who also added that we could use the table under the parasol by the kitchen door. He would join us later, after we had finished eating. When we opened up the packet of ham we had bought in Triel, the yellow Labrador that had been lounging around whole afternoon now eagerly ran up to the table, wagging its tail. He put his snout on one the chairs and – with begging eyes – looked up to my friend who was cutting the ham. We asked the landlord if was okay to give the dog a piece of ham. It wasn’t a problem, but he said that we should turn the dog away if it was bothering us. It wasn’t and we really enjoyed its company.

Pretty soon we were also joined by the couple’s five-year-old daughter, who was sheer joy to have around. She was continuously babbling to herself and singing in her tiny little voice that we had heard earlier on the speakerphone. From time to time she would walk up to the table and ask questions like “Where are your from?” “What’s your name?” “How long are you staying?” and so on. At one point she went to pick some daisies and brought them to me. “These are for you.” She said, handing me the little bunch of tiny flowers. The stems had all gone soggy as she had been firmly clasping them in her sticky hand.

Every now and then the landlord stuck his head out of the kitchen window, urging his daughter to leave us alone. We said she wasn’t bothering us at all. As soon as we had finished our supper, he came out, holding a large jug of sangria and three glasses. ‘I’m so glad to have someone to share this with.” he said. By the smile on his face you could tell that his words were genuine.

We spent the rest of the evening with our hosts who explained a little about their business and their plans to build an extra guesthouse with three more rooms at the far end of the car park. The plans were ready and the landlord, who was a contractor, had already started digging out the foundations. Recently, however, he had received a letter from the town’s council announcing that the building permission had been refused by the ‘departement’ as the land was registered as being meant for agricultural purposes. He had started a legal procedure to have the purpose of the land changed and he had good hopes that it would work, but … it would take time. In the meantime business continued with the two rooms he already had.

He also informed us that the people staying in the room next to ours where in Chantilly to attend a wedding and that they would probably come in very late. He said not to worry if we saw the lights outside go on as they switched on automatically when someone approached the house at night.

It was nice of him to warn us as the neighbours came in very late – or should I say early – and I was awoken by the sound of their footsteps on the gravel. If he hadn’t told us about it in advance, I would certainly have thought that there was a prowler sneaking around the house. When we opened the curtains the next morning, there were two tiny rabbits grazing on the lawn beneath our window. Could these have been some of the rabbits that race at the ‘lapinodrome’ in Chantilly? Probably not.

We had a very nice breakfast in the large and fully equipped kitchen. Our hostess had made a batch of fresh ‘madeleine’ cakes, while our host had gone out to buy fresh baguettes, Brie and Camembert cheese and an assortment of charcuterie. By the time we left, the shutters of our neighbours’ room were still tightly closed. We said goodbye to our kind hosts and wished them luck with their building plans.

I highly recommend this chambre d’hôtes, but make sure to book in advance as – for the time being – there are only two rooms.



The Beaver said...

They have a web site and I found this also:

some memories for you.

ladybird said...

The Beaver, Thank you ... this certainly brings back some nice memories!