But apparently, great minds think alike … because today I received an email from Mats asking for more information about the program I sent him over a month ago. He was worried that it was too ‘ambitious’. Of course it is! You can’t ‘cram’ 12 years of experience into 6 days, can you? I explained that it was just ‘a program’ and that we would play it by ear once we were on location. That seemed to reassure him.
Here’s a sneak preview …
Mats and Vera will be arriving in Brussels on Saturday. We’ll have a light supper at my favourite Italian restaurant before they check into a nearby hotel. We’ll make it an early night because I guess they’ll be pretty tired after driving all the way down from Stockholm, where they will have left on Friday morning after attending Mats’ youngest daughter’s graduation.
On Sunday, they’ll pick me up around 5 a.m. And then we’re off. We’ll take a short stop north of Paris, to have a coffee and a croissant. South of Paris we’ll have a longer stop, enjoying a real breakfast. By 9 a.m. we should be on the road again. And then, sometime between 10.30 and 11 a.m. we should be looking at this splendid scene, Amboise castle seen from the bridge over the Loire River, when you’re driving into Amboise from the north.
Our first stop will be the weekly market to get food supplies for our evening picnic. Next there will be drinks at the foot of the castle and a nice Sunday lunch – Loire Valley style. I have selected three restaurants, two of which I’ve already been to and a third that was always very tired-looking in the past, but now has a new chef and a very attractive menu. I think we’ll try that one.
In the afternoon I hope to – finally – visit the Gardens of Valmer Castle, a location that has been on my 'to-see-list’ since 2009, but never had the time/chance to visit in the past. As this is my third attempt, I'm pretty sure that I’ll make it this time.
Stay tuned for the rest of the program …