...that’s what I think we had in our pocket (for luck), almost a month ago when we were roaming the streets of ‘Saint-Aignan by night’ in search of a place to have dinner.
At the ‘Bigouden’ restaurant (thank you Chm for correcting my mistake on the name) we were warmly greeted by a young lady, who immediately directed us to a table close to the entrance. She handed us a menu card and asked whether we wanted an aperitif. We all decided to have the house specialty: bubbles with an extra touch, bubbles, with cider for J.L., Kirr style for B. and the traditional ‘nature’ for me. While we were studying the menu card, more people came in … and they were all turned away with a simple ‘Désolé, nous sommes complets’, despite the fact that there were still two free tables for two. But less than fifteen minutes later, these were taken too by people who had taken the trouble of booking in advance.
Saint-Aignan's one-way mainstreet on a summery Saturday night.
It was then that we realized that we had been very lucky indeed … grabbing the last free table in town. I had never realized before that Saint-Aignan was such a lively little town. Of course, it has to be said that another popular restaurant ‘L’Embarcadère’ was closed that night. And the other ‘landmark’ – Chez Constant’ – does have the reputation of being a bit ‘unstable’, meaning the service and quality tend to vary … probably according to the ‘humeur du chef’. I have this from hear-say, so please don’t shoot me, if I’m wrong.
The post-office, across the street from the church where we heard the music.
Anyway, back to our meal – no photos, sorry. B. and J.L had a seafood salad, mainly shrimps, crayfish and tuna on a crispy bed of lettuce. we had a savoury ‘provençale’ crêpe: ham, egg, mushrooms and a spicy tomato sauce. A bit eclectic, I admit, a specialty from Brittany, with sauce from southern France and a wine from the Loire Valley in a restaurant on the Cher River. It wasn’t bad at all, but I’m not sure the combination worked, especially as the mushrooms were sliced rather roughly and there were quite a lot of them. But I was hungry and the service was very friendly, so I did enjoy my meal. And judging from my friends’ empty plates, I’m sure they did too.
I simply loved this clever decoration/display over the window of a new fancy cheese and delicatesses shop
in the main square.
While strolling back to the car, we were surprised to hear a classical orchestra playing in the distance. It was clearly a ‘life’ performance. Making our way up the street, we decided that it came from the church and when we looked up we could see that the church windows were brightly lit. For a second we considered venturing in, but it was already late and we were tired after what had been a long an eventful day.
Although I had some trouble falling asleep on that first night – probably due to the excitement of the trip and the expectations of what was to come and a different bed and mattress – I slept very well and woke up completely refreshed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to tackle my first complete day in La Touraine since June 2012. And I would see the Loire Valley’s ‘darling little girl’ (not my own words) again. You know who or what I’m talking about, don’t you?