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

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A rabbit’s foot ...

...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?


chm said...

All is well that ends well!

Nadege said...

I have no idea who "the darling little girl" is. What can it be?

VirginiaC said...

Thank goodness you enjoyed your dinner that night after all.
Night time in Saint-Aignan seems to be rocking....and here I was thinking it was a quiet little town.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I think of Saint-Aignan as a quiet little town too, with a lot of empty boutiques. And there's a new fromagerie on the square? I must get to town more often.

Carolyn said...

Darling little girl--Martine, is that you?

Anonymous said...

Good to know that the restaurants are doing well. Thanks for including the picture of the post office. The house that we rented a few years back was just down that little side street. We too went to the crepe restaurant for lunch one day, simple but satisfying. I wonder if the same lady is in Le Crepiot? I remember her as her name is Veronique. Look forward to hearing more of your adventures.

ladybird said...

Chm, I was quite pleased with the outcome myself :)... and so were my friends I think.

Nadege, All is revealed in today's post. Enjoy!

Virginia, I think 'rocking' is a bit over the top, but I was really surprised myself to see so many people so late at night in what is a small town after all.

Ken, I don't know how 'new' the cheese shop is, but I'm sure it wasn't there in June last year.

Carolyn, LOL! I wish it were me!

Veronica, When we went to the Crépiot in 2010 the landlady was called Véronique. And I was told they she and her husband actually reopened the place after the fire, although it took them some time to make de decision.