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

Monday, 17 June 2013

The scenic route – the last lap

Click here for part 1 and part 2

We found a ‘watering hole’ in the next village: Chaumont-sur-Tharonne. Despite its fancy name, the village didn’t have a castle. It did have a nice church, a mini-market, a pharmacist and … a bar with a tiny sidewalk terrace. There was also a nice and shady village square, where we could park the car at only a few steps from the bar.

Across the road was what looked like a nice restaurant with ‘colombages’, a feature you would rather expect to find in Normandy. There were people having lunch on the terrace of the restaurant and the aroma’s that drifted from the open door were very tantalizing indeed. By then it was half past twelve and we hadn’t eaten anything since our brief stop at the service station north of Paris.

For a second I considered inviting my friends across the road and have lunch there and then. But then I remembered that B. had told me that she had taken the trouble of making some fresh bolognaise sauce, and we were going to have that with spaghetti when we got to their house. So we settled down for a quiet and refreshing drink. I asked for a ‘pression’, a draft lager beer, which turned out to be a Loburg. Loburg is Inbev’s (Belgian) equivalent to the Danish Carlsberg and Turborg beers. It was strange to find it in this tiny French village, because, as far as I know, you can no longer get in Belgium. Not even in Leuven, which is the hometown of Inbev!

B. and J.L. both had a chilled white wine. We were sipping our drinks, sitting in the sun and enjoying the silence of the village square. Every now and then the peace and quiet were disturbed by a passing car and at half past twelve the church bells chimed. But apart from these occasional noises, the square was a heaven of peace. And it looked so pristine; you could almost eat from the street.

On our way back to car, we noticed this artfully forged ornament on the façade of a nearby house. The name of the street was ‘rue de la forge’, something the local blacksmith or residing artist had beautifully illustrated by putting the piece of art on the wall.

We set out on the last lap of our trip to the Loire Valley ... I was impatient to get to our destination, as I was really curious about seeing B. an J.L.'s holiday home. Would it be as nice as the photos I had seen?


Craig said...

It looks lovely Martine - exactly what you'd hope to find in a small, off the beaten track French village.
The piece of art on the wall is wonderful. Well spotted!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Love the small French villages , sounds ideal :-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

On May 22nd I was actually in Chaumont, over near Troyes ,, My friend and I were on a coach trip down to Monaco ..:-) We had an overnight stop there ,

Not sure why you changed your blog, hope it was not because of people ,, :-(

VirginiaC said...

Oh the lovely quaint French villages and the folks who live lucky for you to be a part of it all.

Nadege said...

What a lovely little city! But you must have been really hungry. I hope you had some snacks with you in the car to hold you up.

Louise said...

Sitting quietly enjoying the ambience with un verre is one of the delights of meandering through the little villages...lovely photos!

ladybird said...

Craig, I loved the piece of art. It would have looked great in my living room :) Slightly over-sized though!

Anne, The perfect setting for a film! And yes, it was 'people' who made me shut down the blog. Not a reader yet ... but someone whom I don't want to find the blog!

Virginia, I enjoyed every minute of it. And how kind of you to post a profile photo. Thanks!

Nadege, I had some 'granny' cookies, but didn't eat them. I was saving up my appetite for what was to come ... see today's post.

Louise, I could spend hours in those French villages, just watching people and community life!