Friday, 3 August 2012

France August 2012

On holiday in mid France down near Cognac for a couple of weeks, escaping the big Olympics show going on in London.  Having a good time with the family staying in a villa found on Owners Direct in mid France down near Cognac.  The weather has been a bit mixed but always better than UK.  Have got out into the countryside on trusty bike mapped of course by Runtastic. Have been doing about 15 to 20 miles a day in the later afternoon. As with most exercise the more you do, the easier it gets.

I have to say that I am not worried about the state of French agriculture as it's a hive of activity round here just now. There are miles and miles of sunflowers, wheat, sweetcorn and vines tended by the usual collection of tractors combines and surly looking farm hands.

As expected the cheese, fresh crusty bread and wine are as tasty as ever. The bread has the shelf life of less than a day so regular trips to the local Boulangerie are in order. For the wine, as someone who tries to find the twin attributes of cheep and good but likes a selection of different reds to try, the sweet spot is the "Expert Club" selections available at 

The bottle branding is consistent with the Expert club logo at the top of the label and on cork/bung. The range covers loads of interesting wine regions, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Bergerac, Medoc, Cotes du Rhone, Beaujolais-Villages, Saumur and many others.  A personal favourite is The Lussac Saint-Emilion at about 6 Euros a real bargain for a quality wine.

We had special dinner at a local country house that offered Chamber d' hotes and the "Come dine with us" style Table d' hotes.  The menu was unknown but turned out to be bacon wrapped fig and apricot as a starter followed by roast duck with wine and Balsamic reduction. A cheese round followed and then to wrap choc cake with Strawberry and vanilla glop with Coffee or Tea. All for a very reasonable 30 Euros in a classic French 1880 country house setting.   If your over this way check in overnight with Will and Liz at the Manoir Souhait in Gourvillette.

And finally, got to love it when a country lives up to it's own stereotypes.  In this wrestling poster the usual display of fighting characters are shown including "Surly Pierre" the Maitre d' of your worst nightmares :-)