Hooray, at last, back in France for the first time this year. My wine supply at home was getting very low, so great to get the chance to buy some more in France.
My first trip was not to Boulogne, but to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport to collect my mother. And for her too it was ‘Hooray back home in France’ after being in Florida for 3 months more than originally planned. Her flight was overnight, arriving early in the morning, so I had to get to Paris CDG the night before and book a hotel so I could collect her early the next morning. If you do have to stay overnight to get a flight or collect someone from Paris CDG, do not book one that is within the main perimeter area of the airport. I drove by them and they looked pretty grim. Instead go to an area about a 5 minute drive away called ‘Roissy-en-France’. There are several hotels, that are still classified as ‘airport hotels’, but there is a lovely park where the Mairie is, and several restaurants on a charming road ‘Avenue de Charles de Gaulle’.
Can you imagine a street like this 5 minutes from Heathrow? I don’t think so. I had a really good meal at Brasserie le Village
Onto the Charente. Hardest part of the journey was finding the right terminal, and then getting out of the car part and airport once I had collected my mother. I was nervous about finding my way from the airport, which is North East of Paris, to the A10 route towards Orleans and Tours, which starts South West of Paris. No problem, just follow signs to Bordeaux.
Le Cav’Epicerie wine shop in Mareuil
I wrote before about how nice it is to sometime buy wine in places other than the main supermarkets.
So, whilst staying in the Charente/Dordogne area, and I heard about a specialist wine shop in Mareuil, I could not resist a visit. And what a charming shop too. There were some more expensive wines, but also some in the €5 to €8 range. And it was great to have someone to advise about wines. You can see him here, talking to a customer.
My mum said that for her, she finds a lot of red wines too heavy and high in tannins for her taste, and asked for something smoother and softer. So he gave a recommendation. I will get her comments. I also bought a bottle of the same wine for myself, as well as another four. I will review these later in the year but unfortunately time is too tight for this month.
But as you can see there is a good selection of wines. Find out more about Le Cav’Epicerie on their website. And Mareuil is a lovely location, with its own chateau. You can find out more about it on Tripadviser.
I really ought to use Instagram or Facebook for this, but not quite got the hang of social media yet. So for now, I just cannot resist putting up some more photos I took in Charente/Dordogne. The first one of my friend Mary with the backdrop of a field of sunflowers, and the second of a sunset in Montmoreau.
Boulogne at last
After just over a week in the Charente, I took the drive up to Boulogne, arriving on Bastille day (July 14th). I was not sure what Boulogne would be like in the current situation. Much to my amazement, it was busy. Restaurants and bars seemed to have lots of customers, with most of the staff wearing masks.
As always the Éphémère Garden was looking great. And for Bastille day there was a band going around to all the bars, playing along the way.
I really do love Boulogne. So yes, more photos coming.
Only 3 nights and 2 full days in Boulogne. Yes, I did a big Auchan shop to stock up on wine. I wanted to do some reviews this month but I have been too busy…….
……preparing the house for my first Airbnb lettings. I had listed it, but immediately put a block on it until the end of July. I knew I had to get there first to fully clean the house, and add things like smoke detectors which were strongly recommended when listing a property. I had partly forgotten about this until I started getting bookings. So a frantic 2 days cleaning and fitting alarms. Then writing instructions for guests, and then translating them into French to send out as most bookings are from French people. I just finished this a few hours ago, and went to send the document to those who had booked. Then much to my annoyance, you cannot attach files when messaging guests who have booked on Airbnb. I managed to email directly to my first guests who will be arriving on 1st August.
I will let you know how that goes. And now that I am back in the UK, and have completed my ‘house instructions’ document in both English and French (big help from Google Translate), I plan to concentrate on reviewing the wines that I bought on this trip over the coming months. Stay tuned.