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Archive for June, 2016

The Rhythm of Rennes

June 30, 2016 @ 2:00 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Historic Rennes against a background of contemporary architecture

We like to remind people about the rhythms of France – they are important!  No gas for sale in Amboise on Sunday (forget the drive in the country).  The rue Mouffetard is closed on Monday (new plan for dinner).  As it turned out, Rennes saved us from our worst faux pas regarding rhythms.

August is the penultimate time for travel in France.  The French head to the country or sea or other favorite holiday spot, and the entire world seems to head for France during the summer.

We were in the Loire Valley and decided to go to the Saint-Nazaire area to spend some time on the Atlantic Coast.  That’s no small drive to begin with, but I was in one of my “linger along the way” moods; so it was late in the afternoon, when we began to look for a place to stay.  Every hotel we passed along the coast had the unforgiving sign – “complet” (No vacancy).  Sigh.  We were beginning to realize the error of our ways.

We drove north to Guérande, a charming medieval town, and headed straight for the Office of Tourism.  “Yes, there is a vacancy”, they told us.  The price was over $300 per night.  Time to hit the road again –  on the national roads, into the villages.  The “rhythm” was killing us.  Roadside motels, “complet”.  Villages tucked in for the night.  We gave up hope and took to the autoroute toward Rennes.

We arrived near midnight and followed the signs to “Centre Ville”, the town center with, we hoped, the greatest chance for success.  That’s when the rhythm of Rennes, the capital of Brittany, saved us.  We drove into a melee of sorts; a major soccer match had just ended.  People were partying well into the night throughout the city center.  We spotted a hotel and crossed our fingers.  Two rooms left.  We took very little time to say, “Oui!”

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2016, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

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Les Florets – Avignon Countryside

June 17, 2016 @ 5:48 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Provence France

Maison Provencal – Les Florets

What’s not to love about Avignon, steeped in history, exceptional cuisine and lively festivals?  The old Papal city exudes charm and is so close to enticing French villages.  A stay in the city is delightful … but not your only choice!

Just what we all like to imagine for a peaceful getaway, Les Florets is a gem tucked away in the lush countryside in front of the Dentelles de Montmirail north of Avignon.  With all of the hospitality of a country hotel, Les Florets offers a ‘Maison Provencal’ style surrounded by the vineyards of Gigondas with abundant trees and views of rolling hills.  Most rooms overlook a spacious, shaded terrace – the ideal place to enjoy the regional cuisine of the excellent hotel restaurant.

The classic, traditional dining room also offers fine dining, where the beef filet with a savory red wine and shallot sauce readily attracts my attention.  For Americans, the exceptional breakfast runs well beyond the typical croissant, juice and coffee.  An entire spread includes yogurts and jams, fruit and cheeses, eggs and assorted breads.

But of course, you also will appreciate a wine cellar stocked with some of the finest Gigondas produced in the region, as well as some excellent selections from their own winery.  Up the hill from the town of Gigondas, Les Florets enjoys a serene location in an area teeming with beautifuls vineyards and appealing wine tasting Domaines.

Gigondas wines France

Lovely shaded terrace

We’ve tried many types of accommodations, while traveling in France – vacation rentals in the city and country, gites near Bordeaux and Toulouse, hotel rooms ranging in size from generous closet to spacious suite.  While often we like to be in the ‘thick of things’ with a nice little patisserie around the corner, sometimes the quiet of the countryside suits us very well.

When a quiet weekend with friendly hosts and professional staff (English-speaking, by the way) appeals, Les Florets is the place to keep in mind!

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2016, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

Please take a moment to browse through … and order … my book:

Autographed copies with notecard gift