In less than a week the Charente area of western France will be transformed, invaded as it were, by deeply passionate auto enthusiasts who will gather for the 2012 “Circuit des Remparts d’Angoulême”. Carefully pampered, antique luxury cars will be buffed to perfection for display in the classic auto exhibitions, and the gala Concours D’Elegance on Friday evening will find drivers and passengers in flawless ‘costumes’ to evoke eras of the past. And all of that takes place before Saturday’s premiere race – the Rallye International de Charente – from Chais Magelis to Champ de Mars, Esplanade in Angoulême.
If you were wise enough to plan well ahead, you might enjoy the weekend of events as a guest at La Ferme de l’Église, a lovely 17th-century Charentaise farmhouse in the heart of Vanzay. I believe we would choose their traditional “La Petite Maison” overlooking grassy courtyards and private gardens and some leisurely moments by the pool, just within sight of the old village church.
A visit to the historic town of Cognac also is a must, where elegant Renaissance buildings and cobbled streets mix with the heavy scent of fabled spirits referred to as the “angel’s share”. How about a tour and delectable tasting of cognac of Courvoisier or Rémy-Martin?
Your affable hosts will help to guide your selection of rural cycling and picnic outings (by the lake at Saint-Macoux?), as well as historic forays and dining in Poitiers. Without a doubt, they will encourage your indulgence in a little known local aperitif – Pineau des Charentes, and offer homemade preserves and local market specialties.
Perhaps, you will rent one of John’s antique cars to join in the Circuit des Remparts festivities!
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