October 9, 2023

Versailles to Castelnau de Montmiral

We leave Versailles (boo hoo) and do a road trip to southern France, Castelnau de Montmiral. We stay overnight in Bouesse and have a French family dinner -- a new and delightful dining experience.

Versailles to Castelnau de Montmiral

We had our last breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria. The chef made me another omelet. These are the best omelets I've ever had.

The croissants, the breads, it's hard to stop eating them.

I picked up the rental car while Mitzi packed. Then drove it over to the hotel and we loaded up for our road trip down towards the south of France. It was a 3 hour drive today to get to our B&B.

We stopped for lunch at Creperie Mam Goz.

The menu was entirely in French and we were having a hard time figuring out what to order. I asked the server, do you have a crepe with meat? He pointed to Andouille which I understood to be sausage since I'd seen that in Louisianna.

Well this ain't Louisianna, and Andouille in France is actually pig intestine. I ate it anyway and although it didn't smell nice, the flavor was good. Mitzi was rather grossed out haha.

She took a guess and placed her order and that turned out great!

We arrived at our B&B around 4p. It's called Le Pre de la Rue.

Our hostess is Katarina and speaks pretty good English. She's Portuguese so I got to speak a little bit with her, that was fun. It's a cute little 'farm' and out in the French country side. Very peaceful here.

She invited us to dinner at 7p. Her son and daughter and daughters boyfriend are here for holiday, and her husband's parents are here as well. So we got the full-blown French family country dinner.

What a fun experience!

First we all sat at the outside table as the sun set. We talked for about 45 minutes and had light snacks and a glass of wine. I'm in France and my Jewish ancestors drank wine with their meals and with their family and friends and they were in this part of the world so this was a delightful moment of connection and belonging for me.

It felt and feels good to have a normal experience like this and to connect with other people like humans are designed to do.

The meal experience was 3 hours. Each course came out one at a time, with long gaps of socializing in between. It was delightful, what a great way to eat!

The first course was a tomato tart. Followed by glazed chicken and zucchini quiche.

I'm super proud of Mitzi. She ate the entire chicken, even the skin. She hasn't had dark chicken meat since she was a child. And she never eats the skin or the meat around a bone. Well, this was her moment of experiencing food the French way, and I'm very proud of her!

Cheese was the next course.

The cheese is local goat cheese covered in charcoal to preserve it.

Mitzi even ate a little bit of the goat cheese. For both of us it was the best goat cheese we've ever had. The difference was Mitzi still didn't like it and I loved it :)

The dessert was chocolate mousse. So light and airy. Katarina said it was dark chocolate and eggs and that's it. Wow!

Three generations around the table talking 1,000,000 mph in French, and the mom or the son stopping to fill us in or ask us a question in English.  It lasted 3 hours!

Here's a picture of the group (except the boyfriend since he was taking the picture) at the end of the meal, at 10p. We learned what a French home dinner experience is like, and we loved it!

We drive to Castelnau-de-Montmiral

At 8:30a we ate a nice and delicious breakfast prepared by Katarina.

Before heading out on the 3.5 hour drive to Castelnau-de-Montmiral, we stopped in the town of Argenton-sur-Cruese to walk around and explore. We had no idea what to expect.

Right away we saw this old hotel that isn't currently in use but is charming. Then we walked through the town center.

We heard singing coming from this huge cathedral building. We walked in and sat at the back. It's interesting to see how people worship in different places.

We stopped at a bakery to get some bread and a pain de chocolat. Then we stopped in a grocery store and picked up some butter and jam and other supplies for our week long stay in Castelnau. That round loaf was so good I had to have a bite right away!

We walked back to the car. Then headed out on our drive.

We passed this old aquaduct and Mitzi was able to get a picture as we sped by.

We arrived at our beautiful rental house Casa Guillarmou Piscine. We have the whole house to ourselves on this quiet property surrounded by the country with a pool and hot tub. Time to settle into a slow routine for the next week.