Next stop Loire Valley

morning bordeauxThe light is just amazing in this region of France.  In Bordeaux the sun is just waking up around 8am.  This is from our window.  Clouds hang so low here that you honestly feel like if you can touch them.  It is beautiful.

store in bordaeuxOn the way out of Bordeaux we stopped in a shop that had everything from everywhere  It was an incredible store.  Really wonderful selection of liquors too.  It was MOUTH in France.

patitisseries in the townOur next stop was the Loire Valley for good wines and castles.  On the way there we stopped in a little town for a quick bite.  Did not look interesting at all but in France you pretty much can not go wrong at any Patisserie.  It was the call.  We had a small quiche, a apple open faced tart, two small pigs in a blanket and decided we should take an eclair for the road.

chteauWe stopped in the town of Amboise to see Chauteau Amboise before getting to our hotel.  Quite the touristy town.  My guess is the chateau is the key to the economic survival of this place.  The more you read about the kings and queens who lived in these chateaus around the 15th century you realize that they were not particularly nice people.  Definitely staying in power was the key to life.

chapel:leonardo di vinciThis chapel is on the premises and Leonardo di Vinci is buried there so that is kind of cool.

We then proceeded to go to our hotel, Domaine des Hauts de Loire.  Finding a really nice place in this area is not so easy.  This is not the answer although it did change hands three months ago so perhaps the new owner will renovate, put in new beds, fix the wifi and I’d even be so bold as to say get a new chef.

loire valleyThe location is about 30 minutes from anything so when we checked in we realized that we would be eating dinner at the restaurant twice.  Hmmm.  The restaurant has a 2 Michelin star.  Here is the thing that we have come to realize about the Michelin star.  The “gastronomic” concept seems to mean that as a chef you can make the plate beautiful, you can use science to create interesting sauces or foams and you can create your own dishes.  That is all a good thing but if it doesn’t taste good why are they getting stars?  Fred and I have decided we would be delighted to take on the role of judging restaurants for stars.  We feel like we would be much more critical than the places we have been to that actually got a star.  The key is supposedly to be delicious food, yes?

When dinner was over and we realized that we would have to eat another meal here and stay another night and we each came to the quick conclusion that we can’t stay here another night here.  I called our place in Paris to see if they could take us the next night.  Phew they could.  For us, being in Paris is like being home so as we wind down we will stay somewhere that we know and love.  Paris here we come.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Susan Rubinsky

    love the pics! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Brandon Burns

    My mom grew up on a U.S. army base in Chateauroux, in the Loire Valley. I also spent a bit of time in Tours. It’s a great place to practice your French, as the accents are the “most pure” as the French would say (read: not jumbled, somewhat intelligible). At your next restaurant, try to chat up your server!

    1. Gotham Gal

      that is super cool. fred grew up in the army too. moved every year until he was 12

      1. Brandon Burns

        somehow my mom / grandparents only ended up moving twice. they were in france for 8 years, germany for 2, then off to chicago. i think its because when my mom was born, my grandfather had already been in combat in the Korean War, so he had stable administrative duties that kept them in one place for a seems like such an interesting way to grow up. i’m sure it shaped fred as much as it did my mom. at least we can live it vicariously through them!

  3. JLM

    .The pics are just getting better and better. Perfect subjects. Excellent composition. Beautiful flow.You should make a Shutterfly book of your trip.JLM.

  4. Michelle

    We were in the Loire a week ago. The next time you are in the area, check out the Abbaye de Fontevraud (if you did not on this trip). Restaurant is simply magnificent. They have honey bees on the premises.…If you book at the hotel, make sure to stay in one of the larger rooms. All minimalist design within a 12th century compound. Wifi is good and they give you an iPad during your stay. We loved every minute of it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Good to know.

  5. William Mougayar

    Ha, my wife and I have also joked that we could easily become Michelin type reviewers, since we typically have a critical eye on meals at that level.That said, I recently discovered Andy Hayler’s excellent site – he reviews Michelin and other top restaurants personally by visiting them – You might enjoy that site in case you haven’t come across it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks. will check it out. we have become such food snobs that it is really hard to get us excited.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup, i know that feeling. Check the food pics on this restaurant in Bruges: