Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Visit Poitiers, France

Poitiers, capital of the Poitou-Charente region, in the Vienne department, is a place to visit!

Poitiers , the town of a 100 steeples, is a leisurely 45 mins drive from La Maison Verte taking the scenic route and if you are staying at our guest house then this is defenitely a day out not to be missed.

We went last weekend with our lovely friends over for a short break. The weather was fantastic with 25 degrees and a glorious sun shining from a clear-blue sky.

You arrive in Poitiers and park in the very handy underground-carpark from where you come up right into the most fantastic market! It is partly indoors where you find endless stalls selling local meat and fish and of course, cheese of a million varieties. The market then spreads out onto the main square by the "Notre Dame" church, where the fruit and vegetable stalls compete for the most beautiful display. Here is also quite a few "bric-a-brac" stalls with both antiques and fun "old junk" (as my husband calls it) stalls for you who like to take home a little bit of French memoribilia.

Whilst you are wondering around you are tantalised by the cooking smells from the squares Brasserie "Le Gil". Inevitably this is where we soon ended up. It's tables spread out on the square, in the sun, and it is glorius sitting here with a chilled glass of white wine soaking up the atmosphere.
We had a fricasse of veal kidneys which had possibly the best sauce I have ever tasted! Also barbequed seafood brochettes with huge crevettes and juicy chunks of fish and pave de boeuf which melted in the mouth. All served with perfect french fries cooked in duck-fat! Let's not mention the calories but the flavour is divine!

The shopping centre is sprawling and all is pedestrianised which is lovely. There is every shop you could possibly wish for. Designer and quirky shops and shops with great French chic things for the house.

If you are after a cultural fix then you can go on the Poiters Cathedral route - there are no less than 6 huge churches and of course the main cathedral. There are marked routes for you to follow to take in all the sites. It is really well set up and maps etc are available from the tourist office next to the market.

What is so nice about Poitiers centre is that a lot of it is pedestrianised so it is really peaceful and still there is a such a lovely buzz and atmosphere.

We ended our visit in a old fashioned tea-room with every tea-blend under the sun. They serve "English Scones" on a Saturday and they were great! They specialise in jams infused with different teas - for example, we had raspberry jam infused with Violette tea - they are really nice and it is so cute sitting in the little court yard. A very nice ending to a fantastic day out.

We picked up some great stuff from the market to cook on the campfire on our return home - happy days!!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Spot the Dog's digging Adventure

This week we are digging out a base for a covered veranda so that I will have some really nice shade in the summer. Here you can see me digging. I am helping as otherwise it would take forever to get this job done and of course I LOVE DIGGING!! My little legs are like pistons and soil is flying everywhere. When we first came to Franze there were so many garden projects to do that I wore my claws right down to the soft bits and I was very sore - and I couldn't dig for a whole week!

Sometimes I get so excited I just bark and bark. It's very noisy and I drive everyone mad - great!! I occasionally get shouted at but I never worry about it as I know that when I turn on the charm I am instantly forgiven. I only bark when I am digging so surely that has to be allowed as all other times I am such a good boy?
I  know lots of other hounds that bark most of the time, and for no apparent reason. I don't understand that. They must be bored.

It's tiring work digging though. Here I am taking a little break
from it all. I like to still stick around to make sure that nothing
exciting happens. I don't like to miss out on things. By now I am quite
wet and cold and I am hoping that we are maybe going in soon to all
curl up on the sofa in front of the fire. That is my favourite pastime of all...well, apart from eating maybe. I am sure we will be back out digging tomorrow. I wish for my very own chair on the veranda when it is finished.

Hooooooray!! It's time for the sofa!! Just look at that fire - I can lie in front of it ALL DAY!!! And there are rays of sun coming in aswell - sun and fire - sorted!!

WOOF, WOOF!        

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Idyllic places to stay in France!

We are very excited today as we have just been informed that La Maison Verte is advertised in the Saturday Guardian in the UK! What great news - and we have already received a booking from that advert.
Alasdair Sawday is running an article about holidays in France and we thought you might find this article interesting.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Medieval town of Montmorillon, France

The medieval town of Montmorillon is our local bigger town. This is a really beautiful place with 2 impressive cathedrals and 2 beautiful bridges over the river Gartempe, one of them goes back to medieval times. Montmorillon is known as "Le Cite de l'ecrit" which translates to "The Writers City" - this is due to the large number of both vintage and current bookshops, calligraphy studios and illustrators workshops which are all located in the old part of the town which is steeped in history. This part of town really comes alive in July and August and it is well worth a visit.
There is a restaurant which holds one Michelin star, Le Lucullus, and several other nice restaurants and bistros. Every Wednesday there is an adorable little market with local vegetables, meats, cheeses and lots of other stuff. It also boasts some really great gift and clothes shops.
Montmorillon is only 20 minutes drive from La Maison Verte so great for a morning or afternoon out.

Spot the dog's life in France cont.

Today I have been mostly digging for moles - I didn't catch it.....hmmmmmmm.
My post is quite short today as I am very tired...
Woof, woof1