This past weekend V and I traveled to the Loire Valley to spend some time with his grad school friends. I spent a week in the Loire two years ago with a big group of friends and loved it. Delicious wine, beautiful chateaux, nice village markets, wonderful food. (And totally affordable to rent a house there as part of a large group – I highly recommend it.) V is a champagne aficionado and advocate, and doesn’t think as much of the Loire pétillant (sparkling wine), but I find it lovely. The perfect patio sipping wine.
We took a tour of a winery on the banks of the Loire. It was built into the cliffs that hug the river, and the tour took us deep into their caves. They had an incredible art display with artworks that used the irregular surface of the cave walls. They also had a display of old vineyard advertisements including the following:
What do you think? Should I start recommending this miracle cure to my patients?
Later we were driving around and all of a sudden came across this amazing chateau:
It looked like it came out of a Disney fairy tale. And I think it was someone’s private residence.
For dinner, we stopped at a place up the road from our winery tour. It, too, was built into the side of the hill on the river, and we ate in a cave!
The acoustics were terrible – seriously, never been in a worse restaurant for hearing your companions’ conversation – but it sure was a cool setting. Delicious, rustic food accompanied by a nice red from Bourgueil (yet another French word that I am sure I will never be able to pronounce correctly).
Now I’m onto Berlin for a week for a medical conference. Think I should recommend the French cure to my colleagues?