France = Fabulous Food.
A photo journey from the Jules Verne restaurant in the Tour Eiffel to the La Calife Seine dinner cruise to very best culinary experiences in Annecy and other French Alps locations to traditional French dishes prepared by daughter–my fabulous tour guide, translator, and personal chef–who was spending the summer in France with my granddaughters. The little ones enjoyed their own three course hot meals at the day-long French summer camps they attended throughout their stay. Lots of foie gras energy for those gondola trips to the top of the Alps, the museum visits in Geneva, and the usual smattering of forts, castles, historic and scenic sites in both Paris and Annecy.
the summer in Annecy with my granddaughters.
This is the third of nine posts about our visits to Loire chateaux this summer. Chaumont was distinctive for its annual International Garden Festival and a lovely lunch at Le Grand Velum which features spices, vegetable species, rare and relevant plants from eco-agriculture.
Less than 200 km south of Paris, nestling between the cities of Tours and Blois, is a haven of poetry stretching out 40 meters above the wild Loire, Whatever the season, Chaumont-sur-Loire, once the home of Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers and Princess de Broglie, beckons visitors indoors to admire its cozy and lavishly furnished interior. Installations by an array of contemporary artists in the château and along the footpaths of the park catch you by surprise. Every year, more than 400,000 visitors flock to its International Garden Festival, held since 1992.
Our photos include the chateau itself with all its elegance and grandeur on the banks of the Loire, its fabled stables, its unusual eco-friendly restaurant, and, of course, the Garden Festival
I had to keep my eyes squeezed shut as my son-in-law to-be expertly navigated the hairpin turns on an 800 meter climb to the La Ferme des Courmettes near Tourrettes-sur-Loup. My daughter’s determination to see a goat farm had a happy ending. Our private tour and picnic lunch was well worth it.
Incidentally, one of my all-time favorite photos from my many trips to France is approaching the village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup from the south. Using Akvis ArtWork, I turned the fabulous shot into an “oil painting”.
Remember the scene from “When Harry Met Sally” in the restaurant? Of course you do. Well, a slightly less R-rated version occurred when a good friend and I first dined at the highly recommended L’Ambroisie in Quimper.
It occurred at the very table pictured in this photo. We ordered the foie gras and with our first simultaneous bites, we both let out an audible, involuntary groan of complete delight. The ultimate braised foie gras, the deep sweetness of the fresh fig compote, the crunch of perfectly crisped triangles of toast, and the chunky granules sal de mer combined to produce the most scrumptious bite we’d ever tasted. That our hosts insisted we must have the Normandy pear cider with a splash of cassis to accompany this dish, without charge, only added to the experience. I think there was quail and a tarte tatin to follow but we will never forget that first bite.
Karen Stephen’s BLOG about her own experiences in France over the past 15 years with an emphasis on favorite places, restaurants, and activities. With one blog a week devoted to French travel with three generations and another to her writing.
IF IT’S: IT MUST BE:
MONDAY MOMMY, MIMI & THE MUFFINS – 3 Generations See France
WEDNESDAY BEST OF FRANCE – Favorite Activities, Places & Restaurants
FRIDAY ON WRITING – A Novel in Progress
SATURDAY BRINGING FRANCE HOME – French Home Decor & Cooking
SUNDAY GUEST BLOGS – By My Writing Friends