Dining my way through France

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.

IMG_3719IMG_3720IMG_3730IMG_3842IMG_3843IMG_3872IMG_3894IMG_3938IMG_4025IMG_4026IMG_4286IMG_4287IMG_4288IMG_4291IMG_4378IMG_4385IMG_4386IMG_4417IMG_4418IMG_4419IMG_4519IMG_4520IMG_4530the summer in Annecy with my granddaughters.

Chateaux of the Loire – Day Three: Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire

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 Festivalimg_2321

Catherine de Medici's bedroom in her usual somber hues

Catherine de Medici’s bedroom in her usual somber hues

Modern stained glass art installation in attic niches filled with restoration materials

Modern stained glass art installation in attic niches filled with restoration materials

Grand dining room

Grand dining room

Huge stables filled with carriages and harnesses

Huge stables filled with carriages and harnesses

The chateau's floral borders

The chateau’s floral borders

Garden Festival entry portraying top of home sunken by nature's forces in this future themed competeition

Garden Festival entry portraying top of home sunken by nature’s forces in this future themed competeition

All that is left is the attic with the survivor's few precious belongings

All that is left is the attic with the survivor’s few precious belongings

Parfumery entry.

Parfumery entry.

Another unusual entry

Another unusual entry

Look closely for Maggie popping up in this one

Look closely for Maggie popping up in this one

And on to lunch at Le Grand Velum

And on to lunch at Le Grand Velum

Cushion of veal cooked like a boiled ham, with grilled bacon from  the  same  meat,  seasoned  with  lovage.  Heads  of  broccoli  and  duxelles of finely sliced chard served on home-made wholegrain  bread roll

Cushion of veal cooked like a boiled ham, with grilled bacon from the same meat, seasoned with lovage. Heads of broccoli and duxelles of finely sliced chard served on home-made wholegrain bread roll

Beef eye-of-round and Carrots cooked in mild  " ices (Voatsiperifery  pepper, paprika and turmeric), cumin potato bubbles and sa % ron  yellow zucchini, beef gravy and cress shoots to

Beef eye-of-round and Carrots cooked in mild
“ices (Voatsiperifery pepper, paprika and turmeric), cumin potato bubbles and saffron
yellow zucchini, beef gravy and cress shoots

Milk  chocolate  and  pollen  flavoured   # reusel  biscuit,  organic  honey parfait, served with a smooth peach-apricot cream. Sorbet  comprising the

Milk chocolate and pollen flavoured
streusel biscuit, organic honey parfait, served with a smooth peach-apricot cream.

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Memories of Honfleur

Gallery

This gallery contains 18 photos.

A dear friend was browsing through my posts and noticed I hadn’t posted on Honfleur, one of his favorite haunts in France. Mine too. Not only because I had a charming visit there in 2009 but because my great-grandfather Captain … Continue reading

Goat Cheese on a French Mountaintop

DSC03242

 

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.

 

 

DSC03257And the view from the farm was beyond spectacular even with a bit of haze.

 

 

 

 

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”.TouretteSurLoup

L’Ambroisie in Quimper

our table ambroisieRemember 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.

Your guide to BLOG ♥ FRANCE

love franceKaren 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

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