Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany 2 - Domaine de Mestré, Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

It was getting late by the time we hit the beaux villages of Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin (see previous post). Following Blandine's usual policy, we started looking around for a B&B after hitting the place. This is the way we have hit upon the most amazing gems. Or not. This time we got lucky. But for a few moments, we panicked. Virtually every B&B in the villages were closed for the Christmas holidays. Then we hit on a lovely place, just outside the villages, technically in a third village adjoining the above two. So lovely, in fact, that it deserves a post all on its own.

This was Domaine de Mestré, in the village of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye. This was originally the main farm of the Abbey of Fontevraud. In 1791, the ancestors of Marie Amélie, the present proprietor, took it over and started running it as a farm cum inn for the pilgrims on the route of Compostela. So this place has been a running hotel for over three centuries, always with the same family! The buildings too date from that time. In 2013, it was renovated and made into a three-star hotel. 

Here are some pics of the buildings and farms...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany -1 (Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin)

This Christmas break, Blandine and I had taken a trip to the Brittany coast, despite it being winter, as Blandine wanted a blast of cold sea air after being ill for ages. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting photos of this trip. Since it was a long way from Lyon, we made an overnight stop midway, at the joint villages of Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin (the villages are so close together on the bank of the river Loire, that they are one village, for all practical purposes). Both of these villages are in the official list of "the most beautiful villages of France", and if you follow my blog, you will know that I have the ambition of visiting all the villages on this list. These villages are not strictly in Brittany, they are in the department of Maine-et-Loire, at the border of Brittany. With ancient white stone buildings sleeping on the edge of the Loire, these two villages are as pretty as a pair of pictures. Here are the pics I took, with my brand new Huawei P30 Pro, allegedly the best camera phone on the market at the moment. I was impressed with the result. We got there late evening, when it was starting to get dark, and most of these photos were taken with the night mode enabled. None of the previous camera phones I have had could ever have managed these photos...