There’s something amazing about driving through the French countryside in a convertible, top down and wind streaming through your hair. Or so I’ve heard. We hired a convertible in order to experience just that. Sadly, today was not the day for having the top down.
For a start, it rained for a bit. Okay, it wasn’t heavy but it was enough to activate the wipers as we left St Malo so we’d have managed to get a bit wet. Actually, the weather wasn’t conducive to topless driving. We’re hoping for better in the coming days so we can experience it properly.
So, we’ve christened our little white VW convertible Coco. The reasons are twofold. She clearly looks like a Coco and her model name is Cocchinelle which looks and sounds quite a bit like Coco Chanel. Coco it is then. (If I refer to Coco in this blog over the next couple of weeks, dear reader, then you’ll know who I’m talking about.)
We left St Malo station and headed for Burgundy. We had a 7.5 hour drive ahead of us and, fortunately, left early to get a good head start. We were a bit worried about our host at the B&B we’re staying at. According to Mirinda he can be a bit of an ogre so the last thing you want to do is get off on the wrong foot with the first thing you do…arriving passed the check-in time.
As it turned out, we arrived with plenty of time and, besides, Patrick isn’t an ogre by any stretch of the imagination.
Possibly the oddest part of the day was stopping at Chez Sophie for lunch. Chez Sophie is a French truckie stop. Now, in Australia (and, in fact, in Britain), a truckie stop indicates the sort of food you’re going to get. Generally big plates full of greasy and tasty food which includes an awful lot of meat. The other thing you can be certain about is that the food will be good. Otherwise, why would truck drivers stop and eat there?
Well, I only have one French truckie stop to go by but I’m not looking very favourably on Chez Sophie.
Let’s ignore the fact that I don’t really understand French very well. I’m excusing the big plate of rice and ham on the fact that I had no idea what the waitress was asking me. It wasn’t until later that I realised there were options with the main meal, one of which was rice rather than fries. That was clearly my fault. Anyway, the pork was nice and the sauce flavoursome.
The worst and most peculiar thing was the meat in the cake. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like mixing unlikely foods. Bacon, egg and maple syrup, for instance, or caramel and salt, crisps and chocolate…I’m sure the list is pretty long. But, and I’m pulling no punches when I say this, there is something fundamentally wrong with getting a bit of salty, unidentified meat and wrapping it in cake.
The rest of the entree buffet choices were all a bit odd but paled into insignificance before the King of Weird: Meat Cake. Seriously, it was not nice at all. I’m going to try and forget it.
We left the truckies to it and finished the drive to Massangis.
And Carpe Diem is absolutely lovely. In an almost deserted little village with a very famous quarry nearby. We are going to enjoy staying here for the next four days.
For dinner we went to the very French (meaning no English at all) La Beursaudiere Auberge at Nitry. The food was lovely though my entree could have been a lot smaller as could have my boeuf Bourguignon but the nougart ice cream was diabolically delicious.
We also had a local Chablis (being quite near the Chablis area means there’s a LOT of local Chablis) which left an amazing impression of honey on your tongue after taking a drink. Truly delicious.
Back at the B&B at 10:30, it was well and truly time to collapse. So we did.