Today we travelled to a chateau on the outskirts of a little town called Cheneche which is a bit of a trek from Poitiers. It was a long drive which required a couple of stops.
Not that we left in any hurry. We managed to spend a few hours in St Malo first. Mirinda wanted to go for a swim in the sea water fed pool first.
For the last 15 years Mirinda has wanted to swim in the sea water feed pool at St Malo and, finally, this morning, she did it. She said it was freezing and she really doesn’t want to do it again.
She then met me for coffee and then breakfast at the Unicorn for our last Petit Breton. Fortunately we didn’t get the sour faced waitress from yesterday.
Mirinda also managed to buy a set of Breton Matreshka dolls from a funky tourist shop that had no tat. Remarkable but true. They are made in Russia specifically for the shop , the lady told Mirinda.
But eventually the holiday just had to continue so we headed off for St Malo Station in order to pick up our hire car for the long drive south.
Our first stop was a mere leg stretch and best left unremarked upon. The second was unplanned and mostly due to a navigation error. I’d like to blame Linda but feel it was more to do with French signage. And me.
We wound up not avoiding the 17th largest city in France which is Angers (or ‘dangers’ as Linda calls it). It has a very impressive chateau opposite which we parked.
We were searching for somewhere to have a coffee (beer) and recover. We found a very handy tabac not far from an oversized church. We chilled on the terrace outside…if that is possible on a muggy day.
Back in the car, we then headed out of town, with only a few slight road awareness problems, and were once more on our way.
We eventually reached the chateau at about 5:30 along with an English couple. Madame showed us all around together.
The place is amazing. Our room was massive with solid wood floors, very high ceilings and strange floral wallpaper. While the toilet was in a cupboard, the bathroom was fairly spacious. But best of all (apart from the in-ground swimming pool where the temperature is kept at 27 degrees) was the absolute quiet. We were here for four nights and, on the evidence so far, it is going to be such a blissful silence…particularly after the daily garbage collections just outside our window in the Chateaubriand Hotel.
We settled in then went to dinner at a highly recommended restaurant, La Table de Bellefois. What a total tastebud treat. The food was extraordinary. We enjoyed it so much we booked to return on Friday.
While all the food was superb, Mirinda’s entree was very surprising.
It may have looked like a dessert but, apart from the Madeleine cake, it was entirely savoury. But the food was only part of the appeal. Right next door to the restaurant is a brewery making the beer I had as an aperitif and next door to that is the bakery, making the bread.
And speaking of Madeleines…the title comes from a bit of driving nonsense talk about saints. Mirinda was trying to find the patron saint of gout and the conversation ended up figuring out that the patron saint of little cakes would, obviously be St Madeleine named for the little French cakes. It’s the saint you call on whenever you’re having a bad baking situation. Here’s a little prayer that may come in handy:
Oh blessed Saint Madeleine, please hear my prayer!
My cakes are all baking, please be aware!
See they rise adequately and don’t just sink!
Make the icing glorious and ravishingly pink!
Oh blessed Saint Madeleine if you only could
Make my cakes perfect, I’ll always be good.
I’ll leave you a few morsels in order to taste,
I know you’ll just love them; they won’t go to waste.