Friday, 29 December 2006

Too cold for us to go out today -6 oC but they are still out in the vineyard pruning and mulching. Humble and Willow opt for the cosy option in front of a warm woodburner.

Thursday, 28 December 2006

The Loire Valley formed the floor of a vast sea 90 million years ago. Over the millennia, sediment from the sea floor, comprising fossilized living organisms and sand particles, became compressed to form what is now known as Tuffeau stone. Today whilst walking the dogs in the vineyards we came across this sea urchin - imagine it's 90 million years old and this vineyard used to be the sea bed!!


Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Back to Work a La Petite Maison

Back to work after a delicious Christmas Day Lunch at David and Bella's at
Plantagenet Plantes. Have now spent the day gutting the cottages ready for the renovations. This is the last picture of Treves that I'll publish before the work is finished in 2008.
The cottage on the right is 17th Century and research seems to point to it being a Dutch Shipping Merchants House. There is a quay on the river opposite the cottage where goods would have been delivered to the village of Treves. The other cottage was added in the 18th Century and is much more French Loire style in tuffeau stone.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Saumur Market

Shopping at Saumur Market is a colourful event even in December. Spot the Sam Toft bag with Mr Mustard. When you spot another Mustard Bag holder, approach carefully and after enquiring politely about their health, say,”Nice weather for the time of year.”. Their reply should be, “Not so bad, all things considered.”
You will have then:
a) Possibly made a new friend
b) Established whether this is a true Fan and fellow Mustard Clubber or just a normal person
c) At the very least, shown yourself to be an accomplished conversationalist.
It's a Brighton thing so I don't suppose I'll come across too many in France.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Christmas at La Grande Maison

21st December and the neighbours gather for our Apero de Noel. The children of the village sings carols and we introduce the concept of mulled wine and mince pies to our French friends!

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

La Tour de Treves

The Tower at Treves built by Foulques Nerra dominates the riverside which during the summer months is like a beach. So much so you can walk across to the island in the middle of the river or picnic on the sands. In winter the river is in usually in full flood. This year though with the lack of rain it is still partially dry - just beautiful on a clear, crisp December morning.

Monday, 18 December 2006

La Grand'Maison's Little Sister Arrives

18th December and a visit to the Notaire in Saumur to sign the final acte de vente for the purchase of "La Petite Maison" - our new project on the banks of the River Loire.

"La Petite Maison" is situated in the pretty hamlet of Treves - in the commune of Chenehutte-Treves-Cunault. The project for 2007 will result in a rentable self catering riverside cottage available from 2008.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Humble and Willow wish you all a HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

No Willow!
I am not going to kiss you under the mistletoe!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Brocante on the River

The Montsoreau Brocante is quite literally held on the banks of the River Loire. After the recent rainfall the river is once again in full flow after the barren desert it was over the summer. A beautiful blue sky and the market packed with eager Christmas shoppers all looking for a bargain.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Christmas In the Loire Valley

Just where did all those mince pies go?
Sunday in Turquant and the Marche de Noel is in full swing with stalls selling all manner of local produce from Vin Chaud to Coq au Vin, Fois Gras, Oysters and Pain Ancienne.