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Jamikins & Bikerscott Pickle Themselves in France (again)

Jamikins & Bikerscott Pickle Themselves in France (again)

Old May 25th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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The tete de veau I had in Senlis in 1979 is still with me, figuratively if not literally!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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"Sufficiently suffuncified" - and thus fully suffenciful.

"Aggressively indifferent" - I do love your creative wordflexing.

It's amazing that you still had an appetite after watching the middle-aged couple cavort, but you seem experimental enough to have an appetite for anything. Lip, chin, brain & tongue. Oh my. Surely, your description of the texture rivals the oldy-moldy lovemaking in repugnance. I hope you've recovered from that dual horror. Perhaps another glass of champagne may helpt blot your memory.

Looking forward to more adventures.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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I'm enjoying this trip report as much as I've enjoyed the others you've written. Looking forward to more! Now off to check out your photos!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Tête de veau is sensational. It also happens to be the favourite dish of former president Jacques Chirac.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Irish - the description is was I think the best part of the meal. If nothing else, it's something I can tell people years from now, along with stories of walking 14 miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways, with no shoes.

Cathinjoetown - I hope that with an aggressive course of therapy and possibly hypnosis, I can recover from the experience faster than you.

SAP - I have to admit that "sufficiently suffuncified" was one of my grandfather's classics. It made about as much sense as anything else he said.

LowCountry - glad you're enjoying

Kerouac - tete de veau almost caused a sensation indeed, and definitely would have if I'd tried another bite. I'm up for most things, but this, not so much.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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So for our Champagne reviews:

B&B: Parva Domus in Epernay
http://www.parvadomusrimaire.com/

Lovely B&B right on Avenue de Champagne, a short walk from Moet& Chandon and centre ville. The house was lovely and they have parking out front so its very convenient. The couple that run it dont speak english, but the little old man is just adorable and super helpful. He even carried my HEAVY suitcase up the two flights of stairs to our room.

Our room had a queen size bed, and a lovely view into the park out back. Only issue was like Bikerscott said - no separate toilet and no shower. So if you are ok with sitting down in a bath or going to the washroom with only a filmy curtain separating you then this is the place (I understand the other rooms have showers and separate baths - we had Le Prune room)

Breakfast was croissants, cereals, fruits and cafe, the, and juice.

Over all 3.5/5

We had 3 dinners in Champagne:

Le Coquille (5 rue de Reims Epernay)
http://www.restaurant-la-coquille.fr/

The places was recommended by the B&B and was our best meal in Champagne. Exactly what we were looking for - friendly, family run, great food, unpretentious.

We had an amuse bouche of gaspacho, then followed by salade neptune (crab salad) for me and salade picarde (bacon, cheese salad) for entree. I had duck confit (YUM) and Scott had salmon - both excellent. For dessert I had a black forest ice cream thing and Scott had strawberries in a champagne sauce.

All excellent plus a kir to start and a bottle of wine for €80.

Overall 4.5/5

2nd night - La Fine Bulle
http://www.ot-epernay.fr/La-Fine-Bulle

This night was good - but felt a bit rushed.

We cant remember what we had, but it we felt rushed, so will only give it a 3/5.

Last night we ate at Le Cave a Champagne and to be honest were sadly disappointed.
http://www.la-cave-a-champagne.com/

firstly - no amuse bouche.

Then I had the escargot with artichoke heart (was quite good) and Scott had veloute which was also good.

I cant remember what I had, but Scott had the tete de veau.

Overall the service was sub-par. Very inattentive and we had to pour our own wine. Will give it a 2/5 just for the bad service.

We did spend a lot of time at Le Pregres bar and would highly recommend it for a fun place to have a few glasses of bubble.

Ok - now will enjoy a lovely glass of wine on our terrace in Loire.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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I definitely like the way you two travel! I may have to consult you on the whereabouts of your next travel adventure and coordinate my plans to be in one of the places you will be just to raise a class (or 2) with you! ;-)
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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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Keep on writing . This is such fun. No way could I drink that much champagne anymore, but it's fun to hear from those who can!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:31 PM
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LowCountry - we would love to meet up for a glass (or 2, or 3...ha)

Taconic - you would be surprised how much you can manage when you are there! Its sooo good!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 02:44 AM
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Just found this and have to read it all later. Your "small world" thing at Moet was amazing!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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Wonderful, as always.

That parking garage in Lille: we had trouble finding our way into the garage as well.

"Sufficiently suffuncified ..." My wife used this expression from time to time. I never saw it written, although her pronunciation would have been closer to <i>suffoncified</i>.

Looking forward to more.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 09:44 AM
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I'm loving this report - thanks for posting.

I had a similar "small world" experience in Paris years ago. I ran into a coworker and his wife in an obscure museum (can't remember which one) and then flying back home that same trip, our director of IT sat right in front of me on the plane. So now I say it's not really a small world, it's just a big company. ;-)

I am craving champagne now. Looking forward to more...
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Old May 26th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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OK, am caught up. Have to wonder about the hunger level of those folks who FIRST ate such animal parts.....

Fun report!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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ttt 4 later
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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...'allo? 'allo?
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Day Four – Gav-o’s Revenge – May 23, 2011

Today was officially a travel day. We had to make it from the champagne-soaked hills of, well, Champagne, to the wine and château soaked hills (and more accurately extremely flat fields of wheat) of the Loire Valley. Drive time was scheduled to be about 5 hours via the autoroute, but we’re big and tough and decided to ask Gezza to take us by the non-toll routes. This, he did with typical Aussie glee (I think he might have been drunk). The drive turned out to be a beautiful meander through six and half hours worth of backroads, tiny villages which may have never seen tourists.

We were up again far too early, after what turned out to be for me not a particularly restful night for some reason. Breakfast was the same as previous days, although this morning I didn’t try to shove everything into a giant slice of baguette and thus wasn’t uncomfortably full when we left (it’s amazing how much ham, cheese, and boiled egg you can get into a four-inch portion of bread).

We loaded up Nancy the Clio and hit the dusty trail. On our quest to avoid paying for driving, we chose the slower but more scenic N and D route approach from Champagne to the Loire. Other than some very busy roads around Paris, for much of the drive we were among the only cars on the road. While it may not have been as fast as the Autoroute, it was so much less stressful and there was more to see.

Not much more to say about the drive to be honest. Six hours of beautiful back roads, quaint villages, and beautiful scenery. Lunch, on the hand, was incredibly interesting. We’ve read that the best places to eat lunch when on long road trips in France is at the places where the truckers eat – generally good food apparently, very cheap, and very friendly. At about noon, on an otherwise unremarkable D road somewhere in deepest France, we came upon just one of these Routiers (trucks stops for truckers run by truckers, according to the literature on our placemats).

It was like something out of an old western. We parked up amongst all the giant lorries and walked through the front door. All conversation stopped. All eyes turned to look at us. We sat down, and conversation slowly started up again. We were given menus with no prices, it seemed to be a basic two course affair. We both had oeufs mayonnaise to start, then grilled steak with fries and pepper sauce for me, and chicken cordon bleu with fries for Jamie. Surprisingly good, considering the atmosphere, and a steal at €11.50 each.

Back on the road after lunch, feeling a bit full and bemused, we made fairly good time the rest of the way to Loche in the Loire, with only a few small errors of direction around Bloise to keep Gazza on his toes. We pulled into Loche at about 3:30 and got settled in our new room. The two owners of the B&B were extremely friendly and once they found out we spoke a bit of French, insisted that all conversations be conducted in that language (in a very humorous manner, with many little side translations for bits we couldn’t keep up with).

The room itself is beautiful, with a huge terrace overlooking a little canal, part of the Indre river I think. It has a door on the bathroom and everything, more than we could ask for!

The owners agreed to arrange a reservation on the patio at Le Gerbe d’Or (the Golden Wheat Sheaf – the French translation of 13,000 pubs in Britain).

After a walk around the unbelievably twee (but in a good way) village, we found a little brassiere for a few glasses of Ricard for me and white wine for Jamie. There are few ways to spend an sunny and hot Monday afternoon than sitting at a café drinking tasty beverages – even if it did hit 30 degrees Celsius (our Canadian and British blood isn’t used to this sort of torture – it’s so thick from the constant cold that when we cut ourselves we have to run around the block to start bleeding).

We eventually made our way over to the restaurant for our reservations and proceeded to absolutely gorge ourselves on foie gras, chicken in rich sauce, veal, and chocolate cake with peppermint sorbet to finish. Life is, if nothing else, extremely rough. As usual, we ate far too much and ended our evening feeling uncomfortably full.

We waddled back to the B&B, clutching our bottle of wine closely, and have spent a delightful hour sitting on the little terrace listening to the deafening sound of frogs getting their freak on. Seriously horny little buggers, if the sound of it is anything to go by. On the other hand, I’ve never been one to interrupt someone about to get their leg over.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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And the photos from Day 4:
https://picasaweb.google.com/GoArsen...ireValleyDay4#
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:05 AM
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You are a bad influence. Today I bought a bottle of Laurent Perrier and a Blanquette de Limoux (lesser sparkling wine). The first is for husband's birthday tomorrow, the second just for fun! Hope you continue to have great fun, food and wine!
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Great photos and fabulous looking food. Just like FrenchMystique, you seem to have dicovered that the villages of France are all devoid of (visible) residents. That is something that I have always known. But if you walk down the street, you can see the curtains moving, ever so slightly.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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I'm enjoying this so much I've just had to pour myself another glass of wine! Wish it was champagne...

Looking forward to the nest installemtn, soon please befoire I get toooo pickeld!
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