Saint Emilion to Saint-Junien

The weather today was beautiful. We wandered around St-Emilion for a while until we found a place for coffee. The sun coming up and shining on the yellow stone buildings was pretty spectacular.

Breakfast
St-Emilion

We broke up the drive to St-Junien with a picnic lunch.

Buying stuff fir lunch
Lunch

We arrived in St-Junien too early to check in to our Hôtes Chambres. The reason for our stop in St-Junien is to visit the nearby martyred village of Oradour sur Glane. On June 10, 1944 the Nazi SS murdered the entire village, men women and children, 643 people. The village has been preserved as a memorial exactly as it was in 1944. Allison and I visited Oradour in 2004 but Duke hadn’t been there before. It is a disturbing place to visit but a powerful and very necessary place to visit.

Oradour sur Glane
The church

We are staying at Le Clos de la Muse a Chambres de Hôtes. The mural on the wall is Monet inspired. The building was built in the eighteenth century.

Our room at Le Clos de la Muse

Bordeaux to Saint-Emilion

This morning it was pouring rain when we went out for breakfast. First we went to see the Porte Cailhau, one of the gateways of the city then we found a place for breakfast.

Porte Cailhau
Breakfast

Then it was back to the hotel, pack up and walk to the car park. Thank goodness we have good raincoats.

We drove to the Cité du Vin museum. It was a perfect day to learn more about wine and wine history.

Cité du Vin
Cité du Vin museum

At the top of the museum we gat a taste of wine and a wonderful view.

A glass of wine was included
View from the top of Cité du Vin

The drive from Bordeaux to Saint-Emilion took less than an hour. Saint-Emilion is a picturesque old village full of wine shops. We are staying in a very nice chambre de hôtes over a wine shop, Hôtes de Saint-Emilion.

Saint Emilion

We ate at L’Huitrier Pie a gourmet restaurant right next door to where we are staying. It is a Michelin listed restaurant so it is difficult to compare it to other restaurants where we have eaten. Each dish was a work of art, the taste combinations in each bite were complex and the service was perfect.

Amuse bouche
My entre
Our desert

Bordeaux – 2 October 2022

Way back in August when we were planning this trip I searched for a winery near Bordeaux that we could visit for a tour and tasting. I found Château Sainte Barbe, made a reservation and we went there today.

We decided to take public transportation instead of hassling with driving. First we walked across the Garonne to the Stalingrad bus stop.

Duke at the Stalingrad bus stop

Then we took a bus about thirty minutes north along the river.

On the bus to Château Sainte Barbe

Château Sainte Barbe winery has been making wine since 1650. We were the only ones on our tour and got to ask lots of questions about how the grapes are grown and how the wine is made.

One of the vineyards
The building where the grape juice is first stored in vats for fermentation
Upstairs in the vat building
The chateau where the current owners of the winery live.
The original cellars under the chateau.
Tasting the Château Sainte Barbe wine
The owner also makes a beer that is a combination of merlot and an IPA.

After our tour and tasting we took the bus back into Bordeaux.

Waiting for the bus.

For dinner we ate at Le Comptoir Fromage. I often order things on the menu that I can’t quite translate. My starter was Pastèque snackèe, feta fumée Maison, vinaigrette pistachio, grenade de tequila. It was very good and now I know that pastèque is watermelon.

My starter- watermelon, feta, pistachios

My main fish was Coquillettes au Gouda truffle et jambon. I didn’t know until it arrived that it would be macaroni and cheese with ham!

My main dish

Le Comtoir Fromage was right across the street from Bistro Réno.

Le Comtoir Fromage

Labastide d’Armagnac to Bordeaux

I uploaded my third video of the trip. You can see it here. I may not always link to new videos so you may want to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can more easily hear about new videos.

Our drive from Labastide to Bordeaux was relatively easy. But driving onto the center of a city is always a challenge. We are staying at a hotel in a great location right in the city center. The hotel had told us that we needed to book a parking spot at a parking garage in advance. We booked and paid yesterday so that when we found the entrance to the underground parking garage we just needed to show our QR code to get in. From there it was about a ten minute walk to the hotel.

In Bordeaux walking to the hotel.

After checking in we went for a walk. Bordeaux is beautiful.

Bordeaux
Bordeaux

We stopped for a break at a sidewalk cafe.

Afternoon wine.

I have said this before but our dinner was perhaps the best of the trip. Coincidentally we are at Bistro Reno!

We had dinner at Bistro Réno
Salmon gravlax with quinoa to start
Octopus and potatoes for the main dish
A Madeleine with fresh figs, berries and raspberry sorbet for desert.

Labastide d’Armagnac – 30 September 2021

We are staying two nights at La Villa de Remparts. Our host there, Bertrand Garry Folzant makes beautiful kimonos.

It was really nice not to have to pack up and move on this morning. At breakfast our host recommended several places in the area that we might want to visit. We chose two and they turned ou to be fantastic.

Our first stop was the ruins of the Gallo-Roman villa of Séviac. The ruins of the Villa owned by a wealthy Roman were found in 1860 during the building of a farm. The site has been excavated and extensive mosaic floors have been discovered.

Mosaic floor in Roman Villa at Séviac
Mosaic floor in Roman Villa at Séviac

While we were at the site the farmer in the field next door was harvesting his grapes. we got a close up view of the grape harvester at work.

Harvesting grapes
The vine before the harvester went through
A vine after being harvested

From Séviac we drove to the Abbey of Flaran. On the way we stopped for a picnic lunch next to a village church.

Lunch

Flaran is a Cistercian Abbey initially built in the twelve century. In addition to touring the abbey we got to visit the art collection housed in what was the monk’s dormitory. The collection included a couple of works by Monet and one by Cezanne among others but the highlight for us was the collection of works by a painter I was not familiar with, Ken Paine. There were at least 50 portraits done by him. They were powerful and intense. I very much enjoyed seeing them.

Cloisters

For dinner we drove about three miles from where we were staying in Labastide-d’Armagnac to the next village, Saint Justin. We had an excellent dinner at a restaurant called Le Cadet de Gascogne.

Le Cadet de Gascogne
Salmon Gravlax appetizer
Pork filet mignon with mushroom gravy and stuffing
Chocolate fondant