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postcards from loire part deux.


If you are planning a little trip to the countryside of France and are not sure where to go, think of this blog post and go! go! go! consider going to Langeais for a truly magical experience. Having done my share of traveling around the country and have enjoyed all of the places I have gone to (even Nice), I have never been as enchanted as I was this weekend in a small village just outside of Tours. Perhaps my stellar company had something to do with facilitating this fairy tale weekend but I couldn't have asked for anything more to celebrate my belated 30th birthday. It's a new decade, a new beginning and certainly new adventures.

From Fountainbleau to Langeais was about a 4 hour drive through the French countryside. The slightly overcast day didn't take away from the beauty as we passed vineyards, farms and small towns on this crisp autumn afternoon in late October. We arrived at Bed and Breakfast 'L'Ange est rêveur' (The Angel is a Dreamer. I know, amazing.) where check-in and access to the three rooms the B&B offered were accessible through the boutique of trinkets and tchotchkes for the house and garden. Think Anthropologie Home but less expensive and more authentic.

The quaint boutique and B&B that is clearly maintained with love is owned by the fabulous Fabrice (and Stéphane, who we didn't meet because he was away.) who showed Aurélien our suite as I watched guard over the boutique. "Do you speak French well?" Fabrice asked me. "Well enough to watch the shop for a few minutes and even make light conversation," I responded with a friendly shrug. "Bien! Well then sell lots of things, my beautiful!" he said with smile as he lead Aurélien past a shelve of antique looking soap dishes and up the spiral staircase to the sleeping quarters.

Our spacious two-room suite that came complete with a large American-style bathtub, a dressing room and a scrumptious quilted bed was called "Cendres de Lune" (Moon Ashes). We quickly settled in, took a quick shower before hitting the town for a snack. We stopped at a brasserie and for two entrees, a pichet of local wine, a dessert and 2 coffees, the check came to 14€ and the server was nice to us. Why do we live in Paris again?
 
The dressing room.


The second bedroom.


 Au Coin des Halles

For my official birthday dinner, we went to what we assumed was the only restaurant in town open where we were lucky to snag the last reservation. By 8pm, the village was a ghost town and the only lights coming from a local business was from Au Coin des Halles, an upscale dining experience in the center of town We don't make much money, so our dinners in Paris are usually spent at home or if we want to splurge, we'll go to a hip café in Oberkampf but never a starkly decorated gastronomique restaurant with a dégustation menu. We looked at each other with a giggle when we were being treated like serious clients at this upscale establishment. Dinner started off with a coup of champagne that came with a complimentary apéro snack of whipped corn mousse sprinkled with popcorn, a slab of foie gras and raisin toast. Dinner was exceptional, a crescendo of flavors with each dish out doing the one before. The finale was my cheese plate dessert that came with....wait for it: Goat cheese ice cream. Seriously? I thought the disco shower rocked my world? No, goat cheese ice cream rocks my world. As a New Yorker, I thought I've seen it all. Apparently I haven't. I'll never be the same after this weekend.

After our four course dinner, we walked around the village and found that we were the only people on the street. The only sound that could be heard were my heels against the cobblestone. I felt like I was in the France that I always imagined it would be; quaint, rustic and homey with the smell of smoke from château fireplaces scenting the cool air. There were no gypsy bands playing 'The Chicken Dance', no flashy take-out restaurants, no deafening sounds of scooter engines and definitely no Saturday night tradition of a drunken "Bad Romance" sing-along (I live in The Marais, remember?) although, I do think Fabrice would have appreciated it.


The following morning, we woke up to the smell of croissants baking in the oven and walked down to the communal kitchen like cashmere clad zombies to find a hardworking yet chipper Fabrice coming out with plates that he had just 'whipped' up. You know normal things that you make from scratch on a Sunday morning; homemade yogurt, butter and sugared crêpes, flakey croissants, orange juice, three different kinds of breakfast cakes, homemade jams and whipped salted butter, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. 

After going to the open air market to get a pumpkin, local farmer's cheese and wine, we picked up some goodies for Mother Coquine from the boutique that she is going to love (!!), bid farewell to Fabrice and spent the day stopping in small villages basking in each other's company. 

This trip was a turning point in our relationship. I have never been with someone who brings out all of my good qualities. I don't even recognize myself in this relationship, I'm what I have always wanted to be but never could accomplish because I was with the wrong guys. I had Adam in L.A who would challenge me by contesting everything I say or do, MF who would ignore me to flirt with the cute server for 10 minutes or Lucien who would take the food off my plate and place it next to my thigh to show me where it will go next. I can't even make this up! I feel free to be me and the real me is an easy-going, fun and food-loving, wine-sipping, sarcastic, sharp-tongued, sometimes snippy, royal pain in the ass. God, it's good to be back.

Bed and Breakfast
L'Ange est Rêveur
5, place Pierre de Brosse
37130 Langeais

Restaurant
9, rue Gambetta
37130 Langeais


12 comments:

  1. First of all, happy belated 30th birthday. I found myself smiling while reading your descriptions and thinking how pleased I am that you're "living the dream"! And really, someone put a piece of food next to your thigh to illustrate why you shouldn't eat it. Who was that guy?!?

    Sebastien sounds like a keeper. It's much better to spend your life being you than being someone else, even if it means flaunting that you live next to the Marche des Enfants Rouge and can have vin chaud whenever you want! ;-)

    I had some goat cheese brownie ice cream the last time that I was in Boston. I was skeptical at first but it was actually pretty good.

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  2. @MK - Thanks for the birthday wishes!!

    The creepy food guy was Lucien, my first bf here in Paris. A total pretentious ass who told me to run around the Eiffel Tower to lose my "hips fats".

    Oh and my Marais days are coming to an end very, very soon. :( I got tired of forking over all of my money to live here. Now with cheaper rent, I'll be able to go shopping at H&M....movin' on up! lol.

    And goat cheese brownie ice cream?! I'm googling that. Right now!

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  3. Happy birthday! Wow, sounds like you really deserve to have found a good guy, good for you! You've sold me on Langeais, unfortunately I have no garçon to go with *sob*

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  4. Happy Belated Birthday! Your birthday celebration and trip sounds positively dreamy. I say Bravo for finding someone who lets you be as fabulous as your readers know you are!

    As for the amazing B&B you've written about, I'm taking note of it for when I go to France in two years ... because you cannot beat a freshly baked croissant.

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  5. You know, I think you and I might have dated the same guys in the past... SPOOKY!|

    Yup! When a relationship is right, it should be effortless. It should bring out the best in each of the partners. The same goes for friendship. Mieux vaut être seul(e) que mal accompagné(e)!

    Duchesse

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  6. Happy belated birthday Ella! Thanks for sharing your dreamy French countryside trip! I love how you've described everything in such delicate, witty and sensory detail! What a writer! Lovely photos too.

    For someone not wealthy it must be tough living in the Marais where everything in expensive. I actually ate at a restaurant in Oberkampf which was prob the best experience in Paris since it was good food and not a rip off.. Place is called "L'Estaminet"; you've been? Their bathroom sink is amazing too! I'm def thankful of the amazing food here in Grenoble at good prices (and bigger proportions). I appreciate it more after Paris.

    I'm glad you and Seb are getting along great. Going away on holiday + visiting family is such a bonding experience. It does not sounds like a weekend you'll ever forget! Cherish it and I'm sure you have many more incredible, beautiful adventures ahead!


    ....goat cheese ice cream!!!????

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  7. 30 was the greatest year of my life and yours sounds like it is off to a brilliant start! Cheers to you Dear!

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  8. @Gwan - Merci Gwan! No garçon? After thos hotamale photos I saw on your blog,I find that hard to believe! :P

    @Meg - Thank you. :*) And please go to Langeais when you decide to come to France, it is so special! Fabrice was fabulous! I look forward to that future blog post! I'm sure you'll cook up something humorous.

    @Duchess - Ouais, vous avez raison! Surtout avec des amitiés. Il y a quelqu'un qui était sur le blog mais plus maintenant parce que notre amitié est devenu trop dificile. Il me disait des choses méchantes et finalement je me suis dit que j'ai 30ans et ça suffit. Des relations doivent etre faciles!

    @Dana - Yes, the Marais is pricey for what I have; a teeeeeeny apartment but I will be moving soon. : ( Back to the real world. Glad you have fun in Paris - will check your blog soon for updatres!

    @sara Louise - Thank you!! So far I love 30! My mom and Aunt said the same things, 30 is fantastic. 30 is the new 20 though, isn't it? : )

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  9. Bless your cotton socks, I've been (effectively) single for more than 6 1/2 years now, so compliments that make me think mayyybe I'm not destined to die alone and be eaten by the cat are very welcome ha ha :)

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  10. Happy Belated Birthday! You had me smiling for you in this post...I can't wait to find someone like your cutie Seb, he sounds wonderful! :)

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  11. @Lauren - Trust me, you will! With an open heart, mind and a little time. : )

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  12. Darn, I wish that I would have remembered this post before I spent all morning looking for a B&B in the Loire Valley! My only excuse is that I didn't realize until recently that Tour (much less Langeais) is in the Loire. That will teach me to not know the geography of France!

    I LOVE that photo with the red bottle!

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