First days on the France tour

By John Schroeder, Tour Leader


The adventure begins. Soufflé appetizers. Soufflé main course. Soufflé deserts drowned in chocolate, Grand Marnier or Calvados. I think I’m gonna like this trip!! Good thing we do 4 hours of walking tomorrow to earn our next decadent meal.


Our first Loire garden visit was to Jardin du Plesses Sasnieres, and the garden’s charming owner, Madame Rosamee Henrion.


We loved our visit to Chateau de Valmar, where the potager was particularly impressive. Of course, our trip through the wine caves was pretty cool too, especially when we got to taste 5 of their wines, including their Vouvray. We spent lots of time discussing the AOC system. Remember Vouvray is the name for wine made from Chenin grapes, grown in this particular region of France and made here using specific production techniques. There will be a test on this later.


Just a few memories of our first full tour day in Paris:


Apparently Louis XIV liked his orange juice in the morning. Why else would he keep over 700 large citrus (Lemon and Lime) plants in containers that needed to be brought into the Orangery at Versailles every winter (and whenever frost threatened).


A tour of the king’s vegetable garden (Potager du roi) at Versailles was followed by a lunch with our bubbly guide Amber. Enough cheese was consumed at lunch to last for a week, but in case you want more, here is the list of cheeses we had: Époisses (orange ‘smelly’ cheese), Cœur de Neufchâtel (heart), Fourme D’Ambert (blue), Comte 24 mois (hard salty cheese), Gouda à la truffe (truffe Gouda), Chèvre de Poitou (white semi soft goats cheese).

Add a comment