Honeymooning – Wine Country!
We left Île de Ré and headed south, with the intention of reaching the Pyrenees as quickly as possible so we decided to stop for just one night south of Bordeaux. Since we were flexible on location it seemed like a good opportunity to use the Chambres d’Hôtes de Charme website that we’d had luck with on other trips to find somewhere lovely and it didn’t disappoint. Our home from the night was the beautiful Maison Rouge which turned out to be in a very small region of Bordeaux which is famous for an incredibly sweet white wine, Sauternes. Generally I drink red but when I have white, this is the sort of stuff I just can’t get enough of. Others would find it way too sweet and call it a dessert wine, although apparently it’s popular to drink it there with blue cheese and foie gras. I ate neither of those things and drank it before, with, and after dinner.
Sadly, the fun of touring on a motorbike comes at a price. The new bike has a much larger top box but the side cases couldn’t match the enormous things we had on the GS, and it was hard enough to fit 3 weeks’ clothes into the boxes (they are about the size of your airplane carry-on) so bringing back a tiny bottle was challenging enough, never mind any more than that. Visiting one of the local châteaux and leaving without purchasing at least a case would have made us very unpopular so sadly, we missed out on that and had to content ourselves with taking photos of the vineyards from the road. We resolved to return in a car.
Wine aside (I got slightly distracted thinking about it there) I was delighted with our accommodation. The owners had kept the curtains closed in our room and the thick stone walls helped keep out the heat so it was such a relief to arrive. I probably made a big deal in the first post about how nice it is to get out of the gear when it’s 30 degrees outside so I won’t repeat myself… but anyway, the room was lovely, the bathroom was really modern compared to the classic style of the house and we had a little door directly out into the back garden. What a garden. Full of beautiful roses, a swimming pool, and a cherry tree that was absolutely laden with fruit – I just couldn’t seem to get enough of it no matter how many photos I took! Breakfast next morning was lovely too, I’m a BIG fan of the pastry-bread-jam-yoghurt-fruit-coffee combo in France.
It’s somewhere we’d definitely revisit and spend at least a few days to explore all the local villages, châteaux and vineyards. Unfortunately it was a Monday when we stayed and had to search high & low for an open restaurant, then narrowly avoided getting drenched and hit by lightning on the way home. This became something of a theme for the trip, but more on that later…