Day 122 of 400: Loire Valley and Sancerre – France
Giff went downstairs to get a coffee and just missed a scary incident. A family (mom, dad and baby) were standing right outside the Marriott waiting for the airport shuttle when a car pulled up quickly with three masked people…they got out grabbed their purse and wallet and left. Unfortunately their passports were also taken. Some people saw it and said it happened so quickly. This was a nice hotel, within a mile of the airport and it was broad daylight!
Giff and I decided to move our passports from the purse and to always wait for shuttles inside the lobby if possible. We took the shuttle back to the airport where we rented our car. We loaded all of our stuff in the car (we have this rental for a month) And headed to Sancerre…
The drive was about 2 1/2 hours mainly on the highway but once we got into the Loire Valley it quickly became beautiful countryside. This valley is also known as the garden of France…it has rolling green hills, vineyards as far as the eye can see and fields of wheat, and flowers. The château’s are sprinkled throughout the area…many of which are full of history and deep wine cellars.
We had a hard time finding this B&B…we drove right past small villages and finally found a place open to ask for directions. The problem was…the women although extremely friendly…spoke no English. Through hand signals and partial laughing at each other because neither of us understood what the other was saying, we figured out which direction to go in and entered a driveway which said chambres de Hotel. It did not have the name of the B&B (Domaine de la Reculee- http://www.domainedelareculee.fr) but this had to be it.
A women came out to greet us…Elisabeth. She spoke a little English and explained to us we were at the right place. The huge farm style house was covered with green vines and red shutters. After putting our things down and freshening up, we joined Elisabeth, her daughter and son-in-law for dinner in her dining room.
She had offered to cook dinner for us at a set price including wine and we thought it would be really special to join. Dinner started with individual goat cheese puff pastries and a white wine from Sancerre. It was perfectly paired and was our first exposure to Sancerre white wine…we were becoming fans already. For the main course paired with a red wine from Carcassonne, we had sliced magret (a type of duck) with sautéed cherries (straight from her cherry tree) glazed with Cassis, fennel and a bit of white rice. Everyone cleaned their plates before having the next course which was a selection of three different cheeses. For dessert…of course creme brûlée.
After much conversation and a great home cooked dinner we went back to our room for the night.