Hello Fellow Adventurer,
Did you see my post yesterday? … About my dream trip to Paris… I had so much to share with you, I didn’t even get to the rest of France… so today, as a follow up I’m going to tell you all about the side trips I have planned.
My first stop would be to the little village of Giverny, which lies 80km north-west of Paris. Givery was made famous by the impressionist painter, Claude Monet. His series of paintings featuring the water lily pond are some of my favourites in the world , and so it is only fitting that I pay tribute with a visit.
I think that a couple of nights stay would be sufficient. There are around a dozen little B&Bs in Giverny for travellers… I picked this one (image, centre right) at 87 rue Claude Monet, for it’s pretty gardens and bright and airy living spaces.
I have no other plans for Giverny other than making my pilgrimage to Monet’s home and gardens. Just looking through the photos, I can see how Monet was so inspired by his surroundings… oh, and did you notice his yellow dining room? I don’t know if it looked like that when he lived there… but I LOVE it, love – Love – LOVE!!!
Travelling east, passing Paris, and perhaps taking the scenic route through the Champagne region, my next stop would be the town who’s name is the same as my own, Colmar (so that makes me at least French in spirit, right?!).
Colmar is the most beautiful little town. It has an interesting history, located in the Alsace region of France, it is right on the border with Germany, and has changed nationalities a handful of times since the 19th century alone. I’m not sure if it’s true, but someone once told me that each building was painted a particular colour dependent on the occupation of the family that resided there. Isn’t that cool?!
Barry and I spent a few days in Colmar while on our went-way-too-quick European tour during the Winter of 2006/7. I couldn’t be in Europe and NOT go to Colmar. After much research, we ended up staying at the Hotel Le Colombier which is set in the very picturesque ‘Little Venice’ part of town. On my fantasy trip I would probably choose this hotel again, but might upgrade my room to the Loft.
Like so many other places I’d like to visit, rather than wanting to see or do something specific, my main motivation for visiting Colmar is simply to drink in the atmosphere. Just look at those amazing pictures… it really is that picturesque. Little Venice in particular is something special no matter what season you visit.
My French Odyssey
Images from this barging website… sigh.
I would then take to the water a la British Celebri-chef Rick Stein in his French Odyssey series… I have always wanted to barge through France, and I imagine Provence would be a great region to travel through, drinking fine wine and eating olives the entire way… (surely there’s no work involved in getting the boat down the river safely!?).
And a couple of gourmet treats
Finally, a workshop and a cooking school that I would do anything to participate in.
Image: Cannelle et Vanille
- Have you ever visited the foodie blog Cannelle et Vanille? I’m not sure you’ll thank me for pointing you in that direction, as I’m pretty sure you will now spend the next few hours drooling over the amazing food photography on show. However, that is beside the point. What is my point? Well, Aran, the talent behind the blog is running a Food Styling and Photography workshop in Dordogne this October… visit the markets, then cook, style and photograph… all while staying here… sounds a touch more than perfect, honestly.
- I can’t think of an international equivalent to the kiwi foodie personality, Peta Mathias. She is a vibrant character and I would imagine you either love her or hate her. (For the record, I love her.) She has been the face of a great telly show, Taste New Zealand, which really champions local food heroes. One of the terms she uses for describing herself is ‘Gastronomad’ – I love that, don’t you!? Recently she has started hosting international culinary escapes, to Morocco, India and France. I would love to join her gastronomic adventures one day.
So there you have it, a *reasonably* brief rundown of my Dream France Trip. Have I left anything major off, or have I mentioned something that you have now added to your own *must do* list? I’d love to know what you think. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.