I actually thought we were staying in Normandy. In fact it’s Brittany. At least I rather like to think it is, after all, Bretagne is the holiday haunt of people who know: Parisiennes. In truth it’s somewhere between the two.
Before this all sounds idillyically glamourous, please know that I am writing this while sitting at the kitchen table in wellies. It’s raining and cold. And has been for the last three days.
I adore the place we are staying in though.
A partially restored (and therefore, by definition, partially unrestored) chateau, it defines – and owns – the rather over used phrase ‘shabby chic’. It’s the perfect place for errant children to run wild as it has masses of indoor and outdoor space…with room enough for the odd extra family, or two, to pop over and stay.
The bedrooms and the kitchen (i.e. my two most important places in a house) however, ARE finished. The kitchen is about the size of my entire ground floor in Singapore:
Most bedrooms have a bath tub, rather charmingly within the actual bedroom, directly opposite the open fireplace so you can watch crackling flames dance as you soak. Not sure there’s anything nicer?
Here’s what I mean when I say this 600-year-old building needs a shade more work til it’s fully restored to its former glory:
This is the attic section at the very top of the house which we (obviously) don’t bother with.
I am also rather thrilled with my ‘loo with a view’. Sit on it and this is what you see:
Oh…and not forgetting bread which is very much there on my list of French excitements. I’ve rather overdone the carbs so far and am still ridiculously pleased by a baked-this-morning baguette, slathered with demi-sel butter containing real salt crystals and spread liberally with Reines-Claudes Bonne Maman jam (greengage jam that you can’t seem to buy out of France).
There are three rather muddy lakes here along with an old rowing boat, which leaked terribly when I first hopped in to it – this has since been remedied by using a champagne cork as a bung (love it). It also only has one rowlock (pronounced to rhyme with b*llocks but in the singular) so my hopes of long, lone daily rowing excursions to off-set the carbs have been somewhat scuppered.
At least that’s my line and I’m sticking to it.
There are still two more nagging exercise options I am yet to exhaust: a bike ride to Rougé, our nearest village, to pick up the bread each morning instead of driving (or even easier, stop buying bread) and/or go riding at local ‘centre equestre.’
I’ll have another croissant and think about it.