The nicest thing about having family and friends as visitors is that it gives us the opportunity to take ourselves off to revisit our favourite places and also to seek out new places. Whilst we were busy renovating our house and then moving on towards creating Chez Mimi our time was completely taken up with practical activities and endless visits to our nearest DIY shops. Now that we have come to an end, we have time to welcome guests and take great pleasure in showing off the many varied and interesting attractions nearby.
On a recent visit from some English/Irish friends we revisited a real favourite: "La Chabotterie" at St Sulpice-le-Verdon. Here you can discover "l'esprit de la Vendee" and trace the life and times of Charette known as 'le Roi de la Vendee.' The manor house has recently been refurbished with some new additions and is well worth a visit. As we had Mimi with us, I remained outside and enjoyed walking in the great park and its surrounding area whilst the rest of the party visited the interior. Well, at least I was enjoying strolling along and taking in the view with the dog off the lead until I caught sight of a magnificent bird of prey. I was about to take a photo when Mimi shot past me chasing a beautiful hare, so that was a photo opportunity missed and as for the hare, the dog didn't catch it thankfully! Anyway the two of us continued towards General Charette's memorial until I came upon a number of posters informing me that the park area was closed for "La Chasse" and hearing shots in the distance I felt I was in the midst of re-enactment of the final days of the famous leader. So I grabbed the dog and hurried back to the safety of the inner gardens and outbuildings and reflected upon the several exciting near misses I had experienced in the beautiful grounds.
The grounds are also host to one of Vendee's stunning restaurants and I have it on good authority that the food is exceptional. Booking is an absolute must and there is often a long waiting list. However, it is not surprising when you are tempted by the following:
L´AUTOMNE A LA CARTE
Les plats de la carte changent régulièrement au fil du marché.
Parfait d’artichaut, fine flammenkueche et noisettes 39 €
Langoustine poêlée,arlequinade de choux fleur et huile vanillée 42 €
Crustacés rôtis, Légumes du potager 85 €
Poisson petit bateau du jour 53 €
Volaille de chez Cosnet, caillette d’abattis, sauce Albufera 51 €
Canard rôti déclinaison autour de la Poire et de la Figue 54 €
Le Chariot de fromages sélectionnés et affinés par
le Maître fromager Pascal Beillevaire et la Maison Bordier 18 €
The above is just a small sample of the delights awaiting you but beware 'l'addition' will not be small!
Returning to the manor house I was fascinated by a collection of old tools, lamp and jacket in the outhouses. I fancied that the workman had just placed them there whilst he went in search of food or a drink.
My reveries were broken by the return of our guests and I was once again back in the 21st Century enjoying the autumn sunshine.