Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Chateau

A couple of weekends ago we motored down to stay at the Chateau de Percey. I think you have to motor to a chateau, don't you?

We went with some visiting Australian friends who'd found the place on the internet, arranged a very reasonable off-season rate and also organised the car in which we did the motoring. Quite a bit of motoring as it turned out. I am finding it difficult to rid myself of that dearly-held Australian-falsehood that everything in Europe is close. I mean, I guess it is if you're say 'it take two hours to get from Frankfurt to France.' But that's only to the border. It took us almost 8 hours to get from Frankfurt to our Chateau. Our chateau. I like the way that sounds.

It was worth the drive, truly it was.
And actually the drive wasn't too bad from my perspective as I simply sat in the back and drank champagne with my severely jet-lagged friend and sang Playschool songs at our bemused children. We stopped for dinner at what we think must have been a French version of TGIFs called Flunch which yes, I'll admit, we went to because after half a bottle of champers seemed like the funniest name of a restaurant in the world. I think I understand where the name comes from now. It's the noise your stomach makes as you're leaving the restaurant.

Luckily, after sleeping a night in the Chateau we became a little more classy and on Saturday morning we found a farmers' market in a neighbouring town where we bought far too much cheese and fish and local tomatoes etc than was necessary for a long weekend. We stood in a queue for some pain au chocolat that were so warm and delicious that once they were gone I almost got back at the end of the line and waited all over again. We went for a ride along a canal and Mads consolidated her newly acquired bike-riding skills. I learnt to ride in the quiet suburban streets of Adelaide. It took me ages to master it. Perhaps I would've learnt faster had I been learning in Burgundy - especially if falling off had meant tumbling into a canal.

We went for a walk and discovered, to the consternation of one particular member of our party, that French Nacktschnecken are not only as large as the German variety, but also bright orange.
You can probably imagine the horror.

Then, when we were all exhausted and Mads had started whimpering, 'I just want to go back to the chateau,' we returned and had a three course dinner cooked for us - a present for me arranged by my dear Aussie friend in honour of a certain rather large upcoming milestone-type birthday. It was a wonderful gift. We talked about things we'd done over the twenty years since we'd first met, how amazing kids are in general and ours in particular, about living overseas, travel and about a friend who had died just the week before. One who'd only just made it to the milestone birthday we were now celebrating for me. It felt like the right setting for all of these conversations.


  1. Sounds glorious - and a perfect way to celebrate a milestone birthday. I'd always thought you hit it the same time as Tricia? You're a year younger then?

  2. It definitely did feel like the right place for those conversations. I loved reading your post, and glad you got a pick of a nacktschnecken in there too!