Sunday, May 22, 2016

JD's new office - around the corner!

JD decided to rent office space around the corner for more privacy.  It's a cool office literally around the corner from where we live.  Perfect.  This was also the end of some very warm days, hence the shorts.  Time in the park also.

more pictures
Park, flowers, Alex and Vincent, cheese and wine in the new office, meal outside at Au Coin de la Rue, putting together Alex's new Ikea bed.

there can never be too much cheese -

Friday, May 20, 2016

Chateau du Beaumesnil - last day in Normandy

Saturday, last day at the brick house hotel, enjoying breakfast and fun art in the breakfast salon.  Then we drove a few miles to the Château de Beaumesnil, a beautiful chateau with landscaped grounds including a boxwood hedge maze, all designed by a student of Le Notre, the famous landscape gardener who did Versailles, among others.  We could not stop taking pictures!

Alex and Vincent enjoyed the free range chickens (poules) and the kitchen inside the chateau.

The chateau has a long history, and includes a bookbinding museum and a grand wooden staircase from the library.

"Château de Beaumesnil is a 17th-century Louis XIII baroque style château located in the commune of and close to the village of Beaumesnil in Eure department of Normandy in northern France. The château, now an official historical monument of France, is surrounded by a moat, having been built on the site of a medieval castle of the same name."

JD's pictures hotel and Beaumesnil
and yellow colza (canola) fields

Lunch afterwards in town at Etape Louis XIII, for an amazing meal, better than we even expected.  The foie gras soup?  The warm foie gras on toast?  Nothing better.  Then only 90 minutes back to France on the nicest day of the year - almost 80 degrees.  Alex took some of the pictures in the garden of the restaurant.

the cool hedge maze:

Alex, Vincent, and the roosters:
JD's souffle for dessert

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Camembert - the town and the cheese


We drove to the town of Camembert, which was very small with just the Camembert Museum, so we visited the cheese farm in town, "Fromegerie DURAND", instead.  It is a working farm where you can watch through windows as the camembert is made, then taste and buy cheese in the store. There were also some 7-week old calves in their own nesting containers.  Vincent enjoyed seeing the cows.

Then lunch in Vimoutiers (near where the lady who helped invent camembert was born), and onward through the town of Livarot (we'll have to come back to visit this cheese town) to Lisieux.

Back to Pont-l'Évêque for the Fête du Fromage (cheese festival). Lots of tasting and buying. Then back to our brick house hotel for one more night.  Pizza in town for dinner.

JD's pictures Camembert and the Fête du Fromage

Alex took this picture below at my request, a statue to the lady who invented camembert - but of course there was a monk involved!  (wine, cheese, champagne - those monks were always inventing)

"Marie Harel, born April 28, 1761, near Vimoutiers in Normandy, was the inventor of Camembert cheese with Abbot Charles-Jean Bonvoust."

Monday, May 09, 2016

petit vacance - Normandy, cheese tour

the yellow fields (colza - canola - rapeseed) and wind turbines

Paris to Pont-l'Évêque to Conches-en-Ouche
The first Thursday in May in France is Ascension Day, and Friday is also a day off (le pont "the bridge") to give a four day weekend.  We were very lucky this year to have fabulous weather for the holiday, warm and sunny.  We decided to take a few days and explore the Lower Normandy which is driving distance from Paris, and we have always enjoyed the region everytime we have visited in the past. Normandy is known for lots of cows, good cheese (Camembert, Livarot, Pont-l'Évêque), apples, cider, and the brandy Calvados.

We left Thursday from Paris and drove straight to Pont-l'Évêque for an amazing lunch at L'Angelot. Then back to our B&B in Conches-en-Ouche.  We were staying in the private brick house in a really cool restored building.  The main building and grounds had all kinds of cool artwork, statues, and landscaping.  We walked into town to see the holiday festival, and have dinner at the "Don Jon".

the Normandy cows

the best tarte tatin I have ever had, with creme fraiche right from the cow next door

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

last of April, faux Passover

We decided to have a "fake or faux Passover/Pesach" = "faux sach" before we went on vacation the end of April since it would be hard to have a traditional Passover in a treehouse.  Sadly, we missed attending some Seders our friends were having.  Better planning next year.  Vincent was sick but he rallied for the meal.  We also had a nice archive of Haggadahs to choose from.


On the menu - deviled eggs, charoset, stuffing, lamb, and face masks of course.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Scottish Day

All things Scottish - it's Scottish Day at school with bagpipes and a Scottish menu for lunch.

 "Ecosse" - Scotland in French

Alex opening another gift, flowers, lunch at Cornelius, a sunny Sunday, Vincent's desk, more Scottish Day pictures