France Trip – Day 8
September 15, 2019
We finally went to bed last night at a reasonable hour where I could wake up in time for a sunrise jog. This is one of my favorite things when I can manage it, getting a run in as a way to explore a new place. The crisp morning air and the sun barely coming over the wheat fields, it was exactly what I needed to wake me up.
After some research the night before, we decided to find more little towns like Loches to explore nearby. We settled on Montresor, Montpoupon, and Montrichard (“where they have never heard of Sarah Lee” – anyone else get this reference?). The drive from Montchenain took us through farm land as far as the eye can see. I love all the little town you pass through, where if you blink you miss them, but they all have a amazingly elaborate old churches.
The first town we stopped at was my favorite of the day, Montresor. It has been named one of “les plus beaux villages de France,” (the most beautiful French villages), one of 140 in the country. And it delivers! The château at the top of the hill will cost you 9€ per person, but since it came highly recommended by an eager French traveler in the ticket office, we decided to go for it.
After the 30ish minute self guided tour (they give you a binder with explanations of each room), we headed down to the only open restaurant in town (this was a Sunday afterall, although it’s a small town with only 2 restaurants and 2 boulangerie). The place called Barapom where they served galettes and crêpes. We each had different styles, I tried the galette of the day which had ham, egg, cheese, and a confiture de tomate (tomato jam) – yum! We enjoyed our food with local beer and cidre. They serve the cidre in this region in bowls, my bowl of cider costs 2.20€. To top it off we had sweet crepes for dessert, Chris and I shared one that was honey and lemon.
We then headed toward Château Montpoupon. It was relatively pricey, about 12€ per person so we took pictures from the outside and skipped it. Montrichard was also quite disappointing. We went there based on recommendation from our Michelin Green Guide and found that the town only had three timber framed houses. So we walked around quickly, the heat becoming quite unbearable at this point, and hopped back into the comfort of the van.
Luckily, the second to last stop of the day was to Caves Montmousseau. The cellars are old tufa quarries (tufa is white limestone variety used to build many of the castles of the region) that have 9 miles worth of galleries. The tour (which costs 3.50€ per person and includes wine tasters at the end) does not make you walk all 9 miles, but it does take about 40 minutes to walk it all and it’s quite chilly down there (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit). After chilling out, we emerged for our wine tasting. They specialize in sparkling wine (using the Dom Perignon method) and it was fantastique! We walked out with 3 excellent bottles of local wine for under 30€!!
The next, and final stop for the day, was another fail. I had read in my book and had seen signs of this Cave du Champignon and was very excited. Well come to find out, it was closing when we arrived, and even if we would have made it on time it would have cost 14€ to enter per person, and there were no fresh champignon to purchase, only pre-packaged kinds. Total bummer.
After a dinner of leftovers, bread, charcuterie and cheese, we went for a post-dinner walk to check out a Roman-Gallois era bridge, Pont Girault. The host shared with us that it is from the year 900 BC. Very cool!
Photo credit: Carina, Chris, and Carina’s dad