europe,  france,  gastronomy,  travel

A seat of royalty – Day 16


We awoke and headed down for breakfast at the ornate dining table before a rather impressive fireplace. There, we chatted with a German fellow and his daughter, covering a range of topics (even a few linguistic ones). After we finished our croissants and conversation, we headed up the room and readied ourselves for the day. We hopped in our darling little Twingo and made our way across the river and up to Amboise, situated on the south bank of the Loire River. The heat was already starting to accumulate, so we made our way up the hill to visit the Chateau d’Amboise. The chateau was perched on a cliff above the town, thus the terraces surrounding the chateau afforded excellent views the city and the river. We headed into the castle, wandering through its various rooms and enjoying the relative quiet of the chateau as compared to yesterday’s madness at Chenonceau. After we made our way through, we stopped at the little café on the terrace for some ice cream and coffee. We were both feeling a little tired, so we opted to forego further exploring of the town and head back to the Prieure for a bit. We did drive across the bridge to the north bank to get a view of the town from across the river.

As we were making our way back home, we spied a McDonald’s and quickly pulled in. The WiFi at the Prieure was somewhat sketchy at times, so we decided to get in a bit of internet time while we had the opportunity. In particular, I needed to work on a grant application for the Interspeech conference, which was due the following day. I plugged away and thankfully was able to finish it and send it off, so I didn’t need to worry about it any further. We got back to the Prieure and relaxed in the relative air-conditioned comfort of our room before going out the pool for a quick dip. We read by the poolside in the sunshine before we wandered back inside to escape the heat.

The owner had recommended another restaurant, this one a little farther afield. So we took a drive through the countryside, towards the town of Genille. It was quite a picturesque drive, particularly when we came across, somewhat unexpectedly, a large chateau (Chateau Montpoupon) by the road. We ogled that for a time and continued on our way. We eventually found our way to the restaurant and got ourselves a table on the terrace. After perusing the menu, our somewhat harried waitress to our orders. D enjoyed a glass of Rickard (anise liqueur), which he tells me is a classic French aperitif. We enjoyed our appetizers—D had a langoustine salad, while I had a delicious tart topped with tomato and goat cheese. D had boldly chosen rabbit for his main course, and I had (not surprisingly) played it safe with fish. D thoroughly enjoyed his rabbit in a mushroom and truffle cream sauce. My fish was tasty, in a Mediterranean-style. I sampled a bit of his rabbit and thought it extremely tasty. D later discovered that included in with his rabbit were its kidneys and heart. Thoroughly stuffed, I nibbled away at my cheese plate, while D cleaned out his plate of crème brulee. A lightning storm had rolled in, and we sat watching the numerous lightning flashes peek out from behind the buildings, lighting up the night sky. We made our way to the car and had a rather epic drive back to the Prieure down the dark roads, as the flat wheat fields afforded us excellent views of the lightning strikes. Interestingly, we rarely if ever heard any thunder. This made our drive quite peaceful—like watching a light show. By the time we returned to the Prieure, the rain was pouring down. The power had gone out, and so our hostess gave us a little flashlight. We stumbled about our room before settling in bed with our laptops for light/entertainment.

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