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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

May knitting retreat at La Verderie

Roman amphitheatre in Saintes
Monday was another lovely sunny day, with blue skies and a gentle breeze. I needed a bit of supermarket shopping and both Pat and Anne wanted to make a few purchases, so we made a trip to Saintes. After a quick stop at Intermarche we went up to the old Roman Amphitheatre and sat on the terrace drinking coffee and enjoying the view, it is an amazing place with a violent history but so quiet and peaceful now.

Culli cracking walnuts to add to the salad
We went back to la Verderie for lunch and a lazy afternoon knitting in the sunshine. After supper of creamy garlic mushrooms, provencale fish stew and strawberry cheesecake Pat and I manage a few rows of knitting in front of the TV.

The park in Cognac
Today we went to Cognac in the morning for a visit to Baron Otard, one of the big Cognac distilleries. Otard is housed in a beautiful old Chateau with parts of the building dating back to the 9th century.
Chateau Otard

The guide takes us on a tour starting with the guard room which is the oldest part of the building, this leads down to the stable area where King Francois 1 kept his horse then on to the grand chamber with a ceiling designed by Leonardo da Vinci and the most beautiful view over the river Charente.


Then down to the cave where the barrels of Cognac are stored in the cool, damp atmosphere with the wonderful aroma of the amber liquour wafting through the air. The tour ends with a taste the VSOP and XO cognac, delicious! Back home for lunch, Pat and Anne settle down for an afternoon knitting and I do a bit of cooking. It is a bit cooler in the evening so for the first time this week we eat inside, starters of melon and parma ham, followed by moussaka with spinach and cherry tomatoes, then a wicked chocolate torte. Everyone is tired so we all opt for an early night.

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