Showing posts with label talloires. Show all posts
Showing posts with label talloires. Show all posts

Monday, 20 March 2017

Just say it's Monsieur Vélo

Article in  France Today magazine

Let me fill you in on the back story to my latest contribution to France Today magazine, which is less 'travel piece' and more 'story'. 

One of the best decisions that we made when living in France was to move from Giez to Menthon-St-Bernard. That's not to say that we didn't love Giez. It is a beautiful little village with a castle, a golf course, close to the Annecy-Albertville cycling track, not far from the Annecy Lake and close enough to the shops of Faverges, plus we had started to make friends and were slowly discovering the village rituals and get-togethers ... but it was just not close enough to the children's schools. 

As is often the way, our circle of friends in our new village of Menthon started to widen as we were introduced to the parents of our children's friends. Some of these friendships took time to form, after all we could have been the Australian blow-ins; there for just long enough to scoop off the best of French living before skiddadling out again. Others springboarded from the first morning drop-off on the day of la rentrée, where a couple of Mums came straight up to my husband and I standing rather uncertainly on the edge of the courtyard, introduced themselves and started chatting. 

Years later, one of these mothers, who by then had become a special friend, attended a dinner at the Abbey in Talloires. Seated randomly, she quickly discovered that the person next to her was Australian. Good, something to talk about...me...also Australian. One thing led to another and ultimately to an email conversation between my friend's dinner acquaintance and myself. 

And no, it didn't stop at an email conversation. Let me introduce you to M. and Mme Vélo in the article above; new friends, fellow Australians and equally enamoured with Annecy, the lake, the mountains and new beginnings. 


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

19ième Montée de La Tournette


Leaving at 7.30 am from the Talloires Port this Sun 4th September, if you are brave enough!

At 2351 m, La Tournette is the highest of the mountains around Lake Annecy. Many choose to drive to the Chalet de l'Aulp and complete the track to the top on foot (count on 3 hours). It is a strenuous enough walk, requiring the use of chains and ladders in the more difficult sections. Bravo, therefore, to all those who add speed and competition to the mix!

If spectating is more your thing, the celebratory buffet lunch will begin around 13h in Talloires... never an event without food and drink in this part of the world.






Monday, 15 August 2016

Strawberries and Champagne



Here, in Australia, it is winter. Strawberries like these are not available. Correction, strawberries that taste like these, are not available.

On his recent trip, my husband had one of those it-makes-complete-sense-in-France experiences. He was shopping, not in a market, a supermarket. Quietly going about his own business, he stopped to admire the fruit. He made no eye contact with anyone else. He did not venture an out-loud comment or exclamation, he just stopped to look. The lady beside him, French of course, wanted to help. She had sensed a moment of indecision and wanted to be sure to support him through it. So, addressing my husband, she gave her approval to the quality, of course the price was irrelevant, and then stopped as she was about to continue on her way, registering that my husband had not responded. She interpreted this as a sure sign that he was not French and, changing to English, continued in her self-appointed mission to ensure that he had the best gastronomic strawberry experience possible.

She advised him on how to eat said strawberries.

No, not with a recipe, not by suggesting a large dob of Chantilly or a perfect dessert wine. Just, how to eat the strawberry.

My husband stopped at this point in his story telling and I looked at him quizzically, still not sure if this was some sort of flirtation, French style, or really was a tale of two strawberries. Not sure about you, but I've always used the green bit to hold onto and chomped into the pointy end first. No! No! No! The pointy bit, apparently, is the sweetest bit and so you need, indeed must, start with the flat bit first and work your way up, saving the best for last.

Still musing over the exact nature of eating à la francaise, he was invited out for dinner that night to eat with our most charming of neighbours at the recently re-furbished restaurant across the road from our house. She insisted that they both start with a champagne aperitif and browsed the wine list to make her selection. Decision made, she called across the sommelier ... who refused to take the order. It was, he explained, not masculine enough for my husband and suggested another champagne that would fit the bill.

By this stage, I was rolling around with laughter. Strawberry etiquette and not-masculine-enough champagne. Only in France. How I love her so.

View from the terrace of the Beau Site restaurant in Talloires on the Annecy Lake

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Talloires from the inside out

To link with #allaboutfrance, I invite you back to Talloires and our French village house .

A BIG thank-you for reading and sharing...


Earlier this week, I proudly showed off our village, Talloires, one of the jewels of the Annecy Lake.

Today, I take you to Le Cormoran, our beautiful 4-bedroom 18th Century village house, available for holiday rental and situated close to all the action - boulangerie, poste, tabac, cafés, restaurants, cinéma, supérette ... and a short walk to the lake. Take a look, or visit our holiday rental site click here then contact me on cb222@me.com if I can help you to plan your next skiing, cycling or just-being-in-the-French-Alps holiday.

 


 









 Le Cormoran/ Our French village House





Monday, 18 July 2016

Tour de France beauty


The Tour de France is heading towards the Alps this week and will showcase our beautiful Haute Savoie region over three Stages. Take particular note of Stage 19 on Friday the 22nd July when the Tour will pass through our village of Talloires on the Annecy Lake. 

  • Stage 18. 21st July. Time trial from Sallanches to Megève
  • Stage 19.  22nd July. Mountain Stage from Albertville to St Gervais. Passing by Lake Annecy and through our village of Talloires before tackling the Col de La Forclaz
  • Stage 20.  23rd July. Mountain Stage from Megève to Avoriaz passing over the Col des Aravis that divides the Haute Savoie from the Savoie.

Here is an avant-goût (taster) of the beauty that you will see. For more images of the village and the area do take a look at our personal site: https://lecormorantalloires.wordpress.com


The bay of Talloires



Looking across the Annecy Lake to Duingt. Look closely to see the castle on the tip of the promontory.

The Dents de Lanfon are in the background

Hop off and on the ferry to visit the Annecy Lake

The Bauges Mountains with Talloires in the foreground.

Our gorgeous village of Talloires

The village



The Abbey - now a hotel but originally a monastery. Due to celebrate it's 1000 years in 2018!

The water of the lake is perfect for swimming, boating...




If you haven't visited - it really is worthwhile.

And, for more information about the Tour - click here http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2016/us/stage-19.html

Friday, 3 April 2015

Our return


Two years had passed since we were last in France. This time when we packed our bags in Australia we had a much clearer idea of what to expect when we touched down in Geneva airport, made our way through customs and were asked for the first time “Parlez-vous français?” by the unsmiling uniformed man behind the desk. Back then, eager to prove my linguistic competency I had lurched forward with an emphatic “oui” ready to put my skills to the test, in much the same way as I would have facing a University lecturer armed with my pre-prepared oral exam replies. This time of course it was over in seconds, “How long were we staying?” a quick glance at our passports and a polite “au revoir” and we were on our way. But I had changed too. There was no nervousness, no need to attempt extended conversation. It was all too simply like we were coming home. From the very first moment it was as if we had never left.

That feeling continued. We knew that we could be stopped at the Swiss-French border to produce our vignette, we knew that we did not have to stop if we were not stopped and we knew how to drive on the right-hand side of the road with decidedly fewer husband and wife moments than at our first attempt.

We drove straight to Talloires and I hopped out of the car to introduce myself to one of the three estate agents that I had not met in the from-over-the-seas purchasing of our long-desired French residence. It was the first time that we had seen the house, the final signing of the sale papers was scheduled for the following day and, despite a few puzzled ‘so, you bought your house over the Internet’ comments from our entourage I felt only excitement.

The house was in every way as charming as we had expected from the pictures and the reports that we had received. The signing of the papers, after a jet-lag-induced sleepless night, and in stark contrast to the preceding months of stress and struggle, was a fun formality and the opening of the front door with our own set of keys the happy realization of years of work. We were ready to begin the next phase of the adventure.

Of course we had forgotten the intricacies of living the French way. We had a whole house to set up and furnish, and needing to use most minutes of every day in the few weeks that we were there to do this, we tried to buy a couch between twelve and two. Non, non, non. Ah yes, it was lunch time. Time to eat, not shop. We tried to withdraw cash from the bank after midday. Non, non, non. Please come back tomorrow morning. I could order a withdrawal for the next day, euh correction, morning, but not actually do the withdrawal. And then there were the imposed weekly credit card limits and ATM maximum withdrawals despite the sum of money sitting in the account, which meant that we were effectively cash-strapped after day two and had to bide our time patiently until seven days after the beginning of our spending spree had elapsed before we could start up again.

But – it did not matter. I recommenced my morning ritual of opening the window shutters, which successfully slowed me down. No matter how urgently we were needing to rush it was impossible to not stop, look at the lake or the mountains, the stone walls of the houses around, the window lintels wide enough to sit in or the bubbles in the window panes, made when mercury was still used to fashion the flat glass surfaces, and feel the effects of time and people gone by.

Our eating habits, too, slowly metamorphosed back into the pattern that we had lived, loved and left. Cheese before dessert, and that after a slow aperitif and a hearty main course around 8pm, calls to our son to head out to do a quick boulangerie run, an obligatory café stop at our past village haunt and a long lunch at our new village café of the same name cemented our long-awaited return with a delightful twist. We were heading back...home.