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Report 1939: Chateaux, Rillettes, Sunflowers, Mistral and Tour de France Triumphal Finish

By Anastasia from Canada, Summer 2011

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Page 4 of 28: Blois Market and Visit to Chambord with Lunch in Bracieux

photo by my husband

Chambord

In the morning we decided to go to Blois market, so we drove there using one of the roads indicated by our GPS. We parked just across the street no problem. The market was held in the modern Blois part, and had a lot of food (some ethnic) and clothing. We purchased bread and a roast chicken there.

The next stop was Chambord. It wasn’t clearly indicated where to park. We stopped in the park for pictures, then we drove past the chateau, but no parking was available further. So we came back and parked there. They should have indicated it is only €3 for the day, so people wouldn’t be wasting time parking elsewhere. Last year we visited Chenonceau and it was just amazingly beautiful. So, the expectations were high for Chambord. The weather was cloudy and we though it would rain, but finally while walking around sun came out and remained for the rest of our visit. With our seven year-old, we weren’t up to an inside visit and it was too pleasant outside. We just drove to Bracieux for lunch at Au Relais d’Artemis on our way to Cheverny.

We parked in front of the restaurant. The restaurant had a big restaurant section almost full on a Wednesday, a bar section, more casual where we were seated, and a garden, which was closed since big clouds were around. I dressed in a blazer, but many people were just wearing jeans for lunch, still some business people were dressed more formally. The two or three families were sat in the bar section which had comfortable settings. Our son and another kid were playing DS.

The personnel were attentive and nice. They also have high chairs for kids, better to reserve and child menu.

We were served an anchoiade with bread to start. Our son had a big plate of roast chicken and fries followed by an ice cream, so he was enchanted. We went with €18 menus. We each had a terrine, followed by magret de canard (duck magret), then I went with a cheese plate and my husband with a caprice du chef au chocolat. The terrine was good with delicious compote d'ognion. The magret was presented as a flower, perfectly rose with tasty sauce and accompanied with a renverse which was sour but very good (I tasted that for a few days in my mouth). There was also a potato cut in two and presented as another flower.

At first my husband thought he won't have enough food, but with his dessert it was enough for visiting Cheverny after the meal. I received my cheese plate with three tiny pieces of cheese, but the surprise was each cheese had a pronounced smell and specific taste, and with bread I felt I had enough food. I really enjoyed cheese plate.

All accompanied with a house rose. It was the most refined meal (in terms of food) we had during our one month trip to France. I highly recommend this place.

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