Feature Article #1

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Thanks for resting your eyeballs here for a moment.(They are resting, right?) If you rest them a little longer, you may learn some interesting,(hopefully)entertaining, and, yes, ocassionally BIZARRE things about FRENCH COUNTRY LIFE (more…)

| June 24th, 2009 | Continued

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French Loire Chateaus – Part One

French Loire Chateaus. Amboise. Angers. Azay.Blois. Brissac.Chambord. Chinon.Chenonceau.Cheverny.Fontainebleau. Langeais. Villandry.

No shortage of French Chateaus on the Loire. Mainly because it was the playground of French Kings. Who knew a good thing when they saw it.

While all of the Loire River Chateaus have their particular and, dare I say, “individual” contributions to French History and Culture, there is one French Chateau that, for me, stands head and shoulders above the rest.

This one:

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It’s not the oldest.The Biggest. Or the most Historic. But what puts it at the top of my French Loire Chateau hit parade, is it’s combination of Classic French Chateau and English Country Garden.

And with the “river ” that runs through it – (actually a small canal) the Chateau l’islette is well named.

It was here, during the “on” period of their “on again – off again” romance that the dynamic duo of 19th century sculpture – Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel parked their marble and chisels.

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The expansive greenery of this French Loire Chateau ,bisected by the waterway (which you can rent canoes to paddle on) give the Chateau l’islette a laid back, family vibe. In contrast to it’s uptight cousin, Azay le Rideau, two kms. down the road ,where eating on the grounds is a “no – no” – Chateau Rodin/Camille is “picnic friendly” – to the extent of having a dedicated picnic area alongside the water. Complete with benches and cosy chairs.

Legend has it (and if you can’t trust “legend”, who can you trust?) that Camille created one of her most celebrated works in this tranquil atmosphere – “le petite Chatelaine” –  modelled after the grandaughter of the chateau’s owner.




Naturally, there’s the obligatory gift shop/snack bar/coffee shop perfectly placed between the Chateau and the waterway, where you can munch and sip while gasping at the wonders on either side.

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As you may remember from this post, to say the end of the romantic road was a rocky one for Camille, is the height of understatement.

But this French Loire Chateau hideaway, reflects, and draws us into a gentler, happier time. Where time passes slowly. Carrying us contentedly along. (And isn’t that the best way?)


What are ya thinkin’?

Bicycle Gourmets Tour de France French Photo Course Workshop


Best Photo Workshop France 2016, Photography Workshops France 2016,Best French Photo Holiday Workshop,French Photo Holiday Workshop Courses,French Photo Workshop Vacations,Tour de France Photo Workshop,Digital Holiday Workshops France….

By whatever name you want to call it – it’s off the table! Filled to the brim. With eager snappers who’ve snapped up all the available spots.

But – not to shed those crocodile tears yet if you were too late/busy/distracted to snag a spot.

Cancellations, while rare, DO happen. So if you’re jonesin’ to join DA BG’s French photo posse, be it in September, or next year, just scribble : “Sign me up for(September/Next year”) –  in the comments, and I’ll get back to ya. Personally even.


Throw Me a Bone here, People!
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French Travel Finds – Exceptional French Places to Stay



French Travel Finds. Exceptional French Places To StayFrench Country Travel Life Guide. French Country Travel Life Expert. French Travel life Advisor. French Travel Life Tipster. French words and phrases that all relate to? Yes, clever you, yours unruly, the Bicycle Gourmet

While I have been called almost all of the above (and other names that are not re-printable in a journal as sensitive and discreet as this one) the “odd man out” here is  obviously: French Travel Finds.

Those three words describe perfectly what I’ve been sharing with y’all for countless scribbles, photos and videos. But those same Exceptional French Places to Stay that often gave birth to the memorable meetings with incredible people stories, photos and videos, have, until now, remained in DA BG’s personal rolodex.

But – no more! The rolodex of rave resorts, French Chateaus, French Small Hotels, French B n’ b’s, French Gites – has been opened! And it’s contents lovingly poured into my soon-to-be-in-your-hands forthcoming tome – Bicycle Gourmet’s French Travel Finds – Exceptional French Places to stay.

In French Travel Finds by the Bicycle Gourmet you will discover more than forty destinations, brimming over with authentic slices of French Country Travel Life hospitality. And genuine French Culture, bien sur.

You will also, notice, and I hope appreciate, those Exceptional French Places to Stay are described  in the unedited  prose of their owners. With their own unedited images.

But wait – just because French Travel Finds is a marvy French Travel Guidebook doesn’t mean for an instant that I will not be continuing to regale, amuse and(hopefully) delight you with more of my up close n’ personal collisions with French Country Life. NoSir/M’am!

Bicycle Gourmet’s “More Than a Year in Provence” series will continue. With Book Two arriving sooner than you could possibly imagine.

So if you be a dyed-in-da-wine Francophile (like you know who) now is the time to add Bicycle Gourmet’s French Travel Finds –Exceptional French Places to Stay – to your “to do” list.

Throw Me a Bone Here, People!

What are ya thinkin’?