Hello France, hello beautiful weather, hello expanding waistline!
Flying into Toulouse our destination was a village called Najac which is about 1.5 hours away. The reason for our trip was to meet another blogging friend, Annette.
The motorways in France are well signed which is great, however their speed limit is 130 km which hubby was extolling the virtues of as we zoomed by, me clinging madly to the door admonishing the French for traveling on the right hand side of the road and their speed limit or should I say, lack thereof.
Our first night was spent in Albi which is a small provincial city about 45 minutes from Toulouse. We motored on in the morning, leaving the picturesque city behind.
I had my nose glued to the window as we disappeared into the countryside driving past farms with freshly cut rolled hay or fields of beautiful sunflowers. Stone farmhouses dotted the landscape with wooded hillsides tucked in-between .. a photographer’s paradise.
Needless to say, I was thrilled when we arrived at our destination Hotel Belle Rive which was tucked in next to the Aveyron River. Visiting our room I flung open white shutters to be greeted by a stunning postcard view. Perched high on the ridge above us was the Royal Fortress of Najac a commanding castle overlooking the medieval village of Najac.
Royal Fortress Najac – iPhone
Village of Najac – iPhone
Hotel Belle Rive
Let me introduce you to Annette Lepple. She writes a special blog called Annette’s Garden. The beauty of her property is conveyed in her blog as she is adept with her camera … her photography is wonderful. Annette is a passionate gardener who has studied garden design, written books and is happy to share her garden knowledge. I had been looking forward to meeting her and being able to wander about her property.
Arriving that afternoon, I felt so privileged to at last meet Annette and her partner George. We were given the guided tour accompanied by their happy pooches Laney and Nahia.
This wonderful image of Annette and George (Laney in the middle) is from Annette’s book ‘Gartentraume Garten Mit Gefuhl’
I wish I had taken this shot!
We left with a list of charming French villages that Annette thought we should see, and an invitation to join them for dinner, I also had a copy of her beautiful book tucked under my arm.
Chateau de Penne
Restoring Chateau de Penne
Have you been to France? It is not only a beautiful place but it is a connoisseurs delight!
My French is lacking so I relied on hubby’s ‘school boy French’ and Google to assist us with our dining selections. There is nothing much better than sitting in a local café, sipping on a glass of Rosé, savouring local cheeses and crusty bread while listening to French banter.
Rosé Day – iPhone
Our last night in France was spent outdoors enjoying the warm weather and generous hospitality of our new friends, a delicious home cooked dinner (I have forgotten how many courses), matched with superb French wines was served and many stories were shared. Thank you both so very much!
The next day we were leaving France … a quick trip to the UK to see friends and family and then back to Frog Pond Farm!