As well as the delights of French cuisine, and a memorable wine tasting session, there was culture and music abounding.
You may remember last year, as part of the music festival organised by the Communaute d'Aggiomeration Royan Atlantique, we discovered the Rastrelli Cello Quartet . This year it was the turn of concert pianist Adam Laloum playing Schumann and Schubert quite effortlessly and with great panache. In contrast, at a jazz cafe in Royan, the string jazz trio Bruno Debord Swing Home Trio blew us away.
For good measure there was also a trip to Cognac thrown in. After a trip round the picturesque historic town we choose to tour one of the smaller producers Cognac Otard. A sizable converted chateau with hundreds of barrels of aging cognac in perfect conditions. Strange fact, most of the walls of the cognac producers are coated in a thin black film. It is a very specific fungus, that does not harm humans or the brew, but lives only off the fumes of the cognac - our Sue reckons it would be good to be reincarnated as a cognac fungus :) Otard might be small but is very select - it's top of the range 'tear drop' ltr would set you back just under 3,800 euros!
There are so many beautiful places in the region. One that stands out especially for the streets of hollyhocks against sun bleached cottage walls, is Talmont sur Gironde and the Eglise Sante-Radegonde.
but all good things must end, so until the next time adieu
and bon chance