Monday, 19 September 2011

LIZ & Tim's great trip! Part one

This great trip of ours is going to have to be done in tiny pieces as it was sooooo fantastic and I don't want to spare you any of the fantabulous details!!!

So lets start with day one. Tuesday 6th September saw us get off eventually after having done all the 'pubby' things and leaving all in good order, getting a couple of miles up the road in my neatly packed Betsy (Smart Car) and then having to turn back as I'd forgotten to pack the Sat Nav............. well it was only a couple of miles - no big deal (!). SOH wasn't over amused but I only had to remind him of the numerous occasions we have had to turn round because HE'S forgotten something and all was well in the Hore household very quickly!!

First thing was to drive to the Wee Waif in Reading where our brewery St Austell had paid for us to have the first night of our prize winning 'Wine House of the Year' last year and then the actual Champagne tour was hosted by Champagne de Castelnau. 

Now then what can I say about the Wee Waif in Reading - clean, reasonably comfortable and frankly, you get what you pay for! The room on this our first night was far better than the one we given on our return, but for what we wanted for the few hours we were there it was perfectly acceptable. It was also close for our host Charles Ancliffe from Patriarch Wines, and quite a central location to get us to Folkestone the next morning for the 'chunnel'. With us was James Finneman who is a wine development manager for St Austell, so I was quite pleased to  find myself the only lady amongst three such charming gentleman. 

Our first meal was at the St George & Dragon in Reading, a dinner for four in a very relaxed setting with exceptionally good food and a prime example of not believing all you read on Trip Advisor!! However, we were relatively modest with the alcohol as I think we sensed it was going to be a heavy few days..............

The next day at 6.30A.M we were packing our thing into Charles's car who was going to be our chauffeur for the next 24 hours and off we set for Folkestone. A beautiful sunny (ish) day and a congenial host who told us how many times he had done this before and how much he loved showing Champagne country to people like us. So accomplished at this was he that when we got to the port and he asked me to put his credit card in to gain access on the booking he was staggered to find he hadn't actually booked the train.........!!!!  Doh. and there's me thinking I'm the only one who could do something like that!!  

However eventually and safely ensconced on Le Shuttle at 9.a.m and heading into the bowels of the earth Charles announced it was our first Champagne of the day - a charming De Castleneau Rose Champagne. Bearing in mind we had only had 2 coffees, half a kit kat each and a small croissant  - 2 glasses had the desired effect of going straight to my knees!!! A remarkable short trip saw us on French soil within about 35 minutes - my how time flies when you're having fun!!

Part two to follow in the next couple of days....................

In the meantime I'm glad to say that whilst the summer 'silly' season has ended, the Victoria is as busy as ever - so if you are coming to visit and you want to eat with us I would recommend that you really do book :)

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