Before the Grand Prix, Le Puy Notre Dame

Too many Loire Village Festivals?

On Monday morning I went to the village bar, (Chez Sonia), as normal for my morning coffee.  I sat outside in the morning sunshine with a group of villagers who, after all the ‘bonjours’ and handshakes, sat quietly without the normal animated chatter.  Finally Jean-Yves, the chef in the Bouchon Ponot muttered, “C’est bien le calme”  which triggered nods of heads and many Oui, Oui, Oui’s.  “C’est aussi bien retrouver notre village” said Stephane who had been the mainstay in organizing  much of the festivities which we have had in the village over the past few weeks.

Grand Prix Retro, Le Puy Notre Dame

Pre 1935 Classic Cars racing around Le Puy Notre Dame on the annual festival at the end of July.

Basically what was happening was a sort of stunned reaction to a series of fêtes which really started with Jean-Yves’ birthday party in June, went on through to the first “Fête de la Musique”, then into the 18th Grand Prix Retro Weekend – the first “les Grandes Tablées du Regalade”, when the rue du Collégiale was closed and filled with tables and chairs in the road, music, wine and evening meals served for around 400 people with several hundred being refused!  The next day was the “Nocturne” when a couple of hundred classic cars and motorbikes raced around the village in the evening. This was followed by a meal in the Salle de Fête for the participants and then, here at Le Clos des Guyons, we do a BBQ/meal for around 30 people being gite guests, friends and neighbours on Sunday, the day of the “Grand Prix” proper.  As a consequence of all this, people were pretty shattered.  Jean-Yves had around nine hours sleep over three days not helped by constant temperatures of over 30°C and even hotter in that kitchen!

Don’t get me wrong ………….. everyone had a thoroughly great time and all the Fêtes were an overwhelmingly great success.  But, to create the great atmosphere in Le Puy Notre Dame or “l’ambiance Ponot” as it is known locally, it’s not easy and there is an incredible amount of organisation and work which goes on behind the scenes.

BBQ at Gites in the Loire Valley

BBQ held on the Sunday of the Grand Prix Retro here at Le Clos des Guyons for around 30 friends including gite guests and neighbours. Here we all are enjoying sunshine food and Saumur wines.This year, after previous years of boiling in the hot sun, we decided to hold it in one of the old barns. Why it has taken us 10 years to do this I do not know!!

I can’t do as much as I like to help because we have our own gite and wine tour guests to look after but we owe a great debt of gratitude to all those villagers who freely give their time and expertise to making our village such an attractive place to visit.

Bravo to all!

And now to and join our guests at Le Clos des Guyons for some relaxation!!

 

Brian

Gite Holidays in the Loire Valley

Our Gite and Winetour Facebook Page

 

 

 

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