Rue Sainte, One of the many charming

Rue Sainte, one of the many charming “rues” in Le Puy Notre Dame

The sun is shining and it’s 30°C. Medieval Le Puy Notre Dame is full of little tiny rues darting off in all directions and so to relax and discover new walks is one of life’s pleasures here.

This is a photograph of rue Sainte which is a pretty little walk downhill looking towards Cix with a fabulous vista and is one of the most charming rues in the village. I am sure many of our guests will have already discovered this on their walks. We love it! On the roadside there are lots of hollyhocks and rambling roses interspersed with wild flowers and it just gets better as you descend into the vineyards you can see the bunches of grapes are so beautiful and beginning to ripen – it won’t be long before the vendage, (grape harvest), starts.  Perhaps as little as three weeks if the weather holds.

Of course this walk has advantages in that ……. it’s only minutes from the bar too for a glass or two of chilled Chenin Blanc!  Hang on Brian did you say you wanted to come with me!!!!!  Oh no, you’ll already be there.

Looking forward to another day and another lovely walk – perhaps another glass of wine too!


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Friends, guests and neighbours under the stars at midnight, very tired but happy, at the end of a fab weekend of festivities

This year was our ‘Twelfth’ Le Clos des Guyons 2015 Grand Prix Retro BBQ which we host for guests, friends and neighbours. As the weather was wet we decided to use our old Wine Chais – always a great venue for parties! Wines were courtesy of Robert Guyons, retired winemaker of ‘Domaine des Guyons’ now our home! – who brought his 1986 Saumur Blanc (a revelation to say the least) and there were many toasts to Robert for his generosity! Food was courtesy of Brian our hard working Chef! Oh and at the end we had a belated celebration toast to Sheila’s recent milestone birthday, with the delectable Chateau de Fesles Bonnezeaux, which we had been saving for the occasion. It was absolutely divine with our dessert of strawberry tarts!

The 19th Annual Grand Prix Retro of Le Puy Notre Dame (always the last Sunday in the month of July) started with the arrival early in the week of the pre 1935-classic car rally including sidecars and bikes. The village was buzzing with activity including the organising of the route with straw bales for barriers amongst other things. Events started on Friday evening 24th July, with the ‘Grande Regalade’ organised by the village L’Ambiance Ponote, a superb prelude to the weekend’s activities with huge long tables and chairs placed in the rue de la Collegiale for everyone to eat a fantastic meal together. This year we had spit roasted pig on the menu! Everyone had an aperitif brought around the tables by two volunteers with an old supermarket trolley full of different wines including of course Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame, it goes without saying we enjoy a few glasses of the village appellation on these occasions! We said the trolley idea reminded of the hostess trolley service on aircrafts, but of course these guys were far more entertaining with the banter as you can well imagine! This year the weather was unusually windy but nevertheless we soldiered on enjoying the music and singing whilst holding onto our wine glasses for fear of them tumbling from the tables!

The Saturday morning programme started with entrants having a day together rallying around various villages in the Loire (passing rue du Moulin on the way for our guests to enjoy)! Then a nocturnal village race starting at 9pm finishing at midnight! Sunday is the Grande Parade being a whole day of rallying and demonstrations ……… then for us at Le Clos des Guyons a continuation into the night of more food, wine and conviviality!

And so, here’s a toast to the ‘2016 Grand Prix Retro’ and, as it will be the 20th Anniversary, it’s going to be a three-day event …. full of surprises we are told!  We have lots to look forward to and are awaiting the dates to be announced!

Brian and Sheila

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