Showing posts with label river. Show all posts
Showing posts with label river. Show all posts

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Riverboat Trip as we Wind Down in Chinon

Day 20

Riverboat Trip as we Wind Down in Chinon
It is our last full day in Chinon. It is also very warm indeed, up and beyond 30 degrees. Just looked at the wall thermometer in our courtyard terrace and it is threatening to go off the scale that peaks at 50C. For these reasons, this is an easy day.
Baubles 'n bangles at Market
Got up a little later than usual before heading for the market. Made a bee line to the Asian speciality stall and joined the queue. Enjoyed the chit chat with Madame as we stocked up for lunch and evening. Also had a good look around and bought one or two presents.
Busy fruit stall. The grapes,
for eating, are Italian.
Got back around noon and headed straight for the pool. Cooled down and as we walked back to our gite we picked a few plums from the numerous trees in the garden. Did I tell you we have been living in a cave for the past three weeks? And I don’t mean a wine cellar.
Our suntrap! A "foot" of the cave
may be seen on the right (with flowers)
Les Cathelinettes is built on three levels.   The first building is the main one where the hosts, Sylvie and Roger, live and where they also have two B & Bs. Next level up is where we are, a 2/3 person gite built into the hill and an existing cave and termed Troglodyte. These kind of buildings are very common around here and also in the Dordogne. Another gite, a slight bigger one, is built above us.

By the way, you’d never know you’re living in a cave. It looks like an ordinary house but has the advantage of staying nice and cool in this very hot weather. All holiday makers here, and there could be up to a dozen at times, share the pool. In practice though, we’ve always had it to ourselves, often having to take the cover off. It has been fantastic facility the way the weather has turned out.
Chinon and its fortress from our river-boat today.
Chinon too – we can walk to the centre in 20 minutes – is a lovely and sometimes lively town, lots to see and do here and it is also well placed for touring to the east and west as there is a terrific road network.

We used the bigger roads, including autoroutes, to get to places like Vouvray, Amboise and Chenonceau and smaller ones most of the time. They take you through the fields. The landscape, aside from a few hills, is mostly level and quite often the roads are straight. 
A little riverside beach.
We enjoyed some lovely drives with the fields alongside. Crops of Corn on the Cob, Vines (of course) and Sunflowers are the main ones at this time of year. The sunflowers may be a disappointment to some of you. Now, in September, they look delicate, like faded golden paper dolls, all bowing to the inevitable and awaiting the grim reaper, the yellow of their vibrant youth long gone.

Roused ourselves in mid-afternoon and headed down to the tour boat dock. It turned out to be third time lucky. And, with a nice little (very little) breeze on the water, our mini-cruise on the flat-bottomed boat up and down the Vienne was delightful. Some nice views, especially those of the Fortress.






Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dine by the Water!

Dine by the Water
Superb food and superb views
Ostan Gweedore at Bunbeg, Donegal
I’ve been very lucky this past few months to have dined in some well placed restaurants, restaurants from Cork to Donegal that have a dining room with a view over water. Sometimes over a river, maybe over an estuary, and then sometimes over the ocean. I was lucky too to have brilliant weather in most of the places.

Let me start with river views. One of the best is from the newly opened Fish Bar inElectric. From the first floor of the South Mall building, you have fine views of the southern channel of Lee to the west and to the east. But have you been to Indigo Brasserie on Washington Street? Here too you have a fine view of a bend in the same river. 

Bunnyconnellan's Myrtilville (Cork)

And another excellent river view is to be found at the Market Kitchen restaurant, above the Murphy Brothers bar in Ballina. It wasn't quite warm enough to dine outside on the balcony but the Moy looked very well from the inside.

Time to move on now, nearer to the ocean, to the bays and estuaries and places such as the Rising Tide and Marlogue Inn in East Cork and further east you have the WalterRaleigh Hotel. You have no shortage in Cobh where you’ll find The Quays and The Titanic Bar. The Boathouse at Dromquinna, near Kenmare, is also well situated, right on the northern flank of the bay.
The Boathouse, Kenmare Bay

No shortage of seaside restaurants in Donegal. One of the best is the Seaview Tavern in Malin Head village but the view to the sea is somewhat interrupted by the cars parking across the road. No such problems at the Rosapenna Golf Hotel, whose dining room overlooks Sheephaven Bay and the beach at Downies. Further west along the same bay, the bar at the Cove at Portnablagh, another top restaurant, overlooks a different part of the same bay.

Back to Cork and to Baltimore and Le Jolie Brise where I’ve sometime enjoyed a dish of mussels as the day drew to a close with the island of Sherkin out in front. Locally, perhaps the best ocean view is that enjoyed from your table in Bunnyconnellan’s, a very pleasant view and very enjoyable food here. Hard to top that. One view that comes close, maybe level, maybe even better, is from the restaurant of Ostan Gweedore where there is the most fantastic view over the beaches and the waters of the Atlantic.
Rosapenna Hotel, Downies (Donegal)
Views are pleasing but you need good food too,
like this platter at the Seaview Tavern in Malin.

Have you a personal favourite view over water while dining? If you'd like to share, please use the Comment facility below.