Wine with a head, The Twins, a Dubliner’s Chateau

Hendaye marina

Hanging hams at La Pinta

Stuffed peppers. Lovely!

The wine with a head!

The Green Lizard

The Chateau

The Twins

Wine with a head, The Twins, a Dubliner’s Chateau

More pics here

Spent much of Monday in the local Hendaye area. There are some magnificent coastal walks here, some of them going on and on and on. We confined ourselves to one, largely in the grounds of Chateau Abbadia.

Facing the Atlantic, it is now owned by the French Academy of Sciences and was originally built between 1864 and 1879 by Eugene Viollet le Duc, for Antoine Thomson d'Abbadie d'Arrast, born in Dublin (1810) to an Irish mother and Basque father.

You may visit the chateau itself but with the weather being so fine, we stayed outdoors and got some terrific views: back over Hendaye and its beach and across to Hondarribia on the Spanish side. There are two rocks, small seastacks, associated with Hendaye. You may see them from the beach and they appear in postcards and tourist literature and we got a close-up of The Twins and also terrific views up the coast towards and beyond St Jean Du Luz.

It wasn't just the views. There are many wildflowers to be seen and we also spotted a magnificent green lizard, about 12 inches long. On the way back, we spent some time on the beach.

Monday evening sees quite a few of the local restaurants closed so our choices were limited but we had no hesitation about going back to Serge Blanco’s La Pinta. The menu is formidable here and you can pick and choose from also over the place, though we confined ourselves to the €18.00 menu, which gave us quite a good deal of choice over the three courses.

Also tried a couple of glasses of the Txakoli, the local wine. It is a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and is poured from shoulder height into sturdy drinking glasses (as they do here also with cider), producing something of a “head” and, of course, more bubbles, in the glass. Goes well with the food here for sure.