France ~ first impressions.

What does this picture remind you of?

wines at a service station!

Travelodge?  Little Chef?  Surprisingly not.

Our first overnight was at a place called Saintes which is some distance north of Bordeaux where we stayed in a Campanile in a small retail complex situated immediately after turning off the autoroute.  I think it is France's version of a Travelodge or similar but what a difference!  

The room was fine; basic but clean and comfy with unlimited free wifi (it's £5 for an hour at Travelodge). As we were knackered we decided to eat at the hotel which, as you probably know, would be a silly decision to make in a similar place in the UK.  It was brill!

We sat outside (warm and breezy) and had a glass of wine (above) whilst ordering and the lovely friendly waitress (yes - table service) brought us each a complimentary glass of gazpacho!  Honestly, she did!

I ordered a salmon "burger" which came on a delightfully crunchy toasted bread of some sort with tzatziki and green salad (dressed deliciously) and my companion ate steak and chips.  She did say the steak was a little on the tough side but loved the rest of the meal. 

On the way down to Saintes we had enjoyed several coffee stops (excellent real coffee too) but one stop in particular sticks in my mind.  Carol went to the "ladies" but it was closed for cleaning so she used the disabled lavvie.  She put her handbag down in the washbasin and was disappointed to see the tap turn on automatically and fill it up!  It did make us laugh, me even more than her!

The next morning we made an early start but first bought ourselves some bread and a seafood quiche to enjoy on the way.  I really am quite a snob about bread as you will know if you have read previous posts.  I love chewy, tasty, crusty stuff so was glad to find this ...

lovely crusty breads for sale in France

and this ...

baguettes for sale in France

... in the bakery over the road which was set between a hardware store like B & Q and a furniture shop.

We are now in Carcassonne for two days and I'm still impressed but more about that later.  Got to go exploring!

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1 comment:

Wendy Percival said...

Loved Carcassone when we went a few years ago. But sadly, since being diagnosed coeliac, visiting France and drooling over all that wonderful French bread which I'm not allowed to eat, is toooo much torture! :-(