French has a phrase for a geographical area so small that it may not even be inhabited: lieu-dit. Driving on back roads of France you’ll see hundreds of signs for lieux-dits, places that might have a house or two, or might just be a place that was given a name centuries ago that the local inhabitants have kept alive. The last couple days we stayed in such a place: Les Fromions. There is, of course, a story…
You’ll remember that the day we arrived – almost two weeks ago – we were met at Mary & Gilles’ house by their neighbor and good friend Valerie Appell. She showed us the house, left us food and invited us to lunch the following day; quite a nice introduction to France. At lunch Valerie’s husband Yves served a Sancerre red wine and we mentioned how much we love the wines of Sancerre.
Valerie and Yves then told us about their family house near Sancerre and, as they were going to be there this week, invited us and Mary & Gilles for a night. So – voilà – we spent Tuesday roaming the region of Sancerre, eating the Chavignol cheese for which the area is also famous, trying and buying Sancerre wine, and then arriving at the bustling lieu-dit of Les Fromions:
Yep, that’s it. The closest house is Valerie and Yves, the one to the left of it is the house of Yves aunt, and in the third house is a non-Appell family man.
Now, to say that Les Fromions is peaceful and beautiful understates the situation. Here’s the view on the other side of the house:
No neighbors, no highways, no planes overhead, no trains roaring by. Just beautiful, quiet French countryside.
To work up a dinner appetite, we took a walk.
After an aperitif, a fabulous dinner, and Valerie’s world-famous tiramisu, we slept like logs – in that quiet how could we not? The next morning we did another long walk, visited a beautiful garden and went to the nearest town for lunch in the Tabac.
Then, it was time to go. As we loaded up the car, Yves prepared for a hard afternoon of recovering from our visit.
Did we have a nice time? Hoo-hah, did we ever. We are so grateful to Valerie and Yves for inviting us and opening their Sancerre home to us, treating us with such hospitality. This is a lieu-dit we love.