Weekend Wine Shopping Spree

In planning what we knew we be our last few trips, one of the hubs’ main requests was to go somewhere to buy really good wine. Easy. Saint Emilion is the capital of wine country, and coincidentally, exceptionally charming. We arrived late Thursday evening, and after a good night of sleep, woke up to this spectacular view at Le Relais de Franc Mayne. I just wanted to let down my hair like Rapunzel! But, my prince charming quickly woke me from my fairy tale to head down the road to the boulangerie for breakfast.


IMG_4621IMG_4622Driving through town was like being transported back centuries; in fact it goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Romans even planted vineyards here in the 2nd century- talk about aged wine!IMG_4623IMG_4626A tasting and lunch in the vineyards set the bar high at the start of our trip; Château de Candale’s beautiful setting was heavenly. The wines were delicious and quite reasonably priced, but lunch stole the show. The grounds and delicious dishes really rivaled each other in this beauty contest.
IMG_7901Back at our Chateau, we did a proper walk around to see everything in the daylight. It was such a magical place to stay. The natural swimming pool was idyllic and the decor was impeccable.  008IMG_4628IMG_4632IMG_4633IMG_4634IMG_7905Next on our mangled agenda was our bike rental pick up. With a 20 minute walk to town, bikes were the quickest (and cutest) way to get around. The path through the vineyards to town seemed too good to be true. Do people really live here!? IMG_7909IMG_7914IMG_4647IMG_7915IMG_7919IMG_7921IMG_7917 IMG_7924Anxious to soak up a bit of sun by the pool, we cycled back for a few hours of bliss. 021With sunkissed skin, the hubs’ and I headed to a tasting in town before dinner. We found the wine shops in the town center to be alluring with their dazzling displays of wonderful wines, but ultimately, bought a few cases from a wholesaler on the edge of town. 
IMG_7929Excited for what we expected to be a fabulous French dinner, we snagged a table outside at what I thought was the restaurant I’d so carefully chosen. Confusion trying to find our booking should have tipped us off, but alas, the maître d’ accommodated us without trouble. Amazing escargot followed by mediocre entrees left us slightly underwhelmed. The hubs was surprised because he usually praises my restaurant choices.

While walking around the town, I confusingly spotted L’Huitier Pie, where we were meant to have had dinner. To this day, I cannot understand what convinced me that the restaurant where we ate was the one I’d chosen, the names were not similiar, they were not so close in proximity…it was a moment of temporary insanity. Fortunately, after explaining the mishap to the very sweet owner at L’Huitier Pie, she graciously booked us in for the following night. IMG_4651IMG_7942IMG_4654IMG_7945IMG_7949Saturday morning was glorious and started off similarly to the previous one, with fabulous French pastries.  002A tour of our chateau’s wine making facility and underground ENORMOUS quarry was fascinating. Learning about the limestone mining, we walked through the quarries with the vineyards just overhead. At one spot, our guide even pointed to where some older vines had grown all the way through the limestone! IMG_7967IMG_7971IMG_7973IMG_7984By mid-afternoon, it was time to get serious about stocking up on wine. We made fast friends with Didier at his wholesale wine shop and spent a couple of hours tasting and choosing. IMG_7992Our new wine dealer pointed us to L’Envers du Decor for lunch, where we had outstanding salmon over a waffle with cream cheese (maybe?) – a true bistro experience. Sampling the macaroons and purchasing a wine-label clad table runner rounded out the afternoon before another few hours of sipping wine poolside. IMG_7995IMG_7999IMG_8006IMG_4657 Certain of the night’s dinner spot, we cycled back to town for an amazing one. 022 025 031Dinner at L’Huitier Pie was perfect, every course was flawless and beyond delicious. Had we eaten here the first night, we would have probably eaten here again!IMG_8017 043

Walking home was so romantic and felt like a fairy tale. Saint Emilion will always be a such a special place to us!

Our late flight Sunday left us with most of the day to frolic around. Driving to the coast sounded too good to pass up, so we headed to the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s tallest sand dune.

IMG_8031 IMG_8039IMG_4675IMG_4688Well worth the drive for this picnic spot, we had baguettes on the beach before heading to the airport. 049
IMG_8047 IMG_8054065This place will make an encore appearance on my bucket list!

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