France and Northern Spain August 2021




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We left home on August 26th and drove to the hotel Iriarte Jaraugia, in NW Spain, where we had stayed in 2018. Went for a walk on the lanes around the hotel and then enjoyed a drink on the terrace


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Followed by a tasting menu in their Bistro.


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A delicious breakfast out on the sunny terrace, then a wander to the still used cemetery( next to a ruined church)


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and then down to the nearby pueblo; what a gorgeous sighting of these sheep!


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Then on to Chateau Cordwaillan in Pauillac, a Relais & Chateau luxury hotel: the pool was tucked away and not so aesthetic as one would have wished


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Click on thumbnails to enlarge .

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We enjoyed breakfast outside in the sun, although the serivce was far from perfect


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It´s Michelin starred restaurant was shut, so we walked the 7 minutes to its sister restaurant, Cafe Lavinal, both nights. A great success the first night, but,

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the service was abominable the second night ( no bread and no apology, just our fault!) so returned to the hotel and read in one of their deserted lounges




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The helpful hotel receptionist organised 3 tastings for us : first Chateau Lafon Rochet. A group of 4 from a NapaValley Winery shared the tour with us and we met the elderly owner at the tasting


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Château Lafon-Rochet is a family-owned estate. in the Médoc: long land inlet, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary. The Boyzz liked the yellow cow



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Then on to Chateau Pedesclaux ,the outside of which had been vandalized in my opinion!! " a pure and unpretentious solution that incorporated the aesthetic of transparency that defines the property" Certainly striking.


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A lot of money has been invested in state of the art computer driven winemaking, which is gravity fed throughout, with the wine lifted in tanks rather than using pumps to circulate it.
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And finally, Chateau Prieuré-Lichine where we had a tour all to ourselves- David bought some wine and a teatowel as a souvenir
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Then on to St Prieure de las Fougeres and three nights of being pampered by Gaynor and Vic . Enjoyed my swimsin the lake, Vic´s cooking, alongish local walk and a trip to La Coquille where I bought a sundress, along dress


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and some bright pantalones with blending top. Toby had died and been replaced by Pepita. Enjoyed cava down by the field, George, with fiercesome mastiff, drinking from his side of the fence


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Staircase up to the landing outside our bedroom door


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Leaving Vic´s on Sep 1st we drove to Rioja and stayed in a new Rothschild hotel, Palacio Samaniego. Very luxurious with countless works of art: vases, headdresses, ...

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We enjoyed their tasting menu and Ienjoyed my swim in their bijou pool during a brief sunny period late mornin of our second day there


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With the absence of a vineyard visit on Thursday morning we revisited La Guardia . We were lucky to see the midday display of the main square clock




We visited 2 wineries within walking distance of the hotel. 1. Bai Gorri: The accoustics, coupled with the guidés accent, made it impossible to follow what  


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was being said!.Thus a waste of time for me! . 2. A pleasant tasting at Ostatu

Then the 6 hour plus drive back to Moraira on September 3rd: ready for David to break into a new year!!

Life in 2021

Chris Grant Holidays