Well, we’ve now spent our first night in the new house in Blois. We finished packing the two cars and the (now reinforced) trailer at 2 am on Saturday morning, then added the bikes (which we had forgotten) and all the last-minute stuff, all of which took much longer than expected (isn’t that always the way?). We arrived in Blois at 3 pm, a bit later than planned. The real estate agent and former owners were waiting for us and it was with great emotion that I turned the key in the lock for the first time!
It was marvellous to discover the house at last, empty of all its previous furniture and decorative elements (well, almost). The rooms looked much bigger of course and not quite the same shape. The previous owners then took us on a tour of the house and garden, explaining various things, showing us what they had left for us – many little details that are much appreciated, in addition to a huge collection of clay pots of all shapes and sizes that I haven’t decided what I’ll do with yet!
After the agent left, we broke out the champagne and the four of us talked and joked until we suddenly realised it was nearly 6 pm. Relationnel wanted to find a special slow-acting product to sanitize the house before we unpacked everything, particularly as it had been inhabited by a large number of dogs over the years. On the way to Bricorama, I suggested that, given how late it was, it might be a good idea to find a B&B for the night. Relationnel immediately agreed. On a Saturday night, of course, there was nothing vacant within cooee of Blois so I rang the Mercure. They happened to have a weekend special so I emptied out my swimming bag and used it to pack a change of clothes rather than lug along our large suitcase.
There was a free wifi connection and even a restaurant so we ate there. There was an amusing bilingual menu – the coquilles Saint Jacques (sea scallops) had mysteriously turned into red mullet and you could have house-made pâté. We had our café gourmand next to the heated pool but couldn’t use it of course because the swimsuits were back at the house. We even had breakfast there next morning, with a view of the Loire – one of the best I have had in a French hotel as it turned out. There was even a machine that delivered fresh-pressed orange juice. Excellent choice of viennoiseries (croissants, pains au chocolat and pains aux raisins), bread, yoghurt, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc. Also a boiled egg machine with no instructions so I didn’t take the chance …
We asked the girl at reception where we’d find a butcher open on a Sunday morning and were directed to a place called Grand Frais. We’ll have to get used to shops being closed on Sundays in the provinces ! Not much of a choice of meat but we still found something suitable for the LONG-AWAITED BARBECUE (our barbecue has been in storage for 7 years as it’s not allowed in the Palais Royal) and went “home”, opening the gate and door on our own for the first time. We were thrilled!
We spent the day unpacking and chasing after a fridge and finally got the (Ikea) bed together at 8.00 pm. By then I’d aleady booked a table at L’Embarcadère just down the road where we celebrated the signature of the final papers two weeks ago. So much for the barbecue. Maybe we’ll strike it lucky tonight. We’ve got a garden table and were able to have lunch outside for the first time. No internet however. Annoyingly, there’s some problem that may not be solved for a few days so we’re off to Le Penalty to have a coffee to use their free wifi.