Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Back In Suffolk

After eighteen days in France we're finally back in Suffolk and catching up on life in Framlingham. We're back on a diet too as the cycling didn't quite work off as many calories as we were eating and drinking and I deluded myself that I could get by on a diet of steak and chips and wine without it showing on the waistline.

We had a fabulous holiday although when we met this road closure on the A12 en route to the Channel Tunnel, we thought that we were out of luck and things were not going to run smoothly. However, Marion's immaculate planning had allowed for such events and we arrived at Le Tunnel in time to catch an earlier train than planned.

Our first stop was in Burgundy where we stayed for two nights at a B&B called La Cimentelle. This translates as "the cement works" which is exactly what the site once was. The works are now ruins although there is a heated swimming pool on the roof of the old factory. The accommodation is in the beautiful house built alongside the works. Here husband and wife Stephane and Natalie have created a fabulous place that is much more than a B&B.

The bedrooms are all stunning and the hosts cook a wonderful four course communal evening meal where fabulous food and extremely interesting multi national conversation is enjoyed by all the guests. 

While in Burgundy we had time for a little sight seeing and were bowled over by the beautiful Abbey De Fontenaye.

From Burgundy it was onwards to our Deluxe Cycle Tour. We wanted a week's cycling but we also wanted to stay in some lovely hotels. Gary from Deluxe organised this perfectly and we had six nights in some stunning accommodation is some great locations. The bikes were easy to ride and we managed to climb the steepest hills.

We visited some Roman ruins.

All the accommodation was good but the last night's hotel (Hotel Particulier in Arles) was splendid.

We met some great people. Like Tim and Therese from Arizona.

And Steve and Mark from South Africa pictured here with Gary from Deluxe (top) and Martin our guide (in black).

We had an excellent week with Deluxe. The weather was incredible (not perfect riding conditions at 37 degrees plus) and the company was excellent.

At the end of the tour we left Arles and headed for our rented villa in Bonnieux. I've already written about our lovely week there but here are a few photos to finish with for today.