Boyzz in Rioja & France 2019

Another summer, so time to go and visit Uncle Vic in France- where else can we visit en route? Well, there's always somewhere different in Rioja, the half way point. And then, Cognac sounds like an interesting, albeit boozy place, to spend a few days exploring/sampling

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So, first stop the Echaurren Relais & Chateau hotel in Ezcaray

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Ultra modern room, but far from a Relais hotel. The pater liked its door!. Long walk to the river & hermitage, tapas en route
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Their 65 euro Degustation meal was rubbish. Breakfast in the plaza was more to our liking.

 

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Chais Monnet seemed the perfect hotel: luxurious room, super pool, free cocktail in the rooftop bar, but lost browny points for its dining experience.
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Food was yummy( avoiding the buffet) - great prawms, chocolate & cognac baba postres- but crowded bistro surrounds & poor top staff in it

 

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The serious business of sampling different cognacs led us to tour 4 different Cognac Distilleries

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Martell was a winner: good self guided tour, enthusiatic employee for the sampling, and.. both an old lorry & sidecar for us to ride on!
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Thumbs down to Remy Martin in spite of a special train for us lads with short legs: security nuts & Chinese muppet with poor pronunciacion as guide

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We liked Hennessy, both its boat ride & guide Meghan. Also enjoyed the Cognac town museum
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And Baron Otard was great, with Sabine as our guide. Nice french lady in the shop too - bought some pate to pig out on later

Then om in the pouring rain to Uncle Vic's: this year he had bought 3 wheelbarrows for the price of two

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Settled to have lunch indoors. Out offer of help was declined in making fish cakes- Gaynor said our fur would get sticky!

 

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Then back south to Brinas, Rioja again. the Palacio Tondon had great views iver the Ebro and scrumptious food, albeit sub parr staff
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Next day we sampled wines in the Gomez Cruzado & Rioja Alta Bodegas, then walked past all the Bodegas

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into Haro with its many statues before walking back to the Bodegas & sampling more wine in Muga's

And after another yummy dinner, it was back home the next day to await being allowed out on out next adventure

Life with the Boyzz in 2019

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