Monday, 14 April 2014

Strawberry fields forever

Every week we try to take a day off from our usual routine and do a bit of exploring in the MG.
We have wandered through the Sologne before, but decided it was time to revisit this area to make sure the route we suggest for gite guests was up to date. So, following the directions, we set off at the suggested time of 10.00am and headed up to St Aignan where we stopped for coffee
The St Aignan cafe in St Aignan
The grande cremes here are very reasonably priced - and you get a jug of hot milk too! We sat on the terrace, watching the world go by.

We continued on our way, eventually crossing the Cher and headed on into the Sologne. This area of France is renowned for strawberries (hence the title of this post) and there are miles and miles of hothouses with lots of people beavering away at this time of year, although the strawberries have quite an extended season as they are grown under plastic. We also passed some being grown using hydroponics

There are also a lot of etangs and plan d'eau's in the region, so there is a ready supply of water for the strawberries. We also saw large piles of grape must which is perhaps used as fertilizer?

We stopped for lunch in Vernou-en-Sologne at the Auberge du Croissant. This was a typical 12,50 menu for 4 courses which included wine. Very good value.
Don't be fooled by the exterior

Older houses in the Sologne are very unusual, being timber framed, but using bricks to infill

As we continued on our prescribed route, we passed through the small village of Lassay-sur-Croisne. Just outside the village is the Chateau du Moulin, and here they have a garden laid out with many different varieties of strawberries. The chateau, while small, is worth a visit, and the fee includes entry to the garden.

We came back via Selles-sur-Cher, which produces a distinctive flat goats cheese.

So, a very enjoyable day out, in lovely spring weather.

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