I woke up early this morning and took a shower, and took my coffee into the bedroom. I need to catch up on my blog, but my eyes are itchy and I am too tired. I checked email and looked at facebook. I heard Leonie come in and she brought croissants and little brioche for us, and so Didier and Anne got up and we had breakfast. I forgot to mention that Leonie and Didier had rearranged the apartment while Anne and I explored yesterday morning, so after Didier put their mattress back in the sofa, we all sat at the dining table and ate.
I think it was around 9:30 or 10:00 when we left the apartment for today's adventure. We left Lyon and travelled through Maillat, St. Martin du Frene, Condamine, Foret de Concise, to Brenod and into a small fromagerie,. We had headed to this village in search of 3 year old comte. This Fromagerie was very small and they only sold younger cheese. We went upstairs and they had display boards with the process of cheese making, and you could look into the factory part. We could overhear a woman giving a short lecture to some tourists, and she said she preferred younger cheese. We knew then we were in the wrong place. We went downstairs and walked out, still trying to get places on a tour of a comte factory so we could see the process step by step. Anne finally got hold of a woman at another place and she said she had 5 places left on a tour that began within a half hour, I think. I needed some water so I wandered down the street and into a place with a Bar sign. I did not see any water bottles for sale so attempted to ask the clerk- who finally understood and waved towards an open door to his right and motioned for me to go that way. The rest of the store inventory was in the back and I grabbed a bottle of Perrier and a bottle of still water and went back out into the front to find Didier looking for me. We paid for the water and went back to the car.
We travelled back to Maillat and then to Saint-Martin du Frene to another cheese shop. The place with the tours had not called us back because there were now no more tickets, so we continued to stop and search for 3 years old comte. We bought some cheese there at ZAC des Pellants and then were back on the road to Nantua to look for more cheese shops. We went up one street and came back on the other with no success. We parked the car right by the beautiful lake there, and Didier went into the tourist bureau, while Anne and I had lemonade and coffee sitting alongside this beautiful lake. Eventually we got back in the car and headed away from the village, pulling into a restaurant that the tourist office had recommended.
I can't believe that I did not write down the name of this restaurant because the food, the service, and the ambiance were perfect even though we were the last people they would serve for lunch. It was just about 2 pm. We started out with a Jura wine "Cotes du Jura, Vignoble les Roussets Tradition 2012 Badoz". Our starter appetizer course was cheese with cured sausage and a sweet pickle, and salmon and cream cheese roulettes. We ordered 3 main courses, and decided to share them all so we asked for small plates to do so. The courses included fresh Frog Legs, Chicken Breast with Cream, and quenelles of fish with scalloped potatoes on the side and the ever present wine, which tasted of walnuts. We all really liked it. Anne and I finished up with Café Gourmand which is café along with a place of small desserts- in this case a crème brulee, a chou pastry with chocolate mousse inside dipped in dark chocolate. Some sort of cake, and a strawberry sorbet. It was all outstanding, all of it.
Sleepy, but still on our quest for 3 year old Comte, we headed through Bersallin towards Arbois and Poligny on a tip from a man at the restaurant who thought we might be able to find it in one of those towns. We pulled into Poligny and saw a very prominent sign that said "Poligny Capital of Comte' . I joked that if we did not find the 3 year old cheese we will come back and remove the letters that spelled Capital. We parked the car and saw a building with a sign 1907 Fromagerie Arnaut, and Comte Juraflore. We were very excited, our quest appeared to be successful. We walked in, awaited our turn, only to be told that the last piece of 3 year old comte had been sold 1/2 hour prior. Didier looked as if he was going to die of disappointment, but recovered and we purchased some 2 year old cheese and headed outside. We were walking towards the car when we saw another cheese shop across the street called Badoz Fromagerie & Vins du Domaine. We changed course and were soon walking in the front door.
They had it. The wonderful woman proprietor could not have been more helpful. We also found the exact bottle of wine we had enjoyed so much at lunch, and we purchased the 3 year old comte, two bottles of the walnut white wine, and a rose by the same winery.
After we finished with shopping we realized it was getting late and we needed to buy bread so Anne walked across the street to a boulangerie and grabbed two loaves of bread. Soon back on the road headed toward Arbois to find the famous Hirsinger chocolate shop (my friends say in the top 5 in France- Meilleur Ouvrier Chocolate). We parked up the street in front of several opticians. I had decided that I was going to pick up some eyeglass frames in France, and we walked into the Vignes Optician and I tried on maybe 25 pairs. They were all cute, but I wanted a pair that people would say "Where did you get those?" and I managed to buy two pairs within 20 minutes and the owner gave me a great deal. "Easy sale" I said. We were old friends by the time I walked out. Anne and I joked that he went home to his family and said We can pay our rent for a month or something like that.
We found the Hirsinger shop and picked a table outside and ordered a lemonade and coffee, then Didier and I went inside to pick some chocolates to taste. OMG was that a gorgeous place with so many choices. We finally settled on 3 each of 4 different kinds and went back outside to finish our chocolate tasting. They were all wonderful, but I forget what they were now. One was ginger, one was citron (lime) and that is the limit of my memory. I will ask Anne to see if she remembers.
While I was finishing up my lemonade Didier and Anne went back in and bought a larger box, two or three layers of many types of chocolates. I can't remember is we cracked it open right away or if we waited until we got back to Leonies apartment later in the day. As we walked back towards the car, we were looking up alleys and passageways and spotted a gorgeous home at the end of one of them, so we walked up and looked at the house and garden from the gate. Then it was back to the car, and I knocked on the optician's window and waved goodbye, and we were on the road again. By this time it was almost 7pm and we had another hour or two drive back to Lyon.
We got home and back up the six flights of stairs with out wine, comte, and chocolates. For dinner we decided we would just have break and cheese and wine tasting. Didier arranged the comte by age and we chatted about our day. We stopped for a moment and put up the curtains and the curtain rod in Leonie's bedroom, a much easier job today than last night. We returned to the living area and finished up our wine and cheese dinner, and then went to bed. Leonie was again sleeping at friends so I got to sleep in a real bed tonite also.
Whew- we have not stopped moving and eating and drinking yet and it is the end of day 3 of 14 with my friends.