Part of our trip to Europe this summer was spent in the French countryside. Friends of ours have a lovely old property in the Cognac region, which gave us the opportunity to relax after a couple of busy weeks sightseeing in Dublin, London and Paris.
The area all around is full of sunflowers and vineyards growing only cognac grapes. We took a trip into the town of Cognac to visit one of the great Cognac houses. In our case, we opted for the Baron Otard House, which, in my opinion, was the better choice, as their Chateau is the most beautiful building with a great history.
One of the pleasures of visiting one of these Cognac houses is that you get to taste the goods afterwards. As with wine and champagne, cognac has its cheap and its expensive variants. The photo below is showing one of the most expensive bottles Baron Otard has in its collection (no tasting of this vintage!).
We were extremely lucky with the weather in France: hot summer days, followed by warm nights. We were spoilt every evening with stunning sunsets and I could post a dozen or more photos to prove it, but these two below are my favourite ones.
Our stay here was probably the most relaxing part of our whole trip. Every morning we would wake to the sound of birds in the big tree outside our window. Just standing by the window in our bedroom, looking out at this majestic tree gave me an inner peace I rarely feel.