Farmhouse, Friends and France
While visiting our good friends Lucille and John Jack in France they suggested we take a road trip to the Burgundy region of France. This rolling foothill region of France is notorious for it’s wines; food and quaint, picturesque villages nestled in lush densely wooded areas.
Lucille researched where to stay and came up with a Mill Farmhouse, called Le Vernois du Bas, which can be traced backdating to 1292. Jeffrey was skeptical but decided to give up control and let someone else plan our vacation and chalk it up to an adventure.
The drive from our friend’s home outside of Paris took about 4 hours and we arrived in the afternoon. After visiting numerous cathedrals, historical landmarks and an intensive, impressive French history lesson we needed a rest. Our hosts Dick and Erlynn Van der Stelt greeted us at the gate along with their wonderful dogs Zuchero (sugar) and Morrie and their cat Mickey Meow.
After settling in we looked at the lush, green grounds, brooks, ancient aqueduct and stone buildings; it felt as if we had landed in the middle of paradise. They even have a goose named Boris who is more than friendly and had the softest coat I’ve ever felt. Their parrot Giji is beyond funny and in the evening gives quite a show if you’re up for it
You can learn more from their website but Erlynn and Dick are from Holland and have remodeled several farmhouses in the past. They purchased this Farmhouse 4 years ago in complete disarray as it was untouched for many years. Since their occupancy they have completely remodeled and restored all the buildings and grounds and made it the luscious inviting place you see in these pictures.
Each night we had a 5-course gourmet dinner that would rival any high-end restaurant. Erlynn and Dick are gracious, warm and inviting hosts. They authentically love what they do and make a wonderful team in taking care of the guests and the property. You do not feel like a guest but rather part of their family.
It was awe-inspiring sleeping in and having dinner in a building over 700 years old. I took walks each morning around the property admiring the greenery, little brooks, the happy white cows eating grass and I even took a playful turn on the swing in the yard.
The cows really cracked me up. I always talk about eating meat from grass-fed cows but seeing them in their environment made me realize how happy they are roaming around the meadows and eating their grass all the while their young nurse in a non stressful environment. This has to have a positive effect on our bodies when we eat this type of cow versus cows that are kept in a little stall, unable to move and fed corn. Just think what would happen to us if we never moved more than a few inches each day and ate only corn-feed.
Only 3 days here and now leaving today was sad. Having a simple life with nature, greenery and happy animals is inviting to visit and even contemplate the possibilities of living in this environment.
If you’re up for an adventure in France I highly recommend you stay with Erlynn and Dick – you won’t be disappointed and will eat well. I might consider going there to write my next book.
August 24, 2011 @ 8:12 pm
(and I like knowing where my food comes from)