31 December 2011

La Touraine du Sud

It's nice to be in better health for the job of ushering out the old and welcoming in the new. 2012 just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? And I've always said that 12 is my lucky number, so I have high expectations. I hope you do too, and that those expectations are met.

“Downtown” in Le Grand-Pressigny one evening
during the holiday season

Here are some more pictures of our 24 hours in Le Grand-Pressigny. I can't say enough how beautiful the surrounding area, La Touraine du Sud, is at this time of year. It's all green rolling hills, spotted with little villages and towns that seem lost in time. In comparison, the wine country area we live in along the Cher River feels almost bustling and modern.

More holiday lights and the church in Le Grand-Pressigny

If you want to see more photos taken in Le Grand-Pressigny, at different seasons, there are at least seven more posts on this blog to look at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. They date back to visits to the town that I made with friends including CHM in spring 2006 and summer 2007. Also, have a look at Jean's blog, A Very Grand Pressigny, for more information and photos.

Le Grand-Pressigny

Le Grand-Pressigny is just about 20 miles south of the bigger town of Loches (pop. 8,000), which is a good place to base yourself for an excursion around the region. It takes about 40 minutes to drive those 20 miles on little roads that pass through numerous villages like Ferrière-Larçon, Betz-le-Château, La Celle-Guenand, Le Petit-Pressigny, Charnizay, Saint-Senoch, Esves-le Moutier, or Neuilly-le-Brignon. The bigger towns include Descartes, Preuilly-sur-Claise, and Ligueil.

Christmas cheer in rural France

Administratively, La Touraine du Sud is made up of 21 towns and villages, only one of which, Descartes (pop. 3,800) has more than 1,500 inhabitants. The area of the little region is about 640 sq. km (250 sq. mi.) and the total population is just shy of 16,000 — and it has been declining since the late 1960s. Don't expect to see a lot of crowds or much traffic. Do expect picturesque villages, little family-run restaurants, weekly open-air markets, and friendly people.

Nick and Jean served these pears poached in red wine as dessert,
along with a molten chocolate cake.

Here's how the Cadogan Guide to the Loire Valley describes "the southern tip of Touraine":
Not many tourists come down this way, but the area has profound charm thanks to the numerous deep little wooded valleys that carve their way through it... there are also plenty of attractive rural villages to potter round in these parts, with their Romanesque churches, little local museums, and their own châteaux, as well as the odd dolmen, proof of a much earlier thriving human presence.


  1. Hi Ken, It was good to meet you and Walt here in Le Grand Pressigny the other day. Your night shots are great and show the village in a new light! By the way, the wreath on the door at No 41 is actually an all year round feature!!I have a 'walk around the village in pictures'here http://www.loirevalleyexperience.com/gallery.htm if your readers are interested.

  2. Happy New Year Ken... and may the 'rate of exchange' aid your prosperity and well being. T&P

  3. can't wait to hear from you about new year eve celebration in your area...

  4. Hooray for the Cadogan guide! I think that's a very accurate description of the area and why we love it too. Most guides miss us out altogether (or, like the Michelin Green Guide, clearly haven't been here for decades!)

  5. Enjoy New Year's Eve! I'm glad to hear your cold is over and that you are 'en pleine forme' to start 2012! Season's Greetings to you, Walt, Callie and Bertie! Martine

    P.S. Sounds like you had a great time with Jean and Nick ... I'm green with envy ;)

  6. You're doing a great PR job for our area! The landscape is one of the reasons why we love living down here :-)

    Happy New Year and All Good Things for 2012 to you and Walt! A & N

  7. Wishing you and Walt a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  8. Lewis, Conn and Betty join me in wishing you and Walt all the best in 2012.

  9. Bonne Année to you both, and to Callie and Bertie!

    Your photos are so inviting! I was just looking at St. Louis Daily Photo the other day, and the photographer said that he had recently learned that the trick to taking successful shots of light-ed up decorations, is to take the shot around dusk, well before it's fully dark out. Bingo! It looks like you're on to that trick as well, as these are wonderful shots :))

  10. glad you are feeling better....happy 2012

  11. Why is is "joyeuses" and not "joyeux"?

  12. Because it's une fête and the feminine of joyeux is joyeuse. And then it's plural, so the final S on both words...

  13. I don't like France, but it seems to be a nice place :-).


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?