We read a short article about a new restaurant over in Montrichard, just 10 miles downriver from Saint-Aignan on the Cher. It was a magazine published and sent out by the conseil départemental. I happened to talk with American friends about it, and we decided to go try it out one day. That day was yesterday. Walt and I needed to go to our bank over in Montrichard too, to straighten out a few things concerning online purchases using our French debit card.
In some ways, Montrichard seems like a more bustling and attractive place than Saint-Aignan. The two towns are about the same size. It goes in cycles, local people tell me. One decade sees Montrichard on the upswing, and then it stalls, for whatever reason. Saint-Aignan starts to improve and bustle a little. Right now, Saint-Aignan seems to have stalled as lots of changes, mostly having to do with the big Beauval zoological park, which is expanding and attracting more and more tourists. The town of Saint-Aignan is adapting and evolving.
The old houses in these photos that I took in Montrichard were renovated and repainted several years ago now. As the paint fades a little, they look better and better. We walked past them on the way to the bank, and we took note of quite a few changes — new businesses here and there, empty storefronts, and so on. We don't go to Montrichard much. Yesterday, we got our business done at the bank quickly so we had time to sit down and have a little apéritif in a café before meeting our friends at the restaurant. It was like being a tourist again for a few minutes.
We ended up not going to eat at the restaurant we had read about. It wasn't what the article had led us to believe it would be. Luckily, there were three other restaurants on the little square where we had planned to meet. We chose one of those for our get-together. We'd all been there a few times before, and the menu looked good. The place was full of people, which we took as a sign that the food and atmosphere are pleasant. More tomorrow...