An unhurried start, the A72 to Lyon then down the A7 to the exit for Sarrians, just before Avignon. One short pitstop, and we're there in time for lunch at the Pressoir. Yes, we'll have the daily special and a bottle of rosé, on the shady terrace with the fountain splashing nearby.
It wasn't exactly cold on leaving Clermont, but summer is definitely here in Provence. More icewater, please, and some of that strawberry & whipped cream pastry concoction.
At the house, hidden on its flat acre behind a heavy green gate and stone walls, everything has been waiting since the end of autumn. A bit dusty inside, a bit grown outside. The interior is quite cold - the walls are a good foot thick, so we open doors and windows to let in the day. It's nice to have a cool refuge from the potentially crushing heat outside, but the first night will need heating.
It's neat and tidy. The managers have done a good job inside making sure everything is proper for the next visitors. The family rarely comes any more - the kids are grown and bored to spend summers in this village with nothing to do. JP's ex-daughter-in-law rents it out by the week over the summer to tourists. Sleeps 10 comfortably in the four bedrooms, and more if you want. Plenty of dishes and towels and sheets in the upstairs cupboard.
In the fridge, nothing. In the freezer, a carton of cherry sorbet, some old ice, and a lemon. Time to go shopping, fill the place up with salad fixings, condiments, something to grill, pasta, coffee, cream, shampoo...
TIme also for a bit of a look around. So many pretty vineyards, so many staid castles and ancient villages.
Ah, there's just time before the close to get down to that local winery, the one that makes the nice little rosé we appreciated at lunch.
Close enough to walk to, though getting back laden down with loot would be problematic so we drive. The vendor manning the front shop is so friendly. So happy to see us, and to share what he's got under the counter and in the fridge. It's too hot out to make the tour of all his wares - just the rosés and the whites will be fine. A rugbyman? Oh, I love rugby! Yes, this is delicious, not too sweet as they sometimes are. No, no, we're fine like this! Another time. Just box that up. My initials on these boxes, JP's on the others. A quarter hour past closing already, and nobody noticed.
Now we are set.
The Chateau de Roi Réné.