I think my favorite part about our stay in Saint Marcelin-de-Cray were the animals on the farm. I could tell they were all happy and well cared for. I grew up riding and showing horses, so it was a particular treat to get to hang out with the donkey and horses that live on the property. The donkey and the nanny goat both stole my heart, but I was especially fond of the donkey (whose name I think was Anton). If you check the video below, you’ll see why. I went around and took footage of most of the animals, but the first part of the video is probably the most entertaining.
The sights and sounds were at the farm, while the music is by a wonderful harp guitar player named Stephen Bennett, who used to play during my many dinner shifts at the Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. I will post a link to the albums the music came from, for those who want to check them out.
This donkey was my best friend!
These two were good sports when Zane and Arran came over to meet them.
My dogs are not used to seeing livestock, so they barked a lot at the donkey and his Friesian horse friend. Much to my delight, the donkey cut loose with a sassy response, which I managed to catch.
I loved this friendly goat!
Mama and baby!
On our first morning at the farm, we had yet another collision with French culture. Jean Pierre told us we could leave Zane and Arran alone in the gite if we wanted to, so we took the opportunity to go to the nearby town of Cluny. Cluny is a very charming place, but we were there for lunch. We made the mistake of stopping at the very first restaurant we came to that was open. It was called Brasserie du Nord.
I shouldn’t say it was a bad place, per se. It really wasn’t. I did see one person leave a comment on a review in English that only the French could mess up French food. Things got off to a shaky start when Bill misunderstood the waitress and we ended up ordering two half liters of wine. An English speaking waiter came over to clarify and we only kept one bottle. In retrospect, we should have definitely kept them both.
I had entrecote and frites there and they weren’t horrible, although the steak was a bit grisly and fatty. It was also cooked well-done when I asked for medium. But at least I wasn’t grossed out by it, which is more than I can say for Bill and his meal. I hasten to add that it’s not the restaurant’s fault that Bill got grossed out. You see, he fell victim to not knowing what he ordered.
Bill is a fan of spicy, smoked, cajun style Andouille sausage, which is found in Louisiana and was brought there by French people. He thought he saw a dish with that sausage in it and was psyched that he’d be getting a treat. He was a bit puzzled when his lunch came out and it had a very distinctive odor. Although Bill’s people come from Arkansas and have eaten their share of exotic meats, he had never been faced with what he ordered in France… andouillette. Andouillette is also sausage, but it’s made of chitterlings. I should mention that in France, Andouille is also made of chitterlings. In the USA, it’s made of pork shoulder roast.
I was pretty proud of Bill, though, because he gamely ate most of it. And he didn’t complain too much, either. He also ate dessert!
Cluny has a very impressive abbey.
We should have ordered more wine in light of Bill’s lunch.
Andouille… otherwise known as chitterlings.
My steak was not as scary.
Bill’s expression when he realizes what he’s eating.
I think he needed to recover. Over Bill’s shoulder, you can see a guy wearing a hat. We saw the same guy two days later eating at the same restaurant. He’s obviously a very colorful regular.
I had tiramisu for dessert.
Bill had the apple tart of the day. I think it came with butterscotch ice cream.
If you see this sign in France, take heed before you take the plunge.
Cluny offers a nice diversion.
After lunch, I think we needed to go back to the gite and process things. So we went back and rested for awhile… and Bill digested his pig intestines along with lots more wine.