Quincy-Voisins - A First-Time Experience in May 2014..........
(OR QUINCY-VOISINS, AS THEY SAY IN FRANCE)
About a couple of months ago, an intriguing flyer slithered out of our Broadwell parish magazine about a visit to Quincy-Voisins, in France, planned for May 2014 by the Twinners of Braunston. As a long standing Francophile I was keen to join the group and to introduce my husband to la vie française.
We were quickly welcomed by the organisers in Braunston and attended a couple of fund- raising events before our trip. Twinners in Q-V are subsidised but Braunston Twinners must raise money for when Q-V visit Braunston. On the other hand for our visit to Q-V this year other than air-fares all accommodation meals and entertainment were provided by the hosts.
On Friday May 4 we flew from Luton to Paris. A coach then took us to Q-V were we were welcomed at a champagne reception hosted at the Mairie by the mayor. This was the perfect opportunity for hosts and visitors to mingle with the entente cordiale supplemented by generous supplies of wine and nibbles. Here we were introduced to our host for the weekend, the delightful and friendly Sabine.
On Saturday the weather was good as Twinners and hosts gathered again for a coach trip to the Chateau De Vaux Le Vicomte in the valley of the Marne. The Chateau is spectacular and was built by M Le Fouquet, Louis XIV’s very efficient finance minister. In fact Louis XIV was so taken by the Chateau that he employed the same team to build the larger, even more grand Chateau de Versailles along the same lines. We spent an entire day touring the house and enjoying the formal gardens which were inspirational throughout Europe.
Dinner in the evening was a joint effort by Sabine and her friend and neighbour Annie. Annie was hosting two other Twinners – John and Liz, and they arranged a communal meal for all six of us.
Sunday was beautifully sunny and began with a trip to the boulangerie with its wonderful smell of warm freshly-baked baguettes. This was followed by a visit it to the market held in the village square with its beautiful array of locally grown vegetables, wondrous cheeses and every kind of fish, seafood, meat and charcuterie imaginable.
At noon everyone congregated at the local restaurant Le Petit Grain Du Sel. In true French style lunch was a banquet which did not finish until 5:30 in the afternoon! The leisurely pace of the meal allowed plenty of time for mingling and chatting with new and old friends alike all accompanied by a group musicians and singers – “Arcadium”- who delighted us throughout the afternoon.
Monday brought a trip with Annie to nearby Meaux, famous for its mustard, while Sabine prepared our communal lunch. In the afternoon we said our farewells and offered grateful thanks for a fantastically enjoyable weekend, each promising to meet next year in Braunston, but all too soon it was time to board the bus back to the airport.
Sue Rollason- Foxon