After several days in Paris it was time to start heading south. Instead of heading directly to Spain on a long train ride, we decided to spend the night in the charming medieval village of St. Emilion to break up the trip from Paris to San Sebastian. We stayed in St. Emilion on the advice of some friends and this darling town did not disappoint. St. Emilion is on the Unesco list of world heritage sites, which places it on a list of very special locations in the world. Yes, it can be a bit touristy during the day, but by late afternoon we had this lovely town to ourselves. We really did.
If you are a wine lover, this destination is for you. St. Emilion is located about 25 miles east of Bordeaux and there are hundreds of wineries in this area to explore. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to wine taste outside of what we had at lunch and dinner, which we turned into a mini tasting of our own. 😉 We were with our kids and we knew that dragging them around to wineries would most likely put them over the edge. While I enjoy a glass of wine from time to time, and enjoy the wine tasting experience, I am more of a cocktail person and wasn’t terribly disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to wine taste this time around. Now there is a reason to go back, right?
I had heard great things about the restaurant at our hotel so I booked a reservation for my husband and I when I booked our room, which was earlier in the year to ensure that we could get in. Originally I thought I would order room service for the kids, but the town was small enough for our teens to navigate on their own. They walked into town and selected a restaurant for themselves while we enjoyed a wonderful dining experience back at our hotel. It was a win win.
Dinner was a delicious event that ended with the most beautiful tea service I have ever experienced. I’m not normally a tea person, but this experience was just too unique to pass up. A fresh herb tea cart is brought right to your table and they create a custom tea just for you.
They offered fresh mint, lavender, and verbena, just to name a few.
Your custom tea can be enjoyed at your table in the dining room after your dinner or you can take it to the lounge area. Yours truly enjoying a cup of mint tea……I’m not quite sure why I didn’t have my pinky up, because it was that kind of an experience for sure.
The beautiful St. Emilion Monolithic Church, which was right next door to our hotel, was carved out of a limestone out cropping from the hillside. This church is quite famous for having an underground cave where a teenager named, Emilion, who was fleeing Brittany, lived 1200 years ago. The name of the town was named after this young man as you may have guessed. Going on a tour of this fascinating church should definitely be on your list if you travel to this historical town.
Cloudy and cool when we arrived in St. Emilion, but later in the day the clouds broke just enough to see some blue sky. Had it been sunnier it would have been nice to use the lovely patio at the hotel. As you can see some people found it nice enough.
Having a glass of wine in the hotel bar. So pretty I could have easily enjoyed this space all afternoon, but don’t worry I didn’t.
This was such an interesting town to explore with so many hidden staircases and nooks. I was waiting for a character from a fairy tale to come dashing around the corner…..it was just that charming!
I just love a building full of ivy and this wall was just too pretty to pass up!
A charming entry way with a pretty door color and a cute plant. The town was full of darling doorways.
A view of the surrounding valley and the town of St. Emilion from our hotel patio.
Instead of renting a car, we decided to buy a Eurail pass and ride the train to the cities on our itinerary. We’ve taken the train in the past with our kids and I like it for so many reasons, however, I will say that there are benefits to having a car, including discovering and exploring places off the beaten path.
Here are the benefits, in my opinion, of train travel with the kiddos…….
1.) The kids are not asking on a regular basis, “when are we going to be there”? The schedule is posted for everyone to see.
2.) I have to go to the bathroom, well the bathroom is on board.
3.) Not arguing as much because other passengers are around and they don’t want to embarrass themselves too much! 😉
4.) Not complaining about being hungry and asking to stop for a snack. Most of the trains have a snack car on board.
This was one of the many sunflower fields we passed during our three hour train ride from Paris to St. Emilion.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this little snap shot of St. Emilion, France.
I’ll be back soon with a fashion post on a current fall favorite of mine followed by another travel post about our trip to Spain. ~ April