The drive up from the nightmare in Angers to the cooler temperatures of Honfleur bumper to bumper busy but the traffic keeps flowing . It's absolute peak vacation season in Europe. After two years of Covid seclusion everyone and their dog is out and about on the roads. Amazingly, roadworks, that bane of the French travellers life are notable for their absence
The hotel for day three of the journey to Scotland nestled in a small valley five miles inland from the coast .The sort of post card Normandy village that the satnav has difficulty finding.'Do a U turn if you can' the accompanying and frequent refrain on the back roads from our ever cheerful electronic guide. We arrive early having set off from the heat while it was barely light. Comfort for Sophie and quieter autoroutes for the driver.
Although early The room is ready and we collect our key. The Font notices that there's a table out in the courtyard that's empty. We decide to leave unpacking until later and enjoy an impromptu Sunday lunch by a stream solid with brown trout. The table is near the kitchen which enables Sophie to practice her 'I'm an orphan girl that's never been fed ' routine. The kitchen staff are having none of it. Eventuallyn the chef emerges and asks if the diva would like some lunch. A metal bowl of cold water appears followed in quick succession by a small pot of sauteed carrots topped with two small slices of lamb shoulder braised then roasted. Sophie's tail does that 'I have died and gone to heaven' beat that all our PONs have displayed at moments of life defining culinary import.
Just as well we got to the hotel early. At the end of lunch two cars draw up carrying two German couples. The first car a very glossy and presumably mega expensive Lamborghini SUV. The second a slightly less glossy but very new looking four door Porsche. At reception there is a problem. The two couples have a reservation for the night. The hotel has no record of it. The sweet young receptionist is clearly still learning the ropes.The atmosphere goes from bucolic to Dante-esque inferno in seconds. The SUV driver bangs the desk, kicks the porters trolley and turns a shade of red that can't be healthy. Time for dog and owners to retire to their room away from all this action. In the evening both couples appear at dinner. They're calmer although not necessarily politer to the staff. Curt can become plain rude if not done right. Seems the owner has found then an AirBnB on the coast and is providing dinner gratis while it's cleaned. Sophie seems unaware of this human drama. For dinner she gets roast salmon and rice. The PONette's quest for heaven has come true.