We enjoyed a lovely Midsummer weekend with our French “Twins” and were welcomed as
ever at their iconic “Fort de Champigny” on arrival, after a long coach journey which
included a smooth sea crossing from Dover to Calais.
Our first full day, Friday, was spent “en famille” – some went to nearby Paris, but
our kind hosts took us to a wonderful display Garden, “ La Roseraie du Val-de-Marne”,
which features thousands of varieties of roses of all colours, nationalities and
scents, artistically arranged within arches and other decorative supports. In the
centre there is a large mirror pond surrounded by beautiful red roses. There are
13 different floral collections, dating back to the late 19th century and overseen
by the “Botanic Gardens Conservation International” network, with the help of the
local Département Council since 1968.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch al fresco, overlooking the gardens before continuing
our stroll. Then back to Chennevières for their music festival held, at Place du
Souvenir, organised by the local municipality. We were probably the only English
group invited, so we opened with a selection of British songs and enjoyed vocal solos
by Lorna Haynes and Jim on Euphonium. Appropriately he played My Love is like a
Red, Red Rose! Various groups followed and there was some lively Gospel singing from
one of the groups.
On Saturday, we and our hosts all visited La Ferme des Autruches, about an hour away
by coach. Translated this means “The farm of the Ostriches” but, on first sight,
it looked just like any country farm although perhaps the farmyard smells were a
Mme Robert, the farmer’s wife, greeted us upon arrival and we were quickly ushered
into a large barn converted into a rustic restaurant. There we enjoyed a delicious
meal of locally-produced fare, including plenty of wine and a main course which included
salad, steak, paté and, possibly, brawn. It was very thoughtful of them to feed us
BEFORE meeting the source of the meat element!
Littlehampton Twinning Association visit to Chennevières- sur- Marne, France June 2019