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 little unfamiliar!

 

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!

 

 

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Littlehampton Twinning Association visit to
Chennevières- sur- Marne, France June 2019
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