Saint Emilion is a charming medeival village located in the heart of the Bordeaux area. Surrounded by vineyards & wineries and the hub of the village is rich with amazing architecture and history dating back to the 9th century. Going into the excursion all we knew was that Saint Emilion was a cool historic village (bring your cameras!), there would be opportunities for shopping (yay!), and a special picnic was planned for us (ooh!).
How is this little teaser? In the morning we met by our cars and found these simply adorable lunches packed, prepared, & all prettied for us!
Saint Emilion was about 30 minutes away through the countryside. As we got closer the vineyards grew more & more frequent and then bam! something like this pops up in the middle of a vineyard and I knew this was going to be special!
The village is surrounded by walls and as we drove up it seriously reminded me of the book New Moon. Sorry, Twilight fan here!
We parked the cars and ventured into the village - our first stop was the monolithic church which is located at a high point, and we took in this view.
And from there we were given a street map and 2 hours to roam the village! All of the streets were made from cobblestone - some were very bumpy. And several of the streets were VERY steep. And remember, I was navigating all of this in a boot with my broken toe! I managed pretty well. The steep streets, like this one, were interesting - I just had to take it very slowly. And by the end of the day I was wiped out!
Here is a view of the monolithic church - built in the 12th century. Apparently it has a vast underground network of catacombs & chambers -- you can pay to go on a tour, but we didn't have time for that.
Outside the church restoration projects were underway.
When I spotted a Vietnamese restaurant I just had to take this picture for Scott. (He served his mission in Australia, Vietnamese speaking). It just seemed so weird to see a Vietnamese menu in French. But now that I think about it it's just the same as seeing a Vietnamese menu in English. It was interesting to get that perspective.
And the doors were just amazing!\
We had plans to meet for lunch at Les Cordeliers - a cloister - columns & archways that were built by monks as part of the church in the 12th century. We showed up and the setting was absolutely amazing!
But then they kicked us out. Apparently there is a cafe there and you can only eat in the cordeliers cloister if you have ordered food from them.
So we quickly made the best of things and re-located to the grounds of the Collegiate church and were able to enjoy our picnic lunch in the cloister there. Construction of this church began in 1110 and between the 12th and 18th centuries it housed a community of monks.
Oh and the picnic was absolutely delightful! First Jill whipped out a panzanella salad that was so so good! Then we opened up our darling picnic sacks to find this:
Cute packaging on everything! An apricot, radishes with butter, a sandwich, and a fruit tart. All wrapped up in the cutest linen picnic sack. Which were specially made for us and we got to keep!
After lunch we had more time to explore the village and shop. I picked up a cute pair of blue ballet flats - they joked that the girl wearing the boot cast is the one who buys new shoes! We also found a shop with great linens and picked up a few things.
More sights to be seen like the King's Keep
We happened upon this residential street and had so much fun imagining what life is like in a village like this. We may have peeked over a few fences as well.
A beautiful day in Saint Emilion. There was a darling Bed & Breakfast in the village - I think it would be a great place to stay & visit for a day or two.
As we left I finally got to experience the public toilet vending machine! Add your Euros!