We recently celebrated Arnaud's birthday in France, near Lake Annecy. I haven't been to Haute Savoie in more than a decade when I visited an old friend, Julien, in la Tania.... Time goes by so quickly and though I often think of him we haven't made it back up the mountain, but I understand that he has earned a Michelin Star for the small family restaurant I remember serving tartiflette and fondue. We will certainly try to go visit this winter now that the kids are ski fanatics and try some of his more creative endeavors....
The old center of Annecy is one of the most beautiful places I've been. We happened to be there on the one of the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine which meant that all museums and national sites were open and free to the public. While this is great in principle, it also means that there are more people and long lines. Because of this, we didn't make it into the chateau (good reason to go back!) but spent our time meandering through its canal cross-cut streets and courtyards, which is just my thing.
After a relaxing walk we joined local Auvernier friends who were touring the region in vintage cars at les Caves de Château before going off on our own for a birthday dinner en famille.
We spent the night in the small village of Saint-Jean-de-Sixt which is up on the mountain and where we were happy to find summer sales on ski gear - a new jacket for me, pants for Arnaud and a helmet for Lulu. On the way back into Annecy the next morning, we stopped to check out Le Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard. What a feast for the eyes.....
There are feasts for the palate as well.........
....and for your design sense too.
Arnaud's birthday surprise was dinner at the charming les Chineurs de la Cuisine and a visit from his sister, her husband and their sweet baby son. He wasn't in the least bit surprised however, no shocker there, apparently she paused when he told her we were going to Annecy and that gave it away so he's known for months but thoroughly enjoyed watching me try to coordinate our meeting on the sly all morning.
My favorite photo of the weekend. Look how the water is marbled by the light and reflection of the flowers and ochre facade.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the tour!