Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent Day Six

Welcome to Day Six of my #FrenchVillageBookworm Advent Calendar.

Yesterday was a day of action for charity that found us on the bikes from dawn until dusk, but where delicious food was on hand almost nonstop to keep our energy levels topped up. It was the annual Chef Boutonne Cyclothon, a 60 km cycle tour of the canton raising money for Téléthon, the fundraising event that takes place throughout France on the first weekend in December, to support families with children with muscular dystrophy. Every village we passed through welcomed us like kings and offered a selection of sweet treats from biscuits to brioche, cake to coffee, sandwiches to satsumas, mulled wine and more.


French Village Diaries cyclothon telethon 2015
Defrosting my fingers with mulled wine

It was a freezing cold start and despite many layers of clothes I was painfully cold, however this glass of mulled wine at the first stop (8.44am) soon warmed me up and gets my vote for the best mulled wine of the day.

French Village Diaries cyclothon telethon 2015
The biggest brioche I've ever seen

The best brioche of the day had to go to this giant that despite the size was the lightest brioche I have ever eaten.

French Village Diaries cyclothon telethon 2015
Our village welcomes the cyclothon

The best hot chocolate of the day had to be the afternoon stop in our village, not only because it was the first hot chocolate of the day, and there is only so much mulled wine you can drink without falling off your bike, but also because it was a proper, rich and milky hot chocolate that gave me the energy needed to get back on my bike rather than give up and walk home.

French Village Diaries cyclothon telethon 2015
Homemade cakes for hungry cyclists

The best cake selection goes to the last village we stopped in where there were at least six different homemade cakes perfectly presented in bite-sized portions, and yes I did sample them all.

French Village Diaries cyclothon telethon 2015
Tired but happy after 60km


It was a challenge, but it was also an incredibly fun day out and we were rewarded with the most spectacular sunset at the end of the day.

Today for my French Village Bookworm advent countdown I am featuring the books of local Poitou-Charentes author Susie Kelly who is no stranger to tackling tough physical challenges, like walking alone from La Rochelle in the west of France to Lake Geneva in the east, or cycling from Versailles in the west of Paris, through Paris and on to the east following in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette. Susie’s adventures are well written, entertaining, as she encourages to laugh at her misfortunes and informative as she shares her knowledge of the France she travels through. Susie has also written a series of cookbooks influenced from her well travelled life, that are ideal for those of us who like simple, easy meals. The ebook version of The Lazy Cook book two is currently FREE on Amazon.

Links to my reviews of her books can be found below and you can read my France et Moi interview here.