Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Upper Loire wanderings: La Maison de Marie Camille, Saint-Germain-Lembron

13-14 August 2009

The 18th Century La Maison de Marie Camille

We spend two very enjoyable nights at these chambres d'hôtes in the centre of the small town of Saint-Germain-Lembron. I vaguely imagined that Marie Camille might be some heroine from the mists of French history, perhaps with local connotations, but Fabien put me right – "they are the names of my two daughters". Run by Mirielle and Fabien Marotte, although it is Fabien who does much of the work as Mirielle goes out to work.

Fabien used to be a tennis coach for 20 years but a sports injury forced him to give this up and so six years ago the Marottes started their chambres d'hôtes venture. Fabien is also a brocante dealer (antiques) and, in particular, a collector of army uniforms mainly from the First World War, so the dining - living room is stuffed full of helmets and the staircases are guarded by uniformed figures.

We enjoyed our two days there – Fabien is a great enthusiast advising us on places we had to visit. He is also a good, self-taught cook. We had two very good salads featuring home-made characuterie – the jambe de porc stood out – plus a delicious truffade on the first evening.

The only disappointment was that the wine served at dinner wasn't local but instead came from Languedoc. Also on the second night we asked for a bottle of rosé to drink in the pretty garden as an apéritif – the only one they had was a Club de Sommeliers Rosé d'Anjou from the Cave Co-operative of Brissac-Quincé. It is a long time since I have drunk, as opposed to tasted, a Rosé d'Anjou. Well-chilled on a hot evening it was pleasant enough with strawberry flavours and not over-sweet. It probably worked best when cut with cold water. A local wine, however, would have been more appropriate and memorable.

That quibble aside I can certainly happily recommend La Maison de Marie Camille.

Mireille et Fabien Marotte
4 Rue de la Porte Vieille
63340 St Germain Lembron
Tel. 73, Mob. 06 50 70 45 73

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