Welcome to part III of our adventures in the beautiful Vallée du Loir! As mentioned in the previous blog post, our next stop on our “road-trip” was the 17th century apothecary’s store in the Hôtel Dieu!

Here we are! With its woodwork, starred vault and marquetry floor listed as a historic monument, this apothecary’s store is considered to be one of the finest in France

On its Louis XII style oak shelves stand 650 apothecary pots, pillboxes and jars in wood, earthenware, glass or pewter

Most of them still hold products from days gone by! Can you imagine living in a time, where sickness was treated with “billy goat’s blood”, powdered woodlice, crayfish eyes or … mummified human fingers! 

 – and here they are… Mummified fingers! Bonus-info: The mummies were said to come from Egypt, but apparently the fingers were so popular, so it might have happened, that “a few” actually came from locals and not Egyptians… (But nobody needed to know!)

A historic tour back to the time to the sick ward

The Hôtel-Dieu of Baugé opened its doors to the sick in 1650 thanks to the determination of two women! Marthe de la Beausse, a nun from Baugé and Anne de Melun, princess of Epinoy wanted to take care of the sick and homeless of the town and its surroundings area

Marthe de la Beausse

Coming from a modest family, Marthe wanted to build the town’s first hospital for the increasing numbers of poor and ill people. After a difficult start, due to lack of donations and rejection by the population, she met Anne de Melun, who came to her aid. Soon after the hospital was able to accommodate its first patients under the direction of three Hospitaller Sisters of La Flèche

The beautiful baroque chapel

 – and the nuns’ choir

The cloister garden was full of lovely smelling herbs

Before we left, Frenchie and I had quite a lot of fun at the chateau 5 mins walk away from the Hôtel Dieu!

One can not deny, that being royal is very suitable! Got to love my pink crown!

I bought a few books to bring home – and then it was time to find our way to our chambre d’hôte

After a really busy programme, arriving at this place, was like coming home!

From the moment we sat our feet at La Haute Forge, we felt like being part of a new family. Oriane Smadja lives at this place – and she is obviously a very skilled architect and artist. She is also the reason, why this little pearl in Thoiré-sur-Dinan exist! 

Look at the cute rabbit in the hole on the wall!!!

Precious mother and daughter time!

Our room was big – and more like an appartment with a little kitchen! Oriane had even been to the restaurant, where we were going to eat in the evening, and asked, if she could lend a baby bathtub for Clara! I mean… I was almost in tears! What a sweet, sweet gesture! There was also a nursing table and a big travel cot (with teddy bears for Clara to play with) 

The view from out window! There is an outdoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi for the summer guests! (If you look to the far right, you can see a pair of donkey ears peaking out) I keep forgetting the donkeys name, but basically all of the animals that live here, come from animal shelters…Yes, Oriane truly has a heart of gold!

Hello Miss Donkey!

In the evening, we were quite tired. It had been a long day full of adventures – and Clara was ready for bed! So it suited us perfect, that our restaurant was just around the corner. A lovely little place in the middle of nowhere, where they served delicious French food. This is Le Dinan!

A yummy little starter with a glass of local white wine! 

– and yes! We ended up choosing foie gras again! 

I just can’t help myself! It was so tasty!

Wildboar with mushroom and vegetables for Frenchie! He was a fan!  I had the entrecôte,  but unfortunately Clara had a little accident, so it would be a sin to take a photo after the mess, she had made! That’s life, when you have babies! 

I was a happy camper, when I found out, that they were serving profiteroles at Le Dinan. This dessert has always been a favourite of mine – and this one certainly didn’t disappoint 

Verrine glacée au pain perdu avec sa glace caramel beurre salé! So… I asked Frenchie how to translate it. Basically he says there is no equivalent! I guess you just have to try it out! He loved every bite, by the way! 

Sunday morning! It was time to continue our trip to Le Mans! Will you look at this breakfast table! Oriane had done it again! (Can we adopt her and take her to London?)

– and here she is! One of my new favourite persons! She even insisted on taking care of Clara, so Frenchie and I could enjoy out breakfast! What a lady!

Oriane also runs a little shop where she sells local produce and other goodies! I can not recommend this place highly enough, if you are around! I felt like a new person, when I left La Haute Forge

In the next chapter of our adventures in France, we will be in Le Mans! A city that is mostly know for the internationally famous “24 Hours of Le Mans”. But there is so much more to see! See you soon!

Louise X

We were guests of: