Chateau d’Angers

We’ve already reached October and I haven’t even finished my London blogs! But that really has more to do with my laziness rather than time passing.

However, today’s blog has to do with one of our Angers escapades. I’ll get around to the rest of our London trip eventually but for now, I want to talk about an 800-year-old castle. Dear family and friends, if any of you happen to visit us in Angers, we’re taking you to the Chateau d’Angers and having lunch at the Monument Café.
Chateau means Big house in French.

The day of our visit was essentially perfect for visiting the chateau. With a high in the 60s and partly cloudy sky, we could not have asked for better weather. The castle’s a short walk from our flat, walking down wide streets filled with shops and weaving down cobblestone roads in between homes in the “old” district of town. 

When we first began our walk, the streets were empty as most were either in mass or at home, as most stores and restaurants are closed on Sundays. This makes for an interesting observation, because on our way back more people were wandering the streets and several seem to be out just to window shop at the closed stores.

We probably spent around 2 hours wandering through the castle (we tend to linger trying to get that good shot), the walls offer fantastic views of the town, but really, I just like wandering around old buildings.

There’s also a massive tapestry depicting the apocalypse, it’s massive–you walk in one door and exit the building on a completely different side of the courtyard. Not into examining the artifact? The room’s huge and dark with steps to sit on against the back wall if you want to grab a nap.

Café Monument is within the castle, and features an eating style I did not predict in France—all you can eat buffet. I’ll be honest, it was a small restaurant with only a couple other eaters besides ourselves, so I refrained from exhibiting the American trait of pigging out. 

If you’re adverse to taking culinary adventures then you might want to check out the menu options before you order; all the ingredients are local and so I presume the menu changes depending on what’s available. You’re options for the buffet are to eat only the entrées (heads-up, that means starter), eat only the main dishes, eat the starters and desserts, eat starter or dessert and main dishes, or get all three.

We went with the main dishes and desserts so I can’t offer any suggestions concerning starters (something did appear to resemble salsa). Options for the main dishes were a tomato tarte (sorry, no idea how that tasted), calamari and mashed sweet potatoes, beef cheek with potatoes, and tripe with potatoes. Everything was fantastic (I ate the sweet potatoes, which I normally wouldn’t touch)—but I only ate the potatoes out of the tripe mixture so I don’t know about that. 

For dessert, there was a range of mousse-like concoctions (café, piňa colada, and panna cotta), a cheese, applesauce (compote du pommes), a French cheesecake (yum!), plus yogurt (which I got because I forgot yogurt in Europe is not pleasant).

After lunch, we continued exploring the ramparts and the renovated church before making our way home. 

Along our path we passed the Angers Cathedral and ventured in since mass was over for the day. Those visiting the church were a mix of foreign Catholics, and individuals like ourselves who wanted to quietly admire the architecture. It didn’t hurt that the organist was there and going all Phantom-of-the-opera while we looked around.

I think I’ve somewhere to escape to next time I want a change of scenery to admire.

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