Journey Home to Kent

We were up at about 8:30 and finished off the packing, had breakfast and loaded up the car. The weather had been forecast to rain but it was sunny again which lasted all the way to Calais. We checked out and were on our way by about 0930. We decided to take the back routes to our lunch stop, which was a small village called Allonne, near to Beauvais airport.

There is a bistro in Allonne, called O Bistrot, which we like a lot. We stopped there for lunch on our way home last year and found it to be in the perfect position and also to have amazing food. If you want to read the blog about last year, it’s here

The country route was very nice, woods, the usual fields of maize and sunflowers…. and…… hunters…… the hunting season has obviously started in France because there were groups of hunters out with their dogs in fields all along the route. I assume they are hunting birds or rabbits and hares. They were all in high viz vests so easy to spot.

We got to the little car park near O Bistrot by about 1130, so we sat and enjoyed the sunshine for a while. We could hear shooting in the fields close by. Allone is a picturesque little place. A large village, not a town, with a small river running through it.

Went in at 12 and we the first guests. We opted to sit out on the terrasse. The menu is either a la carte or the formule menu for 27 euro for 2 courses, 31 for 3. We decided on the menu, and for 2 courses, just on the basis of time really. Sadly…… We studied the menu with a nice little amuse of cheese and speck and cold rose…. This bistrot is part of a loose association of similar establishments in the region, all providing fine bistro fare. Some of them are badged as being part of the Club de Bons Vivants!!!! Sounds like my type of place.

To start I had scallops set on a bed of carrot compote with a citrus beurre blanc. Absolutely gorgeous. Bob had the pate maison which was fabulous. He had it last year too. Last year they were serving it in a massive great pot and you just cut as much as you liked. This year, changed covid rules meant they couldn’t do that, so he had a serving and madame made it clear he must ask for more if he wanted – as much as he liked!!! Two sort of bread were served, one a corn bread version of a traditional baguette which had sunflower seeds in too.

For mains, I had skate wing cooked in a black olive oil, sitting on a bed of creamed potato and salsify and with a garnish of chorizo and lemon confit. It was outstanding. Lovely. The salsify mash was very indulgent. Bob had magret of duck, with an orange sauce and served with quinoa and girolles….. cooked perfectly and also just delicious. Service is really friendly and it’s just the nicest place. We were really sorry we couldnt stay and linger over dessert or…… cheese……. but we needed to get to Calais for the 4pm ferry.

We got back on the toll road for the rest of the journey. It was as empty as ever. We saw yet more hunters out even from here. Now, an annoying thing happened. Our ferry was the 1605. We got a tweet that it was going to be 1630 instead, so we slowed down a bit. Still got to Calais docks at 1515. Stamped straight out of France at the French booths, just had to show passports. A slower queue into the UK Customs booths and there we had to show passports, vaccination forms, covid test results and locator forms. No problem. Some people were having to open their boots, but we were waved straight through. Have obviously got to the age where we are judged too old to be miscreants!!! So last booth is P&O and we got there at 1545. That’s perfect, I said to Bob, 45 minutes before departure!. But no……. Ah, you were on the 1605 but its too late for that now, you will have to wait to the 1735!!!!! What? We protested, we were told it was 1630………. ah no, it’s on time…….. It was still there but apparently 1545 is too late to board, so we had to sit on the dock for an hour till we could board the next ferry!!!!! Rather annoying……

Well, goodness knows what’s up with their ferry timetables because the 1735 left at 1720 !!!! No matter, the sea was like a millpond and there was mist over much of the Channel and certainly as we approached the White Cliffs. No issues at all getting off or through Dover. We were home in 20 minutes.

Pretty tired, no need for dinner. We just unpacked both food, drink and belongings and turned in. Our Day 2 tests are on the way with DHL, to be delivered tomorrow morning.

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