Although Picardie was our home base, much of our outings took us to neighboring region Nord Pas-De-Calais, Paris (of course), and out of country into Belgium. That’s what happens when you’ve got cheese-on-the-brain and will stop at absolutely nothing to acquire it.
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles. This monument to the Great War was not part of the itinerary, but as it was on the way to the bed & breakfast, I figured out real fast that Picardie is full of military history.
Chatting with the locals.
What’s for lunch? In between the cheese hunt and other adventures, we made sure to make time to eat – outdoors. I’ve never witnessed the art of picnicking practiced so widely in any other place. But you better get on the ball and secure a table at one of the many designated areas (indicated by a tree and table sign) before someone else nabs it. We did one better and brought our own folding equipment – a deluxe spread like this was often the result of a morning ramble through a farmer’s market or a trip to the local grocer. At times when we couldn’t find a nice spot in the immediate vicinity, we’d simply park on the side of a quiet road and eat under the shade of a tree.
On a final note, there was one drive that was almost obligatory being that this was France and all. We partially cruised the winding Champagne Route between Chateau-Thierry and Epernay. In praise of all things bubbly, the vista of endless vineyards and what they represented was well worth the detour.
Highlights of Fère-en-TardenoisAOC regulated cheese: Maroilles
Where to buy: Maroilles (Cave de l’Abbaye de Maroilles)
Other fromagerie: Philippe Olivier 43 Thiers (Boulogne-sur-Mer)
Bed & Breakfast: Au Fou du Roy