Fère-en-Tardenois and a french picnic

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

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.

Fumbling through the language barrier

Chatting with the locals.

A picnic in France

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.

Champagne Route, Picardie

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-Tardenois

AOC 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

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