Tea with a view

Autumn is fast descending on us. The air is a bit more crisp, mornings are cool, there are more yellow leaves on the trees, and the walnuts are opening up. But before we leave summer completely, let’s go back a month or so and enjoy a visit to a lovely English garden — in France.

One weekend in August, my wife Jan and I drove to the nearby hamlet of Gaumier, to visit a tea room set in an English-style garden. The property is called La Daille, and it’s reasonably off the beaten path — we’d never heard of it until a friend mentioned it to us (thanks, Alex). Here’s the sign marking the entrance:

Entrance sign

This sign marks the property.

To reach La Daille, you leave the main road from Bouzic, cross a small bridge, and turn left to go through Gaumier. (If you turn right, you’ll be heading up a long hilly road to Florimont.) Once you’re through the hamlet of Gaumier, which won’t take long, keep climbing up a gentle hill until you reach the property. It’s not open all the time, as this series of signs suggests:

Entry signage

A collection of signs tells the story.

Once you’re on the property, you can stroll through the gardens and enjoy the views. Here’s a sampling:

Vista

Looking out from the gardens to a field and forest.

Gardens

The flowers are planted in long rows.

Shrubs

Well-trimmed shrubs mark some of the borders.

Flowers

A profusion of flowers and shrubs.

When we were finished with our walk, we went up towards the main house on the property, which is run by an English couple (naturally enough). There were already a few families enjoying their tea and other drinks, with children playing on the lawn:

Lawn

A pleasant spot for a spot of tea, no?

And then we ordered tea for ourselves, and were quite happy with the final result:

Tea service

The tea service at our table on the lawn.

This should be a lovely place to visit next spring, as the first flowers of 2012 burst out of the earth. I’m sure we’ll be back.

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