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Driving to alps - stops en-route

 Poster: A snowHead
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I thought I'd try and get some advice from the wise on here.

We're planning to drive to the French alps next month. We've got a bit of time on our hands so are planning to break the journey up en-route.

Has anyone got any suggestions for a pleasant stop off (both location and specific hotel/ apartment). They'll be the two of us plus littl'un (7 months) Little Angel .

Thanks for your help
Smile
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libby, stayed here in Chalons on the journey down last month and here in Ambonnay on the return journey,both in Champagne region . Further south , there is this one just north of Lyon . Second and third ones have superb restaurants. The first one is in a square in the town centre, and has lovely home-made criossants and pastries for breakfast, but ask for a non-smoking room.
We usually book using the Logis site, and have only occasionally been disappointed. Sometimes the rooms are in need of updating (but always clean), but the restaurant attached is usually good. The exception was the first hotel mentioned, it is next door to one we have stayed in in the past,(Le Renard) but it looked nicer.
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libby, Troyes is a good stopover destination, with old town centre and good restaurants in the central square.
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Quote:

Troyes is a good stopover destination, with old town centre and good restaurants in the central square.

but not on a Sunday. We camped there once, and after scouring the place we ended up with no choice but to eat at Macdonalds... never thought I'd live to see the day.
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pam w, it's the same in a lot of other places too. We struggled to find a hotel in Reims for a Sunday night stopover, and ended up in a Campanile, in the middle of an industrial estate, with the worst food I have eaten in France.
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libby, Depends where you 're going in the Alps and how much spare time you have.

If I had a spare 1/2 day - a day I'd drive around the North of Lake Leman/Geneva...down the Valais ..over the Simplon pass ( hopefully early-ish morning), take in Lake Maggiore or Lugano .. and then get back into France ( assuming that's the destination) via the appropriate tunnel or one of the passes...
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Troyes (pronounced like the French for 3) has a very beautiful old centre with half-timbered houses.
Another good place might be Bourges, capital of Burgundy.

If you were going for convenience and cheapness, rather than quality, I would have suggested the Formule1 chain (in the outskirts of all towns plus many other places). Everything is automated, including self-cleaning showers and toilets, so you can arrive any time of day or night (having booked) and get in using your credit card (which also gives you the code for your room door). Basically you get a room with a double and a bunk single over it and the number of people you put in is up to you. Bizzarre and basic but very convenient and very cheap - reminded me of Jaques Tatie's "Mon Oncle".
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snowball, she did ask for a pleasant stop-off. A Formule 1 at the side of the autoroute hardly fits the description. rolling eyes
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libby, Where are you aiming for?

Helen Beaumont, I'm afraid I think Troyes is a bit of a dump as well. The only reason folks get to stop there is because it's the only human habitation for 150km, pigs having taken over the rest Twisted Evil
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Beaune? Or 101 other possible places in Burgundy? Being greedy, my preference is for restaurants with rooms, so I simply decide how far I am going to get before stopping and then scour the trusty red book - usually cross-checking against at least one other guide or the net - for the area in question. I have rarely, if ever, been disappointed that way. Would hesitate to recommend anywhere specific, though - it's a few years since I used the car in central France and things change.
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Agenterre, I don't stop in Troyes anyway,although I can't comment on it's niceness, or otherwise, as we usually stop in Chalons-sur-Marne, Reims or one of the Champagne villages. Hurtle, I like Beaune, and we sometimes stop there on a summer trip.
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libby, another vote for Beaune here, nice old town centre and plenty of good places to eat Smile
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Helen Beaumont wrote:
ended up in a Campanile, in the middle of an industrial estate, with the worst food I have eaten in France.

We've been there too Shocked Worse than disgusting - I swear they were serving road kill for dinner.
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RachelQ, it was meant to be duck....................god know what it really was. rolling eyes
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RachelQ, Helen Beaumont, Do you two mind? It's nearly time for lunch here ! wink
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Agenterre, just open the wine, and chill............ wink .
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We usually stop after Dijon - would recommend a search on Logis de France site for hotels - usually get a nice little place with good food.

If its any help we are planning to try this place this year for our overnight stop - http://www.charmilles-fr.com/htgb/0001.htm

Mainly due to family rooms and ours aren't old enough to be left alone in a room.
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How about Langres?

Auberge des Voiliers, about 20 minutes off the A5/A31 junction between Troyes and Dijon. Can't speak for the rooms but the restaurant is excellent (ate there last week), set on Lac de la Liez. Otherwise in Langres itself, le Cheval Blanc - not cheap but fab menu and rooms look really good.
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I'd suggest for locations, you look at the Logis de France website, choose a region not too far to drive from the UK (baby might get fractious if in the car too long), and then choose the hotel. If you are going in September, availability should be fairly good.
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Helen Beaumont, Yes, I did realise it was not what she wanted but someone else on here might be interested!

Sorry, it was Beaune I think I was remembering when I said Bourges - I didn't check up before writing. Bourges is well placed though.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 6-08-07 11:02; edited 1 time in total
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snowball, yes, of course, sorry.
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libby, We drive down every year with two children and generally use the Logis de France web site to book something, usually around the Bourg-en Bresse area. They tend to be small family run places and reasonable value. More expensive than the chains but we make it part of the holiday and the food is usually better.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I knew there would be lots of you out there who had sampled French hospitality en-route.

Quote:

libby, Where are you aiming for?


Agenterre We're heading for Morzine. I know it's not that far down, but we want to stop off to make sure that our usually chilled out pielette doesn't turn into angry girl Evil or Very Mad

We'll bear in mind the tour round Lake Leman, depending on how the journey has gone.
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libby, If you're going to Morzine then that's a long 'detour' ... given your destination a better alternative would be around Lac Leman and back via Morgins/Chatel/Abondance; having said that you only want a 'nice stop' so then Beaune would seem to be a sensible / nice stop. Bit touristy but then ....

Hotel la Poste used to be nice ....but eat in the town as very pricey . Have also stayed in a Best Western there iirc ( I may have got that wrong. ) ...also very decent. Also stayed in a guesthouse just down the road but that was in Chateaux Relais and I can't find a copy .rolling eyes

Take your time and give yourselves a couple of hours there as well as overnight.
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snowball wrote:
Troyes (pronounced like the French for 3) .....


That's what I thought, until I mentioned the town to a French lady in York, and she didn't recognise it Embarassed - I had to spell it. I think she pronounced it more like "Troy". Can any French experts confirm the correct way? Puzzled
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Alastair Pink, snowball is correct. Where on earth is this French lady from, exactly? Shocked
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libby, if you decide to stop in the Dijon/Beaune area we used to stay at a lovely BandB run by a Scottish couple, just outside Nuits St George. http://perso.orange.fr/athomeinburgundy/Opening/English/english.htm
No evening meal, but there are several lovely restaurants in the town, and you can bring back a nice bottle of wine and drink it in the garden (they also sell it I think). All the jams etc at breakfast are home-made from the fruit bushes in the garden.
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Alastair Pink, Trois , that French Lady wasn't ! .. sure it wasn't a 'French Maid' ? Shocked wink
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Helen Beaumont - could we make this sticky as this comes up time and time again?
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PhillipStanton, a good idea but I will move the thread to 'Trips' as well.
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Done Very Happy
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Thanks for deeming this important enough to make it a sticky. I did do a search but didn't come up with much - obviously used wrong search terms!
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libby, loads of threads which I will search for, and add the links to here.
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libby, loads of threads which I will search for, and add the links to here.


http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=598102&highlight=reims+hotels#598102
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Thanks
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http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=174460&highlight=driving+alps#174460
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http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=106546&highlight=driving+alps#106546
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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libby, We've done this drive to Morzine several times, and our route involves stops in Beaune (Hotel Ibis Beaune Centre is good) on the way down. We also usually stop in Moussy (Auberge Champeniose, a Logis, great food) just outside Epernay on the way back. We've done this several time since we've had our son too and found that the are distances ok and allow for several stops.
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Sarah L, I like Auberge Champenoise too.
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libby, Glad to see a number of chain hotels and watering holes are being offered. For my money here are two of my favourites

1) Les Cohettes just beyond St. Omer (old French for Owls after the previous incumbent old ladies so I am told) Gina now featured by Alistair Sawday will give you a splendid welcome at
http://www.chambresdhotes-chezgina.com/uk/accueil.html

2) Slightly further on near Reims you might try this in the Champagne region http://www.fermedutemple.fr/
a farm with a ruined templar abbey - wonderful spot


The web sites will tell you their story

All the best and forget Ibis, Campanile, et al!! when there are places like this to stay.
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