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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Voyages au Pays des Fées
I was recently able to spend an absinthe-soaked few days in France, mainly in the company of that prince amongst absintheurs, Pierreverte. A few very brief notes

Peter is something of a local celebrity in Paris, being greeted with effusive cries and kisses on both cheeks by almost every bistrot proprietor and cavist we met. His French is astonishingly good. Visited a local brocante fair – was offered an “unrecorded absinthe spoon” – actually a broken sugar tongs - for around a thousand euros. Dinner at Peter’s flat in Montmartre, where the charming Sabine cooked us a superb Magret de canard.

The market at St Ouen – a huge rabbit warren - very little absinthiana, and what there was of poor quality and overpriced. Some fascinating stalls though, including one selling 19th century erotica with a range of extraordinarily life-like and…er..lifesize antique carved ivory dildos….perhaps…Queen Victoria’s Secret?

Off to Auvers sur Oise and the museum – some mouthwatering spoons and wonderful prints and paintings. Madame Delahaye is petite, immaculately dressed, very charming, but tough and certainly no pushover (except apparently for Ted…). Showed us her Toulouse Lautrec spoon (not on public display) with great ceremony. The other visitor to the museum turned out to be a well-known French collector with whom I’d corresponded but never met – off we went to his house nearby, where we saw another Lautrec spoon, the 1900 Tour Eiffel, and an amazing assembly of fountains and carafes. Spent an animated two hours discussing the possible genuineness of the Lautrec spoons (nerdy…I know, I know). The consensus: the spoon itself may be genuine, but under the loupe one can clearly see that the TL logo has been individually hand-cut later from each spoon and is definitely faked.

TGV early in the morning to Pontarlier. Checked into the St Pierre, directly opposite the arch at the top of Rue de la Republique. Visited the local antique shop (whose proprietor is to honest and ethical dealing roughly what Michael Jackson is to responsible child care). Lunch with the deputy mayor of Pontarlier. On to the Francois Guy distillery – very friendly, but their copper absinthe still is rather disappointingly simple. Tasted their newly reformulated product, using their own “genetically modified” plants – IMO, less good than their original blend. Bought some of the local gentiane eau de vie – stunning in a head-snapping kinda way. Next the Pernot distillery – met the charming Madame Pernot, who runs the show, and saw their original Egrot specialized absinthe still – identical to the illustrations in 19th century trade catalogues. Tasted their excellent Sapin, which is light-years better than Guy’s. Dinner that night at Villers le Lac - the Hotel de France, a fabulous Michelin-starred restaurant about 40km from Pontarlier (the Feuillantine de Homard aux Noix, Jus d’Ecailleux a la Chicorée, was, and I don’t say this lightly, a religious experience). Decided not to order the 1895 Chateau Chalon at 5300 euros on the winelist.

The Pontarlier Museum – several unique items, including sealed bottles from as early as 1820, cartons, posters, paintings etc. Then off to the Val de Travers with a mutual Swiss friend who’d dedicated the day to showing us around – Fleurier, Motiers, the sechoir at Boveresse, Couvet, Travers and to Neuchatel for lunch at the Gault Millau rated Villa Peyrou – another superb 6 course meal…. Home via Fleurier and the Jacot chocolate shop (the finest handmade chocolates in Switzerland - purchased a peace-offering for my wife). Acquired a clandestine bottle of the local Boveresse La Bleue – excellent. My source tells me that from next year, it will be entirely legal to distill and sell La Bleue in Switzerland, on condiiton that the alcohol is bought from the state. Back to Pontarlier, stumble on TGV, home to Paris. Decided to skip dinner.

For pics:
Great pictures and story
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Thank you for the great story oxy. My life is so boring and I never seem to finish this painting.

Donnie Darko
Great pics.
Here's my favourite from the Pontarlier museum when I visited this summer.
Donnie Darko
Thanks, Oxy, that was awesome!
Great pix Oxy!!! Those mountains and valleys look just like the part of the blue ridge mountains I live in [in Virginia]. The pics of the still were fascinating , and helped dispell some illusions I had about absinthe stills; I did'nt realise you could have that much room for reflux in the area of the alembic.Beautifull, educational and....I am jealous.
Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. One day I'll go.....
louched liver
Big up to OxyGenie.
Beautiful photographs! w00t2.gif w00t1.gif
Lord Stanley
Thanks for the story and pics. Beautiful.

The Museum comes close to that cabinet full of Vintage that I mentioned in another thread. Although many of the bottles were empty.
I had no idea it could be so beautiful. Thank you.
Felis Catus
Thanks for the beautiful pics.

grey boy
Thanks for the splendid photos. Beautiful country.

A good friend of mine has family that lives in Switzerland (Bern) hopefully in a year or so we can get over there for a visit.
Thanks so much for the wonderful story and photos.

What's amazing, looking at that distance photo of the towns in the Val de Travers, is the sheer clarity of the view. I'm sure there's more detail to the inhabited areas and their outbuildings... but speaking as someone who's never visited, I find it odd that anything can really be "clandestine" there.
It looks like you can see everything in that valley.

Showed us her Toulouse Lautrec spoon (not on public display) with great ceremony.

Nice...I'd like to see that.

The photos were excellent and great documentation. My next trip is supposed to be Versailles...but, I think Pontarlier will be added to that stop.

Great story and absolutely brilliant pictures. The landscape of Val de Travers is breathtaking. Bet you had a great time w00t2.gif .
I took a look at the rest of your site too, some really nice things in there. They're all great actually :-).

Cheers Beer3.gif
Well done!
Great story and photos! Have to travel there next year...
Marc Chevalier

The best thing about people like Oxygenée and Petermarc is, they have access to the best of the best ... and they SHARE it.

Warmest congratulations on a great trip.

So interesting, & such great photos! I was in Switzerland & France last March, but not thinking about absinthe then. Now I'm ready to go back! Your excellent photos (I especially like the Pont'arliers & Val de Travers) are the next best thing. Thanks Oxygenee!
Great stuff Oxygenee! Thanks. Those pictures are wonderful.
Thanks for sharing.

Now let`s just hope the eventual legalisation of absinthe won`t kill the small artisanal producers...

Now let`s just hope the eventual legalisation of absinthe won`t kill the small artisanal producers...

Why would that happen? The small producers mostly produce top quality products, wich means that true absinthedrinkers will keep buying their products, and the new absinthedrinkers will find their way to the top quality products if they really love it.
At least that's my point of view, correct me if i'm wrong.
Great pics, Oxy!!!! You da man!
Never noticed this before! That was beautiful, thanks Oxy! Hope to visit there someday!
Showed us her Toulouse Lautrec spoon (not on public display) with great ceremony.

I'm sorry; I couldn't help it... but that sounds vaguely dirty. ;) Really, it doesn't take much to amuse me. *g*
Why this is an important topic ????
Me also i am doing some travels .... Would you like to know my travels ?? poop.gif
If they are absinthe related, sure. Post some pics.
All my life is an absinthe life .... it would be too long for a so small frame....
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