Awaken to beautiful Sens, France

Bonjour mes amis,

It’s time you visit the gorgeous town of Sens! It is located 120kms from Paris in the Burgandy region of France. The town of Sens has much to offer and you won’t be disappointed. It’s a place where you’ll see plenty of the unexpected.

Sens (pronounced Son) is relatively small and the old town has grown around the first great Gothic Cathedral in France, the Cathedral of St Etienne. Thomas Beckett lived in Sens during his exile and the story of his murder is told in the Twelfth Century stain glass windows of the Cathedral.

Sens boulevards are lined with trees and as you walk you can see that the many half timbered houses have been converted into expensive boutiques and cafes.

With mansard roof tops of a time long ago…

And you might be lucky (as we were) to walk up the beautiful staircase of the Hotel de Ville…

to the current exhibition of wonderful local artists and sculptors in the divine ‘ La Salle Des Fetes’. This room is spectacular in itself, with hand painted ceiling murals and walls of yellow and white and gilded French chandeliers hanging above our heads.

On top of all this, the exhibition, with its own colour and humour, makes a dramatic impact on my french awakening even on an overcast day in Sens.

Exhibitions these days, are in stark contrast to the torture and executions which took place on the site of the Hotel de Ville in the sixteenth century.

There are plenty of places to eat in Sens and a fantastic bucherie not far from the Hotel de Ville, just off the Place de la Republic, which may easily lure you in and you can purchase from an enormous array of gastronomic foods and wines. There is canard, beef and pork in red wine sauces, curries, celeriac and other vegetables as well as strings of spicy sausages dangling above the counter. So many sausages in fact, you may have to tilt your head to one side to converse to the friendly woman behind the counter. Things could be worse!

Madame behind the counter, dressed in a crimson embroidered apron, is more than generous with her time. The queue may grow and snake out the door onto the pavement behind you- but this bucherie is well worth it.

Madame also supplied us with knives and forks, cups and serviettes and even got our wine bottle open (sil vous plait) for a “bonne” picnic beside the Yonne River. Voila!

You can eat your sumptuous feast on the banks of the  river Yonne – oozing duck sauce and red wine accordingly or you can eat at many of the fabulous little restaurants and cafes dotted in and about the town.

Later on, you can walk lunch off through the ten acre plot of the Moulin-De-Tan Jardin on the outskirts of Sens. There is also the ‘Fitness Trail’ for those serious walkers.

Walk with me down here…

And we could be in the middle of a French painting…

Once the grounds of a tanning factory, the Moulin De Tan was originally built in 1887 and is now home to rose gardens, scented pathways, playing fields and phenomenal greenhouses with spectacular exotic plants -even the enormous waterlilies had to be held at bay!

It’s naturally, a photographers’ haven, with a rich blanket of narcissus flowers on the floor of a wild wood. The stillness is intermittently broken by the resident rooster and a gaggle of marauding Muscovy ducks playing havoc amongst bamboo stalks and nettle. Here you can also run amok amongst the flowers with few to disturb you….

There’s a winter garden and woodlands of delicious aromas. Take the walk along the path across the bridge,

And expect the unexpected …

You can feed the menagerie of resident animals or move off into another microcosm of paradise.

Hours pass here with no regard to time. And isn’t that what vacation is all about?

Sens is a fabulous place to see and experience. Visit it on your next trip through France. You’ll be very glad you did!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

Copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

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6 Responses to “Awaken to beautiful Sens, France”

  1. Leanne Borg Says:

    Hi Therese havent heard of this town before thx for sharing Love the photos, are they all your own?

  2. Visited Sens the whole month of October 2011
    It is more beautiful in real life
    My first time in France

    • Cora,
      You’re one of the lucky few who choose Sens as a destination in this part of France. It offers everything and IS so beautiful….Thanks for dropping by, Therese

      • My french girlfriend lives in Sens and invited me to visit her. She drove us to many of her favorite spots…..in and out of Sens.
        I might not have learned about the city and all its charm otherwise if it was not for her. We have been friends for over 30 years!
        I’m happy I was there in October too, as the weather was perfect.f Living in Southern California….I left the heat and smog behind to be welcomed into a city filled with hisotry and lively crowds.
        It was truly the experience of a lifetime!

      • Hi Cora,
        There’s nothing like visiting a place which enlivens the soul. What’s better is sharing the experience with someone very special. Being friends for so long proves it. Best wishes, Therese

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