My Travel Blog

Two Weeks In One of France’s Most Beautiful Villages

Lisa and I thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks we’ve spent in Veneray-les-Laume. Kevin suggested that we visit the medieval town of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, as he thought we might like it. You may remember the delightful film Le Chocolat.  It is about a single mother that moves to a small village in France where she opens a chocolate store.  Much of the film was shot in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain. The film garnered five Academy Award nominations.  Juliette Binoche played the roll of Vianne Rocher, an expert chocolatier, with supporting rolls by Judy Dench and Johnny Depp. If you have not seen Le Chocolat it is worth renting.

This scenic village is a member of the prestigious Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (France’s most beautiful villages).  During the summer it is overrun with tourists, but in the late fall there were only a few cars in the guest parking lot.

The village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain.

A narrow street in Flavigny.

They weren’t thinking of me when they built this toilet.

The village of Flavigny was founded as a Benedictine Abbey in 719. The abbey now houses the factory that makes Les Anis de Flavigny.  These are small aniseed flavored candies that are distributed worldwide. Of course the biggest attraction in Flavigny is the storefront where Le Chocolat was filmed.  The store is now empty.  We peered in through the windows, and I’m not sure it was ever occupied after the film was released in 2,000.

The storefront for the film Le Chocolat.

We walked the streets and alleyways checking out every store in town.  Fortunately most were closed, as the tourist season was over.  We did spend some time in the candy factory gift shop.  Not only were they selling anis flavored candies, but they also had a large selection of mustards.  The mustards were packaged in small bottles that came in packs of three.  Lisa decided that they would make perfect house gifts when we visited friends back home.  I don’t recall how many bottles of mustard we bought, but it was a lot.  A couple of days later we we’re in the super market. I went over to the mustard section only to find the same mustards we had just purchased at half the price. If you are ever in France, don’t buy your mustard at the gift shops.  Get it from the market.

Lisa wanted a picture of one of the gates that protected the ancient village. Unfortunately there was a modern road sign in the way.  Apparently the shot she was trying to get was quite popular.  I walked over to check out the sign, and discovered that it was barely standing.  The hole that held the sign was much larger than the signpost. That made my life much easier as I merely pulled sign out of the soft dirt.  Lisa got her picture, and I quickly replaced it before the Gendarmes saw what I was doing and through me in jail.

Here is the picture that Lisa wanted.

Here I am moving the offending sign.

The view from Flavigny.

-Tom Miller Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– Chuck Palmer Adventure novels

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About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.