I spent 4 years in this city at university and I really enjoyed it. It's big enough to keep you busy but small enough that you can more or less walk everywhere in town. Compared to my 2-hour round trip to and from work everyday, my memories of walking 20 mins to and from uni seem like pure luxury. During my last 2 years in Tours I actually lived 5 minutes from the university in a lovely top-floor flat. Oh how I miss that flat. The toilet had really ugly beige tartan wallpaper and instead of changing it I just bought a big black marker for my friends to write stuff on the walls and make it pretty. I can't say it turned out pretty but it was certainly fun.
Anyway, back to reality! We stayed with my friend Manu. As I told you on friday, she and her partner David bought a townhouse last year and are in the process of renovating it. A total gut job. We're talking breaking up concrete floors and digging down to level out the entire living room area, building a kitchen from scratch, converting the old kitchen into a bathroom, moving walls, filling cracks, painting, tiling, fitting closets, etc.
Here's a "lots of progress, more to come" tour:
The gate reminds me of my childhood. So many of my friends had them.
Cute front garden with a terrace. Includes a cherry tree, lots of roses, irises, herbs and even tomatoes!
Let's start with my favourite room in the house so far: the bathroom
As I said before, it used to be a kitchen but it's on the first floor of the house so it made sense to turn it into a bathroom. They were able to keep the original glass panes that served as a hood. Nice or what? It adds loads of character to the room. Not that it really needed help, what with the classy tiles,
the original doors,
pssst! check out the inside of the closet!
Manu liked what I did with my secretary desk and decided the inside of her closets needed the same treatment. I love the pattern and it goes perfectly with the bathroom.
Crazy lampshade makes the wall all stripey.
Now let's go down to the kitchen. Its very cosy and looks out onto the back garden. Now I'm even more determined to have wooden counters in my future kitchen (and to make a matching bar table using the sink cutout!!).
Check out the stilton collection! It makes me proud when French people love English cheese and the stylish containers it comes in.
I'm starting to wonder whether Manu is really French. Have you ever seen this much tea anywhere else than in an English household?
The back garden is lovely and peaceful. I'm thinking the shed has lots of potential as a guest cottage...
As well as renovating her house, Manu is also in the middle of renovating a cupboard and I'm trying to help her find the perfect wallpaper for the inside. Something that screams countryside with rabbits and trees and maybe a baby deer (but without being too corny, we are ladies with taste after all).
Not easy, specially in France.
*** Thank you for having us, Manu and David!***
Let's finish with a couple of photos I took in town. If you ever go to Tours, you will see lots of old buildings:
These were taken on Place Plumereau, a beautiful big square in the old town lined with bars and restaurants.
And if you're lucky (and filthy rich), you get to live right here in the middle of the square
This picture sort of sums it up. Beautiful cathedral. Great pubs.