Journées d’Automne > My Weekend Adventure through France
I’m weeks late in sharing this post, but even better for me because I get to relive it whilst I’m cooing though all these fabulous pictures. Another weekend with classic cars, yes I thought you might have noticed, well what can I say, a girl can have new interests right?
I left work in London at my average time on a Friday night, hopped on the Eurostar and then (sprinted for my life) to Gare de l’Est to make the train to (somewhere I was told to go) in the deep French countryside. By 10pm I was tucking into the cheese table and supping on bubbles with a fabulous group of vintage car enthusiasts who were all joining in on the same weekend, Journées d’Automne. I was somewhat aware of what the weekend would be, knowing many friendly faces from the Goodwood Revival back in September. If you followed those stories featured here in parts, one, two, and three, you’ll have some idea of the incredible cars that joined the weekend. Crazy crazy crazy beautiful cars.
So no photos from the night before, but I woke up to this, the barn in the garden of where we were staying (and no I didn’t wake up in the barn…).
We were staying just a short drive from the location for the first day of the weekend, the track day at the Circuit Des Ecuyers about thirty kilometers west of Reims. Yes we love Reims, ooh the bubbles.
Whilst I was left to lie in for a couple more hours, others headed to the track super early to begin testing their cars for a day. The early morning light was captured beautifully by the wonderfully talented photographer Lucile Pillet below.
The First Race
Whilst I strolled around all these incredible cars I was reminded of my first taste of this life, with all the memories of the sounds and sights I experienced at Goodwood. I have to say, I’ve become rather addicted to the sound and fumes these beasts exhude. It’s a wildly decadent habit to be around these beauties, and I was loving every minute of it.
Time to go off and find some new favourites, you should know by now that I choose my cars by colour and number (yes I know…).
The Pick N Mix Porsche Shop
Lunchtime and we all hopped in the cars and headed for our next destination…
Arriving at our very beautiful lunch…
See, I told you…
Back to the track and time for me to have a go (no, not driving…)
I survived but don’t ignore everyone’s warning that it’s much like being on a roller coaster for 20 minutes. Then triple your sense of dizziness and you pretty much will get an understanding of how I felt once I stepped out of this beast below…
Party time. These guys know how to party…
The party was so much fun I can’t even share any photos. That’s when you know a party is fun, no time to take pictures!
Now a shock to the system, and the problem with co-piloting with the organiser of the weekend, we were in for an early start the following morning to begin our drive for the day. Asking me to navigate through the villages and towns of France with this little road book, well we did it.
Our first stop was in Fére en Tardenois’s main square. Nothing like a few pastries and some seriously strong French coffee to rid me of my rather sore head, and we were off for our morning drive. Nothing like a cruise in a Jaguar XK120 to rid you of any hangover!
We were all set for the 127km route through the valleys of the Aisne river. Stopping off in Laon for even more coffee (these French, SO much coffee!?) before arriving at our final destination, Château de Courcelles near Soissons for lunch. Clearly as you can see below my pilot takes his driving very seriously… ha. I’m still mastering the selfie technique where you’re phone doesn’t get blown out of your hand…
Finally arriving at lunch.. woweeee….
Again, of course we were spoiled by the event organisers, Pro First and Veuve Clicquot with a beautiful lunch, before we headed back to Paris in convoy…
We finally made it back to the Marais for my last night in Paris before hopping back on the Eurostar at stupid o’clock am to arrive at my desk in London for 9am. Pretty awesome right? Nice wheels too. The suitcase obviously, not the Jag 😉
Thank you ETIENNE RAYNAUD for having me along with you and everyone who came together to create such a fun weekend. Until next time guys!!!