Compiègne is such a beautiful place to visit. Just few miles outside the town is the Armistice Clearing where Germany surrendered the first world battles. It was also where Hitler returned to sign his surrender to France
Well worth a visit but check out the opening times before you go - they take long lunch breaks in France. Easily found as it is signposted well
We went to Berny Riviere last year but Chez Micheline was fully booked so this year we made sure we got in and booked as soon as we got there! I had read about this place on here and other trip sites and wanted to try it out as the food was, apparently, good but cheap.
The food is better than good and better than cheap, it’s dirt cheap. And my goodness it tastes so good! The place is different. Imagine an old French 70's disco song video – all blue lame trousers, tight t-shirt and Freddie Mercury tash – and you have the owner. Then think you have seen Renee from ‘Allo ‘Allo – his double is behind the bar and then imagine gold chinz curtains, cobwebs on the lighting fixtures and wonky tables, very old light switches and even older light bulbs, gaudy table cloths, naff linen feel paper napkins and mix matched cutlery and you have Chez Micheline. It is in the back of a Tabac/pub (cigarette seller). The floor and walls have more nicotine stains than anywhere I have ever seen although it doesn’t smell of fags and it is non smoing, and seems to attract biker types into its drinking area, but the atmosphere is so good! And the biker types are friendly, not mean :). This, is Chez Micheline in all it's wonderful glory. You get the feeling that you are not going to like it here, but you couldn't be more wrong.
The owner is very French and very friendly. Speaks good English and is very welcoming. French air kisses galore but he doesn’t make you feel uncomfy at all. The food is just so delish. We had starter, steak and a pudding (all 3 of us) plus 2/3rds of a bottle of wine (50 cl which gave us 5 full glasses). The glasses were slightly smaller than UK ones but big enough. We ordered 2 cokes and 2 beers and we paid less than £50 for the lot. Steak and chips was €6 which is around £5.50. And it’s a decent sized steak too and very, very tasty!
They have a pretty varied menu for starters and mains but the desert menu was ice cream or ice cream. There was homemade Creme Brulee or Apple tart but the rest was from a Carte D’Or menu which seems to be pretty much staple of most eateries out there, or at least the cafe type places. (The cafe we ate in in Pierrefonds had a different menu although the children’s ice cream was, again, Carte D’Or). The chips are cooked as you order, not cooked then re-heated or kept warm, so they actually taste good. I even tried the frogs legs lol. Taste a bit like chicken. They were pretty good actually. There aren’t many Frenchmen who eat them regularly, and they are not on many menus but I think CM tries to cater for the English market as well as the locals. Lots of us heathen Brits when in France do, as they think, the French do and eat snails and frogs legs. The only food that the French do eat everyday and is part of the staple diet is bread, or more precisely, baguettes and lots of them too. They vary in quality, but the most expensive does not necessarily mean the best tasting.
If you are staying at La Croix du Vieux Pont or anywhere else in the area for that matter, you will not do better than to eat here every night rather than the on site restaurant. Not only is the food home cooked it is far tastier, excellent value for money and superior service with a smile every time.
Be warned! You will need a car when you travel to Berny Riviere in Vic-sur-Aisne. Buses are infrequent at best and the trip to train stations at least 10km from the site.
A taxi will prove to be expensive.
If you are transferring from an airport to get here, make sure you book before you come via your tavel agent
Once here, there is cycle hire and the village is small enough to cycle to and from. The camp site here has cycle notes with short, medium and longer journeys to complete depending on your cycling abilities
IF you come here to visit Disney, there are on site buses to and from there. They also run buses to Paris
If you can avoid the on site shop AND also the little supermarket 5 minutes up the road, then do so. Go back to the main road and turn towards Soissons and around 8 miles up you'll find a Cora hypermarket rather like Asda.
Much cheaper than on site
What to buy: Try the French bread! not the baguettes but the loaves of bread. They have a sweet flavour that is delish! Ideal for bread puddings or spreading jam for breakfast
What to pay: Much cheaper than on site and in the village
Keycamp, with whom you can book your holiday to stay at La Croix du Vieux Pont, provide you with cycle notes.
There are a number of routes ranging from 1-2 miles to 10 miles or more. They also range in difficulty for people of all ages
We will be doing some cycling this year and will hopefully be able to upload pictures and notes of our own.
Cycle Notes example:
1 Leave the campsite by the main entrance
and turn left onto the D91. Follow this
straight, level road and enter the town
with the Le Don Jon restaurant on your
right. Opposite is the entrance to the
Château. Facing the Château is the Bar “A
lóeuf dur” for drinks.
2 Cycle along the road between the
Château and the Town Hall. Follow this
road until you see a War Cemetery on
your right, then fork right, still on the D2.
3 Turn right at the Autreches sign along a
narrow tarmac road through arable fields,
passing two large irrigation spray booms.
4 At the crossroads turn left for Sacy and
Bonval. There follows an ascent into the
village of Sacy. (An easier route would be
to continue straight over this crossroads,
miss Sacy, and omit the uphill section).
5 Turn left at the next junction, then go
straight over the next cross-roads.
A pleasant, oval-shaped route through a mixture of town and country roads, with one short
section of unmade field track. Good views of Chapeaumont and a look at the small village of Sacy.
Distance: 5 1⁄2 miles.
Time: 2 hours total,
1 hour cycling.
Suitable for: All members of the
Start Point: La Croix du Vieux
Terrain: Nearly all tarmac
roads with only
one short section
of field track. Hilly
ascent into Sacy,
but downhill for
much of the return
Look out for: The Château of
La Croix du Vieux Pont
K & GJ Kearns.
6 Still climbing, turn right at the next junction.
7 Continue downhill with views of the
wooded hill called Chapeaumont and the
church and village of St Christophe-à-
Berry, then turn left at the next junction.
8 Turn right at a T-Junction, signposted St
Christophe-à-Berry onto the D13.
9 Follow this busier road downhill until you
reach an Iron Cross on your left. Turn
immediately left here onto an unmade track
which takes you up and over le Blanc Muret.
Ignore the track to your left, signposted
Chapeaumont, and the next left turning
Take the third left turn, then a right turn
back onto tarmac road that brings you to
a crossroads. Go straight over and along
a narrow road with the Sports Hall on
your right and a stables on your left.
Turn right at the T-Junction and return to
You also get a map to accompany the notes