A lunch with friends at Moret-sur-Loing

A day-trip to Moret-sur-Loing

How did this come about?

One work colleagues, Steven Firth, has decided that as pert of his retirement and break from work, and the real world, he will get a yacht and go around various places in the world. As it happened he purchased a yacht in Gibraltar. The yacht is a Hylas 44 called Short List, and is (officially at least) she is based in Sydney. I am sure she will make it to her home port, all in good time.

For their fist expedition, having bought and serviced the yacht in Gibraltar, Steve and Maria (his wife) have made their way along the Spanish and French Mediterranean coast, to the mouth of the Rhone, and then, having taken off the mast (and having it shipped to Calais ahead of them, as it was too tall for the many low bridges)  they have made their way along northwards, the French rivers and canals.  It so happened that the day after we landed, they stopped for a rest and resupply day at Moret-sur-Loing, which is only about 70 KM or so south of Paris, on the river Loing, just south-east of Fointanebleau.

Given that their canal and river trip timetable has been changed by the need to move quickly, due to impeding closure of locks along the canals, this has become the prime, and likely the only opportunity to catch up.

More information about the Short List (the boat) itself, the path taken by the vessel, as well as the exploits, the trials and tribulations (such as are admitted to in a public forum) of the good Captain Firth can be found here.

Getting there: hire a car or go by rail?


Detail on the facade of Gare de Lyon

Finding a car hire place quickly, especially when the address given by Google Maps and the one given by the car hire company website do not
agree  has proven to be a task beyond our tired brains. However,  the French national rail service ( the SNCF) website did provide useful information and the timetable and so we decided that it might well be easier to catch a train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Moret Veneux-les-Sablons, which was only 1km or so from where we needed to drive to.

Travel tip:

SCNF has a well developed, quite efficient and quite a complex system for moving passengers by rail over distances as short a a few kilometres to long distance high speed cross-country train services.

Unless you:

  • speak, read and understand French and communicate easily; or
  • understand the French national rail system really well and have an idea as to the type of train you are after ( and know how to tell a TGV line from an intercity line or a  departmental or a suburban line or a metropolitan transit line); or
  • have a native guide to help you out;

Then, just like us, you will need to rely on the maps, the internet and on the lovely and very helpful SCNF information and ticketing office staff. This however, means you will need to to give yourself some extra time before the departure. to make sure you get your tickets and your bearings right.


1920’s neo-gothic facade on 19th century house in Moret-sur-Loing.

Summer afternoon at Moret-sur-Loing.

Moret-sur-Loing is a small but quite affluent and well preserved little “fortified town”.

In medieval times and later on it used to have walls, and the 3 gate houses are still there and in use. These days the gate-towers seem to be the domain of the pigeons, rather than serving as defences.

There are some excellent food and coffee places in this little town. We do recommend La Gavotte, which is situated about 100 meters form the north-west gate tower, on Ave. Jean Jaures.  La Gavotte serves a good section of food, some very reasonable wines and some very, very nice ciders from Bretagne region of France. The service was excellent.

In all we spent a very pleasant afternoon wondering along the banks of the Loing , sitting on the boat, sipping wine and chatting.

Many thanks to Steven and Maria for their hospitality.


Boats and barges on the Loing