Bubbles and petals

There’s plenty of sparkle in the Forez region! Like millions of people, you are sure to have already enjoyed a glass of the famous red or green Badoit. And here you are at the source! Because it is in Saint-Galmier that they have been drawing and bottling Badoit for 150 years, the water that features on the most refined of tables. We’re not sure if it’s thanks to the virtues of the local mineral water that the horses at the town’s racecourse gallop so fast… But there’s nothing to stop you going and placing a coin or two on Yellow Cassock or Polka Dot Pink. Unless your weakness is for the one-armed bandit or the roulette wheel, in which case the Casino Le Lion Blanc is where it’s at. For a taste of a life of luxury, no need to win the jackpot either – you can simply take a trip to the Château de Bouthéon. Here, the medieval rubs shoulders with the Renaissance, and the owners’ ghosts are here to welcome you. The  36 species of fish in the Loire aquarium are happy blowing bubbles, while their neighbours the hens, goats and draft horses while away the time in 11 hectares of grounds. To round off your trip, make sure you don’t miss the stunning view of the plain from the little village of Saint-Bonnet-les-Oules, which is also famous for its many potters who used to make earthenware pots known as “oules”. A “superoule” view, you might say!