The Never Perfect is a 70-year-old Dutch barge that has been carefully restored. There is room for two couples, or four people, on board for a cruise on the canals and rivers of France. It is not luxurious, but it is comfortable, authentically historic, and charming. Cabins are small, but the good linens, pictures and lamps make them pretty and very comfortable.
There are all the comforts – no television, but there is wifi, lovely music, a library with good reading material, and for entertainment there is Teddy, the live-aboard barge dog. He is the sweetest little guy you are likely to meet anywhere. He tends to beg for bits of food, but likes nothing better than to curl up in a lap for a rest. He rarely makes any noise, other than a little rumbly growl when he thinks there is a stranger approaching the barge. And he can be left behind with friends if guests don’t like the idea of having a dog on board. We fell in love with him.
Meals are taken in the little kitchen or up on the top deck in sunny weather, and the food has been delicious. Both Mary and Marc are experienced foodies who know how to cook well, and they also know all of the best places to buy exemplary charcuterie, fresh bread and croissants and decadent pastries.
One of the most enjoyable things for someone like myself with a weakness for food is to tag along with Marc and forage in the local food shops.
This is not a trip for anyone on a diet!
( Nooit Volmaakt means Never Perfect, which is a Dutch concept, suggesting that nothing can ever be continually perfect, but one should always be aspiring to perfection. An idea ‘plus tranquil’, I think!)