Monday, September 26, 2011

Perfect conditions for the Vendage

It's that time of year again - Grape Harvesting.
And what a corker of a year it should be, certainly for wines from the Luberon & Ventoux region.
Enhanced by a pronged hot dry summer, some cooler nights in July, little Mistral wind and very few storms.
As I do every year, I spent the day picking at a friends Vineyard which produces 26,000 bottles of wine, abt 4500 white, 6500 Rose and the rest are Red.

The wines of Domaine Faverot.

As always as many volunteers as possible are invited to join in and the entire 8 Hectares are picked by hand.

Little did my sister Gill, know what I had instore for her when she arrived last week!

Lovely Juicy Syrah grapes.

Just to prove I was there too!

And after picking, through the archway is the reward...
A very tasty lunch is served accompanied by a selection of wines

But not too much, as we have to pick again in the afternoon, although I confess productivity is not as good as the morning!

Having seen the consumption of wine at Chez Taylor this summer I think this is the size barrel we could do with by the pool!
September really is a fabulous month to Holiday in Provence!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fabulous Cassis

Is it Cassis or Cassee? We are told you do not pronounce the S, so say it 'Cassee' and you should be OK!
What ever you want to call it, spend at least a day here!

It is a very pretty fishing harbour, lined with restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours.

Our normal visit is arriving 11.30, beer, then lunch, a walk around after and leave around 4 pm. Terrible.
This time we arrived 9.30, coffee, boat trip, lunch , an hour on the beach and swim in the sea, a little refreshment, some people watching, and a walk around the La presqui-ile, one of the many walks around the Callanques.

Leaving the pretty harbour.

The first of the eight 'Calanques' we visited, 'inlets', this one leading to a very protected harbour.
These 'hole in the walls' were not cash points but the stones were delivered through the holes in the walls  onto the boats which took them to Marseilles for construction as we know it today.
These incredible trees, 'Pin Alep' or Alep Pines, grow right out of the rock and face the intense weather- heat, wind, rain, and yet look so healthy!
Another hidden treasure, this beach is so hard to reach. and yet when you are there...........
From here we begin to see some of the most breathtaking rock faces we have ever seen.

a number of which not only go deep into the water....
where there are under ground grotto's , but also canyons which you can Kayak through....

Again, another vast and impressive cliff face.

Simply awesome scenery.
Another isolated beach.

Us on the boat!

La Plage!

In Cassis, tourist are every where!
well they are one minute, them they are gone!

This is one of the first Callanque's we visited by boat, this time on foot late afternoon.
Do go to Cassis, do go out on a boat to the Callanques, do take lunch, do have an ice cream  and do have a great day!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Another restuarant recommendation

Here we are checking out another restaurant - it's a tough life but someone has to do it!
In Villars, between Saint Saturnin & Apt, the new owners of the Fountaine, Nadine & Tjebbe  have settled in well.

The restaurant is in a lovely setting in this pretty village.
A very appealing starter of courgette terrine , very seasonal.

I chose the plat de jour, a three meat risotto
Whilst Karen ate Cabillaud (cod) again with season vegetables.

and a scrummy dessert with red fruits and ice cream.Low calorie of course!

Even better Martin picked up the tab! Thank you Martin.
Highly recommended.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The actual birthday! 24th August 2011

A perfect sunny day to welcome the birthday girl!

And off to Kayak between Fontaine de Vaucluse and L'Isle sur la sorgue

the calm (but cold ) are beautiful

great scenary

crystal clear water, just 14 degrees.

having survived this we headed to an exhibition of sculptures nearby in Le Thor

That would have made a great birthday gift!

And in the evening down to the village for dinner

Always great food and fun in L'Estrade

Happy Birthday x

August celebrations continue...........

On Friday 19th August we held a soiree poolside for Karen's birthday.

Needless to say Karen was on prep in the kitchen.....

Last minute stuff aided by Martin


A pretty splendid spread....

Service! Martin always on hand to help ( Karen worked with Martin at M&S 33 years ago!) 

something must have amused the ladies?
Ann, Marlyese & Rosemary

Lynn, Glynn & Tim

 Karen and myself with Corrine