Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hot,Hot Hot!

August has been one of the hottest months we have experienced with temperatures each day in the mid 30's and reaching as high as 39 degrees although when I was in Apt last week it hit an incredible 41 degrees.

Well such weather demands only one drink (after water of course) Rose is the drink of the day in Provence and we have put together a wine tour where you can taste and buy some of the best local wines in the Luberon.

And there is nothing like a glass of Rose when playing Petanque!
Last week we challenged our French & Belguim friends. (and won)

However the second match, on home ground rather over ran, we ended up under the light of our cars and after almost 3 hours team GB finally grasped the match!

Next morning - Pool cleaning at our house Les Cypres!

Another day! 17th August - our 11th wedding anniversary.

We ate at the Ferme de la Huppe near Gordes where they have live Jazz on a Friday evening - highly recomended!

Time for a bit of work, the lavender has to be cut and there is plenty of it!

Enough work- time to play - for Karen's birthday we went to St Remy & Les Baux where we went to the Cathedrale d'Image.

This hill top village is one of France's top tourist attractions.
A rather atractive church in St Remy

Also in St Remy this rather imposing Church.

of course our visit included a light lunch, Karen ate crab whilst I had carpaccio of beef in the hotel d'image in St Remy.

A couple of local street cats in St Remy!

In the evening we tried a new restaurant to us - The Hotel Les Borries in Gordes.
There is no doubt there are some wonderful fine dining restaurants in the area and this is one of them.

To start we were given aperitifs to accompany our champagne.
The amuse bouche comprised of  puree of cauliflower with a quails egg and smoked duck lardons.
To start we both had stuffed courgette flowers which were divine!

Karen followed this with Monk Fish in a light curried sauce with Fennel and shell fish.

Whilst I ate Fillet of Beef with Ravioli and a Rhubarb jus - delicious!

A superb cheese board followed

And then dessert - white chocolate bomb filled with raspberry coulis and raspberry sorbet.

We left very satisfied!!

And as can often happen late August right on cue!
A huge storm, lasting about an hour with torrential rain, high wind, thunder and lightening.

And the next day - normality returns!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Wonderful Avignon!

We love Avignon, there are so many wonderful buildings, beautiful streets to lose your self down and escape from the crowds and smart boutiques.
And of course there is the Palais de Pap , once the home of the Pope.
There are also several museums and galleries.
This week we visited the 'Musee d'Art Contemporain' 

It is certainly contemporary, in fact at times wacky and far out
This room, the entire roof space in the building has dry ice and, well I will not spoil it.....

Another unusual room
Note the tape that dances in the air?

Black & White!
and lots of colour
some rather abstract art work.

And after a little culture it's time for lunch, one of our favourite restaurants 83Vernet

and a little wander round the touristy bits!

Avignon is a must see, we never tire of this great city.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Something Fishy!

We are very lucky to be able to buy some great fresh fish!
Below there are wild turbot,beautiful wild sea bass, sea bream,
sole, john dory to name but a few!

 Each Tuesday there is a fish stall in our village market 

Or we find the selection at our nearest super  market in Apt ( Le Clerc)
very good.
Don't be frightened of buying the whole fish and having it prepared whether it be for a bbq or the oven.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Fabulous July!

Unlike much of Northern Europe we have been basking in hot sunshine with 18 days in July exceeding 30 degrees.

After two spells of rain ( on the 1st & 2nd) the month was dry. 
Thank you to friend and neighbour Geoff who maintains the weather station.

This has made perfect warm evenings to eat out and we enjoyed another splendid meal at  Domaine Coquillade .

This simple starter of warm tomato 'tart' has a hidden centre of cold sorbet to get the taste buds going.
So inspired were we, Karen produced her own version, and I think she won!

We also enjoyed an excellent meal at Le Fournil in Bonnieux.
We have eaten here several times, its just so French! The outside terrace on a warm balmy evening is perfect. 
Despite a less than friendly greeting when we arrived the food was excellent, its not cheap though and there are several other good restaurants that we know that will give it a run for it's money!

One of the starters - Tempura courgette flowers 

My lamb was delicious 

And as ever dessert was to die for! chocolate, red fruits, white chocolate.......

And even Karen had a dessert, a mini apricot tart tatin 

July also saw the 14th birthday of our two boys, Matisse 

and Splodge, both of whom are always on the go making sure the guests are happy!

In our continuing effort to learn French we meet most weeks with our Belguim friends to play Petanque 

So far team GB has the lead!