Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lost in the cloud!

The last few days of September have bought some heavy rain and amazing skies! Incredibly sunshine & 24 degrees is forecast next week

More Fine Dining!

We enjoyed another splendid meal at La petite Cave 

The beautifully restored interior provides a warm and friendly ambience.

Karens starter of cold beetroot soup with goats cheese and an avocado quenelle was an excellent way to start the meal.

Whilst I had the Tuna with anchovies, tapenade & quails egg.

Karens main course comprised of Hake on a bed of curried chick Peas with a quenelle of lime yogurt

Whilst my belly of Pork was set on red cabbage with a cauliflower puree - delicious!

Dessert - for me the chocolate fondant with ice cream and raspberries

Joan ate a lemon posset topped with raspberries, again delicious!
Highly recommended the menu is very well priced and as ever we are happy to reserve a table for you.

This charming fountain is a feature of the village as is the wash house!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Our seventh Anniversary!

Seven years ago this Sunday, the 30th, Karen and I set off in our car (with Matisse & Splodge in the back) to start our new lives in France. And wow what an adventure it has been!
It has gone so quickly but I think I can say for the two of us it has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding periods of our lives so far!

Before we came we set ourselves the plan to establish a business and have it up and running successfully by the time we both hit 50, so that if it did not work we could try somewhere or something  else - but- I think we have achieved our goal and look forward to the years ahead in our wonderful village surounded by lots of good friends, beautiful scenery, weather, food & wine and hopefully continued warm and friendly clients from around the world many of whom revisit each year and have also become friends.

The sun shining on the Luberon this morning, this view we never tire of from our living room.

We look forward to the year ahead!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eating well!

It is commonly known how much we enjoy our food and I am lucky to be regularly spoilt by Karen!

Here a simple dish of fresh tomatoes with white onion, basil & Olive oil.

 On the left Feta cheese, Melon with Parma Ham & cold courgette & mint soup  also served on the right.

A little white to compliment the food

 Figs are now in season and there are plenty on our tree. They make the salad on the right so colourful.

Karen has a real thing about a proper salad  Nicoise! - it has to have
haricot vert, tuna & anchovies and be topped with a soft boiled egg.

Sunday lunch for Mr Roast Beef! on the BBQ a Rib of beef

Roast potatoes with roasted garlic and below Asparagus in olive oil

Fresh white from Burgundy
Red wine naturally decanted!

Karen at work in the kitchen producing her tomato 'tarts'!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some odds & ends!

Late August we enjoyed an excellent day out at sea hosted by our friends Paul & Anne, we took a boat from Le Lavandou to the island of Porquerolles

it is such a beautiful spot and less than three hours from home.

This enterprising guy was selling ice creams and coffee!

Just great to be in the sea, probably for the last time this year.

Moving into September and out running early one morning the shadow indicates the lower sun and that Autumn is approaching.

Back to food!
 The Tartare club in Gordes offers - well everything Tartare!

With friends at Gordes, Karen with Sue, Penny & Tim.

At last we have found some where to buy chillies!!
L'Isle sur l'Sorgue

Eating out again - Coquillade - Bistro in the Vines
Outstanding value and another enjoyable evening.

Who says the French make xxxx cars! this is a beauty.

Simply the Luberon, early morning with the sunlight glowing through the departing clouds.

Odd Critters!

Our praying Mantis is back!

you looking at me?

This time with friend!

Meanwhile the black bees are still buzzing around the perovskia

unusual happenings!

As many of my followers will know I rarely use pictures unless the sky is blue!
And with over 300 days of sunshine a cloudy sky is a rarity in Provence.

But like much of the UK we have experienced a few turbulent days with a some much needed rain including a pretty impressive storm on Monday morning.

As ever the water flowed down our drive!

But you can't keep the sun away and the front literally moved East in front of our eyes bringing back the sunshine.

The beauty of Mont Ventoux

Setting off in the Autumn sunshine with our friends Marion & Kevin to put the MX5s through their paces up Mont Ventoux.

Looking back to the Luberon, the drive through the valley is pretty impressive.

As is the first sight of  Mont Ventoux, reaching 1912 metres, the white granite stone giving the impression 
she is snow covered all year!

As we go higher and stop to enjoy the view, the ladies bring out their fleeces as there is a very strong, cool mistral wind blowing.

Chalet Reynard is the last ski station in the southern Alps before you arrive at the Mediterranean

As you can see some one was cold!!

Of course Mont Ventoux is most famous for the Tour de France which passes through every four or five years.
Despite the very cold and strong wind there were dozens of  cyclists taking on the challenge, many of whom were  not terribly well equipped for the weather and arguably the climb by some of the bikes we saw!

Compare this to 2009! 
There are strong rumours the tour will head up Ventoux from Avignon
 in July 2013.

The views at the summit are simply stunning and a suitable reward however when you get to the top!

On the North side is the ski station, Mont Serein, which I skied in March 2010.

There are nine pistes facing North between 1400 and 1800 metres ranging from green to black.
Go and enjoy - in winter ski - in summer, walk, hike or cycle!