Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Glorious Autumn Day!

We are often asked which is our favourite month in the Luberon?
Well November has to be one of them.
This week the skies have been clear, the sun has been shining & temperatures have hit the late teens even in the shade and 30 degrees plus in the sun.

Today I was almost tempted to go in the pool!

We wee planning to go for lunch on the coast but instead opted for a day of gardening.

However it was such a nice day we decided a bottle of rose with lunch was in order! 

The temperature on the terrace today. 

And another reason we love November - the colours,
 as the Cherry trees turn red and vines a golden yellow.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Our Annual Olive Harvest!

When we first took over the garden at Les Cypres ( in 2006)  we picked 19 Kilos of Olives and were greeted at the Olive Oil mill with some scepticism  to our contibution to the villages Annual Olive Harvest.

However by 2009 and repeated in 2010 we grow this, together with Olives from our own garden to 248 Kilos. By now we were on the A list - well maybe B list! 

It is well known that aftera few productive years the trees rest to rebuild their strength and so last year whilst disspointed it was no surprise that our harvest dropped to just 48 Kilos.

And then in February we had one of the coldest snaps in 25 years, minus 16 at night, a high of minus 6 by day, which took it's toll on the trees.  A hard pruning followed in Spring.

And so this year it is more hunt the Olive! Normally we make quite an event of the Olive picking weekend with friends helping rewarded by lunch and plentiful quantities of rose!

But this year, Karen has been laid up with food poisoning so was not on top form to cook, 
and the Olives were conspicious by their abscence!

Lin , formally a gite client, now cat sitter signed up for the olive picking experience!

As did Den her husband - they have been here for the last few weeks enjoying Autumn in Provence and helping us prepare for the winter season.

And here are our Olives, we shall find out tomorrow just how many - I fear our worst harvest.
But next year should be a cracker!!

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Millau Bridge & Viaduct

It has been a long ambition to visit the Millau Bridge and this week we finally made it!
We left home in brilliant sunshine with the roof down on the car but as we headed North the weather changed so our pictures are rather gloomy! 

However what a spectacular structure and well worth the drive!

As you come round the bend this is the first view of the bridge - I imagine there are one or two shunts as it is quite a sight.

Designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux  and British architect Lord Norman Foster , it is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast's summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft) above the base of the structure.

Finally at the bridge!

Look at the size of the lorry crossing the bridge.

The bridge crooses the river Tarn

 The viaduct  is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Montpellier. 

Looking back from the South side. The crossing cost €6.80
It is about 275km from here in the Luberon and took about three and a half hours.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Great Food in Bonnieux

It maybe late October but L'Arome, in Bonnieux  is still warm and buzzing even on a Monday night!

We had a great meal with imaginative presentation.

amazing flavours

 Karen's fish was delicious

as was my Turbot, again, great presentation
dessert was gorgeous, a trioligy of rasberries

whilst Karen's Apple , very seasonal had quite a twist!

Menus start at 29€ to 43€ - it is well worth a visit.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A visit to Aix en Provence

Despite the strong cold wintery wind last Sunday we spent a day in Aix stopping over night for a change.

 On the outskirts of Aix is the 'Fondation Vasarely' a building containing art work by Victor Vasarely who was inspired by Bauhaus.

It is a really nice place to wander round and take in the huge pieces of art.

Amazing colours

and playing tricks with your vision!

At 9€ it is a great way to spend a half day.

In Aix the impressive roundabout at the entrance to the Cours Mirabeau

The Hotel Cezanne is quietly located yet an easy walk into the city. The rooms are spacious , luxurious and we found the honesty bar a great feature serving well priced fine wines and champagne at reasonable prices. 
The breakfast is sumptious - more a brunch with champagne - a real treat!

For dinner we ate at Cote Cours, my starter of comte, beetroot & speck was excellent
 whilst Karen had Sea Bass for her main 

and I ate the Veal - veally good!!

Finally a chocolate dessert rounded off a good meal, although we felt lunch was better value .

Autumn is coming!

October saw 8 days of rain compared to 4 last year bring 95 mm of rain and winds of 150 kph (93 mph) with the coldest day at 1.3 degrees and the warmest 23.5 degrees.
But it also led to great skies, mist and views to enjoy.