Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tarte Tatin

If you have eaten in L'Estrade in the village you are sure to have tasted their Tarte Tatin made daily by Anne Laurence.

For my 50th birthday (now last year) the girls bought me a copper 'moule' the dish needed to make a tarte, together with the promise of showing me how to make one. And we finally got round to organising the lesson this week.

12 golden delicious apples to start

in the pan, brought gently to the boil with lots of butter and sugar, then simmer.............

to bring a lovely aroma and colour and the layer of caramel begins to form, this is the most difficult part!
Anne Lo applies the home made pastry

Looking pensive - the pressure is mounting!

Bringing the tarte out the oven, its all in the turn!

pretty good result for the first attempt

Anne Lo just adding the caramel 

ready to serve to our guests for dinner - enjoy!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Perfect December Walk

Taking advantage of the December sunshine we took walk No 4 in the Saint Saturnin guide, from the village heading South west to the Perreal. Walking past one of our favourite houses.

After climbing to about 473 metres we enjoyed spectacular views towards the Petit Luberon 

And from here views of Mont Ventoux 

The chapel was built in the 16 century and restored in the 19th century.

Coming around  `our side of the valley` looking towards the Mont du Vaucluse, the mountains behind us, 

This charming cabanon enjoys a wonderful view.

The vines are bare of grapes and ready for winter. 

On return we enjoy the winter sun with a glass of Provencal rose - what else!

The view from our pop up bar over the grand Luberon. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

update on village works

Work continues despite the snow and cold weather.

Hard to imagine the bustling Tuesday market taking place here in the village square each Tuesday morning.

The Boulangerie & Spa were closed for the last week due to the works going on.

The platane has been removed, lots going on here.

New parking outside the post office.

The terrace outside the Bar Platane 

Its all going to look fabulous when completed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is it going to be a cold winter?

All the signs are indicating a cold winter lies ahead - record acorn fall - similar to Autumn 2010 when early snow followed causing travel chaos especially in December and January.

There are also lots of berries evident. 

But maybe a better sign is waking up to snow fall today! 

We have picked our Olives this same weekend every year since 2006 and we recall only one, I think 2007 was very cold - the rest we have been in Autumn sunshine and enjoyed lunch out doors.

I think this year is going to be a tad chilly! as I write this our intrepid pickers are just about to step onto the plane at Gatwick on route, so hopefully no turning back!

I think coffee laced with brandy, and mulled wine might be order of the day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Saint Saturnin Les Apt under seige!

The village of Saint Saturnin Les apt is almost unrecognisable!

Last year, as soon as the last tourists left, we had months of upheaval whilst new drains were installed, roads widened and pavements re built.

And now they are at it  again, every where we turn we are confronted with road works! 

This square with monument and fountain will look great once completed.

Trying to cross the road is taking your life into your hands! 

And posting a letter is quite a challenge!

But the bar stays open and people sit out side looking quite bemused by it all! 

This 1960's building has been remodeled and will become a library and village centre - why not! 

The village square - normally home to the Tuesday market - this has moved to the Cours Liberte 

Useful, a diversion leading to a blocked road! 

I take it this one is blocked too!

We look forward to showing the new village next year!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A weekend in Nimes with friends.....

Each Autumn we take a mini break with close friends who now live in Germany and this years choice was Nimes, a town, the capital of the Gard, quite close to us and one that we have visited at least twice before but usually just for a few hours and punctuated by lunch of course!
So it was nice to spend some quality time in the town and the surrounding area, and remember this is early November.

We chose to stay in an apartment right in the centre of Nimes which made an ideal base.

Our first stop was to visit Aigues-Mortes a famous walled town bordering the sea, on route we stopped at the 'tour Carbonniere' one of the 4 defences of the town, where there is a great view of the petite Camargue.

You can take the boardwalk to the tower.
Here we are at the top of the tower with our friends Roy & Andrea.

Aigues-Mortes, a charming walled town, Spring and Autumn are the best time to visit, as it will be very busy in the Summer.

The square in Aigues-Mortes, perfect for a coffee, beer or relaxing lunch.

On the beach in November!

In to Nimes to explore, and we walked for quite a few miles and enjoyed the wonderful architecture, the shopping! and Les Quais de la Fontaine.

The jardins de la Fontaine, a vast open public space dating to the 18th century.

From here walk to the tower 'tour Magne' dating to Roman times from which there are great views.

The Roman amphitheatre dating from 1st or 2nd Century AD is one of the best preserved in Europe.

Take the tour inside, you will  be captivated by the atmosphere of what went on in the past.

The emblem of nimes a crocodile and palm tree!

One of the many fountains in Nimes, the town has undergone significant investment in the last few years.

Back to the Romans! The Maison Carree was built in 16BC imagine that! 

Sit on the steps and admire the contrast in architecture, designed by sir Norman Foster and opened in 1993 the Carre d'art is a glass and steel building now the cities library and museum of contemporary art.

At night many of the public buildings and spaces are lit. 
This is the walk from the arena to the main line station.

Our final day, in Uzes, another beautiful town in the Gard, the Saturday market was heaving so beware in summer it will be packed!

In the backstreets of Uzes.

And in November, lunch in the garden - what else!

Nimes is do-able in a day, but an over night stop is recommended, there is a vast choice of restaurants, the town has a very spanish feel to it and many bars and restaurants serve Tapas - go and enjoy!