Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bacchus' Night in Vaison la Romaine

Wine God and Goddess

Don't they just look the part? Last night the young wine growers of the Côte du Rhône region in Provence dressed in Roman style when they invited for "The Night of Bacchus" (the God of wine). This annual event took part right in the middle of Vaison la Romaine's famous Roman excavations - a magical setting on a balmy summer evening (luckily they held it last night as today the dreaded Mistral wind would have blown the canopies away...).

Wine Tasting in an Ancient Roman Setting

Not only was it fun to see all those gorgeous young wine gods but also to taste their wines, find new vintages, meet friends and just enjoy an early summer evening. I'll be back next year!

More Wine Gods

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lunch "Chez Rose"

A hidden Gem - Lunch at the Calanque de Sormiou

Some people are doing their very best to do what the French call “cacher son jeu” (hide what you are really up to). When we first arrived at the small bay at the Calanque de Sormiou I cynically thought “yeah, sure” and was convinced I'd been ripped off. Because in order to have access to this Calanque on the outskirts of Marseille not only do you have to brave a hair raising ten minute drive along hairpin bends, but you also have to make a reservation at their restaurant “Lunch” or the guards won't let you pass the entrance barrier to the Calanque by car.

"Lunch" Chez Rose

Quite frankly, from the outside this restaurant looks like a hut in dire need of restoration. But once inside I very rapidly fell in love! Not only with their quirky decoration – but their food! I ate the best, fattest, freshest and juiciest king prawns I've ever had. Fresh from the grill, herb scented and with just some mashed up potatoes and carrots on the side. Simple and fantastic. As was the sole my OH had or the squid salad we shared for starters. What a hidden gem! Too bad they now call the it “Lunch” . It seems before it was called “Chez Rose” - much nicer name. Cheap it ain't, but worth every centime. And the service is lovely, too. Go there if you can.

Maritime Murals

Calanque de Sormiou

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cherry Time is here!

Cherries fresh from the market

With the exception of raspberries cherries are my favorite fruits – big, fat, luscious, dark, ripe cherries! This Tuesday they appeared at our local market and pretty soon there will be signs along the roads “Cerises à vendre”. But of course, I could not wait. So I bought three kilos, then dove deep into my basement where I keep empty glass jars that I collect all year long. The jars and their lids were sterilized in the hottest cycle of my dishwasher and the cherries pitted. Dirty work, only made sweeter by rewarding myself after every twentieth pitted cherry or so by popping one into my mouth - yum!

And then things progress rather fast: Mix the cherries with jam sugar, bring to the boil, boil vigorously for three minutes, fill jars, close and stand upside down for five minutes. Put upright, let cool, label and be proud.
Two hours later: Cherry Jam

Couldn't wait to taste - breakfast this morning