It’s been 5 months since my last post – a case of too much time eating and not enough time writing about it (though that is, of course, the best way round…). One trip that definitely deserves a belated mention is a trip we took to Belgium last November. Friends of ours had returned from a holiday on America’s West coast raving about sours. As sours are based on the Belgian lambic method and Belgium is a hell of a lot closer than the US, we decided to spend a long weekend in search of Gueuze. These are the beer tasting notes from the trip.
For our birthdays this year, our families had bought us both a voucher for lunch at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. At the time we were in the depths of moving house and when we booked, August seemed like ages away, but all of a sudden the day was here and we found ourselves starched and pressed and on the long drive to Oxfordshire.
I’ve just come back from 10 days in the South West of France and I’m already mourning the end of lunchtime drinking and river swimming. The weather hasn’t helped – flying back over the New Forest and seeing fields that were more puddle than grass wasn’t a welcome sight. I am pleased to be back in my own kitchen however, with plenty of holiday food inspiration, but all the benfits of sharp knives, a gas hob and the much missed coffee paraphernalia.
After our fantastic wild strawberry haul on Monday, we couldn’t resist a second trip. While the Dordogne hasn’t seen quite the insane amount of rainfall that we’ve suffered recently, it has been a wetter than usual spring and now that flaming June is in full swing, the woodlands and verges are absolutely booming.
My folks are only about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, so we always try to fit in at least one trip when we visit. Today it was the turn of Lynch Bages, a 90 hectares chateau just outside the town of Pauillac. Although the wine was only classified as a cinquieme cru in 1855, it is now seen as one of the best wines outside of the first growths.
It’s day 3 of our trip to the Dordogne to visit my parents and I still can’t get over the fact that it’s not constantly raining over here. We went for a long walk down the track behind the house earlier and found that the verges were absolutely teaming with fraise des bois. I’ve seen these little jewels in tiny punnets at the local market over here and I’ve been lucky enough to snaffle the odd one or two in the wild in the past, but never in this sort of quantity.
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