Saturday, February 21, 2009

Citroen, wine, and leek soup

This morning we are leaving Blaye - but not before we book in for a week from 20 June! There is just so much to see in the area and we have fallen in love with Bordeaux! The week we are coming back is Vin Expo, a huge Wine Expo promoting all the Bordeaux wines. We have been promised a tasting pass by Yann and Florence and Les will get us a visit to Chateau Rothschild and to Remy St Martin - so eat your hearts out guys - will definitely be part of the other 'set' before we get home!
We start today with a walk to the local twice-weekly markets after breakfast. Again, the food safety people would be horrified - there is the boucher with his meat on display and more seafood sellers than you can count doing a very brisk trade - at least their goods are on ice! There are boulangers, fabricants de saucisse, and lots of vendeurs de légumes (that is butchers, sausage sellers and greengrocers) as well as the ubiquitous clothing, handbag and junk merchants. The market is about the same size as the Maryborough markets - but much more vibrant and all the food vendors are doing a very brisk trade. No one relies on plastic bags here - they all carry large woven baskets and you see them trotting home laden with the makings of breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple of days - and with the baguette for lunch toda sticking out the end. Bread is bought fresh for most meals as without preservative it goes stale quickly - that is, if there is any left over ;).

Michael makes a detour to the Post Office to send a bottle of wine home to David - this wine is the one we had with Les, the Aussies and the winemakers the other night. Want some? Talk with DM - it will take about 6 weeks to get there we think!
Then we are off in Les' Citroen to visit Yann and Florence's winery. We get a whistle stop tour and explanation of the processes. Most of their vines are about 15 years old and by legislation they can only sell 5,000 litres of wine per hectare (this helps to ensure quality and the absence of gluts on the market). The rest (if there is any) they can use for their own consumption, or make into vinegar or the like. We, with the exception of Michael, taste a few others and I buy four bottles of the 2006 vintage that is so good. Yann then gives me a bottle of the 2003 and 2004 vitages gratis! They are lovely people and we are looking forward to spending more time with them in June. I will email their contacts to Brian as they do not have an Australian importer as their previous one and his family all perished in the recent fires - yes, it has touched people's lives even on the other side of the world. Back to the guesthouse with the gearbox on the Citroen screaming as Les hoons it along. Didn't get a pic (will get one next time) - it is bright yellow and blue and with the top open, it is much fun!!!

He has made leek soup for lunch and invites us to share it with him along with the remains of the bagette from breakfast - it is made fresh and on vegetable stock and is just wonderful. Very cleansing. We make our goodbyes to Les and Michele, leaving some Aussie souvenirs with them and then hit the road north. The drive to Pontorson takes just under 6 hours and we pass through some of the most beautiful countryside heading back to the Atlantic coast. While we are too late to go down to Mont St Michel for the sunset photo, Michael does get a few nice ones through the fields as we travel.

We find the Hotel Montgomery easily and our room is very nice - even if it is one the second floor (no lift!). There is a little creperie a few doors away - Crêperie du Couesnon and we take the last table as we enter - the owner Isabelle turns away three groups of up to seven after we sit! The food is wonderful - long live french cooks!!!!
We share Salade de chèvre (Salad, tomatoes, toast with warm goat cheese and walnuts) this was just superb and a
Assiette de frittes (plate of chips)
Crépe Le Forestière – Ladons flambés, champignons, crème (Flamed bacon, mushrooms in cream) Michael
Crépe Le Royale – Jambon, œuf, fromage, champignons a la crème (Ham, egg, cheese, mushrooms in cream) Maria
Crépe Montélimar – Sirop d’érable, glace nougat, Chantilly (Maple syrup, nougat ice cream and Chantilly cream) – but without the cream Michael
Crépe Normande – Pommes poêlées, flambées au Calvados (fried apples flambed with Calvados) Maria
I drank Floralise - a light rose from the Provence area.

We strike up a conversation with Isabelle the owner and sitting nearby, the youngest daughter of a family nearby giggles either at our English or French - not sure which. However she is thrilled with the toy Kangaroo we give her and we leave a set of coasters (Aborignal Kangaroo design) for Isabelle and her husband Fabrice who is the cook. If you ever get to Pontorson, we can highly recommend a meal here. In order to improve her English which incidently is very good), Isabelle is currently reading The Diary of Adrian Mole 13½ in English and we share a laugh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fabrice and I are very happy to have had the opportunity to meet you. And we think that everybody here should know that you are very good ambassadors of Australia ! (Very nice people, happy to share their interesting experiences). We hope Mont Saint-Michel's magic will make you come back one day. But you have a long journey ahead of you and there are so many interesting things to see around the world ! We shall come back and watch this blog to share your discoveries. It could give us ideas too. And reading you is very good to improve our english as well ! Have a nice journey (visiting marvellous places and meeting kind people) ! Isabelle and Fabrice