Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Provence - Saturday 2nd July

Today we went to Gigondas via the twistiest, windiest road ever!  We found a back route that took us past those hills LT’s been hunting for a good view of – wasn’t that handy?

 We went through a village called Suzette, but they didn’t seem to have any crepes around unfortunately :o(  They did have a funny school sign though:

The main reason for heading to Gigondas though, was for the food and, of course, more wine!  We did have a bit of a chuckle, because there was a waiter at the restaurant who obviously thought his French was impeccable to the foreigners, then we went and blew his cover by asking straight off where in Ireland he was from... (Wicklow, as it turns out - LT)
Here I am at the restaurant enjoying an aperitif of Beaumes Des Venise to wash down my amuse bouche of tiny octopus and local vegetables:

After a starter of courgette flowers, baby courgettes, chanterelle mushrooms and white truffle ravioli with white truffle shavings, I had a little bread to clear my palate before moving on to the red wine for the main course:

For the main course, LT and I had lobster with new pea puree in a very light pastry baskety thing:

When it came to dessert though, I had to sample all the options.  This is the fresh figs with liquorice ice-cream topped with a pastry thing that LT’s dad had:

And this is the cherry crumble and cherries soaked in something alcoholic, with crème fraiche dots and another pastry thing that LT had:

After all that I polished off the last of the wine to wash it all down:

But was revived with another round of wee sweets that always come with the coffee – I skipped the coffee of course...  There was a coconut marshmallow, a choux bun with crème patissiere, a calisson de Provence (an almondy thing topped with icing – LT) and a macaron with salt caramel, which were all yummy, and quite perked me up for a tour round the village:

There was some journalist guy, that when asked, said that he’d like his last ever meal to be at this restaurant.  We thought he might have a point...
We headed off for a wander round the village after lunch.  We don’t think this sundial has quite caught up with the concept of ‘summer time', but what’s an hour between friends!

They have some very funny ‘art installations’ around the village.  From Jack sized lorries:

To funny lamps on gas canisters:

To coke bottles filled with sand and little metal soldiers:

To traffic cone space ships:

To rows of metal men, doing the front crawl through the dirt:

So we went away from there and round the rest of the village, before anything else weird appeared!

Look, what a great way to recycle wine presses:

Obviously no-one could decide on exactly what colour of paint to do the shutters for the tourist office:

And they seem to get irrationally excited about getting post round here (the banner says Le Poste on either side of the 'Arrivee' - LT):

Look at all the places to go wine tasting just around this village.  A little bear could get very drunk indeed if he went to all 83 tasting places:

Look at this tiny little Jack sized house at the end of one of the vineyards:

Here I am with LT’s mum on the bench built for giants!  Just before this LT had a ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moment with her new skirt that she’d made to come on holiday.  I have no idea who Marilyn Monroe is, but she thought you’d all find it funny...

And here I am with LT’s mum and dad on the giant bench:

I went with them on a wine tasting tour next, while LT headed into the village for a boring old diet coke and to read her Kindle.  Here I am eyeing up the magnums:

I totally fell for this bottle:

There was LOTS of sampling involved:

I became quite the connoisseur, sniffing it and everything before I gulped it down:

LT drove us all home, and after a few hours relaxing, LT and her dad actually did go back for sunset, but I didn’t go with them, I stayed with LT’s mum, and snuck some birthday cake out of the cupboard...


The Bear's Blog said...

Hi Jack,

You are one party bear, aren't you? It was so nice to finally see a photo of LT's mum & dad.

Lt had a Marilyn Monroe moment? Do you know what happened? Her skirt blew up and you could see her undies (don't tell her I told you).

Hugs, little bear, big hugs.

Kristina said...

Love your photos and the story - so funny!

susana said...

it's lunch time here and i wanna to ask for the sharing of the cherry crumble, looks so yummy.
say hi to LT' s parent, what an exciting trip for all of you.

Alan said...

The journalist who liked the restaurant used to be the wine critic of our Sunday paper. We had walked past this place saying "Must go there one day" but never did. So after that review we went and it's fabulous as is the wine of the village.
I know you enjoyed the tasting jack. We selected 6 wines to taste and the nice lady in the tasting shop let us taste them in the right order, so you're now quite the aficionado aren't you. Now you know why we have so much wine from that village.