Chocolate foie gras, balsamic vinegar, roquefort, and ham and cheese. The roquefort won hands down!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012 - Arrived in Bordeaux at Francoise's and Raymond’s just after lunch, but that didn't mean we didn't get fed. A lovely lunch of confit de canard and cepes. I was ready for a nap, but we were shown all around their house, which Kevin already knew from his last visit, and down to the guest cottage, which will be our digs for the next week. Their house sits up against the hill, and has caves in the back, a sort of troglodyte house. I am shown the laundry, and alot of other stuff, since they are taking off in the morning to go to Paris for the weekend . They also have us for dinner, of fish and snow peas. Believe it or not, we were very full - so much so that Kevin politely declined blue cheese, a first for him I think!
The weather is overcast, and starting to rain, but luckily we are having an early night.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012 - Kevin is copping the worst of the cold right now and is very cranky, so we just headed into Bordeaux for a walk around. First stop was the
He is buried with his mother, and perhaps and aunt.
Info Center, natch, for the map, and I picked up a self-guided walking tour. Off we went! On the tour, we came across the Hotel de Ville, which was originally built by the Archbishop de Rohan, not to be confused with the Cardinal de Rohan of the Diamond Necklace Affair fame, although he was his brother. The building was finished in 1784. Interestingly, there is no mention of what happened to the building during the revolution, but I have a feeling it was confiscated. Both Rohan brothers survived the revolution and continued their catholic ministries until their deaths.
There is a fair going on this weekend in town, so I stopped by the nougat stand and bought a mixture of all their nougats, as they were in little pieces. i also found a wonderful macaron shop that had savoury macarons. So of course I had to buy four - chocolate foie gras (for you-know-who), Roquefort, balsamic vinegar and ham and spinach. I cut them all in half that night for dessert. Kevin and I voted overwhelmingly for the Roquefort, as it was so smooth. The foie gras on its own would have been nice but we couldn't get the
Fruites Rouge dessert
Red current sorbet, raspberry meringue and raspberry coulis. So rich, so yummy! My favorite on the trip so far...
point, or the taste, of the chocolate. The others, although nice, were a bit bland.
Dinner was at home with some lovely porkchops, Brussells sprouts and potatoes - the meal we were supposed to have LAST Sunday. I had frozen the chops...
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2012 - Kevin is feeling decidedly better so we headed southeast to Verdelais and Chateau Malrome, where Toulouse-Lautrec died and was buried. The chateau was closed, even though the sites say they do tours (it is a winery as well) so we took pix. We also went to the town of Verdelais where he is buried in the cemetery, and got pictures of his grave as well. My Lautrec Trail is complete...
While in Verdelais, we stopped for lunch at a very poncey little restaurant, Nord Sud (www.lenordsud.com
) Very pretentious, decorated in aubergine and taupe...I had a starter of gorgonzola raviolis and a dessert called "Fruites Rouges", so you can imagine... and Kevin just had a steak. He said it was the best steak he has had in France. It cost half the bill so at that price it should! My dessert was the best I have had here this
In the market in Bordeaux, I still can't get over the number of chevre cheeses there are available everywhere.
trip. It started off with Red Current sorbet (though the waiter INSISTED it was raspberry, but I know my raspberry) with a raspberry meringue and coulis served with whipped cream. I poured the coulis all over the meringue, which I had chopped up, and the whipped cream. I cannot describe the flavour...but I may have to try this one at home...
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012 - Today we toodled off to Bordeaux, with it being sort of rainy. We wanted to go to the Antiques Market, but found ourselves instead at a food market on the quai that was expensive but lovely to look at. We bought a chicken for dinner, which in itself was fun. One of the sellers was helping an older lady who, whenever a chicken was picked up that she had indicated, she said "non, non, non!" After about the third chicken the seller looked at me, smiled and rolled his eyes. I think they were glad to deal with my being satisfied easily in my halting French. Next, we went into the Old town and another, but covered, market there. Pix taken, it was time to look for lunch. On the square
The exterior of this wonderful castle, privately owned and in the middle of extensive preservation
outside the market, there was a little cafe so we decided to go in. Kevin had steak tartare, Italian style, which consisted of three shavings of parmesan cheese included. I had pasta with chrevre and honey. The combination was beautiful - cheesy but sweet. I needed to carb up on this cold day and it was perfect. Believe it or not, I actually left some on the plate, but it was very good. I love the different combinations of food flavors the French put together.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2012 - Although it is rainy, we headed off to Sarlat, known for its beautiful medieval buildings. In the 60s the town had been given lots of money to fix itself up, and it did. It bills itself as the capital of foie gras and truffles. Of course, with the drive being about two hours, we arrived just about the time everything closed. As it was raining well at this point, we decided to go eat. We found a lovely little restaurant, Auberge de la Salamandre on 6 Rue des Consuls. I indulged in white garlic soup, with big bits of garlic, and a cassoulet
Kevin in the Kitchen
This is the kitchen in Castelnaud. he ramp behind Kevin was for the horses to come into the castle. I liked what they did with their swords. It was a wonderful room.
for my main course. Perfect French comfort food. Great for a rainy day! Kevin had, he says, a very nice foie gras and coq au vin. He said it must have been the oldest rooster around, but I think it probably wasn't cooked long enough. We both had creme brulees for dessert. If you're ever in Sarlat, please go here for a meal. We then left the rain, and decided to meander along the Dordogne river, where there were many castles on either side. During the 100 years war, the river was the dividing line, with castles on one side in English hands, and in French hands on the other. One castle we went into had a cannon ball in the side of the battlement, dating back to that war. although the woman at the desk said it was English, it was actually a French cannonball, as this castle was on the English side of the river. Castlenaud, Baynac, la roque Gagnac, all along the river are wonderful villages and castles....a must-do, if it's not raining. But I have a feeling Sarlat is devilish during the summer, so you might want to wait until September.
Our hosts were back
Nuts to YOU!
This was an eco-farm for Walnuts. These were concrete walnuts at the entry to the farm. They made me smile!
from Paris, so we joined them for a dinner of lovely pork roast and potatoes, with cheese and fruit for dessert.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012 - Francoise and Raymond decided to take us into Bordeaux for a museum or two and a walk-around. We rode the tram for the first time in town, had a quick lunch and then went to the Museum of Aquitaine, which chronicles the history of the area from cave men and their art up to the present. It was beautifully laid out and not tedious at all, though it would have been nice to have a little more English signage. The most interesting part was the information about the French slave trade, starting in the 1600's. I had no idea the French were also involved, but I can see it now, with the sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean.
As a thank-you to Francoise and Raymond, we went out to dinner tonight at a wonderful restaurant in the suburbs of Bordeaux, called Le Cape. The menu was extensive, and the waiters were amusing and spoke English well, which is a bonus for me. We tried to have different items: for starters
Wonderful French comfort food
there were duck raviolis with wasabi sorbet, foie gras (no, Kevin didn't have it this time) and pig's foot carpaccio. The wasabi sorbet really had a bite to it and at one point it cleared the sinuses. Kevin enjoyed his carpaccio, but he thinks it was sliced from a terrine, which is okay. The quality of the foie gras goes without saying. For our main courses there was roast veal for three of us and pigeon for Francoise. The veal was beautiful and tender, and the pigeon was enjoyed as well. Raymond and Francoise switched in the middle, but each enjoyed their original choice more. Dessert! My personal favorite part of the meal...there were cheese plates, a cheese tart and a raspberry thing with sweet red pepper sorbet. I am going to have to look up all these wonderful savory sorbets in my cookbook. They have been a real plus to many of the meals. All in all, the dinner was delightful and such wonderful people to share it with!
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012 - We just spend the day reorganizing our bags as the final countdown to leaving Sunday approached. A couple of last minute food
Pig' feet carpaccio
Kevin's entree at La Cape in Bordeaux.
and culinary purchases, then back to the house to clean up and pack up...after a lovely pork roast dinner with francoise and Raymond it was to bed for an early start.
Au revoir, Francoise and Raymond, merci bien pour tout, et a bientot!
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