worth a thousand words
food, glorious food
It does exist! A steakhouse in Bordeaux where you saunter up to a meat counter to choose your cut of boeuf and the size of your personal slab. Accompanied by anything between a green salad and potatoes gratin (with duck fat french fries a popular choice), the entire meal is presented family style in short order. Along with a dazzling wine list, Le Bar du Boucher delivers a friendly and tasty experience…who could ask for more?
I just watched a short video about how the French culture reveres food…and particularly lunch. It is a social occasion in no hurry…lasting at least an hour and many times two. Typically, the three courses include an: entréé (appetizer), plat (main course), and dessert. Most people will have a glass or two of wine and a café afterward, the tiny shot of espresso to energize the afternoon and balance the digestion. The french are some of the most productive and creative workers in the world…maybe it’s because they don’t work through lunch!
the wine cellar
Do you remember the dance “Tequila”? That’s the dance I’m doing these days as I have a bottle of Jose Cuervo margarita mix, salt, and limes. What a perfect combo! Thanks N and C for the contraband from the German/American commissary :)
Château de Reignac
A beautiful castle located northeast of Bordeaux between the rivers Garonne and Dordogne, this estate produces some of my favorite bio wines. Apparently “the wine gurus” agree because it’s been awarded more prestige than some of the Grand Crus of Bordeaux even though its appellation is Bordeaux Superior. There simply isn’t a bad Reignac even in the years that other estates have a thumbs down approach to the harvest. We’re going to visit the vineyard in person for a tour and picnic in May. There’s an aroma garden within an Eiffel glass greenhouse with plants growing for all the scents that are perceived in their wines…how fun is that? The picnic will be VERY french and I truly cannot wait to see, small, and taste it all in person!
My latest reads are “How to Play Bridge” in English AND French and Lonely Planet’s Guides to St. Petersburg and the Baltics. I haven’t touched a french lesson in two months and my goal to read War and Peace before traveling fizzled out completely. I thought about Doestoevsky and Chekhov too but never downloaded a Kindle word of it. It might be nice to take along a book while traveling but suitcase space is tight and I’d rather have an extra pair of shoes. So, my life without words and pages will continue for a few more months and when I begin again, I think I will be the stay up until 4 am voracious reader. Maybe I’ll even finish W&P.
In addition to online news sources, a print copy of The Connexion is almost a must-have for English speakers in France. It’s a monthly news magazine with stories ranging from world to community issues and events. There’s always something to learn and something to enjoy and usually, something to do because of reading it. The perfect trifecta!
Monthly Archives: May 2014
My grandmother’s clock beating like a heart and chiming the evening’s passage…globes of white petunias reflecting a setting sun…a lingering contentment from letting birdsong and frog chorus into my foreground…soft and creamy cheese decorating a fresh baguette, a heartfelt novel … Continue reading
Last night, Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre treated patrons to Donizetti’s opera Anna Bolena. I was in the audience for a live opera for my very first time. The theatre opened in 1780 and the styling and décor remains true to the … Continue reading
In the foothills of the Pyrenees of southwest France, armagnac is born and raised. Distilled from any combination of ten grape varietals, armagnac is the oldest brandy produced in France. Unlike cognac, which matures in pot stills, Armagnac ferments in … Continue reading
American Civil War 1861-1865 Here lie 625,000. World War II 1941-1945 Here lie 405,399. World War I 1917-1918 Here lie 116,516. Vietnam War 1961-1975 Here lie 58,209. Korean War 1950-1953 Here lie 36,516. Revolutionary War 1775-1783 … Continue reading
I shopped at the Chartrons market today and met Norbert, a friendly fellow who likes to chatter and smile, and he gives out samples. Norbert has a cart displaying fruits fourrés au bloc de fois gras…figs, prunes, and apricots stuffed … Continue reading
Since there really aren’t any Hallmark stores, tomorrow’s Fête des Mères (Mother’s Day) can’t possibly be a Hallmark holiday. Of course there is a marketing blitz to buy your mum flowers at the least and a full set of Le … Continue reading
Like many destination cities, Bordeaux now offers a city pass for the visitor who wants to explore the museums, ride the public transport, and get a discount on their vacation euros budget. It might be a good idea if many … Continue reading
Occasionally, people I meet who have not traveled or lived in the United States believe it is either a massive country of consumerism and obesity or a place that hasn’t evolved since the days of the wild west. This is based … Continue reading
Lalandusse is a small village in the Lot-et-Garonne department just south of the Dordogne border. There is a church and a war monument, a pizza pub and a few homes, to warrant a dot on the map. Fields and restored … Continue reading