19th June 2013
I had a perfect long weekend away in the south of France. Food, weather, location – it was all idyllic.
E’s parents live in the beautiful Provençal countryside and so when H and I were invited to visit, we jumped at the chance.
Our arrival was met with a chilled bottle of rosé wine… and not just any rosé. This was the much discussed Miraval – the vineyard born baby of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The wine is made on their estate in Provence, Chateau Miraval.
As it should be, the Jolie-Pitt bottle is rather sexy – and the wine is delicious. It’s that very pale pink which is somehow bright at the same time.
We sipped our wine, admired the garden, and settled in to that holiday feeling.
And before we knew it, it was time for lunch (I promise it was just about midday when we started on the rosé…)
E’s Maman spoilt us all weekend with delicious fresh food, as you’ll see.
Simple and healthy – ideal when you’re going to be slipping into a bikini later on.
Grabbing a couple of apricots and bottle of water, we headed for the pool…
Later on in the evening, we wandered around the garden – which is stunning.
Isn’t this the loveliest place to sit?
Before cocktail hour by the pool – freshly made margaritas.
We slept very soundly after a dinner of salmon and sweet potato (which I forgot to photograph because I’m naughty – although this post will be pretty long as it is!).
It’s amazing how quiet it feels in the country when you’re used to being in London. And it’s the best feeling in the world when you wake up and can sense the heat outside – stepping outside in pyjamas and eating croissant before the sun gets too hot.
After catching some sun the previous afternoon, we set off for a drive through the local villages. The scenery is gorgeous, and the villages are shady and full of little cafés and dappled light.
We picked a square with a fountain, and E selected a restaurant because it had grey chairs (the secret indicator of a good restaurant). It turned out to be an excellent choice.
That platter of amazingness that you can see is made up of four exquisite little dishes…
Le gaspacho de melon au basilic – I have never had melon gazpacho before but it was so refreshing. I am definitely going to have a go at making it myself.
Les petites tomates provençales farcies
Le maquereau en escabèche et ses copeaux de légumes – mackerel is so good for you and the dressing was really crisp.
La salade fraîcheur au magret de canard des Landes et ses framboises – I think this was my favourite. I adore duck!
E had foie gras and we finished our lunch with lychee sorbet and macarons.
The restaurant we were at is called La Place, and it is the ‘little sister’ restaurant of Oustau de Baumaniere in Les Baux. We stumbled upon it completely by accident (thanks grey chairs)! You can find it in Maussane-les-Alpilles – read about it on their website.
The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, reading, swimming, and of course, eating.
Muggy, cloudy London can’t really complete right now can it?
At least I’ve got Glastonbury to look forward to! Fingers crossed for the weather…
A massive thank you to E’s parents for looking after us so well.