Sunday, October 30, 2011

Au Revoir Saignon.

This was taken on the last leg of our last walk in Saignon. A fitting way to end this blog. At least for my pictures. I have yet to add Janie's pictures and a certain dentist and his bride may send some of their pictures that will be added. I will probably add a few more of my own as time goes by. To anyone just coming to this blog, it is in reverse chronological order. If that's important to you, go to the oldest posts and work your way back here.

Gary and Cathy, Rue Cilly, Saignon

These are the wonderful English neighbors across the square, who made Saignon feel like our hometown. Thank you both!

Last night in Solveig....sniff

Our last meal in Saignon was at Solveig, of course. Very sad. The house cat came to see us off. We were the only ones in the dining room this night, the porch was packed. The food was special.

Obligatory, cliched roof tile shot, Banon

Our bedroom window, Rose Cottage

Thursday, October 27, 2011

International living, Marseille

These were German football fans at an Irish pub drinking Dutch beer in Marseille, at 10:00 a.m.

Pork belly on a bed of braised red cabbage with a cauliflower coulis and a raosted clove of garlic. Bistro du Vin, Saignon

I had this three times during our stay. This is the restaurant that is ten feet from our front door.

Salmon special, Oscar's, Marseille

A wonderful main course after the soupe de poisson (see below). Light and tasty.

Two soupes de poissons

 Every year we try to find soupe de poisson. We first learned of it in St. Martin in the Caribbean. It is the base broth of bouillabaise and is a rich fishy soup. It is also like salade Nicoise, every chef makes it a bit differently. This was at lunch ay Les Deux Garcons in Aix. Felix and Isabel told us it was a bit thick and porridgey to their tastes. We loved it.
A week later we were in Marseille and went to a harborside restaurant called Oscar's. The special of the day was soupe de poisson and a salmon filet. We jumped at it. This soupe was much thinner and we now agree with Felix and Isabel, thinner is better. Putting it together is almost as much fun as eating it. You take a crouton, rub it with raw garlic, put some aioli (a mayonnaise and garlic mixture that is pure heaven) on the crouton, put a little shaved parmigiana on the top and float it in the soupe. Wait til it softens a little and eat it. Repeat.

Evening light in Solveig.

We were just sitting down to dinner when I saw this light. Solveig even arranges her door artistically.

Pumpkin patch, below Menerbes

These pumpkins are the opposite of our Jack O'Lanterns. The are sort of a giant acorn squash, with 90% flesh and 10% seeds. The flesh is a rich orange and is quite dense. You'll certainly get your daily dose of beta-carotene from a serving of this. At this time of year a lot of the local chefs have a pumpkin dish on the specials menu.  This field was all lined up and ready to be put in a truck.

Window, Christine's, Saignon

The morning light changed angles about 30 degrees while we were in Saignon. Luckily the palmiers were always the same.

One sunset, two views, Saignon

I'm not much of a sunset shooter, but this was right there and I had a camera.......

Robe and shadows, Rose Cottage

After a long hike. Rose Cottage

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Minotaurette, La Manade, Apt

This was outside of La Manade, a very nice little restaurant in Apt. We ate there and had a warming stew that was nicely spiced.

Graffiti in levels, Apt

 These were on a wall where graffiti was erased or painted over on a regular basis. It created levels that were interesting.

More graffiti, Apt

I found all of this in one small alley. After being impressed by the levels and collage I noticed that there was a small graphic arts shop down the alley, so it may not be purely graffiti but advertising.

More melons, Apt

I couldn't decide if this looked better in Black and white or color, so you get to decide.

Class trip, Apt

These look the same the world over.

Pique-nique, Rose Cottage, Saignon...or...Why French women are so thin.

 We put this little meal together during our last week. Some fresh local foie gras from the Apt market, a nice little Camembert, good local sausage, black olives, bread from Christine's, a lovely Margaux from the Apt wine shop and a Rose for Janie. The manager of the restaurant next door was setting up and looked over and said that he'd be right over.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Around the terrace, Maison Solveig

Astrid, the owner of Maison Solveig, is an artist in her other life. The restaurant has linited hours in the winter and she must do her art then. The porch reflects her artistry. She has a small black pug and a huge cat. The statue fooled me the first time. She has also planted her little terrace beautifully, with a grapevine shading it all summer. My guess would be that she made the little seahorses around the spouts of her fountain. The frog is a detail of a painting that she hung on the wall, or so I thought. When making the picture I noticed that the texture was not canvas, but stucco. She, very cleverly, painted the frog and then hung a frame around it.

Curried chicken, walnut and apple salade, Maison Solveig, Saignon

A good hot day, a long morning hike, a return to Saignon at lunch time to find this meal and the one below in front of us. No wonder we lingered and had two pichets of rose.

A taste of Provence, Solveig, Saignon

Those are melon balls in prosciutto, pickled and ribboned zucchini, two olive tapenades and a goat cheese pate with a small glass of gazpacho. What a lunch.

Chicken wings, Apt Market

Fresh, free-range chicken, Herbes de Provence, a big saute pan. How can you go wrong. Sorry Jenn and Martina.

Flowers, Apt market

This will give you an idea of the quality of flowers at these markets. You just want to buy them all.

Peppers and onions, Isle sur la Sorgue

This was the start of a great meal, of course peppers and onions are the start of a lot of great meals. This was in a giant pan on market day and I never got back to see what the final meal was. But what a smell they gave off.

Window display, Isle sur la Sorgue

These were being set out as we walked by. They are machine-made but someone designed them and I liked them.

Hat Store, Isle sur la Sorgue

Wouldn't you buy a hat here?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mannequins, Apt

These people could put anyone in a bad mood.

Plaque, Isle sur la Sorgue

Photographers love three dimensional art, because it changes in the light. This plaque and the statue below make very agreeable models. They don't move and they don't get tired.

Statue, Isle sur la Sorgue

Savon d'Alep

Savon de Marseille comes in blocks like these and really does clean clothes very well. This is apparently the equivalent for your skin.

Brocantes for sale, Isle sur la Sorgue

In France there are three levels of used things to sell. Antiquites are real proven antiques, brocantes are used objects with a little age on them and puces are flea market ready. These two tables were being passed off as brocantes.


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