Monday, October 24, 2011 – Reflections on France

Another trip to our favorite destination, and – despite our medical woes – a great time.

The weather was perfect; the scenery wonderful as always; our time with friends enjoyable; and the food and wine terrific.

It only takes a day to get used to our “home” again. David sets up the computer in the den. We stock the kitchen. And we end each day at the Cafe le Centre.

Patrick, who cares for and shares the property, has a great sense of humor, and we enjoy meeting him at the Cafe for a glass of wine. He asks about the U.S., and  tells us about living in France.

Our little part of France is peaceful and pretty, a tiny 900-person village set on the slopes of the Alpilles. Market Day on Fridays is a treat – the main street lined with colorful booths selling cheese, charcuterie, fish, olives, honey, clothes, plants, and just about everything else you might think of. We stroll around, buy a few things, then sit at the Cafe for a coffee and watch all the action. We hope to be back in the Spring, again.

We found some neat new places to eat, and re-visited some favorites. A return to Mas de Capoun in Molleges confirmed that they have wonderful food at amazing prices. It will be on our list to visit again next trip. l’Aubergine in Eygalieres remains a reliable destination for good food and a warm welcome. Bistrot Decouverte in St. Remy continues to serve great  food. La Petite Table in Eygalieres is “new” in that they are now in a larger setting. The decor is terrific, and the food superb. Chez Gus is a new find in St. Remy, ultra casual with terrific takes on fresh seafood and shellfish. Brasserie d’Eygalieres is in the old quarters of Chez Bru, which has moved its Michelin stars down the road a couple of kilometers. The food is fabulous, and the sidewalk setting perfect for people watching. We were sorry to hear of the closing of Bistrot Mogador at Chateau Estoublon. We liked the menu and setting very much and will miss spending lunches and early afternoons there.

At Riboto-de-Taven, Jean-Pierre still has the best food in Provence, Philippe the most intriguing wine list, and Christine the warmest smile and most delectable cheese selection. Our dinner with them at our “home” was a highpoint of our stay, despite putting together a menu consisting almost entirely of things that were out of season. Fred is a treat, chasing his shadow and giving great shaggy kisses.

It’s always a bit of culture shock coming home. There’s a lot we will miss. But, it’s great to have Lucy by our side again, and we can look forward to a return.

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