Thursday, May 9, 2013 – Another holiday and a trip to Fontevielle

It’s Ascension Day! Another reason to close everything and enjoy a holiday.

We learned about Ascension Day last year when we were here, so were prepared. We knew that the Bistrot Mogador at Chateau d’Estoublon in Fontevielle is one of the few nice dining spots open, so made reservations there earlier in the week.

I finished dialysis a bit early, so David tossed the last laundry load (sheets) into Patrick’s washing machine and headed off to get me. We headed to Mouries in hopes that Moulin St. Michel would be open and we could ship some of their olive oil to Bill Calderwood. After meandering down the tiny main street, we pulled up at the store to find it closed again. There was no note as to why, and no hours posted anywhere, so we figured it was because: a) it was a holiday, b) it was between noon and 3 pm, c) it was Thursday, d) it is 2013.

On to Maussane. Being a bit early for our lunch reservation, we decided to hit one of the store here to get raisins for my Waldorf salad. No luck at the first stop, but I found them at the second place, and we were off for Fontevielle and Bistrot Mogador. The countryside here is very pretty, a patchwork of olive groves and vineyards framed by the grey stone of the Alpilles (mini-Alps). The entrance to Chateau d’Estoublon runs down a road flanked by vineyards, then into a park-like area surrounding the main building, a centuries old château with ivy-covered walls. Bistrot Mogador seats dining guests under a large tree outside, or inside in a cavernous tasting room. We opted to dine outside, as the weather was nice. Rather than the regular menu, the Ascension Day menu is a brunch with dozens of dishes to choose from – multiple salmon plates, a variety of fish, shrimps, clams, salads of every description, chicken, roast beef and pork, avocado stuffed with crab, and endless desserts. We relaxed with a kir, then made our way to the buffet to select our lunch. A bottle of Estoublon’s rosé hit the spot.

Towards the end of our meal, two couples came in with dogs trailing them. One was a beautiful huskie, the other the largest dog I have ever seen. It probably was easily 120 pounds, the equivalent of 15 Lucys, with a gentle face and wagging tail. It was perfectly behaved, and lay at its humans’ feet the entire meal, undisturbed by other dogs and the endless stream of people who came up to marvel at it.

After finishing our relaxed meal, we headed off to the mas. Guy, the rental agent dropped by just as we arrived, and we caught up on all that is new with him and his business. Then, off to bed, as tomorrow is market day in Eygalieres.

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