Monday, May 20, 2013 – A glorious day and a visit to the Alchemist’s garden

Finally, a day with sun, light breezes, and a bit of warmth! Most days, when we drive from Eygalieres to the main road that runs between St. Remy and Cavaillon, we pass by the imposing Mas de la Brune, a centuries-old castle that sits back from the road surrounded by streams and gardens. We’ve always wanted to take a closer look, and today was the perfect opportunity. Extensive gardens surround the Mas, including a plot labeled le Jardin de Alchemiste (Alchemist’s Garden.) We headed down the long road that runs to the entrance, and strolled into a small entrance area. Two delightful young girls came out to greet us, using the opportunity to practice their English. We purchased entrance tickets and headed off into the little “maze” of hedges that leads to the rest of the gardens. The first section was plants that the alchemists considered magical, or having special properties, including a lot of the herbs that grow everywhere here – sage, thyme, rosemary, etc. Small placards describe what property each was thought to have, including potions, curatives, and such. Grape vines wind through trellises and small flumes flow through.

The final portion of the gardens is devoted to the three stages of life, as perceived by the alchemists. The first stage, birth and youth, was symbolized by all dark/black plants and flowers. The second, the prime of life, was identified with white – with roses, and flowers of that color making up these grounds. The final stage was red, symbolizing the realization of the meaning of life. Here we found red roses and other red flowering plants.

This brought us to the exit from the grounds, which offered us views of the Mas de la Brune, a very imposing structure which offers accommodations and meals. Our two young hostesses gave us each a fortune, a small piece of paper wrapped with a ribbon. Very sweet. Mine said, “it is again time to eat – pick a place.”

With the day getting better minute-by-minute, we decided this was the time to grab a sidewalk table at the Brasserie d’Eygalieres, the lower-key setting from Michelin-starred chef Wout Bru, whose Maison Bru just down the road from our mas is the attraction for the rich and famous. David dropped me off and I got a prime table in the sunshine while he went to park. There was a black Ferrari parked on the street near our table. I was able to pick out that the couple who owned from among the other patrons, the guy with the linen shirt, dark glasses, and straw hat, and the woman with the spike heels and leather slacks. David arrived and let me know that it apparently was Ferrari day in Eygalieres, as there was a red one just down the street. Ah to be young, rich, and fabulous.

Lunch was good, as always. Despite its affectations, (the menu is not really brasserie fare) Bru’s establishments do have nice food. I passed on the appetizer and went with coquelet (young rooster), while David had a light Asian-inspired shrimp dish to start followed by an entrecote. Kirs to start (we will miss those at home) followed by a bottle of Eole rosé ( we will also miss good rosé wines once home.) Lunch was a delight – sun, perfect temperature, and the spectacle of Ms. leather slacks directing her beau on getting his Ferrari out of the cramped parking spot without damage. Not exactly a Hollywood-style exit.

Leaving Bru, we headed back to the mas. Dinner was leftover chicken from the previous night, which David thought better than Bru’s, and a bit of hideous TV. We tried to watch a British TV detective show called Vera about a lady police inspector solving an old crime. Apparently they brought in a different writing crew every few scenes to keep things interesting, and in no time we were hopelessly confused with the plot. Vera kept saying , “I was wrong, (Nigel) (Ogelthorpe) (Burford) (Sarah) is not the murderer, it’s (Walwyn) (Desmond) Priscilla) (Lloyd.)” We finally gave up and turned in – tomorrow will be a long day starting with dialysis and ending with our dinner for Christine and Philippe.

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4 Responses to Monday, May 20, 2013 – A glorious day and a visit to the Alchemist’s garden

  1. Dawn says:

    That garden sounded interesting. I can only imagine the Ferrari babe……..
    Not sure when you are leaving France but safe travels back!

  2. Off to Paris tomorrow for three days, then back to Boca – land of the Boca babes…

  3. Kitty Mann says:

    I always thought you were young, rich and fabulous!

  4. Kitty Mann says:

    Safe journey home to Boca!

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