I’m finally on the road again, after sheltering for the past three years. I’ve just started to look at the photos I’ve made in the last three weeks. These will do to get started.
I was in Narbonne, the first Roman settlement in France. These are casts from a funerary enclosure, so either a chapel or a tomb. I can’t find too much more about them as yet. The site is still being dug by archeologists. The stones seem to celebrate life…. fruit and flowers, drinking and dancing. I’d like to think that the person portrayed was an entertainer.
As anywhere in France, this city lets art flourish. It’s as much part of the culture as the amazing food. I was planning to be there about now, but alas…. no one’s going anywhere. I can dream. I’ll be back.
Here’s some street art…. as Michelin would say, Narbonne is well worth the detour.
Stirred by the Discovery Prompt ‘Notes’ it was easy enough to recall a mysterious murder I was able to solve, with some small difficulty, last year. I was spending a quiet few days in the historical town of Narbonne, in France. The inestimable Hotel de Paris has a singular check-in routine. Check in is from 2.30pm, but the hard working staff take their rest between 1pm and 5pm. One is provided only with a code to the front door. Inside, I was led to expect, there’d be all the information I needed to make myself at home.
I let myself in and found 7 notes placed on the reception counter. Each one, I knew, contained a key and a message of welcome. I was the first to arrive. The hotel, small, but comfortable, was deserted. Next to reception was a satisfyingly spooky spiral staircase up to the rooms. I shall not divulge the names on the envelopes. It is far too recent for that.
I felt like Hercule Poirot…. I would not have been surprised to hear of a murder that night, probably in a room locked from the inside.
I did see my fellow tenants at breakfast the next day. Sadly they did not include a retired Major-General, a shifty guy & a young woman, an alluring woman of a certain age, or even an American millionaire (incognito).
The murder then, happened in my imagination… the setting is real.
When this plague is over, I will certainly return. It was a very enjoyable stay.
Food can definitely be orchestrated. A meal may be a symphony… but it’s probably an accumulation of well planned quartets. My buy, lunch in France!
We are lunching at La Vache Au Plafond, in Limoges. It’s a lovely room with a great staff. It being lunch, I’ve chosen a number of entree sized plates… hopefully something for everybody. Feel free to order yourself a drink…. there’s a good wine list and any number of fruit juices and non alcoholic cocktails. It is luchtime after all.
From Les Jardins de l’Acropolis, Rodez, a tomato/ melon gazpacho… with goat’s cheese and serrano ham.
From Le Sphinx in Figeac…. a do it yourself tartare…. yes, the meat is raw, but you have an alternative. Hint, it’s really delicious.
From L’Auberge du Fort in Aubin… a tartare of betrave… beetroot. Tangy and fresh.
Still at L’Auberge… a very stylish dessert, rasberries and chocolate.
Coffee. You can also order a noisette (short black) or even a digestif… I’ll have a cognac.
I’m not that high up, but the embankment of Capdenac station gives me a godlike view. It’s a chilly autumn day and the lengthening shadows tell me it’s time to be heading home. The boule players, many of them retired railway workers, are well wrapped up.
I can normally make a Discover Prompt entry in 10 minutes, but this one set me back. I took a lovely stroll through my photo archive reflecting on the many great dishes I’ve eaten. This little blog is currently clocking up about 30 views per day. My Google Maps food photos are just about to reach 6,000,000 views.
Some of the tastiest dishes don’t make the best photos. From La Vache Au Plafond in Limoges, France, Oeufs en Meurette. A remarkable sauce made from Burgundy wine, onions and butter is heated in the oven. At the last moment, a raw egg is dropped in. Add croutons and serve. You should get a perfectly poached egg with a runny yolk.
From Le Quai in Narbonne, France. Gazpacho… a tasty cold soup on a very hot day. How did they know I was a musician?
From l’Allee Des Vignes in Carjac, France…. A Michelin starred dessert…. the special plate is designed so that your partner can’t see what you’re having and demand some of it.
Back to Limoges… the National Porcelain Museum…. dishes made by Picasso.
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