Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Heading North to Gaillac

One of my most favourite restaurants in France, is L'Entrecote.
It has a very simple menu; steak (cooked any way you like), bib lettuce salad with walnuts and profiteroles for dessert.  No visit to France is complete without a lunch there,
so on our way out of town, we treated ourselves!

Four spoons finished this off, no problem!
My nieces also love this restaurant!
On a full tummy, we packed up the car and headed to our first stop, Gaillac, to pick up some wine!
We stopped at an independent winery, Chateau Bourguet,
and sampled some excellent local wine
Their wines have won many awards
They also had a lovely view of the ancient village of Cordes

With a trunk full of wine, we headed to Najac, my Grandmother's village, to meet up with friends for dinner.

 What a happy gang!!!!
 I enjoyed a typical French pizza with an egg on top, yummo!
 The chateau all lit up at night.
Stay tuned for more Avyeron adventures....

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Aveyron

The next chapter of my french 'sejour', was a week in and around the Aveyron region.  I spent many a summer at my Grandmother's summer home during my teenage years, so it was like coming home.
One huge improvement since my train travels from Paris to Toulouse in the 1970's, was the introduction of the TGV; Train Grande Vitesse 
It is very comfortable and takes hours off the usually long trip.
Whizzing past the french countryside was very relaxing
The whole trip took less that 6 hours and upon arrival in Toulouse, we were met with a lovely feast prepared by my niece, Clementine

A perfect pairing!
The next day we did a little sightseeing in Toulouse.

The Fine Arts School
 Strolling down the quay along the Garonne......
...makes for a thirsty gang....
Such a picturesque waterfront.....
 Coming up.....heading north to the Gaillac wine region.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Market day in Vaucresson

One of the unique ways of French life, which is a throwback to olden times, is 'market day', usually held on a Sunday.   Each town or village has its own  open air market and the whole family goes to choose the ingredients for their Sunday lunch.
My aunt and uncle live not far from Paris, so we checked out the market at Vaucresson.

Fresh vegetables abound
Look at the huge olive selection....
...and preserves
No table is perfectly set without a bouquet of fresh flowers.....
 .......and don't forget the grand finale!

What a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

Bon Appetit!

Thank you Nicole and Pat for your generous hospitality!

Goodbye Paris......South of France, here I come!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Encore Bonjour Paris

Our second day in Paris did not bring any better weather, so umbrella in hand again, we started on the left bank, and with the recommendation of  my uncle, stopped in to visit Shakespeare & Co.

If any 'starving writer' didn't have a home, they were welcome to stay at the bookshop and sleep under the stairs for as long as they continued to write.....stop writing, and out you go!

Time for lunch......found a lovely little Bistro just next door, so in typical French fashion, we sat outside under an awning, heated by an overhead lamp....all very cozy.

Great deal for lunch.....a main and glass of wine for 14 euros....perfect

curried chicken tagliatelle

duck confit with roasted potatoes

Needless to say, it was time to work off our meal, so we headed  to the 'Right Bank', passing Notre Dame, to visit the Marais quarter.

I was enthralled by the typical of Paris...

Even the boutiques had fabulous displays

Our last stop was the Place des Voges

with its colourful boutiques displaying local art

Before heading home we couldn't resist a stop at the Pont Neuf, boasting all the 'love locks'.  Lovers put locks on the bridge to signify their undying love for each other, then throw the key into the river.

The locks span the complete railing of the bridge!
Just below the bridge, is the head of the Isle de la Cite where there is a lovely little garden called 'Le Sqaure Vert-Galant'. It was on one of the benches in this garden that my Grandparents decided to have a child.  This is why my father wanted to come home,
 full circle to "where it all started".
I knew that Dad was thinking of me, as on our path back to the train, we came across a store that only sold orchids.....I was in heaven!

A little family time coming up.....