Friday, September 08, 2006

Provence - L'Ancienne Cure

We had such a lovely time staying at L’Ancienne Cure. Martine and Erik welcomed us at the door and helped us find a car park in the narrow windy streets nearby. They have spent several years restoring the 16th century house by hand and it shows in all the details throughout. The wide stone steps lead up to the bedrooms from the entrance

We were staying in the “Forte” room overlooking the garden with a private terrace for soaking up the sun under the gaze of St Maria, sitting atop the spire of the church across the road.

We wandered down to the garden for dinner and met two other couples staying at the hotel. Its amazing how lively a conversation can be had with very little language in common. Erik begged us to speak more slowly while holding his nose, imitating our nasal accents. First up was the very important matter of the aperitif – a selection of local fruity liqueurs and champagne. I had a Violet Kir – sweet white wine with a dash of Violet liqueur – very floral and purple.

Martine served an amazing Provencal meal she has spent the afternoon cooking – aubergine terrine and Lamb cassoulet served with buckwheat. We were having a lively conversation after the meal over the obligatory cheese course when Martine jumped up with a shriek and dashed into the house just in time to save the baking Peach tartes for desert. Thank god! – they were divine!.

The ceremony of the meal not yet over, Erik appeared from the house with another armful of bottles. The digestif – another important part of the meal. I had a thimbleful of Elixer de Tyme – Thyme Liqueur. This was delicious and strong. I appreciated the 150kg of thyme that goes into making just a litre of this stuff. We toasted St Maria as she watched benevolently over the garden.

We retired up to our room with some very Gallic sniggers and suggestive comments from Erik following us.

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