A weekend full of food!
We've been away for the weekend to a lovely place and we had a great time. I'm going to write more about it over at View From the Teapot (I'll link to it when I've written it)(beladedly here's the link to Part 1. You can Find Part 2 on your own by clicking on newer post at the bottom) but I thought I'd tell you about the food - because, after all, this is my Foodie type blog.
We ate so well (possibly too well, but never mind!) and came back feeling we'd put on pounds - altho Mr F-D did at least do a longish bike ride. I did very little in the way of exercise (comme d'habitude!) We left here on Friday and drove over to a hotel on the banks of the Rhone, called La Source. It was chic, modern and comfortable - and the restaurant was wonderful!
I didn't take photos of my plates (I'm always too embarrassed to do that!) and I forgot to write the delicious descriptions from the menu, but I started with a glass of peach kir, and then we were served a cold tomato soup in an expresso cup, as an amuse-bouche. Then I had a carpaccio of duck breast, with an endive salad and a citrus dressing. It was huge - I passed pieces over to Mr F-D (who was less keen to share his foie-gras!) - but utterly delicious. Then we both had quails' breasts, served with a pear, poached in red wine, potatoes and girolle mushrooms. Cheese followed (we did a swap though - Mr F-D had my blue cheese, and I had his goats' cheese! It's always an equitable swap on the cheese front.) Finally, we both chose the pannacotta-style cheesecake (or cheesecake style pannacotta?) served with pannacotta icecream and a gorgeous red fruit sauce.
Then, on Saturday, we headed over towards Chambery (not Chamonix, as I said in my last post). The weather wasn't great, but we decided to go for a walk along the prom at Aix-les-Bains. By the time we got back to the car, it was getting grey, misty and quite chilly. We wandered around Chambery town for a while and had lunch. I'd planned on a crepe, which was quite light after the enormous dinner the night before, but the restaurant only did crepes in the evening. So how come I chose a hamburger Savoyard (with cheese), and a huge helping of fries, instead of a salad?! Who knows...
The Chambres d'Hotes where we were staying for two nights was utterly charming.
For more photos of the place, go over to the View from the Teapot, but here is a link to their website. We were staying in the Rose des Sables suite - a bit pricier than the other rooms, but it was the only room available when I booked. It was beautifully decorated, like the hotel, but with more character. It was homelier (as a Chambre d'Hotes shoild be!) And again, the food was fabulous. Fred, the chef, used to work in a restaurant in the Alps, and so the food was of a really high standard. We ate, sitting around the large table, all the guests together.
and spoke a melange of French and English. Again, I didn't take photos of the food - I should have done, as it was beautifully presented, with edible flowers and herbs - but the little blackboard (to the left in the background) had the Menu du Jour written on it, so I copied that.
The first evening we started with an apero, of kir with home made sirop; I think I had raspberry. Then we ate Feuilleté d'asperges et champignons (puff pastry with asparagus and mushrooms) followed by Filet Mignon au miel et xérés, pommes roties, et purée de courgetes (pork in a honey and sherry sauce, roast potatoes and courgette purée) It was delicious. Really. This was all served with home made bread, and as much wine as you wanted too. The cheeseboard then came round, laden with regional cheeses to try - on Fred's recommendation I did try a local blue cheese. It wasn't very strong, but it still tasted "blue": I won't be having it again. Finally we had a bowl of tiramisu - this isn't something I particularly like, so I didn't finish mine, but everybody else was scraping their bowls! Coffee or an infusion was offered, and then we sat around until almost 11, chatting and relaxing.
The following day, I had a massage while Mr F-D went cycling, and then we went to Annecy for the afternoon (as did the rest of the world!) We learned a lesson the day before, and so we only had a sandwich for lunch (and a macademia nut and white chocolate chip cookie!) manfully resisting the temptation of a 4 star ice cream parlour!! We went on the lake for a boat ride, which was great fun.
Returning back to the Chambres d'Hotes in time for our apero (plain white wine for me tonight) we sat down to another fantastic meal:
We started with Tartiflette revisité .Tartiflette is a traditional Savoyard meal, consisting of potatoes, reblochon cheese, onions and ham, and is a real rib-sticking winter dish. Most commonly it looks like this:
and you can see that it isn't a light dish, hardly suitable for a starter. However, the "revisité" part of the title is important: perhaps it might be translated as "deconstructed" in posh restaurants, but basically what it means is we had a dish with a couple of lightly boiled potatoes in a gorgeous cheese sauce, decorated with a couple of crispy strips of fried ham and a couple of red onion rings. You can see it down at the bottom of this page from the website.
Then we had Un piece de boeuf, beurre maitre d'hotel, polenta et champignons. The beef was cooked to order, and served with a chilled butter, made with lemon juice, shallots, parsley and chives. Oh when it melted over the piece of beef it was so delicious!!! The polenta was good - not something I often cook, so it was nice to have something different. This was followed by cheese, and then by Creme Brulée à la menthe - crème Brulée with a lovely spearminty taste to it. You can imagine how well-fed we felt!!
The breakfasts were also really good - croissants, pain au chocolat, cereal, fruit juice, home-made jams, pain perdue (eggy bread, or French toast), and more home made bread.
On Monday we had an appointment in Lyon, but that wasn't going to stop us stuffing our faces! We went to the Paul Bocuse Brasserie L'Ouest.
Paul Bocuse is a famous chef in France, and he has 6 of these cheaper brasseries scattered througout Lyon, serving great food at a reasonable price. We usually go to Le Sud, because we know it does some vegetarian options, and we quite often have veggie friends with us, but L'Ouest was more convenient for the Clinique where I was getting my inner soles made. I had the starter and main, Mr F-D had the main and dessert. I had Rillettes de Thon au tapenade ( a type of coarse tuna paté served with black olive tapenade on crusty country bread toast), and then we both had the Quasi de Veau - I don't know what "quasi" is, but it was a thick slice of rose veal, with a macaroni gratin and green beans. Then Mr F-D had a trio of fruit sorbets to finish, while I had a coffee.
Since we've come home, we're back to ordinary food!! (boiled eggs for tea, and a sausage-and-coleslaw combofor lunch!) I'm going to order the Hairy Bikers Diet from Amazon today, so that we can, after this weekend's Gourmand Blowout, try to shed a few pounds! I think I'll be back on My Fitness Pal too. Sigh.
I do have to say, if anyone is considering a trip to the South Eastish corner of France, to consider La Bageatiere...and don't forget to book the Tables d'Hotes...You certainly don't need to go to a restaurant to get great food if you're staying here!
This is a view of the garden from our lovely suite. What a shame the weather didn't allow for relaxing and sipping cold drinks while swinging under the tree with a good book.