A wonderful weekend….

May 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Posted in musings | Leave a comment

Sorry! I’ve been bad at blog posts (again) but there are some great recent recipes that I will share with you…. but first I need to do a different kind of review…. a review of a weekend away…

The excuse: The Royal Wedding Weekend. I work on Whitehall so I’d seen all the flags go up (although wasn’t in the office at the crack of dawn to see the dress rehearsal) but had no desire to hang around for the event itself – so together   and Ailsa – we decided to make the good use of the weekend and escape to France for a weekend of wine and food.

The destination: Bordeaux – it’s incredibly easy to get to Bordeaux – as there are flights from Gatwick on British Airways. I’d flown into the airport a couple of times but never stopped off in the city – so was keen to visit. The city is full of beautiful buildings and there is great wine heritage (obviously!)  We decided to rent an apartment for the weekend in the city itself – so that we could get away without needing to hire a car and an apartment is much more fun than a hotel when in a group as it gave us as communal space. We entirely lucked out with the apartment – which was huge, in a typically grand beautiful block overlooking the river and only a couple of minutes walk from the first of many lovely squares with great restaurants.

The food: Where do i begin…. we were there for 72 hours and ate like kings! We started out a fab restaurant which specialises in steak-frites – the only choice was how you wanted your steak cooked! We ate in a couple of traditional bistros, a great creperie (a bargain meal – salad, a galette (savoury pancakes) and crepe for 10 euro) and treated ourselves to a couple of serious meals where we ate  gastronomic delights – mainly modern twists on perfect french classics. So if you are in Bordeaux – I can highly recommend Le Malby in Bordeaux – we ate an amazing meal in a beautiful square and the other clientele were not just other tourists following the guidebook recommendations! (and the rather handsome waiter with excellent English was an added bonus.  We also ventured out on  day trip to St Emilion where we ate a wonderful meal at Le Clos du Roy-  I had white asparagus to start, duck as my main course, and then the most amazing strawberry macaroon for dessert (Richard had “special cheese” as his third course – which was a whipped goats cheese served in a pastry tower.

The wine: We did our best to give ourselves plenty of opportunities to try to best of Bordeaux –
and discovered the Bordeaux wine association’s wine bar Bar a Vin which sold a select range of delicious local wines at incredibly modest prices in a great setting. Our day trip to St Emilion was also great  – we wandered around some cellars and around some vineyards and did some wine tasting. We stumbled on a great little shop which sold both a “bad boy” (mainly Merlot red) and “bad girl” (cremant du Bordeaux – which is the local sparkling wine). I bought a bottle of the bad boy (because I loved the name) which will be delicious  decanted and given time to breathe.

Overall it was a wonderful weekend – the weather was fab, the company excellent, and food and drink superlative. I came home a little heavier of body but lighter of heart.  We are already thinking of where we could go next year.for another interesting weekend of food and wine… Any suggestions?

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