Monday, 15 May 2017

What's not to like about spring?

The bird box's are full and birds are working 24/7 feeding young, the flowers are starting to grow very well and the sun is shining, what's not to like about spring?

Maureen has been working hard (not 24/7 I may add) moving all 400 plus plants from the greenhouse to tubs, baskets and borders. This year we ordered 30 bags of compost from the local gardening association and it looks like we will use them all.

The potting up area

3 of many tubs ready to go into the cottage garden

yes, more tubs!
However this year Maureen has also been developing the vegetable garden so a few photo's is worth a thousand words.

The soft fruit area is developing well
We picked out first Strawberry on the 13th May.
I have been installing edging for some of the flower borders to make them easier to maintain during the season when we have guests in the cottage.

I bought and cut corrugated galvanized sheets to make the border edge.  
Outside the cottage rose room window the spring flowers are out in force and looking great.
We have our first guests arriving next week, all the flowers will be in place although it will take some time for them all to come out and bloom.

The cottage website is constantly updated with news, this week I gave the 'cafes. bistro's and restaurants' page a major update.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Its a food world in May

Well May has been a great 'food' month so far. We made a visit to the 'new' 'Paddock' Bistro / cafe in Chatillon on Saturday evening to test it out before recommending it or not to our guests and we are very pleased to say it was GREAT! Its a simple small place that used to be a bar serving drinks and coffee but closed some time ago. The new owners have injected some individuality and opened it as small Bistro/cafe. They offer a range of draft and bottled beers, wine, etc and simple food but place an emphasis on quality.  The menu is small, a range of home made burgers, small variety of steaks and other items all served with salad or chips. I had a 140g burger at 8 euro (you can choose the size) and Maureen had a entrecote steak both served with home made chips. It came with nice fresh bread and a jug of cold water. We were delighted with everything, we were the only ones eating that evening but it varies. It can sometimes be difficult in France to find a place that offers simple quality food other than the standard 'menu' so we are pleased this new place is open and the proprietors are delightful.

On Monday the 8th May we attended the remembrance event in town before attending the 'vin' d'honour and then the lunch arranged by the town's ancient combatants association. Of course I was never an ancient combatant or a combatant of any sort but we attend the event so as one of the few 'English' in the area we are invited along with another couple we know. I wear my fathers medals on the right as he fought in ww2 in North Africa and Italy. The 'lunch' of course is a typical full on French lunch that always lasts at least 4 hours. This years menu was:

  • Kir petillant (sparkling white wine with blackcurrant liqueur)
  • Oeuf en meurette ( Half a boiled egg in a red wine reduced sauce with lardons and mushrooms)
  • Filet de cabillaud - creme au chorizo ( Fillet of Cod in a lovely mild chorizo sauce)
  • Trou Berrichon a la poire ( Sorbet with pear eau de vie alcohol)
  • Magret de canard aux quatre - epices ( Sliced duck breast with potatoes dauphinoise)
  • Assiete de fromage et salade vert (Cheese selection with a dressed green salad)
  • Profiteroles au chocolat (Profiteroles filled with ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream
  • Coffee

Served with as much Muscadet, red Bordeaux, sparkling white wine as you could drink or wanted all for a total of 32 euro's per person....Bargain!

Needless to say it was well after 5pm before we left what was a superb meal.

Maureen has been busy potting up plants today but I think that needs another BLOG post.