Shut the Front Door!

24 07 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014 Happy Birthday Johnny!

Guest Post by Janel Torkington

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The morning sun loves Provence, and so do we.

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We’ll take breakfast in our private terrace, yes and please.

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Our two hosts present us with an elegantly lavish breakfast, precisely the type that comes to mind when one considers breakfasting in the southern French countryside.

Apricots are in season and make appearances as tart and jam; present too are figs in the form of confit swirled throughout slices of brown bread. There are croissants – there must be croissants – and there is coffee, and fresh orange juice. The butter alone is show-stopping. The creamy house yogurt is too good for words.

We put in a request for an omelet for purposes of protein. It is enormous.

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We explain today’s plans to our host: we’ve got a lunch rez in Gordes, and we’d thought to tool around the various villages in the hours prior. He gives us a few local recs, plus a guidebook in English – voila!

Today's excursion merits five fingers

Today’s excursion merits five fingers

 

...and matching toe socks!

…and matching toe socks!

We head slightly south and end up in Oppede Vieux, a village the guidebook claims had been ransacked (using the passive voice, so we’re not sure who was doing said ransacking). We park and start a mild climb up the hillside.

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D’s lent me his SLR camera, which reignites my latent inner photog.

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Hillside morphs into teeny touristy town, which is just as cute as can be.

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The climb continues...

The climb continues…

… ending up atop a hill with a church overlooking the idyllic French countryside. Well alright.

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It calls for a selfie.

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Mr. Popped Collar helps out Marilyn Monroe.

Mr. Popped Collar helps out Marilyn Monroe.

 

"C'mon, act like you like each other."

“C’mon, act like you like each other.”

We poke around the church a bit, then head back down the hill.

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The path gets a bit steep, so D plays the gentleman to MP

We’ve spent more time than anticipated in Oppede, so we head straight to Gordes next in order to make our lunch appointment.
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There are signs along the road proclaiming Gordes as officially one of the most beautiful French villages. I can get behind that.
Lunch is at L’Artegal. The center’s surprisingly bustling with tourist activity for a Thursday, so we’re glad for the rez.

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The sea bass atop ratatouille is the most photogenic, but also lovely is duck in a honey sauce and beef with allspice. We accompany it with an elegant rose, of course.
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Near to Gordes is L’Abbye de Senanque, known for its lavander fields. It’s teeming with tourists, especially flocks of Chinese folk from a pair of dreaded buses. We still sneak in a pair of deceptive look-I’m-alone-somewhere-beautiful photos.

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We decide to swing by Cavaillon, one of the larger towns in the area, seeking a new French phone card for D’s iPhone. The Orange store there turns out to be the new hip place for the kids to hang, so MP and I wait out the crowds in the Carrefour across the street. Grocery store tourism is my favorite – really. I find a few old friends (Tresor, Petit Fantomes) and MP makes a new one (Crostibat!). We contemplate canned cassoulet, and which candy you would eat if you HAD to.

Back to the ranch for a quick nap for some and a long bath for others.

Then, a dip.
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We gussy, slightly, and head out to our designated dinner spot for the night in nearby Bonnieux. The sunset across the Provencal landscape is soft and sweet.
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Yeah, well. Had to happen.IMG_3058
Un P’tit Coin Du Cuisine appears to be a rather casual wine bar-ish spot with pickings to accompany. We settle into a terrace table overlooking the previous viewpoint. Yes.
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It’s not hard to choose rose again. Even the name of this one is “L’Exquise” (exquisite), and it is.
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We find ourselves hungry, and all three share the same unfortunate trait of fading quickly upon lack of calories. The table goes fairly quiet, until…

Oh my.  Steak Tartare with black and white truffle shavings.

Oh my. Steak Tartare with black and white truffle shavings.

Two “planchas” (excuse my French) – l’Italienne and la Charcuterie. It’s picker’s paradise, dear readers. The sausage with hazelnuts! The grilled eggplant! The burrata, oh, the burrata. Confit tomatoes, yes. Pork rilletes – which is like pate with plenty of meat, a D favorite. And the steak tartar. Moses.

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Talk gets intense, touching on emotions, plans, values, big ideas. The STFD* trio has spent enough time together that we’ve started getting into meatier conversation. It’s good. We need our protein.

*Shut The Front Door.

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3 responses

26 07 2014
Rich

Love your sublime writing. AND that photo of the sea bass – wow! Keep up the selfies, too – they’re great!

27 07 2014
Anonymous

The Steak Tartari looks grande. Mom

27 07 2014
Janet

Gorgeous countryside and STFD members!

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