Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainy day in Beaune, France

Started raining around 11 last night at the end of a hottish day - 26 degrees. Al & I had decided to stroll into the old town - our first night of doing other than cooking our own special veg modge with beer, wine & scrabble. (We didn't eat the scrabble tiles, btw.)

We stopped at a bar, of course, and were fortunate to meet 2 kiwi couples at the next table. They were travelling together through Europe. Very nice. Al & I threw ourselves upon them, as you do when you're starved of idiomatic conversation, except with each other. And over here, Kiwis & Aussies are kin. So good to swap stories and get recommendations of where to head next. They suggested Auxerre. Sounds like a plan.

We rescued our laundry before the thunder storm & deluge during the night. We'd strung a line from the van to the electricity box. However, we didn't have the foresight to wind the annex in. During the night it had crumpled under the weight of litres of rainwater. We shat ourselves a bit, thinking we'd wrecked it, but it was okay once the load was released. Phew. (Load of water, that is.)

Today we donned our daggy Vietnam plastic ponchos & wandered back into the old town for Sunday lunch. Very quiet on this wet day. Just a few gawping tourists. We decided to eat at a restaurant which seemed mostly patronized by French families rather than tourists.

Well, the wine was good. A 2010 dry white Savigny-de-Beaune. But the food? Merde. Al had a rare 'flank' of beef with frites. Wasn't a cut of meat I'd ever seen before. He ate it all. Probs cos his mum always made him finish his meal. I had boeuf Bourguignon with gratin des pommes de terre. Blerk. Very dark pool of baked on sauce with great lumps of cheap cuts of beef avec un peu de gristle. Overdone slightly charred on top potatoes which had spent several hours in a bain-marie.

Meh. What the hay? Cute skinny waiter reminded me of son, Pete, so we tipped him 5 euros anyway. He didn't cook the food.

Can't win them all.

Best food ever was a few days back at Hotel des Fischers in the village of Vougeot. The dining room was full of men, workers from the local vineyards I'd say. We had three courses for 13 euros each. The braised porc was the most lean, melt in the mouth sensation, with champignons & chunky frites. I finished with cheese - six different types were brought to the table &, like the greedy pig I am, I had a little of five of them. Don't think you're supposed to do that but who cares? All were soft, varied, piquant. Amazing.

Wish people would stop popping corks out of wine bottles all around the camping. Too tempting. Stuff it. I'm having one.


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