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Posts tagged ‘France’

Chalky Cellars at Taittinger

Do you know which Champagne was James Bond’s favourite?
Read the next installment from our European food tour to find out!

My Food Odyssey

22 million. That’s how many bottles of champagne Taittinger have ageing in their cellars at any one time. Unlike wine, all champagne is aged in the bottle it will eventually be sold in. Taittinger produce a variety of bottle sizes

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Sweet cheeses – the Normandy quartet

In my final post from Normandy I visit the home of one of my very favourite foods – Camembert cheese. I was not disappointed!

My Food Odyssey

Few places I’ve visited have struck me as more insignificant that the tiny village of Camembert in Normandy. Having travelled a considerable distance to visit the birthplace of the iconic cheese, I was incredibly underwhelmed.

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Seafood, Apples & Cheese

The next installment from our European food tour covers the three mainstays of Normandy food products – seafood, apples and cheese. All are among my favourite foods!

My Food Odyssey

It would appear that life in Normandy revolves, gastronomically speaking, around three key ingredients – seafood, apples and cheese. Thankfully, I’m partial to all three. When we rolled off the ferry into Le Havre we headed straight for the beautiful fishing town of Honfleur, where I’d heard the seafood was fantastic.

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Les Escargots (Snails)

In the next chapter of our food odyssey we reach France and visit a snail farm. It was an interesting afternoon wit a delicious ending!

My Food Odyssey

I don’t know what I expected a snail farm to look like, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it. As we rolled in the gates we could see a small, rustic farmhouse and what looked like a few raised vegetable beds covered with weeds.

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Leaving Kansas

A clear blue sky can be a thing of beauty. It brings warmth, clear air and a bright, happy mood. But sometimes a dark and sinister sky can be far more interesting. I find myself weaving tales as I look at these photos – will Thor suddenly appear with his mighty hammer, will a truck pull up to plant some meteorological measuring device into the centre of the impending cyclone, or will the houses simply lift and spin upwards into the sky, leaving grey Kansas for a Technicolor land of magic and munchkins. Read more

The Taste of Time

How long does it take to create the perfect snifter of brandy? Based on these photos from my visit to Hennessy House in Cognac (France), the perfect blend can contain brandies that are over 200 years old. Like a child finding their name on a mug, I was delighted to find a barrel with my year of birth, 1974. Later, I spotted a cask from 1874. Before the tour was over, I had seen barrels from as far back as 1800. Read more

The end of an era

Without any fanfare, she drove away from the house. The sky was grey and sleet was falling at an acute angle, spurred on by an intensely cold wind. I watched from the warmth of our conservatory as she rounded the corner and disappeared from view, Arūnas smiling and waving from the wheel. That’s it – she’s gone. Read more

Adventure

Somehow, in the chaos that was the last few weeks (which I will tell you about anon), I completely forgot to tell you that one of my photos won Photo of the Year at the recent BlogHer annual conference. I was completely blown away when I heard the news. Who, me? (Looks over shoulder for the “real” photographer.) I won the “Nature Big and Small” category with a photo taken on Mont Blanc last summer. Read more

Summer Lovin’

Ah, summer. Long, sunny days. Beaches. Suntans. A bit of snow. I love this photo of Arūnas and me up Mont Blanc last summer. It looks like it has been photoshopped or taken in front of a poster, but those are real, live climbers behind us. It was about 28 degrees on the ground that day and about minus 3 at the top of the mountain – brrr! The only thing we could do to keep warm was huddle together. Summer lovin’, indeed! Read more

Between

The picturesque village of Roquefort in southern France, home to one of my favourite cheeses, is surrounded by the most stunning rocky mountains. I was very happy to see that the villagers had left decent gaps between buildings on the main street so that the view was not totally obscured. Read more

Monument

The Monument aux Mort (War Memorial) in Marseille, France. The inscription reads “Aux Heros de l’Armée d’Orient et des Terres Lointaines” – “For the Heros from the (French) Army of the East and from Distant Lands”. About 36,000 of these memorials were erected around France shortly after World War 1. This one opened on April 24th 1927. Read more

So, how was your trip?

Open roads, rugged mountains, wandering long-horned cows, winding river valleys, terraced vineyards, sparkling seas, ice lakes, snowy peaks, colourful markets, majestic cities – these are just some of the sights we encountered on our recent tour of Europe. Read more

Roquefort cheese – mouldy bread comes good

It’s hard to imagine anything tasty resulting from a piece of mouldy bread. But the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, a small village in Southern France, have managed to turn mouldy bread into France’s second most popular cheese thanks to some ingenuity and some 160 million year old cracks in the earth. Read more

Beyond Bristol Cream

I’ve always loved Port. It reminds me of Christmas, of overindulgence on Stilton and crackers, of spicy pudding and squabbles over Monopoly. Sherry, too, reminds me of Christmas. Someone would invariably give us a bottle of Bristol Cream, which would sit in the cupboard until some elderly neighbour came to visit and fancied a sip of the overly sweet syrup. Brandy (generally cognac) was always considered a luxury and was saved for very special occasions, sometimes mixed with a drop of port for added exorbitance. Read more

A taste of things to come

, European odyssey, After 76 days on the road we’ve decided to take a short break from our travels. Much as we’ve been enjoying ourselves, we have a few wrinkles we need to iron out to ensure we get the most from our experience. Read more

Tara Sparling writes

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