Luck is subjective. If you think you are lucky … then luck is always on your side so it seems. If you complain all the time how unlucky you are, it become a self-fulfilling theory to the point where you end up believing you are always unlucky. I consider myself pretty lucky … but tonight even I am feeling somewhat taken aback by the luck I had this evening, which enables me to be sitting here, on a terrace overlooking the Esterel range of hills behind the Cote D’azur, eating a civilised picnic under an olive tree and a vine pergola!
I am here for one day of business (haha I hear you say!) buying a few paintings for Caroline’s gallery and seeing a distributor I have been dealing with for years in Nice for my day job! I have driven down from the lake and return to Italy tomorrow. The lakes were deserted … and so I assumed this area would be too, as after all the French don’t go on holiday until the middle of July. But no … could I find a hotel … anywhere? Not a chance … especially at what I considered a half reasonable price.
“When in doubt … head for the hills” is a good motto and tonight I did literally that. I turned off the choked motorway, arrived at a cross roads and spontaneously turned left. After a few miles I saw a sign to a Chambre D’hote (a sort of B and B) and followed it …. up a steep drive and stopped. A swimming pool to my right … a wondrous view to my left, and a charming looking old man dead ahead.
“Any chance?” I asked
“No” he said “None … we have a wedding party see and …“
I looked downcast … I must have done! I prattled on about where should I go etc (sleeping in the car seemed a real possibility!) … until he turned to his wife and said ”’what about the small room upstairs?“
She said “Well, you had better show it to him“
“No No” I said “I’ll take it“
Anyway, this to and fro went on for a while (the room was fine, but with an outside loo …ooh, er …. !)
I then gradually brokered the idea that I had a dog in the car as well …. but, to cut my ramblings shorter, in the end I was in, collected the picnic I had bought down in town and headed into the garden.
Dinner time has come, a bowl of freshly cut roses were put on the table in the garden and unpacked my picnic. It is like something out of a film … probably actually an Italian one, as I sit here writing this rubbish, looking out over the wooded hills at the setting sun. I have even been given a second beer, so must be pressing the right buttons with the owners!
“Get to the picnic!” I hear you screaming! OK, OK…
I bought 1/2 roast chicken, a large ripe tomato, some radishes, a baguette, some pate and a saucisson. I was given some home pressed olive oil and some balsamic vinaigre by the owner here. I did alot of dipping of the bread into the olive oil and the balsamic, did the same with the radishes and gave most of the chicken to BB. The pate was revolting – they usually are out of a glass jar – and the saucisson was too fatty for my liking, so BB had some of that too. Pudding were some great fat black cherries.
All rather wonferful … anyone wanting a great place to stay in the South of France, just drop me a line! Now for some coffee
Previous dinner posts from Peter
- Another culinary highlight ... but of a different kind. - May 17th, 2013
- A saturday evening in .... - April 20th, 2013
- Fish pie followed by Peter's Tiramisu ! - March 19th, 2013
- Borough Market, London - March 2nd, 2013
- “There were Angels dining at the Ritz .... and the motor was parked in Berkeley Square” - January 26th, 2013