Friday, March 23, 2012

The joy of lunch

There is nothing quite like going out for lunch on a weekday. It ranks top of the list of decadent things to do with your time, except for perhaps sneaking off to a beach club midweek, which is another thing I never do, and is far more of a treat than dinner, because you really should be doing 20 other more important things. No matter how good your intentions, it's impossible to do anything vaguely pressing for at least an hour after, as you digest the fantastic food, delicious wine and scintillating conversation.

I just had a working lunch at the Hostellerie du Chateau I say 'working' lunch with the full knowledge that many of my dear but faintly cynical readers might suggest that a Friday lunch at the newly Michelin starred restaurant in Bar sur Loup with Shan and Fiona may not constitute working in the truest sense of the word, but trust me when I say it was, I was, we were.

Whether you are working or not, it is a memorable experience. The views, even on a mediocre March day like today, are spectacular and the food is remarkable with attention to the tiniest detail. The amuse bouche of spinach and sheeps cheese cannelloni in a delicate jus was sublime. The roasted leeks in creamy foam with herbs and fresh tomato was a party in the mouth and the catch of the day with carrots in ginger was a worthy follow up. A deconstructed tarte au citron meringue, with broken biscuit base, citron sorbet coated in something I can only describe as citron-y custard and stabbed with fine sticks of fresh meringue and chocolate may have looked like it had an accident en route from kitchen to table ( I think that was the idea) but tasted wonderful. Giles Coren I am not, hence no restaurant column, so this blog will have to do instead.

On the walk home, having secured a lunch for two kindly donated by the Sangoy family who run the restaurant for the upcoming Journee de Nature Partage on May 27th, I had to take a photo of this house just a few minutes walk from mine. The sign is protected heritage, saving the owner a fortune in paint and raising a smile among residents like me at the irony of having a retro Martini sign to admire but no bar in which to buy one, despite the name of our village being le BAR sur Loup. But then where would we be without the odd idiosyncrasy?