Saturday, December 21, 2013

A little road trip to the Dordogne

The weather forecast continued to promise mild, sunny days in Spain and the south of France. This encouraged us to make an impromptu road trip to the Dordogne region of France, an area we had always wanted to visit. I am a big fan of Martin Walker's books about Bruno, Chief of Police. The books weave slice of life stories of murder and mayhem in the Perigord, while carefully describing the laid back lifestyle, where local wines, cheeses, truffles and foie gras are forefront. We left home armed with the author's suggestions of where to stay, eat and visit in the Perigord. This was going to be a perfect break with all the planning done for us.

 As we passed Carcassone and Castelnaudry, catching glimpses of the Canal Midi, we began thinking about lunch. Since we were very last minute, we hadn't taken any food with us. But when we pulled off at the next highway stop we found a restaurant overlooking a backwater of the Canal Midi complete with a couple of canal barges. What a beautiful setting! We actually sat down and got served a lovely menu of the day lunch. Our first course was a salad with sliced duck and goose gizzards. Delicious. The main course a lovely sausage on large beans or frites. Guess what we had? Dessert was fresh white cheese that tasted like yogurt. Of course I had a glass of rose. This restaurant, right on the highway, in a lovely setting, was a great find.

North of Toulouse we left the main highway and began driving, in the dark, along some narrow, very windy roads, before finally arriving at our hotel in the small village of Tremolat.

By now it was time to eat again. All we wanted was soup and salad. We had another green salad, like only the French can make, with lovely bib lettuce and a vinaigrette dressing. In between courses we were presented with a little, deep fried ball filled with duck and a little pastry with foie gras. Next came our pumpkin soup but not before some creme fraiche was put in the bowl. Then came a little deep fried piece of bread wrapped in Serrano ham. We didn't ask for dessert but who can resist raspberry mousse? Then of course we had a little chocolate truffle with coffee. Just imagine how much food we would have been presented with if we had ordered a regular meal?

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