This summer the Pither family set off for a week’s vacation in Burgundy, France. This was despite a warning in one of my wife’s baby books “The Yummy Mummy’s Survival Guide”, that a holiday with a new-born is not actually a holiday, it’s just the simple feat of surviving in a different location for a while. In fact it mentions that being able to come back without filing for a divorce or equip with five different foreign illnesses should be the level of expectation-setting.
But one of the reasons that we chose Burgundy was that we’ve been there before and we know what we’re up against. Specifically, we’ve been to the same gite. It’s a lovely place that was renovated from being a ruin by the most dedicated of hosts. It’s quiet, the quality of the finish of the individual apartments are superb, and it now has a swimming pool. Excellent.
We wasted no time in hitting the Saturday market at Avallon, around 10 miles away (we organised the trip to cover market days at nearby towns). Here we got some cheese, vegetables, pies, nibbles, pate, ham, herbs… all loads of good stuff. And we wasted no time in getting down to business in the consumption of said perishables.
The cheese by the end of trip was so well developed that it was enquiring as to my views on the MPs expenses crisis. Speaking of cheese, looks like Lily also has a bit of a taste for it:
This was at a restaurant in Ladoix, a village on the revered Cote D’Or; a Burgundian wine region. We went to this particular restaurant having been before we because we knew it would be reasonably priced, and the food and wine excellent. It didn’t disapoint. Have a gander at my Oeufs en meurette (eggs in a red wine sauce), I’m sure you’ll agree it’s pretty serious stuff:
This was just a starter. And since my resolve had already been compromised, I took on the chocolate fondant:
Things were looking pretty good at this stage. We’d had a good share of food and wine tasting on the Cote D’Or, and we’d also been to Chablis. I really like Chablis. For the spirit of adventure we did two wine tastings there. Lily didn’t really like the first one, and chose that as the moment to announce to the world that she had teething issues. Mid-way through a wine purchase, I had to feel incredibly guilty as I attempted to conclude business in sub-standard French whilst listening to the sound of my wife scurrying round the bending streets of Chablis attempting to pacify my daughter. Ah well. Got the wine though.
Lily for the vast majority of the time was an angel. On this holiday she found the ability to do her baby gargle thing (and now has a great deal to say), she added grabbing to her already well developed bashing skill, and she now enjoys attempting to stand up on both legs (whilst being held of course). She’s always smiling when you make eye-contact with her. She’s a pleasure to spend time with.
As they say about France, Champagne is its soul but Burgundy is its stomach. As a wannabe foodie, I decided that this trip would be the appropriate time to commence a study of tarts. Not just any old tarts, but fruity tarts. I’m talking about strawberry, apple, lemon, raspberry, even rhubarb (a wine grower person was most impressed when I suggested that her 2004 rouge vintage tasted like cooked Rhubarb). Now though, sadly I’m tarted out. We bought four tarts each for the last day, and at one point I was contemplating of doing a John Prescott styled chuck-up in order to get through them. Testing times.
The weather wasn’t dream-like fantastic. But it was t-shirt weather, there was a fair bit of sun, and for the purposes of our holiday (bumming around cafes in ancient French towns, doing a spot of wine tasting, eating loads of good food, spending time with Lily, the swimming pool) it was good enough. It certainly wasn’t like the last time we were in Burgundy, where we had to endure a four course meal laden with wine in a 40C outdoor climate. Strewth.
Above: Kath and Lily hanging around Beaune.
Above: Kath and Lily at Chambolle Musigny having bought some wine.
Above: Trying to relax at the restaurant/hotel Le Montrachet. Had a fab meal there.