Provence, France Day 15

Clouds over Tourrettes taken from villa patio. Photo by BW.

Before and after shots of BW’s Cize experience in yesterday’s blog. He worked it for 40 minutes! He joined me for that session after I did 50 minutes Bootcamp Boogieing with Petra Kolber. *

Back to normal for me and my system.

Jason and Kat head out, for their walk, a trip to the market and the bakery. On return we discuss vital matters such as: is pizza a kind of open-faced sandwich (as well as a pie) as it’s cheese on baked dough with toppings. Maybe.

This discussion launches from the fact Kat and Jason have picked up some lunch meat and what’s billed as sandwich bread. And I had a little conversation with the housekeeper regarding leftover pizza, wherein I remembered the word for lunch, in explaining why we’re keeping it rather than having her take it away.

Oui, bien. Pour le dejeuner!

I work in my shady spot, going back to NYC in my state of mind for a couple hours. And now and again surface enough to hear golfers through the trees.

Our men prepare to leave for their glider experience. And are back in ten minutes or so. Short flight?

Wrong day. LOL. Gliders booked for Friday.

So we settle down to our various pursuits. Some reading, some work, some conversation. Some planning for the last days of our holiday.

Playground near the villa. Photo by BW.
18th tee — just below the villa. Golf with a view. Photo by BW.

Jason’s discovered our foundation has its 17th anniversary on Friday–I think it’s Friday. We’ll have a little celebration, maybe here, maybe back at the open-air restaurant we call The Scrublands as the French name (which I can’t remember) translates to just that. Maybe there’ll be karaoke again!

We clean up, dress up for dinner here at the main restaurant. I leave a little plate of torn up lunch meat for the mama-to-be cat in case she comes by while we’re gone.

BW and I head up first for a drink at the bar. He orders some kind of fancy gin drink, and I go for what’s called a Sparkling Jasmine. Champagne, peach juice and jasmine syrup. 

It’s fascinating to watch a good bartender build a drink–and this one is very good. My favorite part of BW’s build is the graceful swirling of a long thin slice of cucumber onto the top, then dashing just a bit of what the bartender explains is barbecue bitters (from Memphis!) and a carefully placed grind of black pepper. 

Basil Collins made with Hendricks Gin (BW’s caption). Photo by NR with BW’s phone.

BW is pleased with the results.

My drink is absolutely lovely. A blend of gorgeous flavors and so very smooth.

The tender shows us the various bitters they have to work with–and some home-made. Saffron bitters, vanilla bitters, I think caramel. What drink wonders embrace these?

Kat and Jason join us, so it’s out (past the sinful dessert display) to our table. 

Temptation row. Photo by kat.
A closer look at Temptation Row. Photo by BW.

It’s a gorgeous night for eating outdoors, with a bottle of smooth, local red. I should take pictures of the wine bottles, but too late now.

A family group celebrating–we think–a birthday has a table nearby.

The service here is unilaterally friendly and as smooth as the wine. When you add fabulous food, it adds up to a very happy dining experience. Blue skies, warm air, good food, good wine, good company. It doesn’t get better.

King of the rock. Photo by kat.
Tray of petite pains. Photo by j a-b.
Dinner plate. Photo by BW.

Until you add that dessert.

They have what will always be pie-cream-pie for us. It’s very large, so Jason and I split it. Kat feels obliged to order the macaroon dessert (it’s France, after all). It’s pink and pretty–and delicious. BW got some creamy, glossy thing I can’t identify–but again, delicious.

I cannot express the fabulousness of the pie-cream-pie. Which is actually cake-cream-cake with pretty berries. Jason points out that when halved it looks like a crazy, toothy smiling face. When eaten, it brings a tear of joy and gratitude to the eye. Whoever baked this magnificence should rule the world. There would be no war, no sadness, no strife if every meal ended with pie-cream-pie.

Pie-cream-pie? Cake-cream-cake? Doesn’t anyone else see The Cookie Monster’s French cousin (Laura’s comment)? Photo by j a-b.

We wander around after, find a little lounge area and start to take a selfie. The bartender cheerfully comes back, and takes a photo for us. Our night is commemorated.

A group never afraid of color. Photo from j a-b’s phone.
Balls. Photo by kat.
Awww. Photo by kat.

We walk back–I might have rolled.

I check, and the little plate I left for the cat is licked clean. So she, too, had a nice little meal.

Hang out a bit, read a bit, then lights out.

To answer a question from yesterday, I don’t know how long it takes to write the blog every morning. Depends. Some days we’ve done more than other days. I just start, then end when it’s done. And that’s pretty much how I write everything!

Today we’ve all got appointments at the spa. Massages for the gang, and a facial for me. But those are hours away yet. Workout’s coming up. My mood after will determine whether I work on my book or read one. I think a swim should work itself into the day.

Right now it’s cool enough for a light hoodie on the terrace, but that will change as the sun gains strength.


*Note from Laura — there’s that time/space continuum thing again!

Today’s #randomkatness:

Huge butterfly. Photo by kat.

23 thoughts on “Provence, France Day 15”

  1. I completely agree that if the chef who makes that wonderful deliciousness of cake, cream, berries and what-all ruled the world we would have no choice but be mellow and happy! It looks fabulous and I think I gained three pounds looking at the picture! Love reading your blog, Nora!

  2. Unless I have missed it in prior comments, I hope when you come home, you will tell us the name of the hotel where you have stayed for so long.

    1. I believe she is at Terre Blanche? It’s a beautiful golf resort (and so much more)

    2. Hi Nancy,

      Nora’s very kind to share her vacation with us, but I don’t like to share exact locations until she’s home. It’s too small a world with internet access, imo. I know someone posed an answer and I’ve taken that down for now. I’ll post all info about where Nora and family stayed on Sunday.


      1. Sorry – I thought it was open to mentioning! Not trying to invade on privacy, just knew the area and recognized the art.

  3. Another day of living viacirously in France! Bliss!!!

    On another note, there is an American company, Fee Brothers, that makes in an incredible line of bitters…just sayin.

  4. I am thoroughly enjoying your blog posts! The pics of the food delight my foodie soul – and you’re a sweetie to help mommy cat. My son is a chef and baking is his favourite. Currently he’s at a Muskoka resort in Ontario with a vista almost as beautiful as your French views. I wish he would go to France and discover the wonder of French baking.

  5. I thank you again for the beautiful pictures. I am curious…are there vineyards nearby? Are you able to tour if you desired? I like the idea of drinking the local brands.

  6. Hah, before reading the caption I was thinking to myself it’s sooo good to see someone actually wearing proper colours 😀

    Reliving my own visit to the South of France last year while reading this.

  7. I just finished “What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories” by Laura Shapiro. Really interesting read about how food tells our stories. I absolutely love the way you write about food, and not just in your vacation blog. It makes me happy, I think because it’s clear that it makes you happy. Thanks, as always, for sharing ❤️

  8. Nora,
    You should try a Chantilly Lace cake. Cake, cream, cake, fruit=YUM! Come on down and pass a good time here in Baton Rouge as we have food and desserts that will blow your mind and taste buds!
    Melissa Kaiser

  9. Am hungry after looking at all the desserts. I’m going to be sad when your trip ends. So much beautiful scenery, foods, art work and “funfests” as well as family pics. I know I’ve had a good time following you! Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us. I’m glad that you have been able to get away for so long. I’m happy that you can do that without being recognized so you can have some peace.
    One of your comments has me curious? You have a foundation? What causes does it support? I apologize if that is an intrusive question.

  11. Wow! What scrumptious looking desserts! The pie-cream-pie/cake-cream-cake does look like a grin as well as delicious. It’s great that all of you love color. I get rather tired of the black, white, gray and beige scheme that so many people wear. My sister says she saves her colors for her house (true). The Basil Collins look tasty. The Ball statue make me wonder how long it took and they managed to hold the balls in place while securing them together. Kat’s butterfly picture is the perfect end of the day.

  12. My favorite pic was of Nora and BW walking away. Just put a smile on my face.

  13. Felt down today due to the death of my son so I thought I would read Noras cheery blog..
    Then I saw the toothy pie-cream-pie and laughed my head off well described Jason .

  14. The pie-cream-pie looks like a fancy bee-sting cake to me. I’m pretty sure it’s a French creation. What does anyone else think?

  15. It’s nice of them to include english underneath the french pastries ingredients. I am impressed with your Jason’s descriptions of the pie/cream cake. I think his great imagination must be genetic.

    I’m always happy to hear of you writing with a NY state of mind. That means we will have some more Eve/Roarke adventures coming. I hope you keep writing them well into your 90’s.

    Re: your colorful quartet- you may not know this- but here in NYC- we are all very fashion forward. This coming fall, colorful florals will be in- so you don’t even realize it, but you are ahead of the trend!

  16. Laura’s got it pegged – definitely a cousin to the Cookie Monster. Great pictures all, especially Kat’s “Awwww” shot. When I was in high school, I successfully debated the benefits of pizza with a nutritionist who was hellbent to make us all believe pizza is evil. After pointing out a pizza with meat, onions, mushrooms and cheese covers all the basic food groups, she had to back up a bit. It really is the perfect food. You just have to know how much of perfection your body needs – lol. So glad you’re enjoying your time off and with great weather! Thanks again for sharing with all of us.

  17. Yes, I absolutely see Cookie Monsters cousin in that stunning dessert! I am allergic to dairy products but I love looking at these amazing French pastries!
    Love everything about you Nora. Your talent is exquisite and your love for your family matches mine. Thanks for so many years of incredible reading.

Comments are closed.