Local walks: DeeDee’s in Champagne Fontaine

If one is to go on a walk, there should be a purpose to that walk. It might be to get a different destination, to see a particular attraction, or to test ones fitness, but there should always be a goal. One of my favourite reasons for going for a walk is to blow away…

Recipe: Giant vol-au-vent stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and goats cheese

  “Oh my god, the oven’s on fire!” This wasn’t quite the statement I had intended on making while cooking Den’s birthday meal. In my mind, I would flit around the kitchen, looking all chic and glamorous while creating a culinary masterpiece – a bit like Nigella would. What actually happened was that I got distracted…

5 things I love about France…

Looking back over the last few posts, I have realised that I haven’t actually written that much about our new life in France. Mainly because I haven’t actually spent much time here. Spending so much time on the road has distracted me somewhat from getting settled and making new friends (easier said than done when…

Soggy mushrooms, salty sole and the bright lights of Bertric-Burée

Located in the centre of the small village of Bertric- Burée, Aux Petits Oignons prides itself on its traditional cuisine and friendly atmosphere. It offers a range of dishes from a simple a la carte menu to a selection of fixed menus. After being instructed by our French teacher to write a review of a…

Walnuts anyone?

As you know, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the walnut harvest. That day has now come. Today I’ve been and gathered the windfall. From just two trees, I collected some 250 nuts. And I can see more, high up in the branches, just waiting for the opportune moment to fall. It’s taken me almost two hours to…

Nettles for dinner

Inspiration can come from all manner of places. Randomly, it was seeing that my favourite London restaurant Oldroyd had made it into Time Out’s 100 best restaurants list (even if it is only number 45, which is not high enough in my book) that inspired me to take advantage of ingredients right on my door step. Oldroyd…

Courgette gratin

Do you ever end up with too much of one ingredient in your fridge? Back in the UK when this happened, it was usually down to me making a mistake with my online order. For example, a failure to check the ‘individual items’ box instead of ‘kgs’ one time resulted in a very surprised me…

Not quite a walnut harvest

Warm goats cheese with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of walnuts. The perfect combination of ingredients. Delicious on a pizza, perfect with salad, or even just as the raw product themselves – ideal to nibble on throughout the evening, particularly when accompanied by a glass of two of France’s finest. It is our…

It’s avocado mania!

Did you know that of the 44 million avocados that were consumed globally last year, five million of them were used in sandwiches made by Pret a Manager? Madness, eh? The world is in the grip of avocado fever – in the UK alone, sales of the green fruit that is named after a certain part…

Nuts about nuts

Does anyone know what type of nut this is? They are growing in plentiful supply at the back of our house but we are unsure as to what they are. We suspect they are walnuts, and that we need to peel back the green outer layer, and then dry them out .   But we are…

Tomatoes a la chapelure

Feeling a little brain dead on the way home from the UK last week, I decided to invest in a little bit of light entertainment. I purchased a book by Celia Imrie called Nice Work (if you can get it). A story about a group of expats who live in the South of France and try…