If you’ve been to Provence you have surely driven past many of these houses. Old, sometimes crumbling, built out of stone. They are dotted around the countryside mostly adjacent to vineyards or an olive grove. My curiosity about these buildings got the better of me, so I had a quick look at the history and purpose the ‘Mas’ Continue reading
I love grain salads, a welcome change from the heavily wheat based French diet and for their ability to bring a different texture and flavour without major investment in terms of time or money. I have made a simple, but fundamental change in my own cooking when preparing grain and rice based dishes in increasing the ratio of vegetables and herbs versus carbs. Continue reading
For the third time this year, Mirabeau has made it into a Top 10 Rosé list, this time from the British national newspaper The Independent. Kate Hilpern writes: Not so long ago, more serious wine drinkers considered rosé as unsophisticated and unworthy. But today, it’s never been more popular, especially in the summer, with rosé now accounting for 11% of all wine sold in British supermarkets. Continue reading
September is a busy time of year in Provence. It is of course the time when the grapes are harvested, the moment when the hard work in the vineyards finally bears fruit and the anxiety over the fate of this delicate natural product is almost over. A much less serious harvest that happens concurrently, though mostly confined to kids and housewives, is that of the local fig varieties. There are both violet and green figs in this area, though I much prefer the darker varieties, as they happen to be so gorgeous on the eye as well as the taste buds. Continue reading
It’s the beginning of the summer in Provence. What do you do? Hang out at the beach near St. Tropez? Book a table at your local café for the season? Maybe hire a yacht and cruise the Med… That sounds pretty cool. Sadly, our summer wasn’t going to be anything exotic, but rather one of some serious work in the midday sun tending pools, mowing lawns and painting shutters. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds when I furnish you with some background information.