Jul 06 2015

by Heidi Leon Monges

May & June Favorites

oysters and champagne in la Provence

Fishermen day at Carro Martigues France

sunset view from our Cabanon's terrace

May was such a busy month, that I hardly had time to keep up with the blog. June got better; so here are those remarkable experiences that highlighted these two months.

MAY & JUNE BESTS

Stone fruits, strawberries, cherries and other summer treats appeared on early May, we took advantage of that abundance making jams. Strawberry-rhubarb, apricot-kiwi, nectarine-vanilla and even a Rhum arrangé (fruit infused rum) with nectarines, spices, and kumquats from my tree. :)

Impromptu aperitifs at mythic Cercle de St-Pierre, aka Cercle de (pêcheurs) de Carro, a members-only sort of club that has a legendary fame in Marseille region. We indulged over the best ever fried sardines and ballons de rosé.

Tuna steak, chips, sea & sun at Provençal contre le cancer by Fêtes de Carro team. Also barbec, rosé,  longue games (like Petanque but more complicated) and and sea activities to support the fight against cancer.

senegalese food in Carro Martigues

aromatic rum based drink at Larbre a Palabres Carro Martigues

old downtown St Chamas

old downtown St Chamas

bio cosmetique blogging in France

Oysters

Fabien Morreale's restaurant in South of France

french madeleines - apricot and basil jam

Camargue

Tropicana night attempt during a violent, cold mistral storm with @MarcodeCarro, @MadmoiselleJulie, and @wewashtrash. I’m so looking forward to the second edition of  la soirée Tropicana. Btw, if you would tell me I would have some of the best Margaritas cocktails in a little town in France, and that those Maggies would be made by a frenchie  (aka MarcodeCarro), I would have told you were crazy.

First visit to Saintes Maries de la Mer left me wanting to go back asap. Our  one-day adventure involved a mini-ferry ride, a car ride through the gorgeous Camargue natural park and passive participation (aka voyeurs) of the largest gypsy pilgrimage in Europe to pay homage to la Sainte Sara, or black virgin which is the saint that looks after les gens du voyage.  As for food, thanks to my gals @casalil_lamaisonpernoise & @lafermedessablons we ended up indulging over a fruits de mer lunch at El Pica Pica restaurant. My favorite where the tellines (small clams), couteau (razor clams) and los chipis (chipirones). #traveltips

Having a pastry chef husband that spends more time at home is just great, I can finally indulge over his sweet creations from time to time. So far I have learned the secrets to make flawless Madeleines and improved my game on homemaking jams. Recipes will be posted soon.

Vernissage day at Look&Listen + short walk through the charming and picturesque town of Saint-Chamas + delightful  gastronomic experience at Le Rabelais, a Michelin recommended restaurant serving refined Cuisine du Soleil with amazing quality ingredients, especially heirloom baby veggies and legumes.

Summer sunsets by Our Cabanon’s roof terrace. I just can’t get tired of.

At 41yrs old I am becoming a beauty blogger! Well, not exactly, but I am very excited to add a new rubrique to AnS. In this new BEAUTY & WELLNESS section I will explore, test and share with you mes #coupsdecoeur regarding beauty  and wellness products and services; especially those MadeinFrance brands using eco-friendly and sustainable cosmetique biologique. Stay tuned, I am working on posts about my experience using Fleurance Nature, Yves Rocher, and frenchies fave beauty box: la Birchbox.

As a heads up, my first Birchbox (June) arrived and I fell in love with the  Glow Getter – luminizer gel – by Jelly Pong Pong, Polaar’s Ice Source – Moisturizing gel-, and Melvita’s Eau florale de Rose Ancienne (Damask Rose floral water) which hydrates and regenerates the skin, and has become my best ally during these almost-canicule days. #coupsdecoeur

In our fishermen town, we discovered an ephemeral restaurant: L’arbe a palabres, a Senegalese restaurant offering delicious homemade food. We adored the Mélange d’entrées which consisted on a platter with a mix of pastels de thon (tuna turnovers), pastels de viande (meat turnouvers), fried plantains and yuca chips served next to a crunch and super fresh salad with a lemony dressing, plus a fantastic spicy sauce that left me almost crying after eating the whole bowl. We also tried their Chicken Yassa, and Mafé, a curry-like sauce made of peanuts which is accompanied by meat, in this case, meatballs, and rice. Everything  was delicious, (their punch is addictive!) but their Coconut flan is just sublime, even my frenchie husband (and pastry chef) was seduced by the richness of this coconuty bomb. Reservations highly recommended.

For my birthday, I choose to have a lunch with my hubby at Chef Fabien Morreale‘s Le Garage restaurant in Martigues. Excellent food from start to end, again, the quality of ingredients was just amazing, interesting wine list and fair prices. We’re coming back for sure.

Oysters + Chicken tagine w’ semoule (what a better example to show France’s diversity! :)) at Marvelous Ventabren with the relatives.

We joined locals to celebrate la Saint Pierre (so many saints for a country that is not religous at all, right?). During this day, fishermen welcome strangers who want to take a short ride through the sea and witness the Priest blessing and a flower garland offering to those who lost their lives in the sea. It was fun and exciting event that brought us closer to these artisans of the sea.

IG favorites: @boubaxelBora Kim Poon and her pro photographer hubbie, my girl Kathie Tran and the lovely foodie couple of DylanandJeni.

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