July was spent at Carro, our fishermen town at la Côte Bleue. Whilst August was in between la folie of hectic Marseille and la calme of out-of-a-french-fairy-tale Luberon. Quite an experience for my first french holiday as a local. :)
How was your Summer?
I found a new love on Fideua, the cousin of Paella. I never liked fideua until now. Comme quoi on peut changer d’avis dans la vie!
Rediscover the beauty of county fairs and les manèges, there’s something about the kids excitement, the inviting neon signs, the cotton candy, les pommes d’amour, and le chichis marseillais that are so joyous and addictive.
Have you ever tried Colimaçons? Is a tiny earth snail. We tried them as alternative to peanuts during aperitif. Our friend Marc, le boucher Marsellais, gave us his secret recipe: cook the colimaçons in a bouillon with salt, lots of bay leaves, black pepper, a couple of garlics and one Piment d’oiseau (Bird’s eye) chilie. Here is a link to a similar recipe (in French) that I found on internet, (but with sea snails).
I made my first Soupe au Pistou, the quintessential and mythical provençal soup. My husband said my soup was better than his Mom’s! I will share the recipe in a coming post.
We attended so many parties organized by my friend @MarcodeCarro: Tropicana Club vol2, la Fête de Carro, les RDV du Quai , la Journée de la Mer (also known as Fête de la moule - mussels party) where over 900kg of mussels are cooked over a wood fire to then be served with a secret marinade sauce and some frites (french fries), all these enjoyed while the sun sets down, and Marseille’s top djettes girls on the rocks make magic with their tunes. Hey, Carro is a small town, but we sure know how to party!
Speaking of Marco and his Tropicana pool party, he´s famous for his cocktail skills. He made a right-on-the-spot Amaretto Sour that put everyone in the right (boozy) mood. I think I’ve found my next partner in crime to continue AnS’ famous cocktail collabs. :)
We meet one of Marseille’s power couple: Anaïs et Pedro, two creatives (wife and husband) that share in their blog their coups de coeur of the Phocean city. They’re also well known for their party collabs, like Playadredi in summer and Mamadredi in winter at Mama Shelter. If that wasn’t enough, they teamed up with reputed Château La Coste winery to launch their own rosé wine properly named Anaïs&Pedro. #LAfrenchconnection
My first-ever order of Oh My Cream, the acclaimed Parisian concept (and online) store specialized in deluxe, culte, beauty products, came just days before we left for hols. I am now the happy owner of a proper vanity set for a lady: Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerative Oil, Liquid Gold, Daily Essential Moisturizer with SPF50 both from Alpha H, and Ren’s Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum. Will write a review about all these products, but let’s just say after a month of daily use I am very satisfied with my purchase, each product is targeted for a specific need for my #sensitive, #redness, #reactive, combined skin.
August in the Luberon involved lots of day visits to medieval towns, provençal markets, brocantes and vide greniers.
During our hols, we discovered some amazing local food (the Luberon is well known for its diversity). We tried the famous Mont Ventoux’s Porc Apellation d’Origine Controllé (just amazing), Pay de Sault’s raw honeys, and were indulged with daily fresh eggs and goat cheeses (notably Banon cheese) straight from the farm. Mont Ventoux wines are a nice surprise! Rosés are more complex than your regular rosé de Provence, which makes of them a good choice to accompany a light meal. Whites were crisp and not sweet.
Picking fresh fruit from wild trees was also part of our daily routine while touring in that beautiful region. We picked wild apricots, blackberries, prunes, apples, and figs. We also spent lots of time making jams and compotes.
There is some extra complicity and solidarity built around friendships abroad, that makes these connections a lifetime adventure. My friend Mélaine, which I met in Marrakech, and her (also) Pastry Chef husband David, they came to spend some days with us. In between meals and drinks we catched up and had great time together. Btw, after working for amazing maisons like Apicius, La civelle Trentemoult, Fauchon and Selman Palais, he just embarked a new adventure next to Chef Blandine Lucas at new restaurant Essentiel in Rennes.Best of lucks David!
EVERYTHING lavender. Even thought we missed la recolte of fresh lavender flowers, in return, every now and then we enjoyed the scent of fresh lavender being distilled, impregning the air we breathed. We also tried lavender ice cream, lavender nougat, lavender honey and our favorite: the pain d’epices a la lavande. Not to mention we also attended la fête de la lavande. #lavieenlavande
Of course le Luberon also made it to my beauty routine :). I bought lavender essential oil and lavender hydrolat from organic distillery Arômaplantes, a family business we had the opportunity to visit, and which totally deserves the detour (5 minutes by car from Sault). Other #coupsdecoeur were Savonnerie en Provence‘s Body Milk with organic Lavandin essential oil and coconut oil, a super hydrating and moisturizing body cream, and the Nourishing Cream for Hands, which is made with karité butter, sesame oil and coconut butter (all organic).
Frenchies are addicted to thalassotherapy, so we drove a bit further to Montbrun-les-bains (technically not le Luberon but La Drôme) to spend one afternoon having some pampering time at les thermes of Valvital.
Speaking of wines, Vacqueyras , and Beaumes-de-Venise (both AOC) are the new black. If you haven’t, try this not-so-famous-AOC labels, they are bold, full of ripe red fruit aromas, and best part is they are very affordable…still.
Last photo copyright Marc Troulier