Wednesday, 2 September 2009

16. Sunday lunch again

Anyway, it’s Sunday again and there’s not a cloud in the sky. I could get used to this! We’re off to the restaurant in 'our' village again for lunch. After that, we’ll probably lurch down to St Jean or to Biarritz for a waddle along the sea front.

The nice thing about houses like the one we’re in is that in the morning, you can open the windows, push back and clip the shutters in place - then leave the windows wide open to air the room properly. I think that’s why so many people in England suffer from asthma – the houses don’t get properly aired. They live behind their double glazing with the central heating on and the windows never get opened. Consequently, the bedrooms are full of microscopic dust from skin flakes etc..

Another rant over!

 Later that day - had an excellent lunch at the restaurant – we hadn’t booked so we had a different table.. They had a new menu for Autumn – the starters were either frogs legs or an Autumn salad which was a cold collation: 2 major slices of Bayonne ham, their own paté, warm foie gras, salad, asparagus tips, gherkins, hot bacon. Madame chose the frogs legs while I had the salad.. After that, the choices for the main course were either: civet of hare, wild boar, a brochette of fillet of venison or a wood pigeon. Madame had the wild boar and I had the venison. I was feeling a bit stuffed after the starter because the foie gras was about the size of a horse’s ear.. and it had been quick fried and was delicious beyond words.. plus all the ham… To be honest widger, I could have stopped there with just the starter.. but I was eating for Britain..

Madame’s wild boar came with steamed waxy yellow potatoes and a little stack of creamed chestnuts.. My venison was on a big skewer interleaved with bacon and mushrooms and had a pile of chips with it (finger wagging time!)… Both were delicious – my venison was red in the middle and tender. So tasty.. Madame’s was the same… All this slid down accompanied by some Madiran, the local red.. After that, there was a sorbet with something alcoholic poured over it. After this I had a coffee – well, I was driving! How much was that lot I hear you ask..? £18 each..

Scientists have found a correlation between the greater health & longevity enjoyed by men in this region of France (compared to the rest of France) and the consumption of the local red Madiran wine.. Something for the ladies: dark chocolate is also mentioned. For more information, here's the link that claims Madiran has significant health benefits:

We had a walk around the village to try and walk some of it off – it was very warm. I’d left the gîte in a padded jacket and a sweater over my shirt but I left these in the car and just had my shirt on.. in late October as well. Not a cloud in the sky and the village looked wonderful.. the mountains were purple in the sunlight.. Think the thermometer outside the Pharmacy said 18C but that was a shade temperature. I think it was nearer 22 in the sun.

After this we went to Biarritz to have a walk along the front.. There was a surf competition on – French National Championships – and there were quite a few people down there watching the big rollers sweeping in.. There were quite a few Brits there with it being half term. We sat and watched the surfers for a while too before heading for home..

Surfing the Belharra reef
For more hard core surfers (well insured ones with a death wish), there's always the monster waves at the Belharra Reef for those brave enough to try - just to the south of St Jean de Luz.. If this picture (and no, it's not been Photoshopped!) doesn't put you off: then you probably need to watch the truly scary video..
In this next beautifully filmed clip, the monster waves above are shown forming over the Belharra reef (turn the sound up!) :

And so ends another week.. I could get used to this.. (there's an echo in here!) What am I saying...? I am getting used to this..!! Living healthily is not easy - the tricky part is remembering where I left the corkscrew..

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