After a night filled with thunder and lighting, we woke to overcast skies. With uncertain weather, we chose to stay close to home and ventured only as far as Le Somail….a short drive away.
Le Somail was hosting a “foire” today. We had to look it up…..it’s a fair! We parked on a nearby residential street and walked into town, uncertain of what to expect. What we found was a crafts fair…..booths of handmade items ringed the few streets of this small town…..woodcrafts, jewelry, watercolors, handbags, soaps, foods…..all exquisite but none that beckoned to our wallets.
As graceful black swans wound their way along the waterway, we stopped for lunch at a well-reviewed restaurant along the canal, L’Ô à la Bouche, and (since the day remained benignly overcast) sat at a small outdoor table. Service was prompt. We started with the chef’s apertif du jour…..rosé with creme de pamplemouse and mure (rosé wine with liqueurs of grapefruit and blackberry)…..served iced….a rarity in France! It was fabulous!
We both ordered the prix fixe menu. I started with Salmon tartare on a bed of mild lentils, topped with crunchy strips of apple and sweet mango. Craig opted for the salad….greens with anise and a topped with a sprinkling of cheese and radish seeds. Both choices were superb.
Craig chose a “robust” main course…..pork cheeks with a melange of summer vegetables…..not quite a gravy…..not quite a stew…..but a perfect blending of flavors. My main was mild…..cod with pesto over a anise-infused slice of polenta. The flavors were astounding and melded well.
Desserts were “tarts” in name only. They were lovely presentations in small, glass cups. Craig’s was lemon topped with the most delicious meringue I’ve ever tasted…..mine was banana topped with whipped cream and cocoa…..delectable!
We strolled back through the foire and returned to the cottage…..secure in the knowledge that we would not be cooking dinner tonight.
“Food, glorious food! What wouldn’t we give for– that extra bit more — that’s all that we live for. Why should we be fated to — do nothing but brood — on food, Magical food, Wonderful food, Marvellous food, Fabulous food, Beautiful food, Glorious food!”……….lyrics by Lionel Bart (“Oliver”)