To celebrate Observer Food Monthly’s fiftieth edition, we asked some of our favourite bon viveurs what they considered most essential to do before they died. …
31) Get up early and go to market
Preferably in Provence. The smell is a mix of pine and cigarette smoke with the occasional strong hit of goat cheese. Cogniscenti head for the Var area, particularly the markets of Cotignac (summer only), the bustling town of Salernes (Wednesday and Saturdays) and Aups (famous for truffles).
Having left the country, we’re finally enjoying the Indian summer that we hoped we would have at home. Here in the south of France the sky is cloudless, the days are still warm and the vines are heaving with fruit.
Whereas a month ago this sleepy village would have been quietly dull apart from the occasional group of tourists canoeing downriver, it’s now a hive of activity. The campers have gone home; the children have returned to school; and the 2004 harvest has finally begun. Every 10 minutes another trailer load of grapes arrives at the coop
The south of France is an amazing part of the world. My wife, Ann, and I have just spent another two weeks here and many things still remain to be discovered. For example, I have just discovered that one of the most highly rated vinyards in the region is located only 10km from the village in which my parents live. The wine is called Chateau Routas, while the vinyard appears to be known as Rouviere Plane. The whole place sleeps 12 and can be rented by the week in the summer, with or without the executive chef who used to work at Lalime’s in San Francisco. Click on the image above if you want to know more.
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