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A taste of the sweet life

Messing about on the canal du midi


Canal du midi 1Canal du midi 2

The Canal du Midi, an amazing, long body of water centered right in our beautiful region.  La Dolce Vita is only 3 kilometers away and easily accessible in so many ways.  You can, as in the photos above, get on a peniche and take a cruise as Laiyla and I did to end the Fandango's season this past Sunday.  We jumped on the boat at the double lock near Argens. We settled in and cruised for the afternoon, enjoying lunch made by the chef and owner Hazel Young.  The pilot, and old friend from Dijon, Jean-Luc Broudic made the cruise smooth as we made our way along the tree-lined path waving at cyclists as we floated along.  We arrived in Le Somail after being able to totally relax and revitalize from summer's hectic should give it a try!

Harvesting luscious grapes to savour in a glass!


harvesting loadNow that grape harvest - Vendange - is winding down, it is time to think about wine-tasting and visits to our local wine Cave's to see how that lovely wine we drink is turned from grape to nectar!

Thanks to our close ties with two local vineyards, you can now indulge yourself with one of our "wine & dine" vintner tours.  Combine a 2 night stay at La Dolce Vita with a welcome glass, personal wine tasting, cellar & vineyard visit, along with a delicious 4-course dinner prepared to accompany the wines from the vintner you visit.

After a day of visiting & touring, enjoy the evening at our table with an amuse-buche of homemade pesto straight from the terrace garden; a tomato, pomegranite and sumac salad to savour those last, juicy, red 'love-apples'; all the while sipping a lovely AOC Minervois between bites of a mediterannean chicken and olive tagine, with a touch of preserved lemons, and finish it all off with a chocolate sorbet with the local sweet Muscat for dessert.

Finally, take home a bottle of vin nouveau, just prepared from the recent harvest, and don't forget the hot grilled chestnuts before you leave us and this amazing area.

Oooh so Mexican in France!


Salsa!Last night's dinner menu...Mexican, my favorite!

Chips and salsa to start, uhuh - homemade salsas, of course: a roasted onion, tomato and pepper salsa, and one I found from a TV cook, finely chopped onions, peppers and garlic marinated for weeks in Lime Juice! Hot and very tasty. We went on to savor (with many tortillas on the side) a chipotle & tomato shrimp appetizer. On the lighter side, a fish fillet cooked with honey, white wine and pepitas (mail order - no outlets here) on a bed of purple tomatilla salsa: sided with roasted, marinated potato slices, bell peppers and onions slathered with fresh raw tomato sauce. We finished our meal with a Mexican chocolate bread pudding over sauteed apples - all served with local Minervois wine!

Thank goodness for return guests who adore my cuisine and allow me to try new things!

Food passions


hand in tomatoesWhere does one go with this, where does one start? For many years, I traveled and lived abroad, shared my trials and tribulations, and enjoyed the learning of new cultures, new food, and new friends. Now that I am more settled, I am ready to write it all down, but don't know where to begin...Food seems to be the common seed!

My passion for food and cuisine begin before I was aware that it existed, the passion that is! I was cooking for friends on my 16th birthday, doing what I wanted to do on that special day, against their screams of you should be doing what you want on your birthday Natalie! It was a surprise to my very independent group of friends, as it was to me I might add.

I have since (almost 30 years later), come into my own regarding cuisine, spices and especially the infamous, Capiscum. In my earlier days, I had a nickname of the 'Garlic Queen' - then it turned into the 'Queen of Hot Peppers', there are even a few whispers of 'Chocolat in Azille' I've heard murmered. None-the-less, that is where I'll begin.