A foodie family's diary of travel, food, and photos

A night in Macon

February 12th, 2013 | Posted by Ruby in Favourite Places | France | Holidays | Wine - (Comments Off on A night in Macon)

Having had an excruciating trip from Paris to the Alps – heavy traffic, rain and then snow – we decided we’d do the return journey in two parts stopping on the outskirts of Macon.  We stayed at the delightful Hostellerie La Sarrasine in Replonges  a traditional Bourgogne structure with great fireplaces, roaring fires and typical Bourgogne dinner fare – L’escargot drenched in garlic butter followed by a most succulent Poulet-Bresse – perfect.

On the front lawn, taking centre stage they had fenced a gazebo and moved their two sheep in for the winter.



The next morning we were up early.  You can’t go to Bourgogne and not bring some wine home – well I can’t.  So we meandered through the Macon and Beaujolais countryside doing a bit of wine tasting in the area and collected a few of cases of wine for the cellar back home in Paris.  Well generally they don’t stay in the cellar very long but it’s a good temperature with suitable storage.


Macon 2

April Bloomfield at St John’s

November 5th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Favourite Places - (Comments Off on April Bloomfield at St John’s)

A few months ago Faith and I went to St John’s Restaurant in the West End for dinner.  It had been on my ‘must do’ eating out list for a long time, mostly because it serves some of my favourite kinds of offal dishes.

Needless to say the meal was everything I expected it would be and some.  Like a long remembered childhood pleasure re-experienced, St John’s offered reminders of the foods I so enjoy yet so seldom see on a menu.  Most people I know don’t eat offal, but having grown up with a step-father who served all variety of offal I not only learnt to eat it I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I went on to prepare these dishes for my daughters who both love offal.  I’m not just talking about the usual liver, kidneys and blood sausage, I’m also talking about tripe, tongue, trotters and the like.

Back to St John’s, while googling the restaurant I discovered that April Bloomfield, of Spotted Pig fame, would be making a guest cooking appearance at the end of October.  I duly booked and waited impatiently.

The 31st finally arrived – below a copy of the menu.

I would have loved to try the pig trotters but as there were only 2 of us this wasn’t an option.

But we thoroughly enjoyed the Devilled Eggs, Chicken Livers, Pigs ear salad, burgers – medium rare just the way I like them and then banoffee pie.  You may be wondering where the picture of the pig’s ear is  – well I’m afraid I got so excited I forgot to take a picture until after the empty plate was removed : (

All in all a memorable dinner and a signed book.  More later on these recipes.


House hunting in Costigliole D’Asti

October 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Favourite Places | Italy - (Comments Off on House hunting in Costigliole D’Asti)

We’re recently returned from Italy where Jacques and I spent a week house hunting in the Asti province, mostly around Costigliole D’Asti with a few around the Moncalvo area which is a little further away. (I wrote about this a little while ago)

So what are we looking for – well we need something that has the potential to develop into 3 separate homes but probably within a single physical structure.  A space big enough for Cheri and her family, a space for Trish, and a space for J and I. Each of us needing our own living space while still being close enough to enjoy the extended family life; and develop our joint projects together. We also need space for chickens, goats, orchards and growing vegetables.

I expect that we will not find anything remotely close to our needs that is affordable and we’ll have to do a lot of renovating and improving to get it just so.  With budget constraints this is going to be a multi-year project.

Here are some pics of Costigliole D’Asti and the properties we looked at.

We looked at 10 properties in all and shortlisted 2.  The plan is to pursue our first choice and only if things don’t pan out will we pursue our second choice or possibly even do another round of viewings.   With a list of questions our property advisor is helping us get answers to that will hopefully lead to us making an offer.