Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All in a weekend: Cassis, Banon and Gourmet Food.

Hello everyone! Hope you're having a great week so far.

It's go, go, go at the moment - making sure my friend sees the best that Provence has to offer during her 2 weeks here.

This weekend was jam-packed with fun despite the weather's best efforts to thwart us.

We headed off nice and early Saturday morning to the seaside town of Cassis.

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Unfortunately the open waters were too rough to take the boat ride out to the calanques (limestone inlets and caves along the coast) but we made up for it with play on the beach and a few merry-go-round rides.

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After lunch the wind got a little unpleasant so by mid afternoon we headed home again. They've redone all the beautiful cobblestone streets behind the marina - it was fun to see the work in progress.

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Sunday was another early start, this time up to the Luberon Valley to the Banon Fête du Fromage, the Cheese Festival.

We saw this on the way:

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Banon put on a great show.

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Oh yes, Banon, you ARE super.

And the cheese...wow. Oh wow. The CHEESE!

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This is Banon cheese, made in the local area and named after the town.

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Before coming to France this cheese would've frightened me. Now mould is my best friend.

This was a cheese I'd never seen before - soft goat's cheese made with rose water throughout (and a little rosemary on top) - it was amazing.

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Of course there were things other than cheese, such as these:

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And this cool bookstore:

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But really, it was all about the cheese:

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Those rounds on the bottom were 60cm (2 ft) across. Incredible.

Unfortunately the heavens opened at midday (and didn't stop until Tuesday afternoon) so we gave up our plan of having a nice lunch outside. Instead we took our haul home and pigged out there:

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We went a little crazy, I'll admit. But we get to eat cheese all week, yay!

This is the Banon cheese, inside its chestnut leaf wrappings:

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Sunday night I'd made a booking at the very popular Poivre D'Ane restaurant.

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The food was really lovely, although the mister got a few sideways looks going out to dinner with two ladies. Why do people always find that so interesting?

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The trip in and out of the restaurant had us soaked - the rain did not let up the whole night. And then we came home to find the laundry leaking.

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In other news, did you know the Monaco Grand Prix is on this weekend? I didn't! My bestie and I are now going to Lyon for our weekend away.

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Given that Lyon is referred to as the gastronomic capital of France, I don't think we'll be disappointed.

Have a great week! x x

22 comments:

  1. A coffee table book just in this post! The rain, the garlic, the mould, the cheese, the cheese, the poppies!! The poppies!!! sigh.....

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  2. My stomach is rumbling now. Roll on lunch time! Beautiful pics as ever Kirsty. :)

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  3. The cheeses look so wonderful. I would be in heaven.

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  4. Have you tasted the wine in Cassis? i'm almost sure you did. If not, you must.
    Did you know Le Bleut is a very big bookshop? That will go online this summerd? People come from the whole France to buy their books there.

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  5. Great photos! I bet you are able to eat outside today :)

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  6. I think I would've cried if we traveled all the way to Cassis and didn't get to visit the calanques, but thank goodness you had a cheese festival to soften the blow!

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  7. I love travelling along with you through your beautiful pictures. BUT I have to be honest... that cheese scares the heck out of me!

    Jennifer :)

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  8. I stuffed my guests full of cheese last week too! Still eating the leftovers. Weirdly I did just stumble across the news that it was the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend and had been imagining you and your friend living it up with the F1 boys!! Ah well, Lyon will be nice too.

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  9. Ah! Seaside, good friends, poppies and CHEESE! What else does one need?! :-) I hope the rest of your holiday together will be just as nice!

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  10. I love the poppies Kirsty. So pretty.
    Have fun in Lyon and take loads of photos of the food. Always my favorite.
    And thanks for the Monaco Grand Prix info, I"m sure the boys will be thrilled to watch.
    a xo

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  11. OMG, I love banons, especially the flavoured ones - there's a charcuterie in Sault that has an amazing selection, although I'd love to visit that festival one day!

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  12. I adore cheese in all shapes and sizes and the mouldier the better! Your photos are stunning, thankyou for sharing them with us. I'm a VERY amateur photographer but learning as I go along. Patricia

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  13. Oh damn, I read this before breakfast and I'm now starving. Can you please put a warning at the beginning of these foodie posts. That aside, your photos as always are stunning, you should be writing for Gourmet Traveller.

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  14. Kirsty...oh Kirsty! I am in heaven just drooling over those pictures...my keyboard is wet and my arms are hugging the screen. All I need now is a nice crusty bread, some wine and I can die a happy man! (OK, well that IS rather drastic, but I think you get the idea)! And Cassis I remember well from when I lived in the area. Is envy such a bad thing?

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  15. I don't like cheese, well that is to say: cheese made from cow's milk. The others are ok to nice. As for the 'frightening' one ...
    Pity you can't have a giveaway on the 'roses and goat's cheese' I'd love to have won that!
    Dutch cheese is all I'm stuck with ....

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  16. Every time I read a post on your blog I want to board a plane for France. You find the most amazing places to share with us. The cheese, the poppies, the food, the beautiful stone streets. Thank you for my virtual trip to France.

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  17. The poppies are stunning and I would have a difficult time not filling a memory card with variations of poppies... They are, after all... ROUGE!

    I am not afraid of cheese, no sir, not even with mold. I was drooling with every photo, and would want some saucisson sec and a baguette for the road! All of that fabulous food and now you are going to Lyon, food capital!!

    Enjoy and think of us as you consume the heavenly delights of Lyon... photos, svp!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  18. I'm so bummed I missed you guys in Banon, and that I missed the fete. By the time G finished, it had started raining :(
    So what did you think of my bookstore (yes it's mine), isn't it fantastic? x

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  19. My dear your pictures are stunning, some of them are true works of art. I love the poppies and the garlic, maybe they could be transposed on cloth and inspire a piece of embroidery?
    I will be interested in what you see in Lyon, some silk perhaps?

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  20. I just finished lunch, and yet I'm feeling hungry again after looking at all those mouth-watering pictures! I adore cheese more than any other food category, and the Fête du Fromage is officially on my bucket list.

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