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Friday, 5 April 2013

A sunny Easter at La Verderie

Spring is slow arriving even in sunny France, however we have had a lovely Easter weekend with some warm sunshine and visitors.

My Easter bouquet
Our friends Mike and Linda and Nash and Linda arrived for the weekend clutching, gorgeous flowers, simnel cake, delicious starters and sparkling wine from the Loire. Mike and Linda live in Arcais in the Marais Poitevin, a lovely part of France just a little way North West of here which we rudely refer to as swamp land, but is actually a beautiful area of marshes criss-crossed with small rivers canals and woodland, best explored by flat-bottomed boats called barques. Nash and Linda are the owners of our much loved workshop venue for the past 5 years, Chateau St Julien, they spend part of the year in the US, so it is good to be able to pin them down for a weekend.

Mike and Linda enjoying some sunshine
We spent the afternoon sitting in the sunshine eating Linda's delicious simnel cake and catching up on all the news followed by a gentle stroll around the lanes with BeBop. In the evening a huge feast with champagne and yummy starters provided by Linda, home made tapenade, garlicky bean dip, scallop ceviche, fresh prawns and goats cheese, followed by my favourite dinner party recipe - leg of lamb marinated in yoghurt and spices with dauphinoise potatoes, spinach and tomatoes, a cheese course then almond and orange gateau with caramelised oranges and just a couple of Easter eggs from Culli's most recently turned bowl....................

Easter eggs in a Culli bowl
On Monday morning Nash, the two Linda's and I went to the brocante in Crazanne. There were plenty of stalls with some lovely things but being early in the season the prices are high, I found a lovely haberdashery stall and bought some buttons and a basket and we all hit the plant stall, so I now have 10 strawberry plants for my new planter.

The plant stall at Crazanne brocante
We got back home to discover that Mike and Culli had been busy designing a hand-turned wooden chess set, Mike full of enthusiasm to build a website in Russian to sell the chess sets! We had a lovely, leisurely lunch of left overs in the warm sunnshine, then everyone departed leaving us to have a quick snooze in the sun.

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