Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Party Time - During

At exactly 12 o’clock someone rang the doorbell. Our first guests had arrived. They came bearing food: a large platter of Ken’s famous remoulade salad, nicely presented with slices of smoked salmon and olives, as well as a large cardboard box, containing a beautiful strawberry tart.

Aperitif time at the B-BBQ ... waiting for Jean and Nick to arrive ...
enjoying the Vouvray bubbles, donkey sausage and June sun.

We all moved to the terrace at the back of the house and J.L. started serving the Vouvray bubbles. I made several ‘aller-retours’ between the terrace and the front garden, to welcome our other guests as they arrived. By one o’clock our little blogger gathering was complete: Susan and Simon, who brought sun-dried tomatoes and a tantalizing dish of white asparagus in béchamel sauce. Gaynor and Tim, who were on their way back to the UK after spending a vacation in their holiday home in Southern Touraine. Gaynor had made a very yummy pudding (Sorry Gaynor, I can’t remember what it was called) and a mixed salad, of lettuce and multi-coloured cherry tomatoes and olives. And two extra bottles of bubbles. Antoinette and Niall arrived, carrying a large bowl containing a lovely spicey chicken salad. Jean and Nick brought two tasty cakes, which Jean had made herself and a large bowl of strawberries and cream.

Party in full swing. 
With the three BIB's (red, white and rosé)
safely tucked away in the shade.

It was great to see everybody again! During the aperitif Susan suggested to push the two separate tables together, to create one big one. While J.L. opened more bottles of Vouvray bubbles, we passed around the large platter with the bowls of crisps and sausage slices. The donkey sausage especially was much appreciated by all!

When J.L. lit the barbecue it was time to bring out the food: all the above mentioned savoury dishes, as well as the barbecue meat: chipolatas, merguez, rustic sausages and the ‘speck’, thickly sliced and marinated strips of bacon. B. and Susan retired to the kitchen to warm up the asparagus. Jean washed and cleaned the strawberries.

Time for some desert ... hard to decide what to chose!

Wine and conversation flowed easily, with guests helping themselves to the food and the BIB’s which we had lined up on a table underneath the outdoor staircase, well protected from the heat of the sun. Because, although the wind was still rather chilly, the sun was beating down on our white skins. The 2 p.m. clouds never showed up and by the end of the afternoon we all had bright red noses (not from the wine, mind you!) and reddish forearms. 


Anonymous said...

It looks like another great party with delicious food and lovely conversation. Hope you all had a really good time, it certainly looks like it.

Craig said...

It looks wonderful. Good blogger company, good wine and great food.
I'm trying to figure out who everyone is!

Niall & Antoinette said...

And an excellent time was had :-)! I will send you the recipe for the chicken salad. Reading the post reminded me - it had slipped my mind sorry.

GaynorB said...

We agree with Antoinette. It was an excellent BBQ in all respects; great food wines and companyin a beautiful setting.

The pudding was an apricot and ginger trifle - it was a bit different in taste and texture to the one I make in the UK as I couldn't get extra thick double cream in France.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Another great get together for you all ,, sounds amazing :-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

The photo at the end looks like Walt ,, never met him but it does look like him.

Nadege said...

Very good looking people and great food! What could be more fabulous? (I love Vouvray -methode champenoise).

Bob said...

Why go to a resturant when you can have a great meal like that. Sorry we all couldn't make it.

VirginiaC said...

What a lovely day to enjoy the company of good friends and good food.
Looks like you all enjoyed the BBQ....yeah!

chm said...

Everything was perfect, the weather, the food and wines, and of course....the company.

ladybird said...

Veronica, It was fantastic! You should have been there, considering you know most of the bloggers present!

Craig, I think you must have a fair idea of who's who ... being a regular blog reader.;)

N&A, Can't wait to make that salad for my mum! It was really very nice.

Gaynor, The pudding was great despite the fact that you couldn't get the right ingredients in France. I for one didn't taste the difference :)

Anne, That's Walt alright! You have a keen eye.

Nadege, Vouvray bubbles are the best, besides real Champagne. Which is strange because they don't use the same grape (Chenin vs Pinot/Chardonnay).

Bob, You and Pat would have enjoyed the company and the food. Maybe next time?!

Virginia, It was great fun, and the mix of nationalities was very refreshing indeed... yet never an obstacle as we all read each other's blogs.

Chm, It was a real joy for me and certainly one of the highlights of my stay ... I'm sorry I didn't take any photos of the food. But I was too busy running around and enjoying the company.