With eight different varietys of cherry trees we have cherrys for almost two months…but hurry over before the birds beat you to them ! We try to pick a basket every morning for your breakfast.
and there is fresh salad and herbs in Bruno’s garden at the Mill.
It might seem strange to see me writing about a French hamburger, but to understand why, you’ll just have to come to Bordeaux to taste one of the specialties at VACHER BURGER (vacher translates as a “cow heard”). When Eloise and I went recently, I had the Marcel (locally raised beef, homemade bar-b-q sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, onion and pickles) with real “french” fries, homemade mayonnaise and catsup). Eloïse tried the Léon (the same tasty beef — but she ordered hers rare — with a homemade bacon sauce, onion, raw milk cheese and arugula). Both burgers are served on the perfect bun made by the bakery just around the corner.
VACHER BURGER opened two months ago in two Bordeaux locations: 38 cours Portal (near the antique district, near several of my favorite shops — Totems et Tabous and Vert-Tige — and across the street from one of the city’s chic new pastry shops, Antoine) and 15 rue Pilliers de Tutelle in the center of town. VACHER BURGER’s owner and creator is an enthusiastic graphic artist and architect who’s been wanting to open a real “hamburger joint” like this for a long time.
Both Eloïse and I were delighted with the taste of the beef and the bun and with the quality of the homemade sauces — and the atmosphere. We can’t wait to introduce these “real burgers” to our French friends, many of whom only know hamburgers put together under the golden arch. French or American, it’s the taste that counts!
When you come to Bordeaux you’ll have all the good wine and cheese you want — but I’ll also send you to discover the Bordeaux “hamburger joint”.
CLICK ON “BROCANTE” and page “ANTIQUE FRENCH LINENS FOR SALE” for Janine’s latest finds !
When I first started my website, I titled a theme week “Biking and Cooking” because a brand-new 85Km bicycle path had just opened from Bordeaux to the heart of Entre Deux Mers. What I didn’t realize was that I had opened my door to the amazing community of motor bikes! However, it was only this past week that they arrived: a delightful American couple who’d been biking though France and Spain for 6 weeks, followed by three young English couples who’d biked over from London for the weekend on their vintage bikes.
Over pancakes and eggs for the English and a traditional French breakfast for the Americans, I heard about their biking adventures. Even though Carol and Art had to bike through Spanish sleet on their way up here, I was a little envious of their ability to pack up everything into three little bags and just take off. What freedom! Fortunately for them, this weekend was perfect for wandering the little backroads….and although I’ve often thought of bikers as fast and crazy drivers, this week’s four couples reminded me that biking can offer quite a different story. Also, the fact that all the women looked very chic in their helmets and biking outfits reminded me that we often have a lot of preconceptions – and misconceptions — about “les motards” !
When I met Janine yesterday at her antique store to pick up a beautifully monogramed sheet to mail off to one of my american guests …with her initals… Janine showed me the other linens she’d found for this summer’s guests. She suggested that if you can let me know in advance what monogram you’re looking for she will put aside the linens (sheets, table cloths and napkins as well as dish and bath towels) with your intials or, if you don’t plan to come to La Forge this summer, you can buy them though my web site. Cick on my “BROCANTE” page then ” antique French linens” and you’ll see her latest finds this time monogramed with an M…as you can see, this one is gorgeous !!
There’s a second sheet that is just as lovely with the intials MD.
It didn’t freeze last night so the tulips, fruit blossoms and clementis are as wonderful as ever…and the Viburnum’s heavy fragrance is as overpowering as always and reminds me of our garden in Indiana…but never the less the temperature this morning made it hot chocolate time again ! My son gave me a milk frother and though I don’t drink coffee it makes the perfect way to top off my hot chocolate. When Bruno commented that our guests must enjoy that and I realised that it’s rare that guests ask for hot chocolate. Now that we’ve had several dégustations of chocolate with Serge Michaud, owner and chocolatier of one of the two oldest chocolate shops in Bordeaux: Cadiot Badie, I’ve been enjoyed my hot chocolate even more.
The “Coq en Pâte” in the photo has nothing to do with chocolate but I picked it up at a little store in Créon that I’ll point you to when you’re at La Forge…and I enjoy it on my breakfast table as a hotplate.
Now I’m off to visit my antique linen expert, Janine, and see her stand at a new collective antique shop on the road to St Foy la Grande. She wants to show me the linens she has set aside for my guests…
Our mild winter seemed to carry on forever until suddenly all my fruit trees seemed to blossom all at once …we’re going to have lots of cherries, plums, pears and apples !
Even my new grandson waited to arrive on that first day of blooms…we all said he was waiting for the sun and blue sky before leaving his mother’s snug little home.
Guests and reservations have started to arrive as well…and we’re looking forward to yours.
During the months of April and May we have many French guests as school vacation starts next week and then a series of the famous “long May weekends” were everyone heads to the countryside. That’s when coming to a family home like La Forge, with only a small number of guests even on busy weekends, you feel as though “spring has sprung” just for you and it’s another perfect way to meet the French: over a hot croissant at breakfast !
For those who have been to La Forge and slept in Janine’s antique French linens that I have on all my beds, or who have admired on her beautiful antique tablecloths but not dared to wipe your mouths with the hand embroidered napkins: I’ve invited Janine to show her linens on my web site. You can take a look on the page Antique French Linens.
I just received a new collection that I’ll put up for sale on her page soon. The cost of shipping will depend on the total weight of purchases (the details are on her page)…or you may order them and pick them up the next time you come to La Forge. In the meantime, I’ll share this morning’s arrivals with you here:
12 monogramed CL dinner napkins in a damasked medallion size, size:75x65cm/30x26inches
10 dinner napkins (no monogram)
size: 66 x 76 cm / 26x30inches
4 antique dish linen towels with loops
size: 48 cm x 70 cm / 19x27inches
price of 4 towels 25€/$33US
iguide-hotel.com is one of the best site to find the perfect spot for your vacation…I use it for mine.
It’s not just that they recommend “What’s Cooking in France” that I’m happy to announce that they’ve recommended us for yet another year. You can count on their advice as they do a unannounced visit every two years…the best way to make sure a B&B remains on top for their guests !
As most of the guests from the Two Bordelais tour stay at here La Forge I have the most interesting breakfast companions you could wish for…so I try to keep my breakfast table up to the level of my guests !