Sunday, 18 November 2012

a nouveau excuse for a party

Need an excuse for a party?

Its that time again - the vin nouveau is here! Around these parts there is plenty of Beaujolais nouveau to be sampled but also the Gaillac primeur.While the wines may not be the best you've ever tasted its still a great excuse for a party and as usual Monique's soirée at the Auberge Bourdie at Bach was THE place to be on the third Thursday in November.

TC is now a regular guest musician at the party (even got a personal invite this year when we went for lunch at the restaurant recently) so played his concertina to much applause as always - and our
wine was free!

Restaurant owner Monique ( standing left of doorway)
always comes out of the kitchen to listen

There were several guest spots this year to support Sylvie Nauges ( seen sitting at the back) and her band, including a traditional cabrette player ( bit like the Northumbrian pipes) so there was lots of variety in the entertainment. Lots of dancing too - in tiny gaps between the tables - everything from waltzes to mazurkas and bourées. Its always fun watching the staff negotiating the throng as they balance platters and bowls of food on their way to the tables and, towards the end of the evening, trays heaped with empty glasses returning to the kitchen.

Last night another soirée - this time a village event in Promilhanes, a nearby village where friends of ours are occasional residents. The salle de fêtes was packed well before the start of the meal and we were glad we had learnt our lesson from last year and arrived in good time to choose where we wanted to sit. The menu was the same as last year too - simple fare with as much vin nouveau as you could drink. At least this year we knew what to expect from "duck bones" - exactly what it says! Great piles of duck carcasses in the middle of the table and literally up for grabs. Its a whole new take on finger food and it pays to know which bones are likely to have the best pickings but you have to be quick. Not a bad idea to fill up on the soup beforehand too!

So maybe not the height of gastronomy  but a fun evening in great company and a true insight into life in the French countryside.

Unfortunately the entertainment was something of a let down - the cacophony of a  karaoke sound system struggling to be heard over the noise of chatter in a hall with terrible acoustics drove us (and many others) away before coffee arrived but tant pis we enjoyed a coffee just across the road - thanks Maggie and Bill!