Tuesday, 17 August 2010

France Photos (I Love Eating Out!)

So I got back from France on Sunday, but my internet has gone back to not being fixed, I apologise for not getting these pictures to you sooner, and for the lack of posts you'll be receiving over the next few days!

So, I know that I have promised you all a post out of my French fashion finds, but it was so wet and as I want to go back to the house to study for my exams, I spent a lot of time hanging around builders merchants and DIY stores trying to help my parents get the place finished instead! However, I've got a few photos from my village market, and quite a lot more from a lovely restaurant we ate out at in the shadow of the castle in Fougeres.
Something I want to buy for the house is one of these incredible chic water bottles like they had in the restaurant - I've found somewhere where I can get blue, orange, green and purple glass ones for only a couple of euros each... but I want a pink one!
As you can see the castle is really beautiful. I didn't go inside this time, but it has some beautiful and fascinating towers you can go up inside, beautiful views out across rural France from up on the ramparts and the whole set up, every time I visit makes me want to get cracking on writing a historical novel right away!
If you ever visit there is also a beautiful little Catholic church with an incredibly carved wooden pulpit and beautiful stained glass on the other side of he castle walls!
This is the restaurant we ate at - the other side of the courtyard from where I tried last time. This menu was full of grilled open sandwiches, big salads with nice crunchy croutons and seafood, and beautifully presented deserts, where as where I ate last summer there were more of the traditional gallettes, wrapped pancakes made with buckwheat and black butter.
You'll notice the red umbrellas we sat under - that's why all the photos I took of the food are tinged slightly red!
The reason I chose this place to eat is this board set outside the seating area - a popular dish in Northern France, Moules Frites (Mussels and Chips) is one of my favourites, and I have not yet had the opportunity to try Moules a la Catalane, even though I used to spend so much time with my Grandparents in the Catalane region of France, I was only brave enough to try mussels about 6 months ago, and besides I don't remember seeing it on the menus there anyway!
I usually go for Moules Marinere, which is cooked in onions and white wine, or Moules Provincial, which is cooked in tomatoes, peppers, white wine and onions. As you can see on the board the Moules a la Catalane are cooked with poivrons (peppers), tomates (tomatoes), courgetes (courgettes) and chorizo sausage.
Needless to say from this photo they were incredible, and some of the best mussels I've ever tasted.
The praline ice cream my parents had tasted fantastic, but it wasn't as good as my chocolate mousse cake - I think in this case pictures speak louder than words.
Though we went to the big market in the nearest town to us, Combourg on Monday, on Thursday we went to our tiny little market in our village of Bazouges la Perouse. While my Mum was laughing her head off at my Dad's awful attempt to buy us a bag of prawns to eat at lunch (I can speak very good French though I can read it much better, my Mum can speak what she remembers for school but my Dad can hardly speak any at all!), I indulged in my compulsive love of photographing produce in French markets...
I was fascinated by these potatoes - I'd never seen black ones before, but my mother as a foodie informed me they are quite common, just not in British supermarkets! Also you can see here yellow French beans, something our neighbour grows and always brings us over a massive haul of. I personally don't like beans, but apparently, boiled and with a generous sprinkling of Fleur de Sel (French sea salt, the best salt I've ever tasted that's about 2,50€ in the supermarket, but about £5 for a scoop in French deli's over here!) they are the best beans on the planet.
Finally, I wish to apologise this last photo is out of focus, but I wasn't paying attention when I took it! I just wanted to point out to you all the fantastic deals you can get on magazines in French supermarkets - Vogue Paris and French Glamour - both magazines I love to read - for only 4,95€ which is better than buy one get one free. I wish you could get bundles of all the magazine I love to read this side of the Channel!
I hope you guys all enjoyed you summer holidays! Where did you go, and what did you get up to! I want to know where everyone else went, and if you have a blog post with some photos, I'd love it if you left me a link!

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