Lunches galore, with an anniversary celebration

We’ve just finished a fairly whirlwind three-day visit with my sister Karen and her husband Mark, culminating in a wonderful lunch at Carsac’s O Moulin restaurant, where Jan and I celebrated their anniversary as well as our own. Both anniversaries come before the end of the month, and are just a week apart.

Karen and Mark live in Florida, and are well-travelled to say the least. Their latest jaunt took them to Spain and then Sarlat in the Dordogne (just 30 minutes or so from Daglan), which served as their base for a week-long tour of historic sites around the area. We picked them up on Friday morning, and headed right for our village.

Our first lunch together was that Friday, where we enjoyed a meal at the ever-dependable Tournepique, in Castelnaud. On Saturday, Karen had wanted to visit Château des Milandes, one of our area’s best tourist destinations, which for some reason had not been included in their week-long tour.

Karen and Mark toured the château, which as you may know was the long-time home of Josephine Baker, and then we four had a pleasant outdoor lunch at the château’s very good brasserie. After that came the 3 p.m. showing and demonstration of the château’s birds of prey.

For Sunday’s lunch, we pulled out the stops in celebration of our forthcoming anniversaries, asking our charming hostess Cécile Guerin to bring us a bottle of Taittinger champagne. That went nicely with our amuse-bouches, which included a Mimosa d’oeuf, as Cécile called it. Now I know mimosa as the name for a drink, so this was new to me; it was a warm and foamy concoction in which you could taste the yolk as well as the egg whites. Unusual and very good. Have a look:

This eggy creation was warm and smooth and delicious.

As an entrée, three of us had what’s described on the menu as Gambas façon thaï, sauce homardine et crème de coco — that is, Thai-style large prawns in a savoury lobster sauce with lots of Thai flavours, sprinkled lightly with toasted peanuts. The dish included layer upon layer of flavours, the prawns were perfectly cooked, the sauce was delicious, and we could have eaten serving after serving. Here’s my bowl:

Prawns in a sweet Thai sauce.

For our plat principal, Jan and I had the roast filet of beef with a selection of vegetables and a red wine sauce. Once again, an outstanding dish:

When I made the reservation, I hadn’t mentioned our forthcoming anniversaries, but I did once we were seated. So on that short notice, Chef Nicolas Aujoux came up with candles for each of our desserts, and created small Joyeux Anniversaire badges made of chocolate. Here’s Jan’s dessert — a deconstructed strawberry tarte:

Jan’s deconstructed strawberry tarte.

As for my dessert, well, I’m pretty well unable to order anything other than a chocolate treat, and this dish had all I could possibly want:

Chocolate, chocolate and, well, more chocolate.

The whirlwind continued yesterday morning, as we all had to rise at the crack of dawn to drive Karen and Mark to the Gourdon train station, headed for Paris and ultimately, a flight home to Florida. I think I napped a lot that day.

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9 Responses to Lunches galore, with an anniversary celebration

  1. Alix Horner says:

    Happy early anniversary wishes to you both! What a splendid post,,,so glad you connected with your sister. Larry and I celebrated our 44th last week (as you may remember) and we had a lovely 3 days away in St Pete on the beach. Check out facebook for some photos of us eating delicious meals and enjoying some fine wine also.

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks, Alix, and all the best to you and Larry. I no longer use Facebook, however. If you get a minute, maybe you could email me and attach a few of your photos. Big hugs from us!

  2. Gordon Pape says:

    Happy Anniversary! Your meal looks magnificent.

  3. Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a great time with your sister, hope you are both well and think of you often

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks very much, Joan. Yes, we’re fine. Jan just finished (today) her French language test, which is part of the process of applying for citizenship. But the test goes to Paris to be graded, so we won’t know her results for a few weeks. All the best to you and yours!

  4. Karen says:

    Our visit in France was incredible….the scenery, the history, the lovely French people and the food. Our celebration at O Moulin was fantastic but the best part was spending time with Loren & Jan !!!

  5. Sarah Wilson says:

    A belated Happy Anniversary to you both! The photos look delicious! You may remember during our brief meal all those years ago, we mentioned that we wanted to live in France… well, after years of preparation and travel restrictions, we’ve arrived and are settled in Pradines, just up the road 😀

  6. loren24250 says:

    Well, welcome to France! Glad you’ve made it!

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