Some after-the-holidays notes

Well, I certainly hope that you had a better time over the year-end holidays than Jan and I did. What happened is that we were laid low by illness just before Christmas, and have only recovered in the days following the start of 2023.

Jan had it worse — flu-like symptoms, loss of energy, loss of appetite. For three days, she ate virtually nothing; finally she filled a prescription for antibiotics and started to get relief; today she is pretty much back to normal. As for me, my problems started with a seriously sore throat, and developed into a persistent cough and a chest cold.

As for the beautiful lobster lunch we were to have on Christmas Day? Nope. We finally had lobster with mayonnaise and fries a few days later, and the day after that, Jan finished using up the lobster in a rich cheese sauce over penne.

Ah well. We’re fine now, and I realize that a lot of folks had things much worse than we did. Still, I thought I’d share that news, which in part explains why there has been no posting on Radio Free Daglan for a while.

Weather? It would be nice to see the sun. Compared with many parts of the world, winters in Daglan are pretty easy — no big snow storms, and in fact no little snow storms. We did have one period of exceptional cold, but that lasted just a few days. Now we are in a period of relatively cool, but still tolerable, temperatures. But seeing grey skies all the time does get a bit tiresome.

Food, glorious food. A few days before Christmas, we drove south for an hour or so and enjoyed lunch with friends Sarah and Karl, who live just outside Cahors. The lunch was in the ground-floor restaurant of a hotel in Cahors itself, and I thought it was worth sharing some highlights.

The hotel is called La Chartreuse, and actually it’s not the most attractive building. However, it’s perched right on the Lot River, and so the view from our table in the restaurant was a pleasant one. Here’s a look:

That’s the Lot River, just a few feet from our table.

Several things struck me about the meals we were served. First of all, the food was uniformly good. Second, the presentation showed that the kitchen understands the value of good-looking dishes. Third, the quantities were certainly generous. And finally, the price was a real bargain. I’ll show off just a few eye-catching dishes of our three-course lunches, starting with Jan’s potimarron soup:

Now this is how to make a bowl of soup look appealing.

Usually, when I provide a photograph of soup — no matter how delicious the soup may be — it simply looks boring. After all, soup is basically a liquid in a bowl of some sort. But look at what Jan received — a crispy slice of bacon on one edge, decorations around the edge of the bowl, and a spoonful of crème fraîche in the centre.

For my entrée. I chose the cocotte egg with black truffle, and received this plate — the soft-boiled egg was flavoured with generous slices of black truffle, and the plate was covered in a variety of breads, all of which were delicious. Here’s my plate:

A bread-dunker’s paradise.

For dessert, I ordered the omelette Quercynoise, which could best be described as a local version of a baked Alaska.

(Quercynoise refers to the region of Quercy, which, as the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains, is an “… historic and cultural region encompassing most of the southwestern French départements of Lot and Tarn-et-Garonne and coextensive with the former district of Quercy. The district was organized in Gallo-Roman times as a civitas of the Cadurci, a Celtic people whose name is reflected in that of Quercy.” Feel better?)

Now, since the region is famous for walnuts (among other delicacies, including truffles), my omelette came with a nice shot glass of walnut liqueur. Here it is:

The walnut liqueur was nice added touch.

Now, as to price: The four of us consumed a bottle of wine plus three kir (white wine with cassis), and of course the three-course meal for all four of us, followed by coffees for three of us. We split the bill, and each couple paid a grand total of 55 euros. Now that, to me, is a bargain for this kind of quality.

This entry was posted in Food, French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Lot and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Some after-the-holidays notes

  1. Deborah Laing says:

    Wow, that is a bargain meal, we must visit there with you. Sounds very like you had the same as us over Christmas, bonus , if any, it’s good for the waistline 🤣

  2. Gordon Pape says:

    Glad you are both better. Happy New Year. – Gordon

  3. Hi Loren: Long time no comment, but I’m hapy to see you’re still posting. Sorry to hear about your holiday illness — that seems to happen a lot these days — but glad to hear you’re better. My regards to Jan.

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks very much, and Happy New Year to you! Have I missed something — are you still blogging? I had the idea that you had retired from the blogosphere, and I don’t recall seeing anything from you for a while. With Covid more or less behind us, will you get back to travel?

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