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Lunchtime in the South of France

Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was.

– Nick Miller

It’s probably a cliche to say one of the best things I ever ate was in France… but it’s true.

Have you tried a new food, and on that first bite wondered how you’ve lived your life without it? I had that experience in the small town of Entrevaux in Provence in 2008.

After a morning in Entrevaux with our small hiking group, climbing up to the town’s fortress and exploring the ruins, it was time for lunch. We walked back down to find a deserted village so it must be lunch! Our trusty guide, Rose, thought she remembered a good restaurant on a back street, and in our search for it, we passed beautiful narrow streets where the delicious aromas coming from the open windows made me even more hungry. We arrived at what we thought was the restaurant, and I have to say I was a bit surprised as, at the time, it was a pizzeria – not what I was expecting for France. But luckily there was a very Provençal lunch special that both Rose and I ordered, while the others had pizza. Wow – this plate was impressive! It had secca (a sliced dried beef), grilled zucchini strips, a big piece of soft goat cheese, and a paper-thin gingerbread topped with foie gras, fig and honey. On that first bite of that gingerbread concoction, I was in heaven!

I’ve tried to replicate that dish to no avail – can’t find that bread! But I can still recall that taste, and it came floating back to me several times as I painted this new “Mini Travels” miniature. On our way to the restaurant, I snapped this photo subject of a black cat sitting patiently in a street, looking up at a window, perhaps hoping for a morsel of lunch to be dropped down. At the time, I felt a kinship with this cat because we were both so hungry. I hope his lunch turned out to be as good as mine!

#112 – Provencal Street Life

In Studio (2.5″ x 3.5″; ink and watercolour)

(Original has sold)

3 replies »

  1. Felt the same way the first time I had a good paella. I make it myself now and have, after many tries, perfected it. But that first taste is always the best. (Like a first kiss I suppose) Lovely paintings.

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