Sunday, 13 December 2009

Bologne's Christmas Market
I've been away far too long with few excuses but too little time and perhaps my own abject laziness.
After about 6 months with no kitchen I'm finally moved in to my new and quite wonderful one. I have two ovens a combi-steam oven a microwave and the magic just keeps on going. I'll post some photo's next time but this time I want to tell you of my week-end trip to France.
Summer past I thought a one nighter across the Channel might be a treat and so made the appropriate bookings. On Friday morning when I awoke to a cold, wet, dark day I wished I could just roll over and go back to sleep.
Trips I find are rather varied in their pleasures and I firmly believe that keeping things a bit of a mystery adds to the overall effect. We had a delicious lunch in Calais at Histoires- Anciennes,
a small restaurant on Rue Royal,the road leading to the port. Very simple: oysters, ham in Madera sauce and isle Flotante, delicious food eaten in a place packed with people enjoying themselves, then to our hotel.
The Metropole, Boulogne is central they say , difficult to track down might be another way of phrasing it but once the car was parked we wandered through the rather damp streets marvelling at how costly everything is now the pound has collapsed against the euro.
After a very jolly dinner of a mountain of moules and then steak frites spirits rose a little and so we woke ready for all Boulogne could throw at us.

The market was in full cry and these lovely pumpkins showed how chic even a vegetable stall can look. The local stalls seem to be mainly run by smallholders with men and women offering whatever that could on the day. Ramdom sized jars of jam, water bottles of home made soup a few eggs, some home grown vegetables, bread, biscuits and mountains of holly and Misletoe.

I then climbed the hill to the old town and went to the Christmas Market. A truly lovely experiance with small stalls selling mulled wine and home made gifts - a far cry from the awful commercial markets that fill our city centres at this time of year.