May 31, 2011

Life in the South of France

Lentil Salad

"Is this all you guys do around here? Eat and drink?"

I look at their faces, the lines of consternation etched in their foreheads and I glance down at the table strewn with dishes, empty wine glasses, empty bottles and bagutte crumbs.
The typical scene after a 6 hour Sunday lunch.

Our friends and family visiting from the States are often taken aback by our long lunches and the way we savor food and wine. I think they find it very decadent.

No, I tell them, it's not all we do...

Sunday lunch

I work during the summer tourist season. I walk the dogs. I go to the bank and to the market and to the grocery store.
We get the oil changed in the car, deal with flat tires and French bureaucracy, have dentist and doctor appointments and run errands like normal people.

summer lunch

No, it's not all we do...

However we do try our best to enjoy life to its fullest, and eating and drinking falls under that category.

And with the help of our friends and neighbors, the region's vignerons, and our local chèvre and olive oil producers, that is a very easy thing to do!

Sunday lunch Pin It


Aidan said...

Looks fabulous...and yes, that's all we do. And we love it. I'm on my way...aidan

Ken Broadhurst said...

It's about all we do here in Saint-Aignan too. Besides work on the house, mow the grass, trim the hedge, plant the garden, harvest it, process all the crops so we can have them all winter long, walk the dog, write our blogs....

The question to ask those people from the U.S. is: what do they do all day?

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Oh, and I would love to have been there to enjoy that Sunday lunch, to languish with all that your exquisite region has to offer. Well done!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

It's what we do in our dreams of France.

spacedlaw said...

Life is too short not to enjoy it fully.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I think it is how we would all like to live .. I love the long lunches ♥

Cathy said...

It sounds like a wonderful life, Loulou. A long, leisurely lunch with friends and family is what's it all about.

Holly Bruns said...

Eating and drinking all day... hmmm... sounds pretty perfect to me. Aside from each other, what else is there, really?

georgiegirl said...

Hi Loulou,
What is that thing you put over the wine bottle? As always, love your posts. I am working on coming back to France next year. We have been busy going to another direction - Bangkok. We just finished an apartment in midtown BKK.

Angela said...

This makes me so home sick, I've been in the UK for the past three weeks and its cold and grey....can't wait to get back to Provence!

Chez Loulou said...

Not such a bad life, huh? :)

I will definitely have to ask that next time!

Which one? :)
I don't get the chance to enjoy Sunday lunch very often during the summer, so sometimes it is a long Monday lunch, or a Tuesday lunch...

We do have some amazing regional food here. Just this morning I came home from the market with some delicious buttons of local chèvre.

Chez Loulou said...

I think you need to come back to France. Or you could always start the long Sunday lunch tradition at home!


And why not? :)

Chez Loulou said...

It's one reason I don't mind that most of the shops are closed on Sundays. There's nowhere to go (other than a restaurant) so why not enjoy a relaxing lunch.

Not much! :)

It keeps the air out of the bottle.
Good luck with your move! How very exciting!

Hurry back!

chcmichel said...

One of the things we love most about the South of France is the slow pace of Sunday lunches outside on our terrace or at one of our favorite restaurants. Its a very good life.

Murissa Maurice said...

Sounds like a lovely lifestyle. The food looks amazing and nourishing!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Mlle Paradis said...

ok, so THIS is what i'm talking about! and what is so wrong with that?

the barge shot in the last post is gorgeous!

Emm said...

That first photo has me drooling, even though earlier today I was eating some local chevre. Food heaven!

A Trifle Rushed said...

It's certainly all we do in Brittany! Unfortunately we have to work in London most of the year. Those 10 weeks in France are soooo precious!

Vagabonde said...

I have just come back to your blog and read your updates. You show some nice looking cheeses. I was in France for 3 weeks and did eat a lot of cheese to get my fill before returning home, but I am missing it already. My current post is also about having a long lunch on a Sunday with my cousins in France and of course, it shows a lot of cheeses.

Chez Loulou said...

I like the sound of your Sundays!

It is! And one that you could adopt as well. Couldn't you? :)

Mlle Paradis
Nothing wrong at all! Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed.
Glad you liked the barge photo.

Chez Loulou said...

Food heaven indeed!
I'm currently sitting at home, waiting for a chèvre delivery. Ordered several different cheeses from a farm up north and they should be arriving some time today. Very excited!

A Trifle Rushed
I'm sure you savor every minute of those 10 weeks. :)

I enjoyed looking at your photos and reading about your trip to France. Looks like you ate a lot of cheese!

Lost In Cheeseland said...

I think that even with the daily grind, life in France (including its occasional long lunch) is all about pleasure. We deserve it for dealing with the bureaucracy!

Forest said...

not to sound too cliche - but life is about enjoying & why move to a place so abundant with good thigns to eat and drink and not incorporate that into life in a big, enjoyable way!? Good for you for keeping the piorities straight! :)

but seriously, i do think it's a lifestyle that is so counter to a lot of the hustle-bustel, must constantly be doing things (and quite often things we don't want to do) of the American lifestyle, that's it's kind of strange for some visitors to make that transition even for a sunday afternoon.

SE said...

Oh, this looks so fabulous. I want to be there- a glass of wine, endless food.... and warm weather instead of this Seattle winter-in-summer. Thanks for a fun mental health break- and I would love to know what was on the menu Sunday.

emiglia said...

Sounds like heaven! Looking forward to doing more of that when I get down to the Languedoc in a few weeks...

Chez Loulou said...

We absolutely do deserve it! :)

Excactly. On both points.
I remember I was out to dinner in Paris with a friend who lives in Paris and my sister, visiting from California. We were happily eating and drinking and at around 11pm, after we'd been there for 2½ hours, and hadn't even had dessert yet, my sister looked at me and said, "is this normal??"
It was so funny because my friend and I hadn't even noticed the time! 3 hour dinners, 4 hour lunches...c'est normal!

We had a beautiful and hot month of May, but have been dealing with cool, rainy temperatures since last week. A bit like Seattle weather, in fact. :)

Where will you be in the Languedoc?

Steve said...

We also enjoy some lovely long lunches here in Brittany, but I would love to know how many French stay so slim even though they seem to eat the same as us.

Chez Loulou said...

Genes? Or maybe they're secretly feeding half of their lunch to the dog under the table? :)