Hot on the heels of our super fun buying trip with clients (read all about it here and here), Ann and I are just back from another quickie to France to shop for the store and the gallery. We had five fairs in five days to shop so we were on a mission. That added up to about 500kilometers to drive and four hotels to hit. But one thing is sure: we had plenty of good eats while we were on the road.
These trips are always kind of down and dirty - up at the crack of dawn, in line for the opening stampede at the fairs by 7:30. a.m. and back in the car and onto the next destination by 1 p.m. We check into that night's hotel, sit down with computers and hammer out the paperwork that goes with each day of buying. By then, we're either too pooped to pop - or we're ready to sample a little of the local cuisine.
Not matter what, we usually eat pretty well. If you've spent anytime in France, you know how important breakfast is and our hotels usually put out a fabulous spread of croissants, bread, fresh eggs, cheeses, cured meats, fruit and yogurt.
Everything gets washed down with fresh-squeezed orange juice and a smooth cafe creme. And if we don't have time for that, breakfast often looks like this:
When we're shopping the fairs, it's a crazy free-for-all and we start getting hungry and thirsty around 1 p.m. If we're lucky, one of our cute French vendors will invite us back to their booth for a bite: local cheeses, meats, plenty of fresh crusty bread and a swig of delicious wine. We love these on-the-go meals - it's a great time to bond with our vendors and meet buyers from other corners of the world.
Lunch can also look like this:
Sometimes in the evenings, all we can handle is room service or take-out, which is a good idea when we're coming off a 18-hour, jet-lagged day.
But the real fun comes when we decide to venture out wherever we are. We've got our long lists of favorites like La Maison de Petit Pierre in Beziers. It's adorable, slightly loud (unusual for French restaurants) and the food is just delicious - all seasonal, all beautifully and creatively presented and all bursting with flavor, color and texture.
Another favorite is the lovely Jardin du Quai in Ile-sur-la-Sorgue and its baby sister restaurant next door. The ambiance is to die for, the service is wonderful and the food is just sublime. We usually save that one as our congratulatory lunch after we're done with all the fairs.
Ann and I have traveled together for so long that we pretty much know what the other one will order - and yes, we always share. That makes for good dessert ordering:
After the whirlwind trip, we'll get back to Atlanta and hit the salads, veggies and mineral water to recuperate from all that delicious food - but never with any regrets. And we're already making reservations at our favorite spots for our next trip and dreaming about delicious meals to come.
PS: want to sample some of this yummy food - or shop till you drop at an antique fair? Join us on one of our trips to France.