We drove through the lovely countryside portraied in the Tour de France yesterday, visiting the vineyards of Cahors and wine tasting in Chateau de Cayx, where the Danish Queen resides each year in August as the estate belongs to her husband, Prince Henrik.
As we thus weren’t invited for lunch, we headed further west towards the Bastide towns.
These are fortified towns, laid out on a rectangular or square plan and with straight streets, that intersect in at right angles. They are a perfect combination of medieval charm and modern city planning.
There are nearly 300 of these Bastides in the South-western France, built between 1220 and 1370 by the order of King Edward I of England. He probably felt the earth burning beneath his feet.
It helped obtain British rule for nearly 100 more years, until they were defeated by the French in 1453.
We enjoy a late lunch in one of these Bastides, set up on a hill, the sun baking the streets and the wind feeling like from a blowdryer. That sun, that light! It just doesn’t shine that bright on the northern latitudes, where we live.
Right, back to the food; a nice, cool vin du table accompanies our favorite dish; Salade Perigourdian. A brilliant combo on a hot day! And do yourself a favour and learn some basic French phrases. You’re just treated differently, when you make an effort!
The day ends in St. Emilion, bordering Bordeaux. In the warm evening, we climb the streets in this picturesque town, nesting among some of the finest vineyards in the region. To the sound of swallows diving from the church tower for insects, at the Place de l’Eglise Monolithe, we enjoy our dinner together with a degustation of 3 wines from different regions in France. It is true what they say about rabbit; it tastes like chicken!
And for the wine; call it terroir, call it selection, but we preferred the Bordeaux.