Sunday, 21 December 2014


Saturday morning: Eric and I are up and making strong coffee. I go to the bread shop before breakfast. Jan and Anke are busy preparing figs for more delicious jam. We all greedily consume yesterday’s batch with our croissants. Then we travel to the olive mill at Draguignnan.

This is a sad year for the olive crop, across France and the olive presses are barely turning. Usually at this time of the year the street in which the Moulin a Huile is located is awash with bags of olives waiting their turn for the presses. All is quiet.
Then we travel to the olive mill at Draguignnan

The reasons for the crisis are the same for everyone; the excessive summer rain favouring the spread of olive fruit fly and a hot, humid October that accelerated the olives’ maturation caused a strong infestation of “olive leprosy”. There is five-year low in production of olive oil across the whole of Europe.

Saturday an afternoon of gardening, tidying the lavender and rosemary. Jan snips and lops the big fig tree for the second day running and is victorious. Others of us visit the Domaine d l’Estello, who crop the vines of Cabro d’Or to create a year’s supply of rosé for la maison.
The Olive Presses stand silent

Saturday night and we are eating at Chez Vincent. Jean France joins us, Marc’s major-domo at Cabro d’Or. He and Siân converse about plastering techniques as we tuck into more saucisson.  The Confit de Canard is quite wonderful by universal agreement.  There is a singsong in the kitchen when we finally get home.
Jean France joins the party.

Chez Vincent: The Confit de Canard is quite wonderful

We enjoyed a weekend at Cabro d’Or, a farmhouse that snuggles up to a shallow hill, a five-minute drive from Lorgues. Lorgues is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in Southeastern France.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim