December 22, 2014

A Red and Green Portugal Christmas

A Red and Green Portugal Christmas

Nutmeg has a new flame. A spring trip to Portugal sparked a fire in her belly for more fresh Atlantic seafood and genuine bem vindos (welcomes). Her pleasant experience and a non-refundable Ryanair flight made a return trip, with Ginger, a must. Besides, that late bottled vintage (LBV) port wine was growing on her. (more…)

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December 15, 2014

Understanding The Cost of Saffron

Understanding The Cost of Saffron

Nutmeg had a few items on her to-do list; number one was to replenish the wine stock before Ginger arrived. The challenge was making a decision in les Alpilles given the plethora of nearby vineyards. On this particular occasion, she chose Domaine de la Vallongue as they had reopened their boutique after some renovations and were featuring some unique sculptures by Jean-Pierre Rives. (more…)

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December 8, 2014

5 Reasons to Visit Santorini in Shoulder Season

5 Reasons to Visit Santorini in Shoulder Season

Nobody needs a reason to visit Santorini. (more…)

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December 1, 2014

The Provence Book a Guide to Provencal Fables

The Provence Book a Guide to Provencal Fables

“To Joan. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou, plus a house in Provence.” Dedication: The Provence Book. It was a perfect Provencal day, the kind where the cobalt-blue morning sky turns white by noon under the sun’s intense rays. Nutmeg arrived at Provence Paradise an enclave of self-catering accommodation in St Remy for a tour of the villas. You can read more about William Moore’s sublime corner of Provence here. It was time to leave, but not without a copy of The Provence Book. (more…)

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November 25, 2014

Le Ventoulet Tastes of Provence in Every Cake Slice

Le Ventoulet Tastes of Provence in Every Cake Slice

A few years ago, a group of Provencal pastry masters called les Artisans Pâtissiers Chocolatiers du Vaucluse got together with a concept in mind, their project was to make a cake that is representative of Provence. As you can likely tell, from their official title these artisan bakers know what they are doing when it comes to creating tasty treats. Their criteria were straightforward: (more…)

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November 17, 2014

Glanum Glorious Views Near St Remy de Provence

Glanum Glorious Views Near St Remy de Provence

Glanum a Roman oppidum, protected by its fortified walls once housed a flourishing community. The settlement stood on a hillside in the shadow of the rocky, crests of the Alpilles slopes. The Franks in 260AD destroyed Glanum and the population were forced to resettle on the valley floor, giving rise to St Remy de Provence. (more…)

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November 10, 2014

What is Cooking in Palm Springs at Le Vallauris

What is Cooking in Palm Springs at Le Vallauris

Without water, movie stars and artists Palm Springs, California would not exist. In many ways neither would the Cote d’Azur town of Vallauris in France. Le Vallauris owner Paul Bruggemans was born in Belgium where he studied culinary arts at the Ecole d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme in Liege. Sunny California lured him away from overcast Northern European skies. In 1970, he and his partner opened Le St. Germain on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Just two years, later they decided to open a second restaurant, but they could not agree on the location between Palm Springs and Newport Beach. The answer was decided by the flip of a coin – lucky for Palm Springs. (more…)

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November 3, 2014

Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider Frozen to the Core

Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider Frozen to the Core

The 100-year old apple trees at Domaine Pinnacle were an afterthought. One could call the purchase of a farmhouse, built in 1859, a bit of a coup de coeur (love struck impulse). Susan and Charles Crawford have a particular affinity to Vermont’s Jay Peak Resort the mountain where they would religiously take to take their children for ski lessons on winter weekends from Montreal. (more…)

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October 27, 2014

Must Know ABCs for Travel in Portugal

Must Know ABCs for Travel in Portugal

Nutmeg cannot resist creating these ABC lists for travel in a new location.  It helps her to better understand the edible bits and traditions from the area. The following is her must know essentials for Portugal. Atlantic coastline stretches just over 900km with vertigo inducing cliffs, creamy-sand beaches and big surf. World-class athletes dedicated to the “board” gather in seaside towns like Peniche to take advantage of the waves. Black pork – porco preto is a Portuguese staple. The grey and black pigs graze on acorns. Cod or bacalhau is deeply entrenched in the Portuguese national diet. Just as in Roman times the fish is dried and salted to preserve it. (more…)

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October 20, 2014

Ansouis at Provence’s Crossroads in the Luberon

Ansouis at Provence’s Crossroads in the Luberon

Ansouis was a gift – 963 AD in 2014, it still is This village first appears in written record in 963 AD, in reference to Lambert de Reillane who donated Ansoye lands to the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Montmajour. This land in the Aigues valley belonged to his grandfather Foucher de Valensole. (more…)

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