From frost to fog

Started the second day of our journey back to Bristol with the sun rising over the Italian Alps and temperatures of -4 degrees. Drove through the Mont Blanc tunnel. Once through and into France the trees and sun shining on the snow capped peaks made everything look really Christmassy but then the fog descended and the whole journey, until just short of Chalons en Champagne, was through fog. It’s so boring driving mile after mile and not seeing anything in the distance or around to pass the time and just concentrating on the vehicles in front. luckily there was very little traffic.

We arrived about 5’ish at the Hotel d’Angleterre in the main square and a welcome drink of fresh fruit juice. Daisy who is now quite used to hotels and lifts settled down in the pink marble bathroom to a long drink of water and a small terrine of dog food. Thank goodness she hasn’ t developed a taste for leftovers after the doggy bags of grilled beef and guinea fowl in Citta.

After a quick stroll around we found had just missed the Christmas market stalls, and after admiring the decorations, we wandered around trying to find somewhere to eat. We stumbled upon a basserie that looked so ‘brasserie-like’ we thought this would be a good choice, complete with red and white checked tablecloths. As we were in Champagne, we decided to start with a couple of glasses of the local sparking plonk.

Set menu of the day with two choices in each course for 20 euros. Jamie chose the terrine de campagne and I went for the salad Perigordienne. This was pate de foie (duck), slices of smoked duck breast and duck gizzards arranged on dressed salad leaves. The next course of chicken marengo (generic tomato and over herbed sauce) and my fish ( again with a marsala? gloop) were forgettable. The pud though was amazing. It was Iles flottante. Now this is blobs of sloppy meringue on a pile of custard and usually pretty disgusting slop. But, when in France if they can’t do one that is edible then it should be erased from recipe books once and for all. It arrived with an “ironic” plastic axe buried in the meringue which was firm but not crunchy; quite a feat. With a drizzle of caramel and toasted almonds the meringue floated on its custardy sea and was a delicious and light pudding to finish the meal.

Before we go, here is another example in the occasional series of interesting public lavs we have seen. This one in a rest area, Aire de Valleiry.

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