Monday, November 06, 2006

A road trip beckons

Arch conspirator and Burgundy loving chum came over at the weekend, bringing his girlfriend and an apple and blackberry crumble as well. (Both good with custard, he advises) We consumed Donald for luncheon washed down with some cracking Beaune, and I over-catered on the parsnips.

He is a good old chum, and we tend to encourage the more extreme chappish behaviours in one another, much to his girlfriend's consternation.

We are in the final throes of planning our annual road trip to 'Our Chap In Burgundy'.

'How now what's that?' asks you, dear reader?

Well, I have a taste for Burgundy. It is IMHO the king of wine. Over the last 8 years we have been thundering down the autoroutes in ever larger cars to stockpile quantities of improving wine from the same vineyard tucked in the golden slopes of the Cote D'Or. The family there make some of the most fantastic reds, and very good whites. His Gevery Chambertin is some of the finest I have tasted.
(Not telling you who he is either)

Each year, we vary our trip with diversions to Sancerre, Chablis or more recently the Rhone.
Each year our behaviour becomes slightly more extreme in our indulgences and generally chappy behaviour.
We would do it in an old Healy with a wicker basket and clothed in stout tweeds, if we could carry the requisite volumes of the grape back to blighty.
We take his Large Company Car instead. So what we lack in outward style, we replace with Panache and attitude.

The planning process is based entirely on empirical methods. After enjoying a bottle of fleurie a few weeks ago, we decided we really ought to give Beaujolais a go. We got out a map, prodded it a few times with the end of the Old Briar, and a plot was hatched.

And now the appointed time is almost upon us!

We shall rise at an hour reserved for the chap who delivers milk, and board a ferry with hordes of the underwashed and overscented. (The days of the airbridge to Le Touquet are sadly gone).

Actually both of us being yachties means we rather enjoy the nautical interlude. We get to behold the sun rise over the Dover straits, inhale the salt air and savour the delights of watching 300 chavs getting seasick. Nature knows best, eh?

And South we go!
Not for us the unmitigated continental horrors of French motorway cuisine.
Earl Grey tea, Boiled eggs, Parsnip Sandwiches and Pork Pies shall be our fare. The one sop to the continent shall be the brussel sprout pate we have prepared to dunk our sandwiches in. There are also some emergency hob-nobs mouldering in the glove compartment should the gallic excesses need curbing.
Normal road trip rules apply - we stop according to the needs of the strongest bladder alone and falling asleep at the wheel is a sign of weakness and a Lack Of Moral Fibre.

We also have a diet of Unabridged Patrick O'Brian on audio book to absorb all the way there. (14 CD's of impenetrable 19th Century Nautical Jargon! Joy!)

In a mere ten hours, we shall pull up at the Inn in Beaujolais and demand some devilled kidneys, a bottle of Sillery some hot tea and a scullery girl to light our cheroots.
With luck, they may even understand what the devil we are going on about.
Fortunately co-conspirator croaks the lingo, so we may get something approaching decent service and food they have not spat in.

I shall keep the blog going dear reader, and hope to post to you via the interweb in some rustic corner of La France. That is if the local welcoming committee haven't wheeled out the guillotine and decided to serve us out with their equivalent of 'Care in the Community'.

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