Lavardin is the prettiest place.
What’s amazing is that it’s real.
I suppose that sounds silly. What I mean to say is:
the bright flowers in windowsills, against the muted color of a house + white lace curtains
flower pots, flower pots
are the everyday, beautiful details of people’s lives in this town, and in the other small towns/villages we visited. Such tiny places, with such capacity to charm.
Lavardin is famous for the Chateau de Lavardin, though when we went there, we didn’t know that.
A mosaic map of the town.
In this tiny town, about thirty minutes from Chateau de la Barre, we ate an exquisite meal at Relais d’Antan.
Olives and onions, flecked with thyme, and bread sticks that were more like puff pastries, or khari biscuits.
The tomato and goat cheese tart was piping hot- Hrishikesh burned his mouth- and utterly delicious. Vivid bursts of tomato dribbling into creamy, pungent cheese- this is one of the most wonderful foods I’ve eaten. One day, I will replicate it.
An elegant take on mushroom risotto: cream risotto resting in a luscious mushroom broth, topped with stewed mushrooms. Hrishikesh loved it but my heart belonged to the tart.
Of course we had wine. We shared a bottle of a white, and then I felt all giddy, and there was a cheese platter coming, which was quite the occasion, so I had a bit of a red wine, too. Hrishikesh had to drive.
This is why I felt like celebrating. Look at it. I should have taken a picture of the cheese cart. Our waitress pushed it out with both hands, and when she came to our table, she ceremoniously lifted the lid off of the platter of cheeses. The effect was dazzling. We asked for every cheese.
Then, there was dessert. For the record, we usually don’t eat so much of such rich foods. I would have been fine with half this amount. But prix-fixe was the only option, so we enjoyed it.
For dessert, I got a passion fruit charlotte, and Hrishikesh got some chocolate thing with mint chocolate ice cream. Mine was airier, and better.
Then we drove back home
as if in a dream.