Sunday, August 30, 2015

St Jean du Gard, France

A series of events were planned by the Bride and Groom on the Wednesday & Thursday before the Friday wedding. On Wednesday the girls had a cooking morning and lunch with Peta Mattias.
The chaps went down to Anduze on the little steam train had lunch and then came back. In the evening there was a pot making session (mainly for the boys, but anyone could have a go) at the factory of the groom. It's rather hard work coiling the rope, then slamming the soft clay over the rope base. Interesting to see Andrew getting his hands dirty for a change. Note: apparently all the clay fell off the pot mould while we were at dinner, so no masterpiece was ever fired.

A fun paella meal was followed by artisan ice cream from a friendly Corden Bleu pastry chef. And entertainment was provided by a singing duo with accordion and 'audience' participation. You can see the great paella in the background.

This was the only day it rained in the south of France and it did it with a vengeance all day and night - but the wedding day was fine and temperatures had dropped.

Following a civil ceremony in the village the wedding party returned to us gathered on the lawn of the family home of groom






And then a wedding meal in the wine cellar of the house. It was an ideal location and an absolutely lovely day
There was a trip to the market day at Uzés and lunch at a very nice restaurant Le Tracteur.
And we managed to fit in a quick visit to the Millau Bridge, long drive there on one track hilly roads (thanks TomTom) and a much speedier return via larger roads.

In St Jean du Gard the daily breakfast pastries were obtained from shop run by a Japanese chef who was Cordon Bleu trained. They were simply fantastic. The name was something like Le Bonheur, but on the Grand Rue. These were eaten with coffees from the agreeable Le Bistrot, located just over the road from the hotel. The Bamboo restaurant also did a very good meal, although the menu portions were quite large. Usually that's not a major problem, but if you have also eaten very well at lunchtime a large amount of food also arriving for dinner cane be quite daunting.

The hotel was clean and comfortable but the staff running it were interesting. Madame spoke no English and looked like she was still on holiday on Ibiza, sequins, crochet and Union Jacks were everyday wear. She was good and helpful except for the small issue when a taxi was ordered to get people to their train an hour away in Nîmes. The taxi didn't turn up and later when asked why she just said I don't know. Meanwhile I did an emergency drive with them down to Nîmes and got them there less than 10 minutes before their departure time. Whew.

Meanwhile Andrew had got a lift to the post wedding day barbecue where further lovely food and wine was provided beside the pool. A couple of fully clothed people ended up in the pool. An delicious rounding out of the wedding celebration events.

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