Hello fellow chestnut lovers,
Brian and I are off next week on a grand chestnut tour – well not so grand just visiting a couple of places in Italy and France but we are really looking forward to it.
First off will be Paris and Brian has already booked three restaurants! The first is Chez Dumonet which was recommended by David Lebovitz. If you haven’t heard of David do check out his blog. He’s an American pastry chef living in Paris and has great tips on where to eat and the food of France and Paris in particular. We wanted to eat at Chez Dumonet a couple of years ago but were travelling with friends who were not so into food so cancelled the booking and we have regretted it ever since so are determined this time to go. It’s quite difficult to book – no online bookings or email, it’s only by phone. I rehearsed my best French and took to the phone, only to have them answer in English, well sort of… I ended up sending a letter just to make sure and asked them to text me a confirmation. Was woken at two in the morning with the text but I don’t care, I’m just very happy to be going. David says they have one of the best duck confit’s in Paris so I’ve already planned to order that (and the Grand Marnier soufflé). We’re also eating at La Papilles which is another of David’s recommendations which we’ve already been to and Benoit. We had lunch at Benoit in 2013 and the chestnut soup was amazing so hopefully it will be on the menu next week.
From Paris we head off to Venice for 4 nights, then the Italian lakes for 6 nights before travelling west over the mountains and back to the Ardeche in France for the Castagnades. Finally we finish at Mourjou in the Cantal and the chestnut festival there before leaving for Australia via a couple of days in Singapore.
It will be an adventure both in terms of visiting places we haven’t been to before and also a culinary adventure trying new foods and enjoying the autumn in Europe with it’s roasted chestnuts and lots of other chestnut dishes during our trip.