Nine adults and little Violet headed up into the mountains to have lunch at the Auberge Du Caussoles on Saturday and everything went perfectly. With three groups making up the party there was always the chance that someone would get lost or a car would start to misbehave, but no, everything went ok and we all arrived at Caussoles at the same time having driven up the gorge and over the mountains whilst dodging hordes of cyclists en route.
The Auberge was packed when we arrived with several large tables full of noisy French enjoying their lunch. Drinks were ordered and the menus arrived. Given the mountainous size of the portions on offer, the trick at the Auberge is to have one €30 menu which includes a wide range of starters and a cheese course, and one lower priced €23 menu (which doesn’t), and then mix and match between two people.
The first items in the food marathon to arrive are large baskets of rustic country bread and a wooden bucket from which you spoon your own shavings of delicious butter. Then the paté arrives – a one kilo block from which you slice off your own serving. The problem here is that if you don’t take care, you’re full before the real starters arrive but the bread and paté are so delicious it’s very difficult to stop nibbling.
Then the platter of roasted vegetables is placed on the table. Aubergine, courgettes, onions, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes – all absolutely scrummy and drizzled in olive oil.
Main courses are huge, particularly the roast lamb, which we couldn’t finish, but the stars of the show are the side dishes – a humungous platter of ravioli in a daube (meat) sauce, plates of frites and roast potatoes as well as other vegetables.
Thankfully, and because the place is so busy, service is slow which it gives you plenty of time to eat the huge plates of food and drink gallons of wine. And then the cheese plate arrives for those who ordered the €30 menu – enough to feed a small army but actually only for 3 people.
By the time the desserts were ordered people were struggling but I still managed to wolf down my hot chocolate fudge cake and vanilla ice cream.
Then the killer – the waitress placed a complimentary bottle of lemon cello on the table and that was it. We headed home, the cars now struggling to get up and over the mountain.
The day ended with everybody in Tan and Angie’s watching Tan go through the full range of emotions as his team (Spurs) went 2-0 up against my team (Manchester United) only to lose 5-2. Needless to say there was more wine and I’m afraid to say, I cannot remember anything more until J kicked me out of bed at 6am. Apparently I was fidgeting!
Oh and I forgot to say that some French lothario, who must have been 70 years old, grabbed J for a dance in the restaurant as the place took off in a flurry of napkin waving (some obscure French custom) and clapping.
It was a great lunch.