Monday, May 20, 2019

Celebrations and Hospitality

I often say I know something about hospitality, but I know nothing compared to my family here at Enoteca Properzio.  The other night we were privileged to join a group from Ciclismo Classico and a couple from Georgia as the enoteca offered a cooking class and wine tasting to celebrate a birthday and the return of Ciclismo Classico to the enoteca. A chef came into the sala di pranzo and prepared a 3 course meal for all of us. 
Cod over artichoke cream with roasted artichoke


Risotto with peas, and truffle

Chef Angelo and Luca

The main, being built:  pickled cabbage, tomatoes

Pork tenderloin with a "sausage" made of pork belly, prosciutto and herbs

Heaven on a plate

Chef Angelo with Roberto

Each course is served with small production, biodynamic wines to complement each food.  
While the group was being served, we were sitting in the beautiful garden.  It had been raining all week, and the temperatures were cold, but this night was magical due to the warmer temperatures and no rain.  

Happy birthday!

No celebration is complete without a cake.  When I talk about Italy, I talk about the treasure here, it is not the food, wine, art, history or culture, it's the people.  At Enoteca Properzio, you are treated like family. Each time we bring friends here, we prove our point.  Hospitality is in their DNA, and they welcome everyone to their door.  We are leaving Spello today, I leave my heart here until we return in the fall.  Saying Ciao each time my heart breaks a bit, so ciao for now Spello.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Chateaus, Le Mans, and Au Revoir France

Our last night with the Classic Travelling group at a beautiful Chateau in the Loire Valley

After a long drive through the Loire Valley from the Dordogne, we arrived at Chateau Beauvois. The drive was through beautiful towns, and on a Sunday when we would have expected the locals to be out and about, we found villages empty and no one around. 
Finally got the top down

A few classics

Entry hall at the Chateau

After the long drive, we relaxed a bit with the group in the beautiful garden courtyard and then headed to our last dinner, which was bittersweet, since we had so enjoyed all of our driving buddies.  
Starter: pressed fresh vegetables in aspic with a carrot sorbet

Sea bream with truffle, asparagus, and red pepper coulis
Farewell Chateau Beauvois
The next morning we were up bright and early. Our route was going to take us to Le Mans, and our plan was to stop at the museum , spend an hour or two, and then head to Paris on the motorway.  When you approach Le Mans, you are actually driving on part of the 24 hour race circuit, so I ticked that off the bucket list.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, I was behind some very slow trucks.  The museum is well worth a visit with some amazing classic cars, and great videos about the race. 

Notice the leather straps holding the hood down

I have been enamored with these cars forever; they are so ugly they are cute

A Woody!
After another 2 hour drive, we arrived at Charles DeGaulle airport to spend the night.  We said au revoir to France, and the next day we were sitting at Enoteca Properzio enjoying our first (of many) glasses of wine.  France, you were grand, but there is no place like home.  Ciao for now.  

Rosso di Montefalco

Water, Water Everywhere

After Lascaux, we drove to Le Moulin du Roc, our hotel for the next two nights.  This hotel was my favorite, it is an old mill, surrounded by water, and the sound of the water wheel and the rushing river all contributed to making it a delightful stay.  The video was taken from our room, with this lovely view. 
water wheel

The hotel features a lot of interesting rooms, with period pieces, and an excellent dining room. 
Hobbit house

After spending the night, we were off to Brantome, where legend has it Charlemagne built an Abbey.  Brantome is also surrounded by water, and it's a lovely town, with shops and restaurants.  Since we began this trip, it has been raining and cold almost every day, I've been wearing the same sweater and raincoat since I arrived in Europe on April 2nd, and plan to burn them when I get home---right now I still need them to stay warm and dry!  We have had the top down twice on the Mercedes, and that has been a disappointment, but these beautiful roads and the towns we have stopped at have more than made up for the less than stellar weather. 
Dr. C. trying to stay warm

After a lovely lunch by the river, we headed back to the hotel and dodged the rain while taking another walkabout on the beautiful grounds of the mill.  Tomorrow we head to the Loire Valley for our last night together.  The group will head back to Britain on the ferry, and we will head to Paris, and a flight back to Italy on Tuesday morning.  Ciao for now.