Autumn Mushrooms

As Autumn progresses there are free gifts if you know where to look, I am, of course, talking mushrooms. So far this year I have collected the glorious cep, the penny bun and the slippery Jack, the shaggy ink cap, and parasol, the Caesare or Orange,and the giant puffball but I have never found the Chanterelle, I know they are about as an elderly neighbour regularly finds them in my woods but he won’t divulge his secret successful places so I will have to keep searching. I’ve been collecting now for over twenty years, I err on the side of caution and always get rid of any I am unsure of.

We are hosting a Honey Festival on Thursday 26 October from 2-5 pm

There will be experienced beekeepers that you can put your questions to, a display of different local honeys to taste and plenty to buy. There will be a demonstration of honey harvesting and an explanation of different hives and bee keeping equipment. Perhaps also a chance to sign up to a beekeeping course for next year.

It is a friendly afternoon of people interested in bees, what bees do, how bees’ lives interact with ours and everyone is welcome.
There will be tea/coffee and cake served.

We are open on Sunday 15 October for lunch and our menu is:-

Tian de legumes Mediterranean with Salad

Gascony Noir Pulled Pork with Pomegranate salad and syrup dipping sauce.
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit
Both served with Roasted Potatoes and Peppers and Seasonal Greens

Apple and Quince Crumble with Creme Anglaise
Or
Meringue Pavlova with Chantilly Cream and Red Berry Coulis

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Honeyed Autumn Days

September dawns with mists and mellow fruitfulness, and drizzle, and chilly days, ouch! summer seems to be in retreat and Autumn well on its way. However we have harvested our honey and it was a bumper crop, our bees are in the woods, so gather nectar from the chestnut trees, which makes a dark honey, they then move onto the garden flowers, lavender and perovskia especially but can’t resist the sunflowers which grew all around us this year, which gives a light honey, so the two combined makes a fragrant combination, I’ve included some in this week’s menu…..

We are hosting a Honey Festival on Thursday 26 October from 2-5 pm

There will be experienced beekeepers that you can put your questions to, a display of different local honeys to taste and plenty to buy. There will be a demonstration of honey harvesting and an explanation of different hives and bee keeping equipment. Perhaps also a chance to sign up to a beekeeping course for next year.

It is a friendly afternoon of people interested in bees, what bees do, how bees’ lives interact with ours and everyone is welcome.
There will be tea/coffee and cake served.
More details to follow.

Le Maine Meunier is open this Sunday 17 September but will be closed on Sunday 24, I’m off to visit family, but will be back for Sunday 1st October.

The menu for Sunday 17 September is:-

Tomato and Dijon Mustard Tart with Salad and Honey vinaigrette

Roast chicken with Chorizo butter, baby peppers and potatoes
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit

Peach Meringue Pie
Or
Honey Baked Apples
Both served with Creme Anglais.

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Family and harvest

September looms with ripening produce and lots of family coming to stay, some are energetic and some are enjoying a languid repose. Some like to eat adventurously, some traditionally and all love browsing the gardens choosing what to eat for supper and are very energetic in harvesting the glut, bless them.

Here is the menu for lunch on Sunday 3 September 2017

Apero Gazpacho and Garlic Croutons

Tian de Legumes Mediterranean and Salad

Chicken Breasts and Sun Dried Tomatoes with Tarragon and Smoked Paprika Sauce
Or
Salt-baked Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verde
Both served with herbed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Summer Berry Mousse Gateaux with summer berry sauce
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream, Raspberries and Chantilly Cream

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Sloes and squirrels

As August draws to a close, despite the heat we can see the beginning of Autumn, darker evenings and blackberries ripening, sloes too, just throw them in the freezer for a day or two before adding to sugar and gin to make sloe gin in time for Christmas, and the hazelnuts need gathering before the squirrels hide them all away.
Meanwhile we are still coping with the heat, or rather the animals are, we put frozen bottles of water in the rabbit cages, they lay next to the icy bottle and lick off the condensation, the pigs of course have their wallow and the lambs now have the open shed to lie under, shade being a valuable commodity. The middle of the day is silent as everything dozes, waiting out the heat, until the cocks decide to have a crowing contest with the cocks from across the valley, just as the book becomes too heavy after lunch a delicious forty winks is shattered by stroppy cockerels, frequently interrupted by a flung shoe!

The honey is nearly ready for harvesting…..exciting time…..

August bounty…and sore feet

The harvest is progressing down on the farm, August is the time of the realisation of hopes and aspirations of winter dreaming and spring planting. This year is going to be a bumper year of fruit and vegetables with regular and plentiful rain and high temperatures. Fruit in abundance, so much so that trees are collapsing under the weight, vegetables succulent and plentiful, I’ve never seen so many tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and aubergines; jams, chutneys and pickling fill our days, dancing through our dreams as our feet ache. The animals grow fat as we feed the excess to them, I’ve just trimmed the vines, again, and the sheep gorge on the trimmings, kind folk are turning up at the farm with fallen apples and pears, bean haulms and overgrown marrows for the pigs. I think we have a racial memory that abhors waste, we live a 21st century life but when we see natures bounty rotting on the lawn, many folk will seek a recycling of this precarious richness and bring it to our door. We feed it to the animals; pigs, rabbits, geese, sheep and chickens gobble it and grow succulent and fat, and then I cook them and serve it to you in our dining room at Le Maine Meunier; what could be more natural?

We are open this Sunday 20 August for Lunch and our menu is:-

Beignet des Legumes/ tempura fried vegetables
Served with Sea Salt and Lemon

Saltcrust Baked Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verdi
Or
Chicken Breasts and Sun dried Tomatoes with Tarragon and Paprika Sauce
Served with seasonal vegetables and new Potatoes
Vegetarian option on request – Caramelised Onion, herb and potato Homity Pie

Summer Berry Mousse Cake with Red Berry Coulis
Or
Mixed Plum and Hazelnut Crumble Cake Dessert with Creme Fraiche

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Summer, Glorious Summer

Summer rolls on, foreign cars appear on the roads, French cars from miles away as they seek peace and respite in the beautiful Charente and we are busy harvesting. The plums are bowing the trees, especially the Reine Claude, a greengage which I love is so heavy with fruit it has split the trunk and collapsed, I have no idea what to do. Apart from grabbing all the fruit and trying to beat the chickens and frelons from eating them all. It is in the chicken run, I fondly thought it would provide shade, which it did for many years, but now it’s a feeding frenzy every morning as the branches are on the ground. All the fruit trees are heavy with fruit, plums, apples, pears and persimmon, just as well as we have family coming out soon who are vegans, if I run out of ideas they can go out and graze the garden. Before that we have Mike’s parents coming to stay, both about 90, bless them, a gentle week I think, however the vegans are energetic and very sporty, soo, canoeing, sightseeing, markets….I feel weary!

Meanwhile Maggie the Gascony Noir pig may be pregnant, the ewes are growing sleek since we separated them from the lambs, not long now till the new ram has an assignation, the rabbits are moving from cute and fluffy to grown to the freezer, the chickens have gained weight and are also in the freezer, next the ducks for the winter season…..farming life enjoys the kind summer season where everything grows succulent and fat. And we can serve you delicious meals, we can also sell you home grown meat too should you care to ask, our lamb is 15€ per Kg, available from September for a half or whole lamb. Call us on 05 45 25 55 28 or email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com

We are open for Lunch on Sunday 13 August 2017 and the menu is:-

Apero – Gazpacho and Cheese twisted straws

Tomato and Mustard Tart with salad

Gascony Noir Pulled Pork with Pomegranate Salad
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit

Vegetarian option on request….please ask when booking
Both served with New Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Reine Claude Creme Brûlée with Tosset Cakes
Or
Meringue Pavlova with Raspberries and red berry Coulis with Chantilly Cream.

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Summer begins and we welcome you

We are now ready to serve all our guests for the next few weeks of Summer, having finished with catering for weddings and various large groups. We have served nearly 400 meals over the last month, including canapé,Tournebroche lamb or pork and various desserts, both here at Le Maine Meunier Farm and offsite. Meanwhile the garden is a disgrace, though very fruitful, and we are busy tidying and making it welcoming to our summer visitors.
The lambs are flourishing and are close to being table ready, so if you want a lamb for the freezer, email us on lemainemeunier@icloud.com 15€ per kg.
We have done four weddings this summer, so a funeral was inevitable, and it was our sheep shearer, so very sad. He and his partner, both at least 80 years old have shorn our sheep for at least ten years, bringing a touch of ‘last of the Summer wine’ Charente style to our lives with the sheep being shorn on a table, hearing aids flying and patois being spoken…..I’m so very glad to have met these proud, elderly gentlemen….but now we have a young (a mere 40ish)
man who shears a sheep in five minutes and I now have to grab them to worm and trim their feet some time later.

The bees are doing well, we are surrounded by sunflowers so honey production is well under way, we have one hive that I have just put the third super on….that is the box filled with frames just for honey. Come the end of the month, we will see if we have honey to see us though the winter, with many delicious honeyed desserts.

Although the garden is somewhat battered, we do welcome visitors to wander around the gardens and farm, visit the Gascony Noir pigs, sheep and lambs, rabbits, geese, ducks and chickens, all of which are served in our Ferme Auberge restaurant throughout the year. No food miles, seasonal and kindly reared with an organic ethos.

We are open this Sunday for lunch and the menu is:-

Beignet des Legumes or Tempura fried Vegetables, served with Sea Salt and Lemons

Salt-Baked leg of Lamb with Salsa Verdi
Or
Chicken Breasts and Sun Dried Tomatoes with a Tarragon and Paprika Sauce

Both serve with Seasonal Vegetables and New Potatoes.

Vegetarian option (please book with reservation) Chermoula Aubergine with Bulgar Salad

Reine Claude Plum Tarte with Reine Claude Coulis Sauce
Or
Blackcurrant Cream Sorbet with Lavender Shortbread

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Summer Weddings and Shearing

It is wedding season and I have been neglecting you and you have my sincere apologies but the brides and grooms are demanding full attention, so they should, it’s a major commitment, a wedding. In case you didn’t know we have weddings on site at Le Maine Meunier and we cater offsite at various local and beautiful venues, providing Tournebroche lamb or pig roasts, canapé, salads and desserts, raised, grown and prepared down on the farm. We also cater for groups and special events, both here at Le Maine Meunier and offsite, email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com or call 05 45 25 55 28 for details

So whilst we have been otherwise occupied the animals are dealt with earlier and later in the day, in between commitments, the sheep were finally shorn. So much later than normal as our lovely old gang, who were just like the cast from ‘last of the summer wine’ unfortunately became to elderly to continue, so now we have found a vigorous young fella who sheared our flock in a morning, but wasn’t quite so much fun. And then Mike and I had to trim feet and administer their worming dose afterwards, and the lambs were separated from their long suffering mothers, much to their chagrin, it was very noisy for a couple of nights, but all quiet now.

We are open this weekend for Sunday lunch on 16 July but will be closed for the following two weeks, the full service throughout August.

Our menu for Sunday 16 July Lunch is:-

Quinoa Salad with Pickled Radish and Feta

Roast Leg of Lamb Shawarma
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit
Both served with New Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Orange Polenta Gateau with Greek yoghurt and Honey syrup
Or
Blackcurrant Cream Sorbet with Lavender Shortbread

€25.00 per person €10.00 per child under 10 years

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

LE MAINE MEUNIER
Ferme Auberge
16320 Chavenat
Siret No. 504 687 419 00011

LE MAINE MEUNIER
Ferme Auberge
16320 Chavenat
Siret No. 504 687 419 00011

Steamin’ Charente

This extreme heat calls for drastic measures down on the farm, Mike and I are out doing chores at 6.00 am, it’s much cooler and the animals appreciate fresh drinking water early in the day. This morning I watched the sun come up whilst pruning the grape vine and watering the vegetable gardens. Feeding the sheep with the vine prunings and garden weeds. Mike ensures the pigs have a deep and wet muddy wallow and I pour water at least twice a day over the rabbit hutches, cooling them down, they are under our open sided barn but every where is hot. Swampy has gone into a second moult, clumps of his very long hair everywhere and neither he or Beau want to go outside during the day. By 11.00am we are indoors, I’ve been making jams and sorbets out of the soft fruits inside in the, relative, coolness. Closing shutters and windows to preserve the cool, opening everything after dark to catch a breath of cool air. By next week we shall view anything under 30C as normal summer temperatures.

We had a back handed compliment the other day which I will treasure; an elderly French gentleman came to stay the night during a two day wedding we were catering for. He started off demanding a key to his bedroom, now our house is over two hundred years old, with original doors on many of the rooms, the keys of which have long since disappeared, and the other guests were all his relatives……so the only likely robbers were his English hosts! Gulp!!
After the wedding feast, breakfast and then lunch, he settled up his bedroom fee with much huffing and slow writing of a cheque and then pronounced that he was satisfied with the room and the food was good…..considering we were ‘les Anglais’……bless! Another satisfied customer!

We are open this Sunday, 25 June for Lunch and the menu is:-

Chilled Guspachio Soup with twisted Cheddar Sticks

Chicken with Sherry Vinegar and Tarragon Sauce
Or
Honey roasted Lemon Rabbit
Both served with buttered herb New Potatoes and summer vegetables.

Blackcurrant and Cream sorbet with Lavender Shortbread
Or
Summer Berry Mousse Cake with summer berry Sauce.

25€ per person. 10€ per child under 10

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Weddings and Roses.

Last weekend we had a lovely wedding at Le Maine Meunier, the roses were perfuming the air, a baby grand piano was delivered and tuned, a Parisian pianist came to play, canapé were served al fresco, 7k of beef fillet was turned into Bœuf encroûté and dinner was served then the dancing began…..I went to bed at 1.30, I believe they went to bed at 5.00am. Breakfast began at 8.00 and we served brunch at 12.00, they were a little late arriving!…..where do they get their energy from?

As our energy levels are still recovering we have one of my favourite jobs to do today, currant picking, the black and red currants are ripe and the gooseberries are on the way, ouch! Which means soon there will be Blackcurrant cream sorbet and gooseberry fool on the menu…Mmmm!

We are open this Sunday18 June for lunch and the menu is:-

Goat Cheese, Chard, Walnut and Lemon Tart.

Roast Lamb Shawarma with Parsley, Cucumber and Tomato Salad and New Potatoes.
Or
Roast Loin of Gascony Noir Pork stuffed with Prunes
Served with Mangetout peas and new potatoes

Cherry Clafoutis with Shortbread
Or
Meringue Pavlova with Strawberries and Chantilly Cream
Or
Salad and Cheese

25€ per person. 10€ per child under 10

For reservations please call us on 05 45 25 55 28. Mob – 06 31 36 14 44
Or email us at – lemainemeunier@icloud.com
For Map and further information please visit us at www.lemainemeunier.com

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z