Christmas Compendium of Games Saturday 16 December

This time of the year we do all the tidy up jobs around the farm, I have just finished pruning the two New Dawn roses that cover the front of the auberge, now I have the sides to do, but I’ll wait till the frost passes. The bees have just finished their medication for the varroa mite, I’ve been lucky and have been lent the kit to treat them with vaporised oxalic acid, the bees take little notice as the fumes waft through the hive but it’s lethal for the beastly varroa, it doesn’t do me any good if I catch a whiff either. Then top up the sugar syrup and home in time for toast and honey!

Announcing a Christmas Compendium of Games at Le Maine Meunier Ferme Auberge on Saturday 16 December in aid of Cancer Support France

This will be a fun family evening of quiz, activities and laughter with meal and a welcome glass of mulled wine for all to enjoy for €15 per head, children under 10 free, over ten €5. Gather a team or we can make a team for you, come and enjoy an evening of stimulating questions ( with prizes) and activities to entertain you. We will greet you with a glass of mulled wine or non alcoholic beverage and supper will be :-
Lamb and Apricot Tagine with Ras al Hanout Couscous
Or
Gurkha Veggie Curry with Aubergine, Sweet Potato and Chickpeas served with Rice and fresh Coriander and Yogurt.
Dessert is either Deep Dark chocolate Gateau and Cream
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Red Berry Coulis and Chantilly Cream
15€ per person, 5€ per child over 10 years
There will be a raffle too.
Bookings being taken now, please call us at 0545 25 55 28 or email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com.
Cancer Support France is an affiliated association, for more information please visit their website at. www.cancersupportfrance.org or email their helpline at helpline@cancersupportfrance.org or call their helpline on 0800 240 200

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

Compendium of Games Night 16 December 2017

Announcing a Christmas Compendium of Games at Le Maine Meunier Ferme Auberge on Saturday 16 December in aid of Cancer Support France

This will be a fun family evening of quiz, activities and laughter with meal and a welcome glass of mulled wine for all to enjoy for €15 per head, children under 10 free, over ten €5. Gather a team or we can make a team for you, come and enjoy an evening of stimulating questions ( with prizes) and activities to entertain you.
Bookings being taken now, please call us at 0545 25 55 28 or email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com.
Cancer Support France is an affiliated association, for more information please visit their website at. www.cancersupportfrance.org or email their helpline at helpline@cancersupportfrance.org or call their helpline on 0800 240 200

Last spring I was wandering around Villebois market, buying yet more vegetable plants for the garden when I saw some vigorous climbing or tumbling plants which looked oddly familiar, they were sweet potato plants, so I grabbed a couple and planted them, they romped like triffids, sprawling tendrils over paths and smothering any weeds, last week the frost blasted them black so I dug them up, from two plants I harvested 15kg of huge sweet potatoes! Wow! What a success, I shall definitely do that again next year! They are on the menu this week!

We are open this Sunday 26 November for Lunch and the menu is:-

Mashed Sweet Potatoe with Lime, yoghurt and Coriander Mezze

Lamb Cutlets with Lemon, Chilli and Olives
Or
Baked Rabbit with Mustard and Tarragon Sauce
Both served with Hassleback Potatoes and buttered Kale

Orange, yoghurt and Honey Gateau
Or
Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse

€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

Hornets and Frost

Yikes! That was some frost last night, -2C and crisp and white and glorious. I must admit I was grabbing the last few geraniums as dusk fell and stowing them away safely, I keep mine in our cellar, it stays at 10C and has windows, so they are safe till next year. Finally, hopefully, the end of the hornets too, my bees have been ‘bearding’, clustering around the entrance of the hive to guard against the hornets which pick off the bees flying in with pollen or nectar. There are hornet traps hung over the entrance full of beer and wine are chockablock with dead hornets, a mixture of native and Asian, I’m hoping to have got a few of next years’ queen hornets too, the blighters.
Today I donned my woollen socks, hand knitted by kind friends, I am so lucky, since having both feet operated on last year they both sing in the cold and go numb, woollen socks in wellies, perfect. Especially when up a ladder cutting back the roses on the face of the Auberge barn, just the start of the many tidying up jobs to do, listening to the Grue flying over, sun, hopefully on my back, it ain’t a bad life!
The new piglets are out and about, rooting and dashing about, guarded by Mum and benevolently watched by Papa; we used to call kittens born at this time of the year ‘Bramble kittens’, I wonder what you call piglets born in Autumn? Pumpkin pigs perhaps?
Mike makes Kefir everyday and now has spare Kefir seeds, if you are interested please call us on 0545 25 55 28 or email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com.

We are now open every alternate Sunday, unless you have a group booking, in which case call us and we can discuss your wishes.

We are open this Sunday 12 November for lunch and the menu is:-

Autumn Minestroni Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Pot Roasted Shoulder of Lamb in Cranberry Juice with Baked Butternut and Sweet Shallots served with Coriander and Spring Onion Salad
Or
Chicken Pastilla – an aromatic Filo Pastry Pie served with Sliced Orange and Rocket Salad
Both served with sauté Potatoes

Vegetarian dishes are gladly served when ordered with your reservation.
This week’s suggestion – Ghurka Curry with Aubergine, Sweet Potato and Chick Peas, served with rice, yoghurt and fresh coriander.

Pear Frangipane Tart with Creme Anglais
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Autumn Fruit Coulis 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

Sunny Days and Honey

What a glorious Autumn or is it an Indian summer? No mushrooms but lots of warmth midday, Mike is still wearing shorts and bemoaning the fact that the grass is still growing, especially as our faithful lawnmower died last week after 13 years of service, don’t think our brilliant machine saving engineer can resuscitate this poor old ride on, mind you the sheep are appreciating all the grass. The ewes, now comfortably matronly, are growing rounder, and so are this years’ lambs. I writing this whilst listening to the late, great Fats Domino, it may be blues, but it does make you feel good.
We have offered a home to a friend’s cat, a one year old little neutered boy who has joined our domestic menagerie. He has been with us just over a week, he’s made friends with Swampy, I think it’s the smell, is wary of Beau, who is inclined to chase him, loves Milly our car loving tabby and we all are wary of the dominatrix cat Christine, who scratches and bites everyone. He is Raoul, handsome, devil may care and will enchant you if you meet him.

Last call for the 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. No entrance fee and a pleasant afternoon for all the family.

Mike and I look forward to welcoming you.

Siret No. 504 687 419 00011
APE. 0150Z

Thunder and Honey

As I write the thunderclouds are building and there are ominous rumbles echoing around, I rather think we are in for a downpour. Which is just as well, Mike cut the grass today; the warmth has encouraged further growth from the last of the vegetable crops and they need the rain. We have cleaned all the wood burning stoves, stacked the wood and split the kindling, but we are both still wearing shorts and the animals are sunbathing still. I am itching to start cutting summer growth back but all is still growing with few signs of approaching Autumn.
Our young Gascony Noir sow has produced her first litter, she is much calmer than her predecessor and almost allows us to handle the babies, we have to inject them with iron within the first three days and then we have to have the males castrated, which means taking them to the vets…all of which our beloved Maggie objected to in violent piggy terms…take a rare breed, close to the wild cousins, and you will end up with a magnificent savage Mama who you interfere with at your peril.

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. Or simply a chance to spend the afternoon with cake and honey.

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. The farm will be open to wander around and we look forward to meeting you.

We are open this weekend for Sunday Lunch on 22 October and the menu is:-

Rainbow Carrot and Beetroot Carpaccio with Labneh

Lamb and Apricot Tagine with Couscous and Ras Al Hanout
Or
Chorizo butter stuffed Roast Chicken with roasted Potatoes and Peppers and Seasonal Kales.

Pavlova Meringues with Raspberry Coulis and Chantilly Cream
Or
Yoghurt Gateau with Lemon, Pistachio and Cardamom

€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

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