June storms and sunshine

We are waterlogged, there are streams flowing past the beehives, between the vegetable gardens, under the sodden rose arch and fetching up in the pig run, where they wallow in gay abandon.
The hay fields are uncut, farmers are getting tetchy and the poor brides are gamely abandoning plans of marriages and meals under blue skies. April may be the cruellest month but a wet June comes a close second. I am so glad the sheep have been shorn, a wet fleece in steamy weather is a danger for fly strike, beastly little flies lay their eggs which hatch into maggots and they burrow into the living sheep, nasty nasty little beasts.
Meanwhile we gamely plod on, grumbling under our breath, the animals shake off the rain, the vegetable plants continue to grow and the cherries have arrived, broad beans fattening in the pods and the peas love lots of water, it ain’t all bad, just listen to the birdsong, it’s June and can only get better.

We are open this Sunday 10 June for Lunch and our menu is:-

Lemony Leek, Goats Cheese and Walnut tart with Salad

Pot roasted Lamb with Cranberry Sauce and Shallots
Or
Roast Gascony Noir Pork stuffed with Cognac infused Prunes
Both served with seasonal vegetables and Buttered New Potatoes

Vegetarian Option – Chermoula Aubergines with Bulgar Salad and Yoghourt

Cherry Clafoutis
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream and Strawberries

25€ per person, 10€ per child. Wine, red, white or rosé, 15€ a bottle

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

Thunder and rain

Thunderstorms rumble around and I wonder if I will have to water tonight or will we be lucky? After all the rain this winter you wouldn’t think we would long for a drop of rain, but with all the Mediterranean vegetable plants just in the ground, not yet established, they are vulnerable to days of sunshine.
Beau, our Labrador cross is scared of the rumble of thunder…he shakes like an Aspen and sits close, eyes rolling and needing a cuddle, Swampy meanwhile doesn’t care at all. The sheep are all shorn and looking glossy and full of sweet Spring grass, the lambs have stopped gambolling and are, well, sheep, fattening nicely. The last two Gascony noir piglets are returning as carcasses next week, ready for the butcher to work his wonders, so, if you want prime rosé pork for this summer, or sausages, contact me and discuss.

We are open this Sunday, 27 May, for Fete des Meres Lunch and we are serving:-

Asparagus and Feta Tian with Spring Flower Salad

Roast Chicken with Chorizo Butter, Sweet Peppers and Potatoes
Or
Salt Baked Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verdi
Both served with seasonal vegetables

Summer Berry Mousse Cake with Red Berry Sauce
Or
Chocolate and Cherry Gateau with Cherry Coulis

25€ per person, 10€ per child. Wine, red, white or rosé, 15€ a bottle

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

Chilly Spring and Dan Jones

It’s definitely Spring but the changes in temperatures have confused everyone and everything. Luckily our sheep have not been shorn yet, otherwise they would have been shivering these last few days. My Grandmother used to say ‘cast ne’er a clout till May is out’, well the May tree is in bloom, and it’s still chilly, so, do you think it means the month? Anyway, my tomatoes have been planted out, yesterday, so fingers crossed it remains warmer.

We are open most Sunday’s for Lunch but as we cater for weddings, we do close for the odd weekend. We are open for the next four Sunday’s but will be closed for the 17th and 24th June, then open for July and August. We are delighted to have Dan Jones and L’Ensemble Arisan playing for us again on Sunday August 5, more details to follow.

We have two more pigs ready for market next week and will have pork for sale shortly, if you wish to make sausages for the coming summer, or just to buy some, do please call me on 05 45 25 55 28 or email me at lemainemeunier@icloud.com.

We are open this Sunday 20 May for Lunch and we are serving:-

Double-baked Cheese and Parsley Soufflé in Parmesan Cream.

Roast Gascony Noir Pork stuffed with cognac infused Prunes
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit
Both served with seasonal vegetables
Vegetarian option of Red Onion and Goats Cheese Tarte Tatin

Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream and Strawberries
Or
Yoghourt Gateau with Pistachio, Lemon and Cardamom

25€ per person, 10€ per child. Wine, red, white or rosé, 15€ a bottle

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

Happy Days now Spring is here…..

Have you noticed how everyone is happy? Smiling faces in the oddest of places, I actually had a large tractor and weird bit of kit pull over for me to pass him, both of us waving and…smiling at each other as we passed, extraordinary what warmth and sunshine will do. It is beholden to all of us make the most of this time, smile at your fellow man, be generous, we’ve waited through so many dreary months, let’s enjoy ourselves. Mine’s a G and T, thanks for asking.

The lambs and ewes have been moved into new pasture, they are strangely quiet, munching Spring grass, and the ewes will soon need shearing. We’ve had our last bonfire of the year, we had two fruit trees split last year due to huge amounts of fruit, which we pruned savagely last autumn and stored, so now hedgehogs have moved out of hibernation, we’ve burnt the last of the top growth of the trees, And the poor old trees have burst into growth again, hope they last.
Bees going crazy with the fruit trees in bloom, being later than usual hopefully there will be no more frosts to nip the juvenile fruit. I’ve hung my hornet traps up and have seen at least one Asian queen, so I’ve also got the badminton rackets positioned for a deadly swipe should I and she be in the right place at the right time. I’ve also hang up my red top fly traps, ever hopeful that it might reduce the number of flies, and I do have numerous swallows and house martins aiding me in keeping the fly population down. Bless them. One swallow does not a summer make, but it’s a start.

We will have Gascony Noir Pork for sale from next week, it is very different from the white pork that you may be familiar with, it is rosé pork, rich and fruity and utterly delicious. For a whole or half pig, 10€ per kg, and you may choose your joints, chops and cuts with our onsite butcher. You may also join me in the kitchen to make your own sausages, boudin, faggots, pâté etc for a porky cooking fest if you wish. Otherwise we are happy for you to make just as many sausages as you want for the season at 12€ per kg, with me….or we will have joints, chops etc, available, just call 0545 25 55 28 or email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com for details and requests.

We are open this weekend for Lunch on Sunday April 2018

The menu is:-

Wild Garlic, Nettle and Asparagus Frittata with Ricotta and Purslane Salad

Pot roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Cranberries and Shallots with Sauté potatoes and Spring greens
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit with Sauté Potatoes and Spring Greens

Salty Chocolate Fudge Tart with Chantilly Cream
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream and Strawberries

25€ per person, 10€ per child. Wine, red, white or rosé, 15€ a bottle

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

Spring has sprung and Pork for Sale

Despite the continuing dreary weather, the season is moving inexorably towards summer, the hirundines are arriving, house martins settling in the workshop, swallows in the barn, swooping and swirling between the April showers. We have moved the breeding pigs to their summer quarters, Maeve the female moving through the long grass like a seal through water, Paddy, the big old boar gruffing along behind, munching the greenery. The bees are drinking the sugar syrup faster than I can replace it, and in between rain clouds they are out collecting pollen. I’m rather thankful of the rain as there is rape in flower nearby and I hope they are not collecting nectar, as rape honey swiftly sets hard and is difficult for both honey harvesters and bees. Soon the Horse Chestnut trees will be in flower, now that is a delicious honey, dark and rich and fruity. The buzzards are courting, two, three or more males wheeling and mewling in the sky around the female, she will choose and then there will be silence for a few weeks. The cuckoo is calling and the woodpecker is drumming his hollow tree to prove his worth as a mate, our ducks and geese are laying fit to bust and the incubator is humming, frogs are calling…..Spring is here folks!

We had a lovely Sunday with Dan Jones and his L’ Ensemble Arisan Quartet and a full restaurant, a gentle afternoon with beautiful music and happy guests. I’m hoping to have them back this summer.

We will have Gascony Noir Pork for sale from next week, it is very different from the white pork that you may be familiar with, it is rosé pork, rich and fruity and utterly delicious. For a whole or half pig, 10€ per kg, and you may choose your joints, chops and cuts with our onsite butcher. You may also join me in the kitchen to make your own sausages, boudin, faggots, pâté etc for a porky cooking fest if you wish. Otherwise we are happy for you to make just as many sausages as you want for the season at 12€ per kg, with me….or we will have joints, chops etc, available, just call 0545 25 55 28 or email us at lemainemeunier@icloud.com for details and requests.

We are open this weekend for Lunch on Sunday 15 April 2018

The menu is:-

Wild Garlic, Nettle and Asparagus Frittata with Ricotta and Purslane Salad

Roasted Chicken with Chorizo Butter and roasted potatoes and peppers
Or
Honey Roasted Lemon Rabbit with Sauté Potatoes and Spring Greens

Salty Chocolate Fudge Tart
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream and Strawberries

25€ per person, 10€ per child. Wine, red, white or rosé, 15€ a bottle

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

Easter Greetings from Le Maine Meunier

Easter Greetings from Le Maine Meunier Ferme Auberge

Amidst this wet, windy weather and mud there are signs of future warm and balmy days. The lambs are all sturdy and beginning to eat the slowly growing grass, the buds have burst on the horse chestnut and the bees are very hungry, so feeding them with sugar syrup is essential during these rainy days or they may starve. If it is dry for a couple of hours you can see them collecting pollen but it’s too wet and cold for nectar, and they will have exhausted their winter stores. The Queen may well have started laying, and, like us, they are longing for sun and warmth. So sugar syrup is poured into a feeder in the top of the hive to tide them through till the sun shines and the nectar flows.

This is the time of the year that, traditionally, we comb the fields and woods for early green herbs and edible leaves, currently called foraging, there are the early sorrel , dandelion and alexanders, wild garlic, chives and even new hawthorn leaves. These would, in pre supermarket, times have made a welcome change from salted and preserved winter food. You can still spot the odd keen forager gathering greens to refresh the winter jaded palate. There are also the new nettles, only a few inches high but packed with vitamin c and iron that gathered with rubber gloves make a fabulous soup, and soon will come the asparagus, both wild and cultivated, a gorgeous treat…..soon.

Le Maine Meunier Ferme Auberge opening with The Dan Jones And L ‘Ensemble Arisan’ for a Lazy Sunday Afternoon of Glorious Food and Fabulous Music

We are opening again for the season with a spectacular Sunday, temperatures about 18C so you can wander around the farm, we have lambs gambolling in the fields, the grass may well have had its first cut, the early blossom will be out and The Dan Jones L ‘Ensemble Arisan’ will be playing a selection of classical, contemporary and folk music between courses. The atmosphere will be welcoming and gently time will pass, chill out and relax, wander around the gardens, the wood fires will be blazing and lunch will be served between musical interludes.

Menu for Sunday Lunch 8 April 2018. 12-12.30 start.

Asparagus, Feta and Chive Tarte served with Spring Salad

Salt-baked Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verdi
Or
Roast Gascony Noir Pork Stuffed with cognac Prunes
Both served with Dauphinois Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Vegetarian Option :- Aubergines with Crushed Chickpeas served on Basmati rice and Orzo with Herb Yoghourt – please request when booking

Almond and Orange Gateau with Orange and Cardamom Syrup
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream and Redfruit Coulis

27€ per person.

If you have an anniversary or birthday to celebrate, please let us know when booking, we are very happy to provide a little cake and candle to help you celebrate…but you will have to sing, we sound like strangled cats!

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

Music and Lazy Sunday Lunch on 8 April 2018

Le Maine Meunier Ferme Auberge opening with The Dan Jones And L ‘Ensemble Arisan’ for a Lazy Sunday Afternoon of Glorious Food and Fabulous Music

We are opening again for the season with a spectacular Sunday, temperatures about 18C so you can wander around the farm, we have lambs gambolling in the fields, the grass may well have had its first cut, the early blossom will be out and The Dan Jones L ‘Ensemble Arisan’ will be playing a selection of classical, contemporary and folk music between courses. The atmosphere will be welcoming and gently time will pass, chill out and relax, wander around the gardens, the wood fires will be blazing and lunch will be served between musical interludes.

Menu for Sunday Lunch 8 April 2018

Asparagus, Feta and Chive Tarte served with Spring Salad

Salt-baked Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verdi
Or
Roast Gascony Noir Pork Stuffed with cognac Prunes
Both served with Dauphinois Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Vegetarian Option :- Aubergines with Crushed Chickpeas served on Basmati rice and Orzo with Herb Yoghourt – please request when booking

Almond and Orange Gateau with Orange and Cardamom Syrup
Or
Pavlova Meringues with Chantilly Cream and Redfruit Coulis

27€ per person.

If you have an anniversary or birthday to celebrate, please let us know when booking, we are very happy to provide a little cake and candle to help you celebrate…but you will have to sing, we sound like strangled cats!

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

Christmas Greetings and Thanks to all our supporters

We have moved the pigs into the big barns, although pigs love rooting around outdoors, they are much like us, they hate mud. Being trotter deep in mud, in driving rain, they are as miserable as we would be, so they are now in straw strewn barns, warm and snug and very vocal, grunting, snuffling, calling when they see us and very clean. Plus Mike doesn’t come in twice a day also covered in mud, pigs are very generous with mud.
Soon it will be time to move the ewes into the open barn with access to fields close by, we will brush down the hurdles and set them up into individual pens for the lambing next month. The rabbits are breeding as normal, tucking up the babes in fluffy nests of hay and rabbit fur, the geese are allowed out to clean the gardens of any slugs and snails and being very bossy to Swampy and Beau the dogs, who slink off thoroughly chastened. The chickens lay fewer eggs but croon happily on their perches and go to bed early, which means Mike shuts them up earlier too.
So we come to the end of the year and it is the time to thank you all for supporting our Auberge, we enjoy your company and your conversation and hope you will continue to visit us through the coming year.

So Merry Christmas to you and best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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

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