Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gorges Ardèche

Have you heard of the Ardèche region of France? Me neither, until my friend, Constance, invited me to her wedding there. It's in the west and marked by winding paths through the incredible gorges. You really need a car to enjoy this region so you can explore the valleys and crags to their fullest. My mother and I spent an entire day just driving along the highway and admiring the picturesque towns we passed through and discovering the natural beauty. 

Wearing: gap shorts hand-downs, thrifted floral blouse, bed stu brand loafers from Bridge Boutique, vintage sunnies.

In France, lunchtime is over by 2 PM. Restaurants usually close by then, and reopen later for dinner. Our jet lagged tummies rumbling at 3, we had no real hope of finding an open restaurant along the sparsely populated Ardèche gorges, but the trees parted to reveal this precious little spot tucked away along the winding highway. It's called Auberge du Pouzat. To our surprise and good fortune, the kind owner and waitress (and adorable dog) welcomed us. We had some cold white wine and toasted to our delicious salad and our good luck. 

The pies were of course staring at us the entire time, and when the waitress told me the cherries had been picked from her own garden that very morning, we couldn't resist. 

Kind of like we couldn't resist these eyes that said "throw my bone ONE more time?" 

If you'd like to travel in Ardèche, here is some useful vocabulary for you: 

Un carafe du vin rouge/blanc/rosé - a small pitcher of wine. Trust me, you want a small pitcher! SOOO inexpensive and good! Just be careful driving along the cliffs!
Grottes - caves... Famous naturally forming underground masterpieces, really worth a visit.
Carte - map. Get one. Learn to read it. Foreal doe.
"Ça vous a plu?" Servers might say this to you. It means "did you enjoy it?" Say "oui" or "ça m'a plu" if you like a challenge. 

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