La Terrasse - Meyronne "Superb''?
Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
148Trip End Oct 25, 2010
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This morning I woke up thinking: I need a break.
Now I know my sisters and friends are raising more than an eyebrow or corner of the mouth as they think I am on one big extended holiday already. Well, true or not, life catches up with you wherever you go and the word turmoil is not misplaced at this moment in time.
'What time is it?' said Peter when I told him to get up, we were leaving.
' Never mind,' I snapped, 'let's get out of here, away from the machine and the chores.'
I knew he wanted to finish fixing the roof today. He knows not to argue.
'To Creysse,' I said, first thing that sprang to mind actually, hadn't got that far yet, though already rattling the car keys.
' Shall we pack sandwiches?' Peter asked dragging on some clothes, not sure what the plan was.
'No, we'll grab something on the way.'
I checked my wallet, oops, and snatched a 100 euro bill from the safe, an envelop behind a painting. That would see us through the day.
After a bit of dithering we're off. Sun is blazing, it's gonna be scorching hot today, Sheppie already panting in the back.
Legs on the dashboard, Jet full blast - great just great.
'What time is it?' Peter asked again.
'Dunno, who cares...'
'...cos you know that nice restaurant on the way down, we'll be passing that soon....'
Though I'd just gulped down some shredded wheat the thought suddenly appealed to me. A romantic spot in the shade, a typical French setting - relax, have a drink, work up an appetite...
I fell into a reverie and suddenly we're in Martel, a lovely town near Creysse. What about that restaurant?
'Long past it,' said Peter, 'but remember St
Yes, I do. Fantastic, it's tucked away in a narrow street and when you walk through the ancient mansion to the back you find'll yourself somewhere close to paradise, a gorgeous terrace surrounded by a mature garden and a private out-door pool, should you fancy a little dip between the flowers and the delicious courses.
Perfect, let's go.
Bursting through the door I almost bumped into the managing couple, startling them I guess. 'Table for two?' I asked unnecessarily as the place looked surprisingly empty.
They exchanged glances and said: 'Le chef, il est en congé,' which I think means he's 'off', like fired, sick or on leave. The last, I hoped. Shame, maybe some other time, not to worry, this is France, restaurants galore...
'What about Auberge de L'ile in Creysse?' Peter ventured.
No, we've been there a million times already and it's fine but not what I mean.
Patiently he started the car saying there's another place not far from here and time is ticking on.
Vaguely I recalled.. good food, bit posh....it'll do, I thought.
And so we entered yet another beautiful, well cared for old building and I wondered why we'd never bothered to come back here.
We were - not exactly greeted as much as warily eyed up by a stern-looking French lady. She didn't look too pleased but we were shown to a table far away from the other guests. Because of the dog, she informed us un-apologetically and though I understood perfectly it would have been nice to have been asked instead of told. Generally the French are very tolerant towards children and dogs and it is quite acceptable to bring them along if they can behave. Shep just slumped down under the table, all he wanted was a bowl of water, often brought with a friendly smile without even asking. But not here.
OK, so I've had warmer welcomes and the prices on the menu were not as amusing as the amuse that arrived later but I was still willing to turn this into a pleasurable experience.
Perfunctory we were asked if we desired an aperitif as if the answer was obvious - well, not at those prices, I might add.
I was thinking more along the lines of some nice cold rosé. As Peter does not drink and drive I would be doing most of the drinking so he suggested a carafe to begin with. As if stung by a bee our hostess stated their wine comes in bottles, not in jugs. Voice slightly raised so everyone got the picture.
Lay it on, I could easily manage a bottle by now and I asked what today's set menu was.The menu du jour is always worth checking, usually good value and I was fast losing any appetite I had anyway.
'Mashed potatoes and duck,' she said as if she wouldn't feed it to her dog.
My, wouldn't have guessed from looking at the elegant descriptions of the 'à la carte.'
I fancied fish anyway.
She turned sharply on her heels and returned with a pad and pen.
'The fish.' She pointed it out on the menu as if I couldn't back out now, just choose with as little fuss as possible.
Right. That's it. Time to turn the tables and have some fun I reckoned.
Within minutes food was on the table, faster than McDonalds.
'Excuse me,' I politely asked the waitress, holding up a sliver of something the eye and palate had failed to recognize.
'Black pudding flambé,' is the smart reply. Pardon me my ignorance.
'Oh, thank you so much, I want to mention it in my review,' I smiled as she walked away.
'Didn't know you wrote reviews,' said Peter, slightly embarrassed but also seeing the funny side.
'Well, in a fashion,' I said, 'Didn't say it was for the Michelin, did I?'
Sure I'm not the first to pull that one but it might still cause a little uneasiness, you never know after all, and hopefully they would lighten up a bit.
As for the food, just a main course each, I couldn't fault that, though having frequented many an eating house, I am not easily impressed. No matter how artistically the sauce dribbled, how pretty the flower on the barboe, it's still just a nice bit of fish and there's a limit to what you can ask for that, ambiance and all. A little salad or a dollop of mash would not have gone amiss either.
We asked for coffee and the bill, that totaled a neat 99 euro and a 'La Direction et le Personnel vous remercient de votre aimable visite' printed on the bottom. 'A bientôt, merci.' .....
The waitress, now hastily clearing our table muttered:
'Superb,' when Peter apologized for some water Sheppie'd spilt on the tiles.
'Superb', as in a pissed off 'great' or 'fuck' as some will have it.
'Not leaving a tip,' Peter hissed courageously but the note was all I had anyway and I wasn't going to hang around waiting for a euro change.
No-one in sight to bid us farewell so I peeked into the reception where I found madame and the waitress in conversation.
'We're off, bonne journee,' I offered. They looked up, slightly disturbed and I just couldn't resist.
'If you are interested in my findings they will be published on Travelpod shortly.'
The manageress' hand flew to her pearls as she stammered:
'What? I don't understand......'
No, thought you didn't duckie :)
I collapsed into the waiting car, still laughing when Peter stopped and pointed. It was the lady. She came running after us waving the orange baseball cap he'd left behind.
Now that must have taken some courage, I'll grant her that.
La Terrasse in a nutshell: good enough food, wine by the bottle and welcome not always on the menu.
And bring your own sense of humour as they take themselves 'très serieux' :)