Sunday, June 05, 2016

Charlotte and Tom

This post was originally published on May 7th, 2012

Years ago when JZ, Sofia and I first visited Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in France, we stayed in a 17th century townhouse called Le Sejour.  Tom, the Englishman and owner of Le Sejour, renovated the house from top to bottom leaving all of the charm.  Every year we returned to Tom's place and felt like it was our home away from home.  Then one year, Tom sold the place and moved to the Amazon - he wanted to explore the river and learn about indigenous cultures.  So...we had to find another place to rent, which was about the time we found the chateau where we now take groups of women every summer.  The second summer we rented the chateau, Lizzie, the owner of the chateau, introduced me to the hired chef, Charlotte.  Charlotte, who continues to cook for us every summer at the chateau is a beautiful Englishwoman who studied cooking in Paris, specializing in sauces - yes sauces!  Charlotte told me that on Wednesday her boyfriend would be coming over to do a barbecue and we would all eat outside under the stars.  On Wednesday evening I saw a crazy fast motorcycle pull up the long driveway of the chateau and I thought - must be the boyfriend, here to do the barbecue.  I eventually walked downstairs and in the lobby, to my surprise, was Tom - our old friend who we hadn't heard from or seen in years - we thought he was lost to a tribe never to be seen again!  I was so shocked I said "Tom - what are you doing here?" to which he replied, "I'm here to do the barbecue - I'm Charlotte's boyfriend!" I couldn't believe it - after all these years and we were back together again!  So now, Tom comes to the chateau every summer to help Charlotte, and just to say hello.  Last summer we had the chance to visit their bastide, just outside of St. Antonin, where Charlotte gives French lessons in between cooking for herself, her children and Tom.

And just a little peek at some of the wonderful food Charlotte cooks for us every summer.....

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