Amazingly, the weather has decided to not only get its act together but to strive towards what I would consider perfection. And so this is it, those few days of Fall that I will dream about the rest of the year. Azure sky, that soft light falling across the old stones, just a slight breeze. Ben and I went for an hour long walk yesterday morning, both of us in good spirits, wanting to be out for as long as possible.
My Frenchy Golden even went on strike, refusing to budge from the entry to Cilantro, one of Arles' Michelin starred restaurants. We could see (and smell) the sous-chefs preparing for lunch. The highlights of yesterday's menu:
Gnocchis with chanterelle mushrooms and tomato confit in a parmesan emulsion
Gigot d'agneau (Provence is lamb country) with artichokes and stracci
A crunchy bitter fruit tart with a vanilla mousse and basil mandarin sorbet
You can have all of the above for 30 Euros ($43). A splurge, admittedly, but it sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
I can understand why Arlesians are so grouchy when the weather is bad because it is so addictive when it is good! Today, I was given a little gift--just enough of a reprieve in the wind to be able to sit out in the garden for my breakfast. With my turtleneck sweater on and Ben under my feet to stay warm, but still. The leaves of the mystery tree (it grows like a wild thing and so far no one has been able to tell us what species it is) are fading and falling. Tiny "red tails" are chirping wildly and hopping along the roof of the Frere Precheurs. It is quite something to have a real jardin de curé against the walls of a church, even if it is getting ready for the big winter sleep. In some ways, so am I, but not just yet. A last sip of coffee and then I am out the front door, off to rediscover Arles all over again with my funny friend.