Saturday, 12 June 2010

Repeated offenders

My better half has already published a Blog dedicated to guests who not only are regularly coming back to La Tuilerie, but who also (on a voluntary basis!) help out in making the vegetable plot ready for the summer and by splitting big logs which are to big to fit in the wood burner.
Fortunately they are not the only ones who seem to like it so much here. We have a number of guests, campers as well as gîte lodgers, whom we can welcome on a regular basis over a number of years. And what is better than discussing the state of affairs in Cormatin as well as in their home country over a nice glass of whine in a sunny patch in our garden?
People come here for a number of reasons. Part of our clientèle are very much attracted by the vicinity of Taizé, where they can follow the services whenever they wish, but where they are not submerged in the hubbub of 6000 youngsters; others come here with bicycles, skeelers or good walking shoes in order to do reconnaissance of the many possibilities the Voie Verte has to offer; some people come to indulge in the over abundance of romanesque (norman) architecture; and of course there are those who like to chill out for a week after having been in the rat race for a year.
Recently we had a couple here for the third year, who came here the first time after in depth investigations. Their son in law, an acquaintance of ours, popped in one day in 2008 on his way to a different holiday destination in the South of France, seemingly for a cup of coffee. however, he was told by his in laws to take pictures, inspect the place thoroughly and find an answer to the question of questions “Is everything clean there?”.
Obvioulsly his reconnaissance satisfied his in laws, because that same autumn Hermann and Carla became our guests. We got on very well, and when they left they booked straight away for 2009. That year they ordered a meal, a service we render, if convenient for both parties, on their arrival day. Our guests share our table, and we as well as they find it a pleasant way to getting to know each other a bit better. Sue always tries to come up with something local, and her boeuf Bourgignon can compete with the same dish pepared at La Terrasse in Cormatin (which we find the best within a radius of 50 miles). And although Hermann and Carla could not give us a definite date for 2010, it was quite obvious that they would come back again.
And lo and behold, by the end of 2009 they made another reservation for two weeks, under the “condition” that we would feed them again a boeuf Bourgignon. But that was not all. A couple of days before they arrived, another e-mail came in with the question whether we would appreciate it if Carla brought an Indonesian meal over for the second evening.
There are few things in this part of the world that I miss every so often, and one of them is a genuine Indonsian meal, in the Netherlands, and certainly around the Hague, readily available everywhere. So the second night the tables were turned, as a matter of speech, and we sat at their table and enjoyed a wonderful meal with nassi putih (white rice), sajur lodeh (vegetables in coconut milk), babi ketjap (pork in sweet soy sauce), rendang (spicy beef) and ajam semoor (well simmered chicken).
And that is, irrespective of the quality of French cooking, one of the few things I miss every so often; a simple, good Indonesian meal.

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