We woke up from our deep French sleep, had our continental breakfast and then decided to take a quick drive into Forcalquier, the closest town. We were secretly on the prowl for a good thank you gift for our host. We had no sense of his aesthetic before we arrived so we thought it best to wait and have a peek at his taste before we chose anything.
The photo above shows the view of Forcalquier as you drive toward it. It’s so charming. I love how the town spirals up a hill and is then topped with a church. It’s such a beautiful picture. We parked down at the bottom of the town and worked our way up on foot, but I will tell you this, we did not get far. My socks were charmed right off within the first 10 minutes of walking and I did that thing you do when you travel…that thing where you feel like the one restaurant or shop you pass first will be the ONLY one in the town you’re in and if you don’t stop and buy everything in it right away you will miss out for the rest of your life. And then, inevitably the whole town is filled with food, wine and clothing far better than what you spent all your money on first. I knew this going in, but I was SO excited and so enamored that I lost my head and wanted to capture as much of Forcalquier as I could. It boasted monuments that dated back to the fourth century. That means 300 as in year 300.
Well, we didn’t really have time to delve into all that—Michael found an amazing place to sit down to eat. We ordered a Provencal Platter for 2 and it was awesome. I can’t even remember what was on it…this crazy melted goat cheese over black olive tampenade, tomato & mozz, olives, boquerones (marinated white anchovies), anchovy dip, crudite, eggplant caviar. We had rose and a glass of pastis (which basically tastes like licorice).
Fortified, we moved on to shop! For the group we picked up 2 bottles of Rose and a bottle of pastis. For our host we picked up this beautiful rustic, white bowl, handmade in France and a linen apron for cooking. For family and friends we grabbed all kinds of herbs de provence and lavender scented items. Then Michael bought me a linen dress and a cowboy hat to keep the sun off. Aw!
When we arrived back at the house, one of the guests came to greet us in the very same linen apron we had just purchased. Ooooops.