On Wednesday evening we were privileged – yes, privileged – to be invited to a soiree with Hubert and Pierre of La Verandah, Menerbes, at their home in Les Taillades.

What do you expect when you have a meal at the house of such great chefs and restauranteurs? Accompanying us were Aurelio and Graça the other partners in La Verandah and a neighbour. Also, we must not forget their four labradors which kept us entertained and demanding out attention and love.

Wow! Aperitifs of pink champagne (the real thing) and a charcuterie platter were followed by moving to a beautifully decorated table and a start of potage. This was no some simple soup – no, a leek stock, cream and chunks of salmon mopped up with some delicious freshly baked baguette.

Hubert then disappeared into the kitchen and arrived with a plate of sliced trufffles nestling over leeks and a sauce which came from the Gods of Food.

Truffles and Leeks!

Hubert (left) and Pierre

Was this the main course? No!

Aurelio kindly making the chapon more manageable for Madame

Superbly roasted chapon with garlic and onion followed. The chapon could not have been more perfectly cooked and was washed down with some superb local Domaine de la Garelle rose.

Graça in fine form

Then, the cheese. But with a twist. Accompanying the cheese platter (which had a rather pleasant vintage Beaufort on it as well as reblouchon) was a vinegarette celerac salad. We were sold! Cheese platter have now taken on a new meaning.

Not enough, Hubert declared! Along came an ‘experimental’ apple bake. Hubert and Pierre, more experiments please!

Hubert, the concerned host, Pierre, Françoise and Aurelio

This is not an experiment, it's a work of art!

A light dinner/soiree that started at 19h00 and finished at 23h00. A privilege – is there a better English word for such an evening? I’ve yet to find one, but will keep searching. One thing is for sure ,it’s an evening we will never forget.

Merci bien, mes amis..

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