The ‘La Caja’ China roasting box has been placed firmly at the top of my new BBQ wish list:

Although, called the La Caja China, the concept hails from Cuba.

There’s a pig and a chicken inside that box – along with coals burning down from the top.

A quick check

Coals burning away

Some of the accoutrements needed to make this whole thing work – quite an event

At La Caja China, we believe barbequing is a work of art meant to be shared with friends and family. However, we know many people don’t have the time to truly enjoy barbequing because of all the work required to cook meat with traditional grills and rotisseries. With the La Caja China roasting box, the work and time required to grill meat is cut in half. Our China box roasters can cook up to 100 pounds of meat in four hours, meaning you can prepare more food in less time. The BBQ box, known as a Cajun microwave in some areas, requires little supervision because it builds up and maintains an even heat fast and effortlessly.

Our La Caja China pig cookers and grills are perfect for personal and business use and have been used by master chefs, including Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart. No pig roaster will get your skin as crispy or meat as juicy as our China box. La Caja China is also portable, allowing for seamless transportation between events for caterers. Our family designed La Caja China in order to give everyone the best possible BBQ experience, regardless of their budget. We know a La Caja China will help you in your backyard, at your event or business, and leave you and your friends with a full stomach and a smile.

Interested, click here.



The 2017 Michelin Guide is out, and let’s have a peep who cracked it in Provence.

The newest Michelin ratings for France were announced in early February, 2017. Below you’ll find a complete list of all the Michelin-starred restaurants in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region for 2017,  and the number of stars they currently hold.

There are now just two Michelin three-star restaurants in Provence: Le Petit Nice in Marseille and La Vague d’Or at the Residence de la Pinede in St. Tropez.



Chateau Arnoux — La Bonne Étape *

Forcalquier / Mane — Le Cloître at the Couvent des Minimes *

Manosque — Dominique Bucaille *

Moustiers Sainte Marie — La Bastide de Moustiers *

Briançon — Le Pêché Gourmand *

Saint Crépin — Les Tables de Gaspard *

Saint Veran – Le Roc Alto * NEW 2017

Antibes — Le Figuier de Saint Esprit *

Antibes (Cap d’Antibes) — Bacon *

Antibes (Cap d’Antibes) — Les Pêcheurs *

Beaulieu sur Mer — Le Restaurant des Rois *

Biot — Les Terraillers *

Cannes — La Palme d’Or **
Cannes (Mandelieu La Napoule) — L’Oasis **
Cannes — Le Park 45 *
Le Cannet (Cannes) — Villa Archange **
La Colle sur Loup — Alain Llorca *
Èze — Château de la Chèvre d’Or **

Èze Bord de Mer — La Table de Patrick Raingeard *
Grasse — La Bastide Saint Antoine *

Grasse (Magagnosc)– Au Fil du Temps *

Juan les Pins — La Passagère*

Menton — Mirazur **

Mougins — Le Mas Candille *

Mougins — Paloma **

Nice — Chantecler **

Nice — L’Aromate *

Nice — Flaveur *

Nice — Jan *

Le Rouret — Le Clos Saint Pierre *

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat — Le Cap at the Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat *

Tourrettes sur Loup — Clovis *

La Turbie — Hostellerie Jérôme *

Vence — Les Bacchanales *
Vence – Le Saint Martin * NEW 2017


Aix — L’Esprit de la Violette *
Aix – Mickael Feval * NEW 2017
Aix – Pierre Reboul at Château de la Pioline * NEW 2017
Aix (Le Tholonet) — Le Saint Estève *

Arles — L’Atelier de Jean Luc Rabanel **

Arles — La Chassagnette *

Les Baux de Provence — L’Oustau de Baumanière **

Cassis — La Villa Madie **

La Ciotat (Le Liouquet) – La Table de Nans – Auberge le Revestel *

Marseille — Le petit Nice ***

Marseille — Alcyone at InterContinental Hôtel Dieu *

Marseille — AM par Alexandre Mazzia *

Marseille — L’Epuisette *

Marseille — Une Table, au Sud *

Saint Rémy – Fanny Rey at Auberge de la Reine Jeanne * NEW 2017

Saint Rémy (Paluds de Noves) — La Maison de Bournissac *

Ventabren — La Table de Ventabren *

LE VAR (83)

Les Arcs sur Agens — Le Relais des Moines *

Bormes les Mimosa — La Rastègue *

La Cadière d’Azur — Hostellerie Bérard *

Callas — Hostellerie les Gorges de Pennafort *

Le Castellet – Christophe Bacquié at the Hotel du Castellet **

La Celle — Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle *

La Croix Valmer – La Palmeraie* NEW 2017

Fayence — Le Castellaras *

Lorgues — Bruno *

Lorgues – Le Jardin de Benjamin at Château de Berne * NEW 2017

Porquerolles Island — Le Mas du Langoustier *

Ramatuelle — La Voile at the Hôtel La Réserve Ramatuelle *

Saint Tropez — La Vague d’Or at the Résidence de la Pinède ***

Saint Tropez – L’Olivier at the Bastide de Saint Tropez * NEW 2017

Saint Tropez (Gassin) — Villa Belrose *

Tourrettes — Le Faventia at the Terre Blanche Hotel *

Tourtour — Les Chênes Verts *


Ansouis — La Closerie *

Avignon — Restaurant Christian Etienne *

Bonnieux — La Bastide de Capelongue **

Cavaillon — Prévôt *

Cucuron — La petite Maison de Cucuron *

Gordes — Les Bories *

Gordes — Pèir: Pierre Gagnaire at Bastide de Gordes *

Gordes (Joucas) — Hostellerie le Phébus *

L’Isle sur la Sorgue — Le Vivier *

Lagarde d’Apt — Bistrot de Lagarde *

Lourmarin (Cadenet) — Auberge la Fenière *

Lourmarin (Lauris) – Le Champ des Lunes * NEW 2017

Orange (Serignan du Comtat) — Le Pré du Moulin *


Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse ***

Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo **

Le Vistamar at the Hotel Hermitage *

Le Blue Bay in the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel *

Elsa in the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel *

Yoshi in the Metropole Hotel *

Thanks to The ProvencePost web site for the info.


As we head towards another French Presidential Election, two of the candidates promise to retain the huge bureaucracy that ‘runs’ France. One candidate says that he will slash the numbers – and they’ve been striking already ‘in case’ he gets in!

Here’s an example of what?

Our water fees for 2017 arrived today. Deep withing the 10 pages of legalese about how the service provider is not repsonsible if one of their meters leaks, is this formula on how the rates are worked out:

They pay someone – sorry WE pay someone – to do this!!!!


I know, I know, it’s early but we’re excited!

A friend has painted one of our Bastide cats, the inimitable Mr. Worm in a typical pose.

The new BBQ kitchen and toilet facilities take shape.

A hive of activity

Right next door, the historic plain trees are being trimmed in time for the season.

An age-old skill now with modern machinery

Ménerbes’ answer to St Tropez’s Club 55, Le5 is taking shape with a major 2016/2017 winter renovation.

Grand opening April 2017! Builders willing!

The building site for a new terrace.

Rebuilding takes shape – a new Bistro deck and four luxury suites on the top.

A medieval structure re-born.

Once there was … a fence and a wall, now only the view!

A hive of activity

Back to the Bastide – 2017, here we go!



Naive representation painted by Tilda, of Chatham.

Near Chatham, Cape Cod

Near Chatham, Cape Cod

A Cape Cod house is a low, broad, often single-story frame building with a moderately steep pitched gabled roof, a large central chimney, and very little ornamentation. Originating in New England in the 17th century, the simple symmetric design was constructed of local materials to withstand the stormy, stark weather of Cape Cod. It features a central front door flanked by multi-paned windows either singly or in pairs. The space above the 1st floor was often left unfinished, with or without windows on the gable ends.

The style enjoyed a boom in popularity and adaptation to modern needs in the 1930s-1950s, particularly with Colonial Revival embellishments. It remains a feature of New England home-building.

Over the years owners doubled the full Cape and added wings on to the rear or sides, typically single-storied. Dormers were added for increased space, light, and ventilation. A screened-in porch was sometimes added to one side of the home, rarely the front.

Colonial Revival (1930s–1950s)
Colonial Revival Cape Cod houses are very similar to Colonial Cape Cod houses, but some have the chimney at one end of the living room on the side of the house. Elaborate replicas were designed for the affluent, while architects such as Royal Barry Wills modernized the Cape for middle-class families by including modern amenities that addressed demands for increased privacy and technology, including bathrooms, kitchens, and garages.Adaptations proliferated throughout suburbs which emerged after World War II, and planned communities like Levittown, New York offered Cape Cod styled tract housing, particularly to returning soldiers.

Whether you arrive by land, sea or sky, the Pilgrim Monument is the first thing you see when you approach Provincetown. Standing at 252 feet, the Monument commemorates the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims. It’s the tallest all-granite structure in the United States.


The Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown.

The Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown.

The Pilgrim Monument was founded in 1892 as the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association—Cape Cod’s oldest not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in the New World in Provincetown, in November 1620. Here the Pilgrims spent 5 weeks exploring the tip of Cape Cod, before they sailed on to Plymouth. They also drew up and signed the Mayflower Compact, which established the rule of law for the new land.

President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1907. In 1910, President William Howard Taft dedicated the finished 252-foot tower. In 1910, the Cape’s first building built to house a museum opened at the base of the monument, to educate the public about Provincetown’s role in Pilgrim history and American history.

Today, Millions of visitors and generations of local residents have admired and climbed the 252 foot granite Pilgrim Monument for almost 100 years.

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