Thursday, September 8, 2016

Europe: St.Emilion & Cognac FRANCE

An early morning departure from Bordeaux towards St.Emilion saw us catching glimpses of vineyards scattered around the valley with the sunlight as its backdrop. The cool weather enabled us to wander around the town as we attempt to peek over the valley for a couple of scenic shots.

Did not linger around for a long time and as it was still early, there were only a handful of shops opened, mostly cafes and the occasional wine shop. One of my tour mates had been rudely brushed off by a wine shopkeeper for no apparent reason but was given the royal treatment at another shop - to which, he took the opportunity to flash his purchases at the first shop and loudly exclaimed it in fluent French. Well done.

After St.Emilion, we headed to Cognac, clearly known for its cognac, spirit matured in oak barrels and double distilled to perfection. But first, lunch. The sister and I were craving for something fancy but not over the top and settled for a cozy restaurant located at the intersection of the main street.

Staff at Le Coq D'Or Brasserie were polite and attentive. Food arrived in good timing and at this stage of our trip, the sister and I begun to appreciate a mellow moment whilst we dine. Duck confit was topnotch and highly recommended in my opinion. Juicy and crisp at the same time, drenched in a generous serve of sauce. Also equally obsessed about that potato dauphinoise - creamy goodness at its finest.

Creme brulee - what's a visit to France without indulging in this rich, vanilla infused custard? Creamy, smooth textured with the right amount of sweetness.

And so, we begun our lessons in cognac at Baron Otard. Strategically selected location by its founder, Baron Otard, for its brilliant properties for ageing cognac, for hosting functions and once served as a place for soldiers to recuperate during the war.

Tasted quite a few varieties which were all different and unique to the particular blend that it originated from. As cognac has a higher alcohol content as compared to the milder types of alcohol that I am accustomed to, I was getting a wee bit tipsy at this stage. Still functioning mentally, not so much physically although manageable.

Fabrique des Veritables Macarons - ask me for the English translation of this shop's name last year and I would be able to tell you. My French had gone down the drain from lack of practice. When in St.Emilion, do give these macaroons a try.

They are much more rustic in presentation as compared to the Parisian macarons but still delicious nonetheless, especially when its sandwiching a thick spread of chocolate. Not as sugary sweet and probably a mix between a macaron and biscuit. Wouldn't mind getting another one, especially when this one was made in the morning:)

My entire French expedition is filled with colourful macarons. What more can I ask for:)

If you have read my previous entry about Bordeaux, you may note that I was disappointed at not being able to try a canele there and then. Grabbed one at St.Emilion instead but still not sure what  does the real deal taste like. A "to be continued" saga.

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