Sunday, March 21, 2010

On the road

Although I travel some for my job, it's usually by plane. And my daily life here in Aveyron doesn't leave me much time for hitting the open road.

Driving alone, heading somewhere in France without totally understanding how to get there, listening to MY choice of music at the volume I have chosen...these are rare and wonderful moments for me.

Usually, I have to make them happen. Last week I did. On Tuesday, I had to drive to Toulouse for a meeting that was going to end in the early afternoon. Rather than driving straight back to Rodez, I was able to work out my schedule to make a detour to see a good friend in Canal du Midi territory.

Driving along the freeway past Castelnaudary and Carcassonne in T-shirt weather, I was taken aback to see significant remnants of snow drifts on the side of the road. I knew that it had snowed a week earlier, but here in chilly Aveyron, our snow was long gone.

Even if it was a little crazy to take this detour for one afternoon and one night -- I was back at work the next morning (OK, late morning) -- the dose of sun and good cheer was just what I needed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Chez Cécile et Aimé

Friday evening atmosphere at Chez Cécile et Aimé
8 rue Oustry, Rodez/ 05-65-69-57-97

Back when I was writing my cooking blog, I imagined posting about local restaurants, either on Cuisine Quotidienne or here. I even toyed with the idea of trying to write real "restaurant reviews," but since Aveyron is a small place, I didn't want to get anybody's nose out of joint.

The result is a pile of untagged, but categorized, photos of local eateries. Since I don't plan to be writing anything resembling restaurant reviews in the near future, I thought I'd just share some of my favorite local restaurants with you in an informal, non-exhaustive fashion.

A spring "assiette" with smoked salmon, asparagus, and other goodies

There's not a lot on the Web about this funky and creative restaurant/salon de thé which has now been open for seven years in the Rodez town center. I did find a press article about its opening, and can say that the owners, sisters Florence and Isabelle Sabin, have been true to their ideals. Everything is homemade, and the menus change nicely with the seasons.

The restaurant is located in an old house, which is cozy and creatively decorated. You can eat in three rooms, and in the summer, on two different terrasses.

Okay, no one was dining outside on the day I took this picture, but at least it gives you an idea.

Chez Cécile et Aimé features homemade quiches, salads, desserts, and other dishes depending on the season and the inspiration of the chef who has worked for them for five years now. Prices are reasonable and "la maison" is open non-stop from 10:00 am until 6pm, serving late breakfast, lunch and mouth-watering goûters.

For a special dining experience, go on Friday evening -- the only day they are open for dinner. We often do.