Al fresco eating in our garden in France

To avoid the fate of mad dogs and fellow Englishmen we laid up our dining table in a shady part of our garden, rather than going out the midday sun. It may be a hackneyed phrase, but our garden becomes a multi purpose extra room during summer. The winter chores of wood cutting, clearing out the wood burner and making sure that there is paraffin are replaced by pruning, watering and pool maintenance. The long evenings afford us the chance to sit in the garden and make our plans whilst enjoying a few glasses of chilled, pale pink rosé. I get a lot of photography done in this soft diffused light, and Jenny is a natural stylist. The garden itself does so much towards each picture. Old stone walls, olive trees, lavender, agapanthus, geraniums and terracotta make endless combinations and the changing light throughout the day makes for a perfect natural studio.  Aside from the delight of being able to create images in a constantly changing environment, there is the added pleasure of “al fresco” eating. Living here affords us the pleasures of traditional French summer eating such as “le grand aioli” which, to the uninitiated is a feast of, amongst other things,  artichokes, broad beans, new potatoes, tiny carrots, fennel, snails, hard boiled eggs and poached cod which are all anointed with fragrant, garlic mayonnaise and which are washed down with copious  jugs of cold wine. There is also the delightful experience of sharing vast trays of “fruits de mer” with friends or, for the more carnivorous, a boned leg of lamb cooked pink over charcoal and vine cuttings. I’m now going to head into the garden with coffee and a pile of books to decide what to cook and photograph today – someone’s got to do it.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
Gallery | This entry was posted in aioli, BBQ, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, France, Photography, Photography holiday, seafood, summer, Wine, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Al fresco eating in our garden in France

  1. How pretty. That’s just what I’d picture in my head if someone talked about lunching outside in France.

  2. What fantastic surroundings. I wish our rooftop deck was half as nice as your garden.

  3. I love living in Tokyo but I so envy the long days and humidity-free environment of European summers. We are too sub-tropical to be eating outside in the summer and the sun is gone by 7 pm. I love your purple cutlery and I would kill to be drinking a glass of cold rose right now.

  4. Pingback: My New Camera | Cooking in Sens

  5. ambrosiana says:

    What an amazing garden. The table setting is stunning! Beautiful pictures!!

  6. The table setting is lovely 🙂

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