So I believe I was off to indulge in fondu last time I wrote. I am ashamed to admit that the only “meal” out I have had in Bonneville has been from Pizza Plus. It was delicious pizza but considering Bonneville has apparently 17 restaurants, it’s a pretty poor effort. So Sarah and I ventured out into the snow once more to Hotel de l’Arve for our first proper meal out! (Arve is the river running through Bonneville.)
Our budgets didn’t quite extend to an entire meal each so we shared an entree and a main which worked perfectly. For starters we had foie gras au canard with sliced baguette and a citrus foie gras au canard sorbet. The dish was beautifully presented, not entirely convinced it was worth the €22 but how often do you eat foie gras?? When our waitress described the dish to us I wasn’t too sure I had understand accurately; foie gras sorbet…? Pretty much duck pâté ice cream…? My skepticism was soon shown where to go after I spread some on top of the regular foie gras with the bread-sooo good. The cold temperature of the sorbet, its slightly more creamy texture and hint of citrus complimented the foie gras perfectly.
The fondu was the big highlight of the night. Yes, I had melted cheese as my main course. But this wasn’t just any melted cheese, it was special Savoie melted cheese. The Savoie regions (where I live) are particularly well known for their cheeses. The fondu was very tasty, though it is definitely something to be shared. After a while all that cheese gets a bit heavy going. Our waitress’s suggestion: keep drinking wine! I didn’t have to be told twice. A 330ml “pichet” of Côte du Rhône for €4.50 or something like that, definitely the best valued item on the menu.
For dessert I had a plum tart. When I ordered I forgot that the french word prune means plum and not prune, pruneaux are prunes… I was expecting a lovely creamy prune tart made with marscapone and slightly flavoured with brandy, just how Mum makes. Instead, the tart was just plums cooked on a thin puff pastry base, I was a bit disappointed but you could not fault the presentation. Sarah had speculoos biscuit creme brulee with 3 different ice cream flavours which were delicious, all served on a black board-like tile.
Friday evening, just as the snow began to set in again, I went to St. Julien en Genevois to meet Elle. St. Ju, as we call it, is about a 10 minute bus ride from the Swiss border. Here is a map to help you get your bearings… Pippa and Barbara came from Annemasse to meet us. Pizza for dinner, what else?? And then we attempted to get a good nights sleep with 4 girls in a room about the size of your average hostel dorm… The next day we took a bus into Geneva intending to go to the Christmas markets. Turned out we were a day early for the markets but we made use of our trip by seeing Harry Potter, in English! I really should be watching, listening, reading and just generally absorbing as much French as possible but for Harry Potter I had to make an exception. Ham and Cheese crepe for lunch which was just scrummy; cheese perfectly melted and oozy. The rather large charismatic man who stood outside the stall and cried “madamoiselles, les filles” to lure you in added a certain je ne sais quoi.
Sunday was an early start, 6.15am to be precise, on a bus and off to the slopes. This time we stayed a little closer to home, Le Grand Bornand. I drove through this town in October with Pippa and her family and thought it was lovely but with the snow it was beautiful! We had such a great day skiing despite getting a wee bit lost on the mountain. What we thought was the beginning of a piste was actually just a track made from a snow basher. We persevered, had to take our skis off and walk for a bit and then realised the only way out was a bit of off-road powder skiing. The reward was our snow basher track turned downhill, finally, and became our very own freshly raked piste… The rest of the day we stuck to the slopes until the snow set in and we could no longer tell left from right and up from down. Mulled wine or vin chaud was waiting for me at the bar at the bottom of the slopes, nothing is more warming than sweet vin chaud.
Off to make my soup for the week now. This week it is Cauliflower and White Bean, yum.
Hope you are well 🙂