Published on March 17th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard0
Ann’s Blog – From Noosa to Provence
The new website is up and running and you simply have to check it out. It’s so colourful and groovy and it’s all thanks to the patience and perseverance of the man – Geoffrey Rickard.
He has sat before the computer night after night fiddling, fussing, learning, making mistakes, fixing them, uploading, downloading – all while I sat stretched out on the couch drinking vodka and tonic (diet tonic, of course) and watching MasterChef. Felt tres guilty but kept reminding Geoffrey that the new website will bring us lots of lovely people like you to look at us and think we’re fabulous.) (Don’t know if he believed me.) (Dont know if you’ll think we’r fabulous either.) (Fingers crossed on that one.)
The new site comprises travel stories I have written over the years which I hope you’ll find engaging. They’ll either (a) encourage you to get up and go places yourself, (b) make you feel as though you’ve been there with me, or (c) make you hate me for being a smug, gallivanting boaster.
The two humorous columns I write for the Sunshine Coast Daily (called Old Wives’ Tales, and Traveller’s Tales) will go on the new website every week (called – Columns and Travel Talk )– and you can also catch up with those columns on the Sunshine Coast Daily website. Do check out the Daily’s website ’cos its fab and packed with news about this region.
Provence here we come.
Now that we’re into autumn here I start counting down until June when I go to France for the height of summer. I get all tingly with anticipation at this time of year as I email bistros and restaurants in France to make bookings for our tour group. When the restaurateurs come back to me in their lovely language with menus I start salivating. I’ve been speaking (on email) to a lovely bistro in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a beautiful leafy town they call Venice of Provence because of its gorgeous waterways. (Have a look at the photo on the top of this blog, and one to the left and just above…pretty, no?) As well as its canals and picturesque squares and alleys, it brims with antique shops. We’ll be visiting on a Sunday, market day, when the town is packed and the atmosphere is so French you have to sit down in one of the myriad bistros, order a glass of pink wine and a little pastry and feel that all is good with the world. .
Castillon du Gard
Just a couple of kilometres up the road from the village of Vers Pont du Gard where we base ourselves in Provence is the village of Castillon du Gard. This charming old village is tiny but with its own mayor at the Mairie and typical French stone buildings and a delightful leafy square with fountains and a sprinkling of bistros and an elegant five-star Relais and Chateau hotel. We will have dinner at the five star property overlooking the pool which overlooks a marvellous old wall with chunks broken off it (sounds ugly but it’s all about the ruin effect, like the Colosseum in Rome), which in turn overlooks the undulating patchwork of Provence countryside. It’s very glamorous, very French and we’ll be eating foie gras and duck with orange sauce and other gorgeous French food.
But before we go, we will soak up the charms of Noosa where we live (blessed, very blessed). Noosa is so beautiful at this time of year, warm autumn days, humidity gone, the town is pleasantly full with visitors, the beach is buzzing with bikini girls and Speedo guys, and the restaurants are dishing up sublime new autumn menus.
Had a beautiful dinner at Sirocco last week, opposite the Noosa River. Sirocco specialises in Moroccan flavours. Hervey Bay scallops with Tunisian tomato relish, spanner crab cakes with ruby grapefruit and a coriander salad, big squares of rich pork belly, all crispy skinned with a fennel and radish slaw and a cider dressing. Oooh…better go, I’m starving.