Dining room, Auberge la Cleiade
Auberge la Cleiade, Plampinet, France, July 1, 2013—
LAST NIGHT WE DINED in a refuge, fairly high in the French Alps. You Eat what you're given, with the strangers seated next to you, and you're grateful — if only because, having hiked a number of miles and climbed a number of feet, you're hungry. We had pea soup; slaw with various raw vegetables in it; couscous with cubed pork stewed in tomato sauce, and a brownie. I ate every last bit.
Côtes de Rhône en pichet
• Refuge de Thabor
TODAY'S RATHER LONG hike brought us down to the pleasant, unspoiled hameau of Plampinet, where we are installed in a gîte d'étape, where we eat demi-pension — again, grateful for what we get.
What we got was, first, rémoulade with a glass of unidentified red substance. Dried tomato something? Beets, which I loathe? Dirt? No idea. Whatever it is, it's delicious, and I gobble it down — and then learn it's beets and goat cheese. "Goat cheese changes everything," the server points out.
Afterward, peas, carrots, and chunks of turkey — again, we eat everything. Food tastes and dostastes are frivolous, born of surfeit. And then a not very good mousse au chocolat, which seemed as good as any I've ever tasted. (Except my wife's.)
• Auberge la Cleiade, Plampinet, France