Monday, July 1, 2013

Refuge and Gîte

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

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