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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pranzo - La Piola

Taking a break from cooking to enjoy a leisurely lunch at La Piola.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Alba - Giorno 15

While enjoying our morning coffee at Douce Maison we notice this sign - oh my an Oktoberfest party with porchetta all through the night!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alba - Giorno 14

There's been some work happening around the market - the carpark area will become the arena for the Palio and as you can see, they are working to get the seating up in time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alba - Giorno 13

Monday morning (like all mornings) begins with coffee

this time we visited Caffe Rossetti on Piazza Rossetti just beside the Duomo.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Festa Del Vino 2011

*WARNING: This is a photo heavy post*

While having a glass of wine, or two at Vin Cafe recovering from Slow Cheese 2011 we spied a flyer advertising something called "Festa Del Vino" even my rudimentary Italian understood that, and my even more rudimentary German understood "Das Weinfest" Reading inside it looks as if there are twenty two wineries showing about 100 wines. Right up our alley, literally since we walk out of our front door into stand four.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alba - Giorno 11

It's Saturday and time for the market - not only do we have the regular market supersized we've also got the Slow Food Market going on in the Piazza behind us.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Alba - Giorno 10

We can't start off another day without coffee and with so many excellent cafes around us, why would we bother having one at home?

On the way back we notice some new signs have been going up...

be still my white truffle heart.

Cena - Osteria dei Sognatori

Not really in the mood for cooking tonight we're decided to head back to the Osteria for another meal - hopefully we'll be able to eat it all this time.

Always a good sign - a bulging basket of breads.

Monforte d'Alba

Serralunga d'Alba

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Alba - Giorno 9

Thursday is market day and I thought I'd start with some photos from the market.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alba - Giorno 8

For breakfast we once again went to what has become our favourite coffee spot La Douce Maison especially when the brioche have just come from the oven and are lovely and warm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alba - Giorno 7

With Slow Cheese done and dusted we can now just enjoy being in Alba and we began the day with coffee at Di Baya Saida

and ended with Arneis at Vincafe

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cena - Osteria dei Sognatori

After a full day at Slow Cheese we decide to take it easy with a late dinner at Osteria dei Sognatori.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alba - Giorno 5

We should have been at Slow Cheese today but we're feeling a bit cheesed off so we've decide to stay home today. On our early morning walk for coffee and brioche, we ponder a serious question - are there truly Irish pubs everywhere?


Vincafé is one of the winebars that our host Mario has recommended and as we're walking past it on the way back from seeing the Bersaglieri, it seems a good opportunity to pause and enjoy a wine or two.

There's a constantly changing selection of 50 to 100 wines by the glass - the menu of which is written on a chalkboard on the rear wall. What makes you do a double take are the prices that range from €2 to €6 (that's for a Barolo!) a glass - when was the last time a glass of wine was that cheap (and actually drinkable) in Australia?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alba - Giorno 4

It's Saturday which means it's market day. Now, when Mario told us that the Saturday market was big and basically took over the town, he wasn't exaggerating. In fact, as soon as we walked out our door, there it was. I think you know I might just have squealed a little.

Cena - La Piola

Slow Cheese 2011 - Day 2

Today it's all about the taste workshops and we will be attending three.

The notes of which can be found in their respective posts:

LCH07 - Roquefort - The King of Cheeses
LCH10 - On the Verge of Extinction: Alpine Beaufort
LCH12 - Giarolo's Bounty

Taste Workshop LCH10

On the Verge of Extinction: Alpine Beaufort
4pm Sala Liceo Scientificio

The pearl of the Savoy Alps, Beaufort is a large, hard, raw cow's milk cheese with a distinctive concave rind, now mostly produced in cooperative dairies in the lowlands. Hervé Mons, an affineur from Saint-Haon-le-Châtel and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, will lead a tasting of cheeses from one of the last mountain producers of Beaufort, the Perret family of La Tueda. The cheeses are aged for months in caves in an old railway tunnel. You'll taste a winter Beaufort (aged for 16 months), a summer Beaufort (14 months) and an Alpine Beaufort (14 months), paired with red and white wines from Savoy, a region whose wines are undeservedly little-known.

Ready for the next class

Taste Workshop LCH07

LCH07 - Taste Workshop - Roquefort, The King of Cheeses
Held: 1pm Sala Liceo Scientifico

Perhaps the world's best-known blue cheese, Roquefort is named after the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in Aveyron. Here, following ancient tradition and a strict production protocol, the cheese ages for months in the natural limestone caves of the Grands Causses. The tasting will be led by Xavier Thuret, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a prestigious recognition for French craftspeople) and technical consultant to the Société Roquefort, which unites the seven existing producers. You'll discover the nuances of the seven cheeses, pairing them with dry and sweet wines from different denominations: Bordeaux (Sauternes and Barsac), Loire (Coteaux du Layon), Alsace (Haut-Rhine), Roussillon (Rivesaltes) and Vallée du Rhône (Beaume de Venise).

Waiting for the workshop to start

Friday, September 16, 2011

Alba - Giorno 3

We're in need of a coffee or two to start the day so it's a good excuse to explore more of the city.

Slow Cheese 2011 - Day 1

Since we weren't able to get into any of the classes today, we've decided to spend our time at the Gran Sala dei Formaggi ed Enoteca (Great Hall of Cheese and Enoteca). We learnt from our previous visit to Slow Cheese that leaving this for the last day meant that most of the interesting wines and cheeses weren't available.

Entrance to the Great Hall costs €8 and you get a wine glass and glass holder as well as one cheese tasting voucher and one wine tasting voucher and if you are a Slow Food member it's €4.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alba - Giorno 2

Our objectives for today are simple - check out the market and lunch at Piazza Duomo and to get the day underway, naturally enough, we need coffee.

Pranzo - Piazza Duomo

To misquote Shakin' Stevens, "Pink Door, What's the secret you're keepin'?"

The answer arguable could be - the best meal we've ever had.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alba - Giorno 1

We've been to Porta Susa before so we thought leaving the station to meet up with our host Mario would be easy - we didn't foresee the fact that Porta Susa is pretty much a bomb site.

Through a serious of what must have been wrong turns we end up on a street somewhere in Turin - with no train station in sight. It was like walking out of the Flinders Street underpass and finding yourself in Ringwood.

It's in the mid 30's and humid and the thought of dragged our bags back down those stairs in the hope of finding another exit was beyond us. Luckily we had Mario's number and eventually managed to find the name of the street we were on.

Fifteen minutes later we where in Mario's car being happily quenching our thirst with chilled bottles of water (he really did think ahead!) and making our way through Turin's street towards our final destination - Alba.

We've rented an apartment from Mario and we'll be here for 3 weeks - and just like Paris, we have an excellent view.

Cena - La Bottega del Vicoletto

As we wandered off through the streets we headed to the closet of Mario's suggestions to find that it is closed on Wednesdays. Oh well,  we continued on and managed to get a seat at another of his recommended places - La Bottega del Vicoletto.

Train - Paris to Torino

We're both going to miss this apartment - fantastic position and wonderfully decorated, special mention to the unbelievable fantastic bed, I am so going to buy a King Koil when we get back - the kitchen is fine for shorter stays but for longer periods I'd be looking for something a little more fitted out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Paris - Jour 7

It's our last full day in Paris and time to savour the view from our apartment - I don't think I could get tired of that view.

Dejeuner - Au Pied du Cochon

Au Pied du Cochon is a Paris institution - it's been running non-stop since 1947, staying open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round.

E. Dehillerin

No visit to Paris would be complete without a visit to the shrine of Kitchenalia Dehillerin.

Eglise Saint-Eustache

My first view of the Eglise Saint-Eustache was this

Place Maubert Market

First stop today is the Place Maubert Market.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paris - Jour 6

We've got a few things planned for today - first up is a trip on the batobus

Dejeuner - Le Train Bleu

Le Train Bleu is located inside the Gare de Lyon station and has been in operation since 1901.

When you know what lays behind the door, the appearance of the entrance to Le Train Bleu seems a bit out of place.

Basilique du Sacre-Coeur

You must visit Sacre-Coeur was the advice given by my mother and her advice on what to see in the past has been spot on. There are probably easier ways to get here than our route but I've got no real desire to use the Metro especially when the weather is warm and muggy.

If you take one of the hop-on-off tour buses it will drop you off a good block from the base of the complex - from there you'll have to walk up one of the streets lined with touts and scammers playing 3 card monty.

Once you reach the base you have the choice - a long steep walk along a path that zig zags up the hill or take the venicular.  Oh, if you take the venicular a word of advice - don't mistake the queue for the toilet for the queue to buy tickets for the ride.

For some reason on the day we're here only one of the veniculars are working - so the trip takes a little longer than it should. Keep an eye out on the counter - it lets you know how many spaces are available in the car and theoretically once it reaches zero no one else can enter and the car will leave. I say theoretically because it doesn't stop experienced gypsies from bumming a lift up.

Once you reach the top it's really a few short paces before you see Sacre-Coeur.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Paris - Jour 5

It's a quiet morning after last nights feast at Restaurant L'AOC and lunch is a casual affair with Curtis and Leigh.

All too soon it's time to bid them farewell as they return home but we're hoping that there will be another get together in Italy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Paris - Jour 4

Still haven't got over the jetlag so we're up quite early but it allow us to enjoy the lovely view of Notre Dame.

Diner - Restaurant L'AOC

We've been inside for most of the afternoon in air-conditioned comfort so it's a bit of a shock to the system when we step outside for the walk to Restaurant L'AOC. It's quite balmy and I'd much rather be inside but from past experience, our destination will be well worth it.


Friday, September 09, 2011

Paris - Jour 3

For breakfast this morning Paalo is enjoying Coconut yoghurt while I have found something that I've absolutely fallen in love with

Place Monge Market

You'll find this market conviently nestled around the Place Monge Metro and is open Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Paris - Jour 2

Even though we have the most amazingly comfortable bed in this apartment, jet-lag sees us awake at some ungodly hour.

As we have plenty of time we take the long way round to the Place Maubert Market and stop for breakfast at Café Segafredo.