stephmodo: A PIcnic Along the Dordogne River

A PIcnic Along the Dordogne River

• 30 October 2012

Tonight we watched delightful film, Chocolat, with friends both old and new.  Our hostess provided several chocolate treats for us to enjoy during the viewing (a must during the scene when Juliette Binoche mixes her first batch!), thanks to her recent return from France.  We were all so grateful she took the time to fill her suitcase and plan this little get together.  Throughout the night I kept thinking how I need to be better about organizing gatherings and parties more often.  Isn't it so nice to be invited over?  And to hang out with friends after the kiddies are in bed?  And to remember what uninterrupted conversation feels like? (bless their little hearts).  I daresay "yes" to all of the above!

During the film we spotted the portion of the Dordogne River right in front of Beynac and I remembered that I hadn't posted images yet from the last day of the food styling and photography workshop with Aran.  So here it 4...

The morning started with a tour of the Château de Beynac, perched atop the cliff you see in the image below.  This Medieval fortress was built in 1137 (or at least that is when construction began) and is one of the best preserved in France.  If you've seen the movie Ever After, perhaps you recognize it as the home of the creepy man who wanted Drew Barrymore's affection...

After bouts of rain on and off during the week, we were so happy for the sunshine that morning.  Following the tour of the castle, the group slowly meandered down the cobblestone path to the river below, stopping for a moment at La Maisonnette where I was prepping our lunch picnic.  I had in mind a spot where my own family picnicked often during our renovation and hoped it would be comfortable for everyone that day (i.e. sans soggy ground from the previous night's rainfall).  Thankfully we were in luck!

Putting together this picnic was one of my favorite parts of the workshop.  Eating on location requires more effort, but once you are there with all of your supplies, it is so worth it (Jordan shares some great tips about this subject here). There are few things better than a simple, but delicious meal...with a view.

I brought my newest pie box style for the occasion (which will be in the shop soon) and filled them with 2 kinds of quiche--one with morels (my all-time favorite fungi) and one with lardons and gruyère .  I also brought a basket of little yogurts in glass jars, as well as cheese, baguettes, fruit, greens, charcuterie and chocolates.  I spent many moments looking around at all the wonderful women attending the workshop and how grateful I was to get to know them better in this beautiful setting.  If only we could all dine together there...I would love that!

If you are interested in their posts about the workshop, and/or previous posts I wrote about the workshop, take a peek at these links:  

Day 3  |  Day 2  |  Day 1

Also, I'd like to share some of our guests' posts with you too.  Whether they posted on their personal or professional blogs (i.e. Martha and La Cucina Italiana!), all of them are beautiful posts and all very much different from each other:   

Jennifer  |  Kathleen  |  Leen  |  Tracey  |  Juliana  |  Emanuela


  1. hello! i've seen both Chocolat and Ever After, it's great to see where they were filmed! it is a very nice and inspiring post :)

  2. Anna, thank you for your note...I love your comments!

  3. Ahhhhhh, there we are sitting by the river without a care in the world. Gonna head out to get myself some darn chocolate, I'm craving it now !!!!

  4. Oh my! The last photo is my favorite! That place is so beautiful :D

  5. A picnic there looks so peaceful!

  6. What a memorable last day! I just love picnics.

  7. Where did you get that market basket that the pie boxes are in? It's wonderful.

  8. Hi Donna, we actually purchased that in France and left it at La Maisonnette. But if I ever see something similar over here, I will post about it!


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