Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

Happy 2014 to all my followers and anyone else who happens to find themselves reading this blog, by mistake or otherwise!!  We had an early night last night and did not see the New Year in, but we did celebrate in style with a New Year luncheon.  We revisited the restaurant La Grange aux Oies (The goose barn) at the Nieuil Chateau, having booked last November. The place had been packed on both of our previous visits and on this special occasion, we felt it was unlikely to be any different! It wasn't! The food was up to its usual impeccable standard, service was brilliant, no rush, and two and a half hours later we left, feeling very well fed.  You can visit the restaurant website HERE .

Entering  the gateway to the château.

Nieuil chateau.  It appears that the château was originally a hunting lodge of Francis 1st of France in the 15th century. In 1937, it was one of the first châteaux of France to be converted into a hotel.

The first client of 2014 crosses the threshold into the restaurant.  This building, just opposite the château, was originally the stables of the hunting lodge; you will note on the photo below that the hay racks still remain as decoration.

On arrival....

and a few minutes later, all seats were taken.  

The menu

Champagne to start, cheers...

Table decoration and the rose was real.

Amuse-bouches - or what was left of them when I remembered the camera!

Different wine with almost every course.

Foie gras de canard with nutty bread.  Generally this is something neither of us will eat on principle but when it is part of the standard menu....

Scallops and oysters. 

Red wine with the main course, but I must have moved the camera and the picture was  blurred, so you will have to believe me when I say that the chicken with chestnut stuffing was very good!

The cheese course,

and the delightful dessert.

Café noir finished off a beautiful meal, (2 cups), with petit fours which  also suffered from camera shake.  Too many glasses of wine I suspect :-))

What more can anyone want to see in 2014; we certainly enjoyed every minute of this amazing experience.


73 comments:

  1. Happy to read that you went out , and wow what a place to go. I saw New Year in , but it was a push to stay awake lol lol take care xox

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    1. Anne we needed the break and what a place to take it. Take care xox Diane

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  2. A marvelous way to celebrate the arrival of 2014, such great photos that I can live vicariously :) Happy New Year!

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    1. Denise we will be looking back at this day for some time to come I think. Thanks for the good wishes. Diane

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  3. Thank you for taking us along. It all looks most fabulous. Now that's the way to celebrate!

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    1. Rossaria you are right celebrations like this are not common in our lives but we did enjoy this one. Keep well Diane

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  4. Wishing you and your husband a very Happy New Year Diane:) Lovely photos as always!
    ~Anne

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    1. Thanks Anne for the good wishes hope that 2014 is a good year for you. Diane

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  5. What a lovely menu! I really enjoy to go to fancy restaurants once in a while and this one would not disappoint me.
    Happy new year to you and Nigel! Wishing you only the best and good weather (no extremes).

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    1. Nadege thanks for the good wishes and we hope you have a great 2014. We never used to go out to a meal in the UK, so busy trying to save for retirement in a short period as the pension from S.Africa is laughable. It is great that we can now spoil ourselves on a special occasion. Take care Diane

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  6. Wow, what a fantastic place to have dinner, have a Happy New Year from Canada.

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    1. Thanks Horst and all the best to you for 2014. Diane

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  7. what a wonderful looking meal! a very happy new year to you!

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    1. Thanks Jaz it was very special and a day to remember. Hope that 2014 is a good year for you. Diane

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  8. What a lovely way to bring in the New Year!
    And when you know of a good restaurant - stick to it!
    Did you enjoy the Coteaux du Layon? I used to love those wines.....if not the foie gras!

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    1. Fly it was very special meal and we enjoyed every moment of it. As for the Coteaux du Layon, it is a wine that we did not know at all. We both found the taste very different though we did not dislike it, I have to say it was a perfect combination with the dish. I think we were/are fond of South African wines and we are still finding our way after all this time with French wines. There are very few Red French wines I enjoy though N seems to enjoy them, as for white I do enjoy French ones though generally I still prefer S,A. Recently I have discovered a Californian Rose which I love. Think my taste keeps changing with age!! Have a great 2014 Diane

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  9. Happy New Year to you and Nigel! May the year 2014 be better than ever!

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    1. Thanks Joyful and we wish you all the best as well. Diane and Nigel

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  10. What a beautiful meal Diane. The scallops and oysters are gorgeous and what a great idea to serve the nutty bread with the foie gras. We hardly ever stay up to see the new year in. Bonne année to you and Nigel and best wishes for the new year.
    Sam

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    1. Sam I cannot remember the last time we saw New Year in, getting too much for us in our old age!! Hope that you have a great 2014 and that you back improves rapidly. Diane

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  11. What a lovely place Diane and the food looks delightful. Wishing you a wonderful 2014!!

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    1. Thanks Joan the food was brilliant, Hope 2014 brings you all you wish for yourself. Diane

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  12. Oh my how grand your pictures are!!! It must have been wonderful!!! Happy New Year!!

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    1. Thanks Cathy, nothing like being spoilt on the first day of the year :-) Have a great 2014 Diane

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    2. Cathy I have tried to visit your site but Google Plus causes me major problems and I am unable to get into many sites that have moved to it. I cancelled GP because of this!! Diane

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  13. I'd never get past the second course with all that wine. :)
    Welcome home.

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    1. Gaelyn it was really not that difficult. Very relaxed, arrival at 12h10 and we only left at 14h30, It was very special, and we are happy to be home. Take care Diane

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  14. Now this is not the post to read when one is trying to lose weight and is hungry. It looks a divine place and meal. Do they have an English menue for the likes of me who can't speak French. The Chateau is a pretty picture.

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    1. Diane not really a big problem if on diet, the servings are enough but they do not overload you. The wine would be the most calories but then you drink in moderation. No the menu so far as I know is only in French but there are a couple of waiters who can speak English who would help out if required. It was a great day out. Take care Diane

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  15. Happy New Year!
    Everything looks so good!

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    1. Thanks Ola and the same to you. It was good! Keep well Diane

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  16. What a delightful way to start the year, Diane.

    Best wishes for 2014 to you both.

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    1. Gaynor it could not have been better, Hope 2014 brings you all you wish yourselves. Diane

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  17. Hello Diane,
    Many thanks for your kind wishes!
    That sounds like a great New Year luncheon and the place looks fabulous!
    Kings definitely new how to treat themselves!
    Happy New Year to you too, may it bring you all that you wish for and a great health!
    Keep well, both of you!!

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    1. Thanks Noushka, yes the Kings and Lords in the old days certainly knew how to live it up, hunting, fishing and eating!!
      Keep well Diane xx

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  18. Happy New Year, Diane. I hope it brings you and Nigel good health and m ny happy moments.

    And your lunch looks very delicious.

    Red

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    1. Thanks Red, and all the very best to you as well. The meal was delicious :-) Take care Diane.

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  19. Happy New Year to you both! What a way to start 2014. The food looks absolutely delicious. Wish I could have been there ... :) Martine

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    1. Wish you could have been also Martine, it was a fabulous meal with great service. Maybe we will catch up with each other again in 2014, hope so. All the very best for 2014.

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  20. Hi Diane, Happy New Year to you and family. Very impressive fine dinning, food look awesome. Excellent photography skill.

    Have a nice day, regards.

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    1. Thanks for the greetings and visit Amelia and thanks for the kind comment, Pity I hashed up the photo of the main course!! Have a great 2014. Diane

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  21. Hi Diane, that looks like a real treat! What a lovely place to go to celebrate the New Year. I was relieved to read your comment about the foie gras.
    A very Happy New Year to you too.

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    1. It really was a treat. I think the few of us not eating foie gras on principle will never help the poor ducks and geese it is too popular here but we keep trying. Thanks for the comment.

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  22. I am glad that you had an enjoyable treat, you needed it. I would agree about eating foie gras. If it is on the plate I would eat some of it then give the rest to Lester. It is delicious, but I cannot get out of my head the way in which the ducks are treated. Just as well we eat our own food most of the time, because I am starting to get a dislike about not knowing the history of the meat when we eat elsewhere.
    Lovely photos, Diane, and glad you had a nice intro to 2014.

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    1. Thanks Vera, I agree I feel so sorry for the ducks, what a life! To say we needed that great intro to 2014 is so true, I could write a book on the past month and the saga continues! Take care and keep well Diane

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  23. Happy New Year, Diane! It looks like you had a beautiful meal, but I'm most envious over those gates; I'd love to have them in front of my house. I'm looking forward to reading more of your adventures in 2014.

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    1. Marjie from what you have said about your house those gates would look perfect at your entrance. I hope to be a better blogger this year but I am not good at keeping New Year resolutions! Keep well Diane

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  24. that is an impressive way to start a new year, Diana
    my very best wishes to you and yours,
    anni

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    1. Many thanks and I agree it is very impressive. A special place for a special occasion ;-) Diane

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  25. Hi Diane .. that looks so good - and I agree re the foie gras ... but I'd have definitely eaten it. What an amazing restaurant .. and so lovely you had that to look forward to on your return from the UK .. The menu sounds positively delicious .. oh how wonderful to read about ...

    Thanks for sharing and I hope all goes well for your continuing journeys in and around Charente - Happy New Year ... cheers from a very wet England - Hilary

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    1. Hilary I would never order foie gras but if it is on the set menu then I will eat it. Think this is only the second time I have ever had it.

      It is good to be back home at least we feel warmer here. We were cold the whole time we were in the UK. It is also quite wet here and the garden is saturated!

      Take care Diane

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  26. What a wonderful celebration and meal you had! all sound so delicious! Happy New Year Diane!

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    1. It was fantastic. Thanks for the good wishes. Diane

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  27. Wow Diane. The chateau looks to be an amazing place, and that menu looks superb! I share your sentiments about the foie gras but sometimes one just has to put one's conscience away!

    Hoping that all your wishes for 2014 come to fruition, and looking forward to following your blog through the year.

    Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard. Great excitement here this evening, two Little Owls sitting on the electricity pylon by our back door. The camera sadly was upstairs and it would probably have been too dark, but it was wonderful to see them.

      Thanks for the good wishes. Diane

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  28. How elegant, Dianne. The food and the surroundings in which it was served look astounding. Health and happiness in the New Year. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Very elegant Mary and thanks so much for the good wishes. Take care Diane

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  29. Beautiful place! Love the entranceway. Happy New Year, Diane.

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    1. I agree it is stunning. Have a good 2014 and thanks for the good wishes Diane

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  30. Happy New Year to you! Everything looks wonderful!

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    1. Thanks Linda, it was a wonderful day out, Hope 2014 is good to you. Diane

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  31. Happy New Year to you! And the food look so Yummy!!!
    Greetings, from Holland, RW & SK

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    1. The food was very yummy :-) Have a good 2014 Diane

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  32. Beautiful place, beautiful food, Happy New year Dear Diane!!

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    1. Thanks Gloria and the same to you. Keep well Diane

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  33. Oh what a stunning venue - it does look very grande. Your meal sounds and looks absolutely delicious. Hope you are both well Diane :))

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    1. Thanks Ellie it is an amazing venue and they make you feel very special. Have a great week Diane

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  34. Diane!! What a delightful way to start the year. Things can only get better when they start this way. Big hugs

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    1. Thanks Pamela, it was a fabulous meal and a very special way to start the New Year. Hope the 2014 is a good year for you. Diane

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  35. happy new year, diane, I just went in to the website and saw more photos of the dining hall, very nice place and the food looks absolutely delicious!

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    1. Thanks Lena and I hope you have a great 2014 as well. The restaurant is excellent and fabulous for that special meal. Diane

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