Tag Archives: rosé

Fulham Palace Picnic

Summer is fleeting. Before we know it, August will be gone and with it those sunlit balmy days perfect for an afternoon playing outdoors. Saturday I woke up with the curtains fluttering in the breeze and a radiant blue sky peeking through the window. It was a day so glorious, practically tugging me out of bed – a day that screamed “picnic”!

So we packed up the hamper and made a break for Fulham Palace to claim our perfect grassy patch in the sun.

Fulham Palace London

Picnic Fulham Palace London

Blankets laid out, we plunked ourselves down, cranked up BBC Radio 6, and uncorked an icy bottle of rosé. As if the planet’s hottest supercouple Brangelina haven’t done enough to better this world, now they give us this beautiful pale pink vintage from their Provencal estate.

A tip for judging rosé wines – the paler pink the color, the better. Pale peach and blush colored wines (like Provence and Pinot Noir varieties) are crisp and dry, while the bright fuscia and coral tinted ones (such as White Zinfandel) contain extra sugar making them sweet.

Picnic Roberts Radio Miraval Rose Wine Fulham Palace

Toasting the Jolie-Pitts, I scurried off for a glimpse inside the Palace’s walled garden. I felt like I was sneaking in, despite it being open to the public, because there wasn’t another soul in sight! I admired the flowering beds of this beautiful oasis before scampering back to headquarters and flopping down in the sun.

Miraval Rose Wine glass Fulham Palace Picnic

Fulham Palace Walled Garden

Fulham Palace Walled Garden Beds

Picnic Fulham Palace Walled Garden Flowers

New Yorker Picnic Blanket

Looking up at the sky, watching the clouds drift by, I took turns browsing my magazine and catnapping.

Picnic Clouds Blue Sky

Picnic Reading The New Yorker

When we got hungry, we cracked open the hamper and tucked into some summery British foodstuffs – chargrilled, lemony asparagus starter…

Picnic Open Hamper Fulham Palace London

Picnic Asparagus

Followed by something a little more American (well, South American)… chimichurri bavette steak with southwestern quinoa salad and fresh sriracha gaucamole.

Picnic Steak Bavette Guac

And something unquestionably American, bold and spicy Buffalo wings!

(I’m not the biggest fan but my redcoat hubby loves them!)

Picnic Whole Foods Wings

Picnic Watermelon Fulham Palace

Picnic Watermelon Break Share Fulham Palace

Picnic Watermelon Sunny Fulham Palace

Picnic Watermelon Fulham Palace Bite

We spent hours out in the sun. When we ran out of things to read and nibble and chat about, we staggered up and slowly strolled back home.

Picnic Dress Fulham Palace

Le Club 55

Lunch at Club 55 is a Saint-Tropez institution – and it’s always the first place I make a beeline for upon my arrival in the French Riviera. This shabby chic beach club offers everything you could possibly need for a day on Pampelonne beach: a popular restaurant, a luxury gift shop and, of course, the sea!

I arrived mid-morning and padded up the decked path lugging my straw beach tote to claim a prime waterfront spot for my lounger.

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You can tell it’s nearly lunchtime when the super yachts start to converge near to the coast. Celebrities are shuttled in on inflatable dinghys to the club launch as everyone makes their way to the restaurant behind the dunes.

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I sprang for the crab special to start, followed by the gambas, which I dunked with fervor in the tamarind aioli. Simple, light dishes – mostly grilled – and presented with minimal fanfare.

On the way back to the beach, I popped into the boutique for a souvenir – which was quite an ordeal with so many beautiful things to chose from!

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I whiled away the rest of the afternoon’s golden rays sipping citron pressé at the beach bar, swimming, and prowling up and down the launch waiting for my ship to come in…

Only I think it already has.

Château de Berne Wine Tasting

Temperatures in Provence have been sweltering this summer, and a day at a private estate sampling the region’s famed rosé sounded like just the ticket.

You can find Château de Berne down a long shady lane amongst 1,500 acres of olive trees and vineyards in the heart of the Var region. The winery produces a full range of award-winning wines, but is particularly known for its rosé.

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Chateau de Berne

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I had a quick tour of the grounds. The rose bushes at the end of the vineyards indicated that the vines were in good nick. The grapes were plump and waxy. And the tractor was running just fine.

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And now into the winery to sample the harvest!

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Tastings and shop

Tastings and shop

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The cellars

The cellars

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Grande Cuvée Rosé 2011

Grande Cuvée Rosé 2011

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My favorite - Cuvée Sauvage (Rosé) Brut

My favorite – Cuvée Sauvage (Rosé) Brut

We followed our wine tasting with a light lunch at Le Bistrot.

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Tapas

Tapas

Lemon meringue tart

Lemon meringue tart

And a final romp around the beautifully landscaped grounds!

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The rosé and heat had me feeling flushed. As we were leaving I accidentally walked into an electric fence and got zapped! I was literally shocked by what a great time I had at Chateau le Berne. Santé!