Food Glorious Food!!!

You all know how fond I am of food, so it will come as no surprise that the topic for my blog today is FOOD – well, catering for the wedding……. 🙂 In fact, it’s really amazing that I haven’t written about it sooner!

Once you have decided on the most beautiful of venues, hopefully, Le Manoir, the deliciously glorious food that will be served on your day has the potential to be THE most difficult decision you will have to make in your planning process.

Believe me, us dogs have it much easier as we have a limited range of food on offer, but  it does become very boring!  That’s why I am forced to go on regular sniffing out exercises…….

Angus and bag

and have to rely on the generosity of Roddy and Angela to give me treats.  I have to add, this happens all too infrequently for my liking and as you can see the treats are unacceptably small…….

Angus and treat

Your choices are endless and range from the ultimate French experience, complete with Croquembouche and sparklers (that’s France’s version of the wedding cake – Pinterest has many photographs of them 🙂

croquembouch

to the pizza van that can come on-site or even a BBQ – these, I really like………

Angus and braai

Before you get carried away, think before you jump in with all fours (sorry all twos) and choose the pizza van or the spectacular one off menu, because perhaps it isn’t as straight forward as you might think…….

It doesn’t upset me if I have to eat off the floor, without cutlery, and I certainly don’t need a glass, but these basic requirements for humans aren’t necessarily provided by the caterer.  Some do include them, but often you either have to source them yourself or pay extra……

You might not believe it, but I have a sensitive stomach and I have to watch what I eat….this saddens me greatly and I often try to encourage people to give me food that isn’t necessarily good for me… Who amongst you could resist this face?

Angus face

I am told that some humans have to watch what they eat, too, and some even choose not to eat meat.  So, it’s good to check if your chosen caterer can cope with different requirements, including a children’s menu, if they are being invited.

The other thing is that my sense of smell is 1000 times greater than yours, and let me tell you that even if it smells good it doesn’t necessarily taste good……so, another idea is to find out if your caterer offers a tasting.

So many things to think about that I thought you’d like this little checklist I’ve drawn up for you 🙂

  • Decide how much you wish to spend.
  • Decide what type of food you would like, including dietary requirements of your guests. Don’t forget children’s requirements, too.
  • Check with various caterers in the area to see what they are able to prepare, what they recommend, what they include. (Your venue, like Le Manoir, will no doubt have a few caterers to recommend to you).
  • Ask for quotes.
  • Decide!!!

  • Don’t forget about the tasting – some caterers will give you a tasting before you decide (but you may have to pay) and others only once you’ve booked – so, always ask…
  • Lastly, but at all the least, make sure you get everything in writing 🙂 

Now all there is left for me to say is “Bon Appetit“!!!

And yes, you will have guessed – I’ve just been told my supper is FINALLY ready 🙂

Until next time – Au Revoir

The Road to Le Manoir

You may have been wondering why I have been silent for a while…..well…we’ve been travelling……

It’s not something I like to do very often, especially when I’m so comfortable at Le Manoir, but when I am presented with an offer to return to our homeland of Scotland, then I’m not going to refuse, even if it meant a trip by boat…..

Being away with Roddy and Angela gave me some time to reflect.  And, it occurred to me, what a good opportunity to give you all a little background about how Le Manoir came to have its eclectic mix of furnishings – a kind of  France meets Africa meets Scotland and other parts of the world.

Well, once upon a time there was a Scottish lad called Roddy, who whilst he loved Scotland, loved warmer temperatures and travelling more.   Having married his long time and long suffering girlfriend, Angela, their adventures began.

Their honeymoon was not your conventional sort as it consisted of a boat trip from the UK to South Africa on the mail ship St Helena, because Roddy and Angela were moving to Cape Town. Some would say this was an ill advised choice of transport as the boat was without stabilisers and only 3000 tons and Angela was not a keen sea faring lass.   Predictably, Angela was so sea sick she even thought she was pregnant, whilst Roddy never missed a meal!

St Helena

A challenging start to married life! And it didn’t end there….

Cape Town, where Robyn came along, was followed by Malawi, where Kirstin arrived.

Now, one would think they might just go and take a look to see what was in store, but as with Cape Town, not even the shortest of reconnaissance trips happened. Fortunately, it proved a good choice as they stayed there for a vey happy 16 years.

A surprising transfer to France was next, and enter….moi! (Robyn said a family wasn’t a family without a dog …… How right she was 🙂 )

However, the pull of Africa was always there and they found themselves in Tanzania…..for seven years and then onto their last posting in Mauritius.

Now, let me put it quite succinctly, unlike Roddy and Angela, I do not do hot weather – and thankfully, I wasn’t married to him. So, when they went back to Africa, I went to live with my human grandparents in Scotland; a far better deal for me :). Could I have been more spoilt?? No!  🙂

Eventually, Roddy and Angela’s  African adventures came to an end and the decision was where to settle…..France was seen as a good compromise…..close enough to family and with better weather than Scotland……..

All their possessions gathered from the countries they had called home and those from their holidays, arrived at Le Manoir.  Treasured possessions that now sit comfortably in their French surroundings, creating a unique atmosphere – one that you need to visit to appreciate.

Mind you, Nicole and I do find it a bit difficult to communicate with these Africans….

Padding around Le Manoir it comes to me, that their travels epitomise everything that a marriage or relationship should include – commitment, taking leaps of faith and compromise.

Who in their right mind goes on a boat for their honeymoon knowing that they will be seasick?  Who goes to work and live in countries they haven’t even visited and checked out before? Just a couple of examples, but if they hadn’t – what experiences, what adventures would they have missed out on…… ??

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So keep all this in mind as you start planning your wedding and your lives ahead.  Be committed, take that leap of faith and a couple of risks along the way – you’ll never know what will happen next 🙂

 

Nicole

All the lovely readers of my first blog and this one, will have noticed my partner in crime in the main photo, a beautiful French lady.  What, you didn’t notice the most attractive blue and white, instantly recognisable, 2CV????   Although, sometimes aloof and bossy, Nicole, for that is her name, is an incurable romantic, unlike me, and I have to confess we make a good team…..

Looking for Nicole took quite some time – all of two years.  They are the epitome of French cars and greatly sought after, as we were quick to learn.

Our search took us all over Europe (via the Internet, of course) and there were many false starts.  So, where did we find the lovely Nicole…….Yorkshire!!  Yes, a well known part of France, not!  And she is a left-hand drive.

She had been lovingly restored by a gentleman, who due to a change of circumstances had to say a fond adieu to her.  You can imagine how sad she was, but what joy when she realised she was returning to her beloved France.

2016-07-15-JAM-126[7642]There was some urgency to get her here as Kirstin’s wedding was just around the corner and she was a crucial element – she had to get Kirstin to the church…….in La Sauvetat du Dropt.

Everyone came together and she drove all the way here in just two days – she’s amazing – and she made a lot of friends along the way.  So many people waved, smiled and hooted at her.  It made the entire journey so much fun; even the drivers of Roddy, David and George deserve a mention.

When she arrived, we discovered that we had two things in common, we love all the fuss we receive when visitors come to Le Manoir and we love having our photos taken.  We both agree that whoever is taking the photos, they have to be GOOD……we need to make sure, even on a bad day, we look our absolute best.

Photographs form such an important part of our lives – they can tell a story, capture moments of our lives, help create happy memories and when everything else has gone, often only these photos survive!  And Le Manoir has plenty of perfect picture places, as one photographer commented, there’s one around every corner.

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Therefore, we all need to be sure, just as sure as we are of everything else, that we choose the right photographer.  Nicole and I have drawn up a few pointers to help you:

1 Do lots of research….Do you know what style you like?  Check lots of Blogs, Pinterest, Websites.

2 Don’t trust recommendations – Check the photographer out yourself.

3 If a relative or friend is volunteered or offers to take the photos for free.  Check them out, too. Remember that when the flowers have wilted, the photos will still be with you.

4 If at all possible, organise a chat with the photographer – phone or Skype.

We hope we’ve given you some food for thought – ah food – it’s calling again – until next time – Au Revoir!

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A New Blog and New Beginnings

DSC_0447 (2)Spring has Sprung and what a better time to start our blog!  A time of new beginnings and lots of new smells to investigate…….blossom is all around in the wild garden, daffodils, hyacinths and daisies are in abundance; and there’s sunshine, plenty of sunshine to sleep in.

Before we go any further, allow me to introduce myself, I’m the much loved, rather distinguished, and very wise Westie (West Highland Terrier) of Roddy and Angela Sharp, the owners of the beautiful Le Manoir du Bout du Pont, and my name is Angus.DSC_4699 - Copie

Roddy and Angela are always busy maintaining and improving the property. My human sister, Robyn, already helps with the FaceBook and Instagram. So, I volunteered to undertake this exciting project for them.

Who better than moi, I thought, and I’m sure you will agree, to comment on the daily goings on at Le Manoir du Bout du Pont and to impart words of wisdom, of which, of course, I have many, to those embarking on marriage, an event or a holiday?  After all, I have led such a varied life; living in Belgium, where I was born, Paris, where I spent my youth and Scotland, where I looked after my human grandparents, before returning to France.

Our story begins with my other human sister, Kirstin, receiving a Valentine’s note from a geeky kid called Chris when they were still at school….and after a LONG romance, he finally proposed!

This news triggered more than a year of work as we set about transforming Le Manoir for The Big Day.

I oversaw a lot of the work. I would describe myself as very cool under pressure, but a lorry being stuck in the mud in our lovely courtyard, only four months before The Big Day, was cause of great concern……

But it all came together and it went from this:IMG_4031

to this:

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What a wonderful four days it was; family and friends gathering from all over the world, a golf day just along the road, a hen and men party day, and the wedding and recovery days.

The wedding itself was superb – this venue is magical – everything flows effortlessly.  And I flowed very effortlessly, too, between the tables looking for titbits, having my photo taken and lapping up all of the attention I received.  I did look very handsome, but I digress……

It’s as if Le Manoir was always meant to make people happy and it is no surprise that Roddy and Angela want to share it with you.

Knowing how special your wedding day is, they offer the personal touch, being as approachable and as helpful as possible.

Having such a wonderful venue means you are now free to relax and enjoy focusing on all the fun details of flowers, decoration, choosing your cake and your favourite food.

Food?  Did I mention food? My supper time calls and I’m off to ask for some help!! So, until next time, as they say here – Au revoir 🙂