Cherries

Cherries

A month in which the residents of the Quercy prepare for the long, hot summer season. All along the boulevard in Cahors the little cafes and boulangeries that fringe this wonderful street have laid tables and chairs on the wide pavements. The established restaurants and bistros billow out in all directions screened from the road by strategically placed oleanders and potted olive trees. Short-sleeved waiters shimmy back and forth with trays brimming with the evocative drinks of summer, Perrier menthe and Coca Cola – in a bottle of course – cool foaming beers, Orangina and delicious iced tea. A deft hand removes the bottle tops whilst still balancing the loaded tray on the other hand – how do they do that?
I staggered back from Cahors market last Wednesday, my basket full of damp lettuces, tiny new courgettes – flowers still attached – vast tomatoes weighing half a kilo each and a huge paper bag of gloriously fragrant cherries. And as I emerged onto the busy Boulevard Gambetta, the café chair beckoned so enticingly that I plumped down for a long cool drink in the heady atmosphere of the pre-lunch bustle.
My waiter smiled as he rattled a glass on the table, the bottom covered with the distinctive green liquid that’s the base for my favourite soft drink. A quick, ‘Voila Madame’ as he prised the top off my Perrier and he was away with the next order. I smiled and leaned back in my chair. I was just six feet from the traffic on the boulevard, but I may as well have been six miles. The oleander blossom brushed my arm, the sun slanted through the gaps in the huge parasol and I was in my element.
Meanwhile in the mairies and on the petanque courts prolonged discussions are taking place about the requisite summer productions. They’ve been at it for the past week or more, it’s a serious business, vast quantities of wine are required to facilitate proceedings, the sun shines benevolently down and a good time is had by all.
And as the little villages of the Quercy prepare for their fetes and other summer celebrations, I am preparing a little production of my own.
Over the three years that I’ve been writing this column, I have received, with total delight, hundreds of emails, mostly asking for the same thing, a little bit more. And so I have done just that, sharpened my fingertips and written a book.
I would like to present:

White Stone Black Wine

Life among the ancient vineyards of the Quercy Blanc

White Stone Black Wine

White Stone Black Wine

A light-hearted and whimsical romp through the lovely Quercy Blanc, one of the last undiscovered corners of Southern France. A little more personal and a little more informative than the newsletter introductions, it’s nevertheless pretty similar in content; generously slanted towards the regional specialities, markets, fêtes and famed local wines.
It is (the publishers say…) as light as a soufflé, just as delicious and will fall very happily into a holiday suitcase.

“An absolute jewel of a book. Beautifully written, brimming with stories, delicious descriptions and irresistible joie de vivre. It takes you right there, you’ll never want to leave.”
Barbara Machin – EMMY and BAFTA award winning screenwriter.

Click Here to Order A Signed Copy (€11 plus postage)

White Stone Black Wine is also available from Amazon, most other online stores and all good bookshops in the UK and Quercy.

I very much hope you will enjoy it.

© Amanda Lawrence 2008

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White Stone Black Wine Published from French Vie

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