Friday, April 27, 2007


We were scheduled to meet up with another potential RV exchange couple in a tiny town (less than 3,000 population) called Velleron in the region Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur. The folks that we met were originally from Australia (him) and Germany (her) although they have lived in Velleron for the past 35 years in the 200 year old house shown here.
Our visitees invited us to join them for dinner at the house - soon to be a restaurant - of a friend of theirs who was anxious to practice his culinary skills. Well, if a cosmopolitan group was required, this one didn't do too badly. Present were a couple of real estate developers from Boston, USA, a plump German businessman from Munich with his trophy wife who seemed game for anything (and anybody), the ex-Australian and the ex-German, the wannabe Chef Udu and his long suffering wife, their "consultant" over whom they fawned ceaselessly and us two weirdoes. Also present was a dog that kept the kitchen and table area clear of scraps and a couple of cats that behaved like FDA inspectors, taste checking many of the numerous ingredients gracing the kitchen table. Yummy.
Dinner itself was like something out of Alice in Wonderland - seven courses, only a couple of which we recognized, and such blazing service that the whole meal was over in less than five hours. Even so, by then it was too late to go out to eat so we went to bed confused and hungry.
The restaurant Chez Udu was due to open in June, Chef Udu having just exited the real estate business in a hurry to take up arms against the local authorities who, annoyingly, were insisting on various code compliances. Overall, an experience to be remembered.
Not a whole lot else goes on in Velleron it seems. A daily market does take place each evening on the edge of town and, as we wandered through it, we concluded that this provided one last chance for local growers to get top Euro for all their produce that had been rejected by supermarket buyers - nothing exceptional and generally very expensive.
One final highlight we were unable to avoid, was a local art show in the castle with some paintings and quilts on display. A real white-knuckler.

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