Every time I host my tour to the Basque Country, I come back with my Peugeot boot full of stripey things, chocolates and ridiculous amounts of cured ham. I also come back with renewed admiration for my Basque guides Eli and Gabrielle. Eli is extremely dramatic, very funny and passionately Spanish Basque. She thinks the French are the most BORING people in the world. Gabrielle sings to us in Basque, talks about her homeland and how she is too in love with it to ever leave it, and gossips a lot with Bernard the owner of our eccentric hotel in St-Jean-de-Luz.
The most over-used word on the tour from moi was 'pacing' in terms of eating and drinking. This advice was ignored by the wonderful gastronomads to the point of severe recidivism. BUT – we did learn everything about breaking down, cooking and eating fish the Basque way, how to pour txacoli sparkling white wine from a great height and how to sing Pokarekare Ana to a Basque choir. Between my generous guides and my gorgeous guests I always return home feeling thankful and fulfilled. This tour is always popular and there are only a few places left for next year so if eating pintxos (tapas) in the most foodie city in the world appeals to you, get planning!
I'm now back in Uzès teaching classes, lying on the air conditioner and rehydrating with Rosé – Join me for a class if you happen to be in the area.
Next stop – perfect Puglia in September, right in the heel of Italy's boot. Think super-fresh ingredients and recipes which have been passed down through generations. Not to mention the sun and sea breezes, all washed down with litres of Primitivo. Very Bellissimo.