Walk at Gouville sur Mer. – 27th March 2018

The walk on 27 March started from Gouville sur Mer. The morning rain stopped as we arrived in Gouville for the start (spring is still not here!). 13 people took part in the walk through the dunes. We took the Grande Randonnée path through Gouville’s famous multi-coloured beach huts.

Next we followed a sandy path through the fields and past some magnificent horses. After a few km, we discovered a Cabane Vauban surrounded by the dunes.

Cabanes Vauban ( Vauban is the name of the military architect) date from the 17th century, and were military look out posts to spot enemy ships ( often English!). Later they became used as customs posts to catch smugglers. They were often built on cliffs, eg at Carolles and St Jean le Thomas. Gouville’s Cabane Vauban was entirely covered by the sand over the years, then the sand was removed and it was restored.
Now we arrived at Gonneville, a small beach between Gouville and Blainville. We returned on the beach with views over the oyster beds and the oyster farmers hard at work.

For the whole of the walk there was not a drop of rain, but neither was there a hint of sun.
We finished in the ‘Le Pierrefeu’ restaurant in Anneville sur Mer, near the church. A few other Anglophones joined us at the restaurant where the lunch was both lovely and inexpensive.

Le départ de la marche du 27 mars (Walks Group) était à Gouville sur Mer. La pluie du matin s’est arrêtée en arrivant à Gouville au moment du départ (le printemps n’est pas encore tout à fait arrivé !!). 13 personnes ont participé à cette promenade à travers les dunes. Nous avons pris le sentier (GR) en passant devant les fameuses cabanes de plage multicolores de Gouville. Ensuite nous avons marché sur un chemin sablonneux dans la campagne avec des herbages et de magnifiques chevaux. Après quelques Kms nous avons découvert une cabane Vauban entourée de dunes.

Les cabanes Vauban (Vauban est le nom de l’architecte militaire) datent du 17ème siècle. Elles permettaient de surveiller la mer. C ‘étaient des postes de garde militaires pour guetter les navires ennemis (les anglais sans doute !!). Ensuite elles sont devenues des postes de garde douaniers pour surveiller les contrebandiers. Elles étaient souvent installées sur des falaises comme à Carolles, St Jean le Thomas. La cabane Vauban de Gouville a été entièrement recouverte par le sable au cours des ans puis le sable a été enlevé et elle a été restaurée.
Nous sommes alors arrivés à Gonneville, petite plage entre Gouville et Blainville. Le retour s’est fait sur la plage avec bien sûr la vue sur tous les parcs à huitres et le travail des ostréiculteurs. Toute cette marche s’est déroulée sans une goutte de pluie mais aussi sans un rayon de soleil.
La matinée s’est terminée dans le restaurant « Le Pierrefeu » à Anneville sur mer près de l’église. D’autres anglophones nous ont rejoint dans ce restaurant où le déjeuner était très bon et  inexpensive.

Write up and photos courtesy of members

Curry Lunch 23rd March – 2018

As expected last month’s curry lunch proved its popularity by being oversubscribed.

David and Louise house and garden had been transformed for a day into the Gouville Balti House restaurant and car park together with a neighbour’s gite being requisitioned for overflow parking. Polly and Donna, otherwise known as the Pop-Up Restaurant, provided the catering.

Members began arriving at 12 noon and, welcomed by a pre-lunch drink and nibbles, were soon mingling and exchanging news and banter. In what seemed no time at all luncheon was ready to be served.

Two long trestle tables and benches set up in the lounge with a table of eight in the dining room saw 32 sit down in readiness for some genuine Indian style cuisine, no doubt quite a few harking back and recalling past times of regular visits to their favourite local “Indian”.

Press-ganged into service, our affable and attentive waiting staff appeared carrying a starter of Punjabi samosa with raiti and pickles made by cleverly combining the right mix of turmeric, tomato, cucumber, potato and complementary spices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, the main course, a choice of a chicken, a beef or a vegetable shamba dish, was brought to each table in separate large serving bowls allowing everyone to select their own preferences. The Murgh Makhani chicken, a spicy tandoori from the south of India, was cooked in cream and butter with fresh chilies, these chilies grown by Chris  generated a worm glow on the tongue and lips. The Kashmari beef rogan josh utilised a cut of bourguignon beef flavoured by yoghurt and chilies.

The vegetable shamba followed a traditional recipe given to Polly’s parents by locals they had met during their travels in India. This recipe was representative of the wide range of vegetables typically used in cooking across the Indian sub-continent and included green lentils, chickpeas, broccoli, aubergines, tomatoes and onions. These three main dishes were accompanied by tarka dahl, basmati rice and naan bread.

A dessert of either pistachio ice cream or mango sorbet cooled the palate and the lunch was rounded off with tea or coffee.

 

 

The spices used in the meal also came from India thereby adding to the authenticity Polly seeks in her menus. She very much prides herself that all her meat and vegetables are both fresh and locally sourced apart from specialist items such as the superb lime pickle.

Polly and Donna received an enthusiastic and well deserved vote of thanks for providing an excellent meal. It is no easy task to satisfy the varied appetites of a large group of diners.

Write up and photos courtesy of members.