Hidden away in the mountains above Les Gorges du Verdon is a beautiful Provençal paradise, La Bastide de Moustiers. Founded by the one and only Alain Ducasse , La Bastide is set in four acres of land, with small stone cottages set around the main house, where you will find the stunning restaurant and terrace over looking the landscape. The S.O and I had the pleasure of visiting over the summer, and as autumn descends upon London, I cannot help but think back to the warmth of Moustiers in August.
Everything that is produced at La Bastide is seasonal, with an ever changing menu. Walking out into the gardens, you can see all the herbs and vegetables being grown, tended to and picked. There is not a single sound apart from the buzzing of bright violet carpenter bees, weighing down every flower they can land on.
La Bastide is a short drive from the town, famous for its hand painted china. We spent a hot afternoon wandering the steep streets, the S.O trying to distract me from buying every piece of china with Lavender ice cream and the promise of cold Rose. If you should find yourself in Moustiers, look out for the star which has hung above the town by a knight after the Crusades (legend has it).
For me, the absolute highlight of our stay was the breakfast each morning; walking out into the dappled sunlight took my breath away. The sweet, fresh juices and home made honey on warm pastry made me wish the moment would never end, and I could stay in this haven, eating breakfast with my love forever.
For every rule there is an exception and in terms of City heat, I like to think of myself as that exception. I love the heat of the summer and how the pace of London life seems to slow right down. What then could be better than a luxurious lunch in the sunshine? In order to achieve the maximum amount of rays, I chose the Roof Deck at Selfridges. I also secretly wanted to impress my favourite American friend, Rosie Spinks to see if the promise of Californian style dining in Central London could live up to her discerning tastes.
We started with the latest trend in drinks, Frosé aka frozen Rosé. I can confirm this is not just a trend, it is also one of the most delicious and thirst quenching experiences I have had; the sweetness was perfectly balanced with fresh berries and lemon mixed with a lovely medium dry wine.
The tuna ceviche with plantain crisps was light and fresh, however the Cobb salad absolutely stole the show. Creamy blue cheese dressing, crunchy salad and ripe avocado paired with perfectly salty bacon. Rosie and I ate it so quickly I have no photographic evidence to show for it!
If you are eating any meal in the sun, it has to be finished off with something very, very cold. Thankfully the deck offers an unusual and exciting dessert, avocado and pistachio ice cream sandwich. Held together with sweet meringue, the ice cream had a wonderful flavour, with a hint of avocado, leaning on the right side of savoury.
I adored the Roof Deck; the food is fresh and beautiful, the drinks cool and refreshing. The bill was the only thing that stung a little, the Roof Deck is not cheap, however for a special occasion or just a drink after work with a spectacular view of the City it’s one not to be missed this summer.