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Macarons at the Club House with Speciality Teas

It has been over three years since I hit a golf ball. Blame it on back problems but now I’ve no excuse. As a Scot it should be in my blood but truth be told, I couldn’t even remember how to hold a club! So, this month I went looking for Eric, my patient golf teacher extraordinaire at the Ile Fleury Club. It’s a wonderfully friendly place that boasts a 9-hole course with the prettiest views on the Ile des Impressionists in Chatou on the River Seine.

I must have driven Eric insane; ‘in-Seine’, more like. As the course is on an island, I’ve whacked so many balls in the River Seine that I’m sure its level rises when I’m around. Dangerous practise, indeed.

Indeed Mr. Bond. Pierce Brosnan was here recently filming his upcoming romantic movie, Love is All You Need. My good friend, Emmanuelle, confirmed what a gentleman he is – even if he did refuse to drink her coke. My friends at the club also had their photo taken with him.  I’m trying not to sound jealous but humph! ‘Pierce is all I need’ to discuss golf tactics, movies and macarons, peut-être.

Mamma Mia! Golf is starting to play in my mind. Are the colour of these lemon meringue macarons from the book fluorescent enough? My golf balls need to be bright in Autumn since I can never find them hidden under the leaves!

Why do my pink golf balls hide in the rough?

What about hitting goûter time or Quatre Heures at the 10th hole club house with some macarons? Ideally with speciality ‘tees’; of course.

macarons and different tees

And if you haven’t got the macaron book yet, you’ll be glad to know that speciality teas are suggested with each macaron flavour. Oo-long shot for a 7 iron! Get it?

Macarons and tea, Meester Bond?

Come back to the golf course, Pierce. You forgot your macarons at the club house! And there’s no need to do the course on macarons – it’s all mentioned clearly in the book.

Are you ready to hit goûter time with tea and macarons?

Mad About Lime Blossom Macarons in the Loire

Mon Dieu! I was so carried away with the MacTweets Fruity Challenge that I forgot this sequel to the Loire Valley post! Et voici, mes amis – enfin…

Remember recently I asked you what this tree was? It’s a French Tilleul. In English, it’s Linden Blossom but after Sue of Tales from the Giantswood asked if it was a lime tree, I realised that Tilleul is linden blossom or lime blossom.  Thank you, Sue.

lime linden blossom Normandy

We had our breakfast under this tree at the B&B just around the corner from the Château of Azay-le-Rideau in the Loire. What a civilised haven, with classical music coming out from the dining room as we ate – somehow Lady Gaga wouldn’t have been right.

Loire castle fireplace

As the weather was warm, we ate under this tree outside so the breakfast room was used as the buffet – filled with brioches, baguettes and goat cheeses. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve eaten goat cheese for breakfast. What an experience.

Loire goat's cheese or chèvre for breakfast

The perfect pot of café crème with a plate ranging from the freshest goat cheese, to the most matured and piquant; as the word implies, it almost pierced the taste buds and the sticky honey put out the “fire”.

I wouldn’t have this every day, but I shall never forget such a waking revelation to the taste buds. At home, we’re more likely to have our favourite salad in the summer as a main course: Salade de chèvre chaud (warm goat’s cheese salad).

linden or lime blossom Loire Valley

Tilleul / Linden Blossom

Back to that linden blossom tree.  When we first arrived, Antoine greeted the B&B owners as I secretly hid behind the tree and tried to straighten out my back.  I had turned into a chair after 3 hours of lying flat out in the passenger seat from Paris, so it was slightly embarrassing attempting a transformation from a crooked old woman to a 40-something on a romantic weekend..

harvesting lime or linden blossom in Normandy

The owner had her basket out, ready to laden it with linden blossoms. This was the perfect time to dry them as they were in full bloom.

infusing French tilleul or lime blossom in Normandy

In France this is particularly popular as a herbal infusion: infusion de tilleul, which is relaxing and caffeine free before bedtime.  An infusion of lime blossom is also said to soothe tension headaches.

Lime or linden blossom at Azay le Rideau castle Loire Valley

Linden blossom au château d’Azay le Rideau, Loire

As we took a walk around the Château of Azay-le-Rideau, linden blossom trees surrounded us and we were mesmorised by the perfumes and the views.

cat in a basket Normandy drying lime blossom

Back at the B&B, Madame hadn’t got around to collecting the blossoms yet.  Meanwhile, someone had a better idea for her basket.

sleeping cat in lime blossom basket Normandy

Sun in all its glory, blossoms perfuming the air, Vivaldi out of the speakers  – it’s time for a cat-nap.

linden lime blossom or French Tilleul tree

And time for some linden/lime blossom macarons with a hint of lemon for something light and gluten free on a summer’s day…

lime blossom macarons Jill Colonna

Not just for night-time infusions, my macaronivore friends…

Wishing you a summer of lazy cat-naps and dreams

under the shade of your favourite tree.

The Party Times!

Shhh. The macaron secret is out…

Come and join us at The Party Times Online, where Pippa Middleton is sharing some macaron recipes from the book, courtesy of Waverley Books.

Stay tuned, as she is also planning a great Mad About Macarons! competition on the Party Times site…(UK residents)