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.
We had our breakfast under this tree at the Chambre d’Hôtes (Manoir de la Touche) 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 in such Renaissance surroundings.
As the weather was warm, we ate under this lime blossom (tilleul) 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.
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).
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 stiff yet rickety 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..
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.
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.
As we took a walk around the Château of Azay-le-Rideau, linden blossom trees surrounded us and we were mesmorized by the perfumes and the views.
Back at the B&B, Madame hadn’t got around to collecting the blossoms yet. Meanwhile, someone had a better idea for her basket.
Sun in all its glory, blossoms perfuming the air, Vivaldi out of the speakers – it’s time for a cat-nap.
And time for some linden/lime blossom macarons with a hint of lemon for something light and gluten free on a summer’s day…
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.