Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Le Puy Notre Dame

So many people ask us why the name Le Puy.  I think most people look at it and think ... why would you name your inn that?  Well,  thank goodness there is a good story behind it.  First of all to put to rest the mystery of how to pronounce it... think "pwee".  Le Puy.  Easy!  Right?

We toured the Loire Valley in France with our home base in Le Puy Notre Dame, a quaint French countryside village.  The land surrounding us was full of vineyards and where the soil was deemed unsuitable for grapes, there were rolling fields of sunflowers.  Inspired by the beauty of the region and the simple sweetness of the name Le Puy, we looked further into the origin and meaning.  Basically, it is old French for “isolated hill” or "volcanic hill".  There are several Le Puys throughout France.  They are most often ancient worship sites which contained a dolmen (sacred stone) and were usually replaced by Christian churches.  Le Puy Notre Dame contains bones of Mary or a saint, I think.  

Le Puy Notre Dame situated in the heart of the Saumur vineyards in the ancient dukedom of Anjou. The village itself is unique in its old, historic buildings, its extensive caves and the sheer number of wine makers exercising their craft in the vineyards surrounding the village. Long renown for the quality of its red wine, the village has been awarded its own wine appellation, an immense achievement which has taken years of endeavour. The new appellation is called Saumur-Puy Notre Dame and the first labels will appear on bottles in 2010.  

 Where we stayed: (a lovely inn with well appointed apartments and old world charm.  Sheila and Brian are well worth a visit and wonderful hosts!)

Our property, although located in wine country, is not really suitable for grapes, so that is why we infused the sunflower theme into our name.  We sit on a hillside with spectacular views of the Chehalem Ridge and peeks at the Coastal range, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson.  We feel the mix of nature, spirituality and deep rooted history behind the name, fits into our dream for creating a holistic, sustainable inn.  Thus, Le Puy, our wine valley inn was born.

Photography here courtesy of Wendy Dreaney and Clos Des Guyons.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's 2011

Welcome to our New Year's Eve feast!  We celebrated with 6 friends and practiced our culinary skills.  It was wonderful to be cooking together - something Andy and I love to do!  The table was set and New Year's Eve day was bright and sunny.

The menu:

Broiled Mussels with Herb Butter Sauce
Field Greens with Red Beets and Lemon Honey Dressing in a Parmesan Basket
**Willakenzie Pinot Blanc

**Cameron Pinot Noir & Alloro Pinot Noir

Cranberry Pomegranate Sorbet with Orange Zest and Pomegranate Seeds

Coffee Rubbed Beef, Farro Noodles with Crimini Mushrooms and Dried Cherries
Butter Steamed Baby Carrots
**Adelsheim Syrah

Dessert Trio: Pecan Tart, Rogue River Bleu Cheese, Honest Chocolates Chocolate Caramel with Sea Salt
**Arborbrook Semillon Sydney
Midnight came and 2011 began

For New Year's breakfast, we featured a meal inspired by my family's heritage - crepes from my Great Aunt's recipe - but with a Northwest flair:

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Zest

Salmon Egg Crepes with Mango Salsa, Crema and Avocado
**Caffe Venezia by Baccellieri

It was a great start to a hopeful and exciting year for us!