I adore eating outside. My family is so hardy that we’ve been known to have lunch al fresco as early as March and as late as October - through wind, rain and freezing temperatures. And we don’t use one of those environmentally-unfriendly heaters either.
But in France, eating outdoors is even better. Breakfast is on the terrace, which has a stunning view but is currently too full of bikes, rubble, weeds and an old fridge for my liking. At lunchtime it’s too baking hot so we move round to sit under the plane tree, where all the old farmers used to drink Pastis and watch the sun go down. And then in the evening we’re back on the terrace for a glass or two of Clairette de Die, the local sparkling white wine.
Sometimes we drive to my favourite town (above) and treat ourselves to lunch at a café in the village square. The restaurant has a huge awning to shield everyone from the fierce mid-day sun and we sit there for hours, watching the world go by.
There’s also the added advantage of strolling across to my favourite shop (below) afterwards. It’s piled high with stunning china of every shape and hue. I buy a new mug or teacup there every year, and swear that drinking a café crème out of them every morning is one of the pleasures in life. Especially when it’s on the House With No Name terrace.
Pictures: Emma Lee-Potter