Virginia Travel Blog

French Christmas Traditions & Desserts at L’Auberge Provencale

French Christmas traditions are celebrated and honored at our Virginia Bed and Breakfast. These holiday desserts are a custom that has its origins in the farming region of France, dating back centuries, families served a different dessert on each of the twelve nights of Christmas. The 13 desserts hark back to market days when farmers would buy and sell produce that always included a baker’s dozen of 13 instead of 12.

French Christmas traditions

During the holidays, this tradition is part of the custom of our Northern Virginia Bed and Breakfast. We offer these desserts in our sitting room to all of our guests, whether in the afternoon or after a sumptuous holiday feast. The desserts include fresh and dried fruits, nuts, cakes and confections. In Provence, most of the ingredients were locally grown and plentiful. These included raisins, dry figs, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pears, apples, plums, Orliettes (lemon and orange blossom water fried pastry), Fougasse (poppy seed and lemon Brioche), Nougat Blanc et Noir, Calissons D’Aix (Almond Paste with Pistachios), and 12th night cake.

All should be served with the Buche de Noel. Although the rich and extravagant Buche de Noel was not probably added to the custom until late in the 19th century.

We would like you to enjoy some of this at home, so we are sharing our recipe for Orliettes, best served hot out of the fryer, sprinkled with a little powdered sugar. They are easy to make and the fragrance fills the Christmas Air.

 

ORLIETTES RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 lb. flour
¼ c. sugar
3 eggs – beaten
1 lemon peel
1 orange peel
¼ c. orange flower water
2 Tbsp butter – softened
1 pinch salt
1 c. lite oil for frying
confectioners sugar

Instructions:

Shred lemon and orange peel with grater
Mix with flour, softened butter, sugar, orange water, eggs, salt
Knead the dough adding a little water if necessary
Cover and let stand for 2 hours
Roll out dough onto floured surface ¼” thick
Cut dough into 4” squares
Heat oil in frying pan until very hot
Fry oreilletes
When they are golden, remove and drain
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar

Virginia Wine Country: The 7th Largest Wine Growing Region

It may be winter, but the award winning Virginia wineries in the Shenandoah Valley are keeping some limited hours. It is a great time to visit the Virginia Wine Country…no crowds, cozy tasting rooms, cheese and wine and the solitude of the winter vines. We recommend some of our favorites Vineyards that are open: Delaplane Manor, Linden Vineyard, Barrel Oak, Fox Meadow, Rappahannock Cellars, Boxwood, and Veramar. We can still pack you a great picnic to enjoy while you enjoy a nice respite from the crowds of the crush.

Check out a little history of the Virginia Wine story. There are 210 wineries in Virginia and so little time. Come and cozy up to a fire in one of our cozy rooms or suites and enjoy a repast dinner delivered to your room at our French Country Inn & Restaurant, a Northern Virginia Bed and Breakfast, at the end of your day, complete with a bottle of local Virginia wine.

 

Visit our award winning wineries

 

Holiday Special from our Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast

Holiday Special from our Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast

It seems all the companies this year have extended their Cyber Monday deals for the entire month of December! So keeping in that spirit our Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast and Restaurant is offering our guests a holiday special of a gift for every purchase!

Just purchase a gift certificate and mention the code name “Noel” and for every $100.00 purchased, we will send you a 10.00 gift voucher to be used at our French Restaurant in Northern Virginia, newly renamed “La Table Provencale” or for overnight accommodations in one of cozy, elegant suites. We do cap the voucher at $100.00, but you can give it away or use it yourself next year for an Ideal Romantic Virginia Getaway in Virginia here at L’Auberge Provencale.

It is our way of extending a warm thank you to those who have supported our Shenandoah bed and breakfast inn over the years. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and we continue to be so grateful for each of you that have found a home at our table and a getaway in our luxurious suites!

A Shenandoah Valley Thanksgiving

The Shenandoah Valley local farming community has been busy this year preparing for an authentic Shenandoah Valley Thanksgiving. We can procure so much of our harvest dinner from Farm to Table. Fields of Athenry is supplying us with some super White Turkey (the breed) this year which we will be brine and roast with our special blend of herbs and seasonings from the fields and garden. In a playful way we are de-constructing the usual sides and finding fun and whimsical ways to showcase some traditional dishes.

Shenandoah Valley Thanksgiving

Smoked Hickory Syrup Foie Gras

Hickory Syrup, harvested from local hickory trees will be featured on this year menu. We have been loving it for its nutty smokey flavors. The process unlike maple syrup which is tapped, is made by smoking hickory bark and harvesting the syrup. It is just fabulous! Wild boar, sweet potato confit, Pumpkin butter, with fresh foraged Juniper Jus, mushroom bread pudding and funyun powder and smoked hickory syrup foie gras make this a truly mouth watering feast. Arrive early to the Shenandoah Valley and take a crisp walk at the Virginia State Arboretum before or after dinner, just minutes from our Northern Virginia Bed & Breakfast.

Call early for reservations: 1-540-837-1375. We will be serving from 12:00-7:00 pm.

We all should take a few minutes to be thankful for all the blessings of the year. Here at L’Auberge Provencale we also will be sending our prayers to our fellowman in New York and New Jersey who are still facing so many challenges.

 

Pinot Camp & Wine Dinner in Dec. at our VA Wine Country Inn

Pinot Camp and Wine Dinner at our Virginia Wine Country Inn

Pinot Noir Grapes Ready for Harvest

I know you are all used to hearing about the “Pinot Camp” in Willamette Valley and know it is impossible for the general public to attend; so we are bringing “Pinot Camp” and Wine Dinner to you here at L’Auberge Provencale, our Virginia Wine Country Inn. This dinner will be Pinot 101, with stories about the wine makers, the tradition of Oregon Pinots, the structure and elegance of a grape that has found it’s home here in America. You can take notes or just come and enjoy!

On Sunday, December 9th, Tom the “Pinot Guy” from Roanoke Valley Wines will be introducing you to some of the best Pinot wines from their extensive portfolio. Our dinner starts around 12:45pm for a meet and greet and sign in with a glass of Pinot Noir bubbly, followed by a seven course dinner featuring local and seasonal offerings to marry with the wines.

Our last couple dinners have been sold out, so book early to make sure you have your reservations. This is a great way to start the holidays with just a day away from the stress of shopping and decorating. Reward yourself and come and enjoy the camaraderie with our friendly group of foodies.

As an added bonus we are throwing in a maverick during one of the courses. If you can guess what it is and where it is from you have a chance to win a L’Auberge Provencale goody basket of our house made jams, jellies, oils, vinegar, and coffees we have been producing this year.

Call early for reservations: 1-540-837-1375.  If you want to stay the night at our Northern Virginia Bed and Breakfast we are offering a 15% discount on any room available. Just mention “Camping” when making your room reservation.

 

Clarke County Fair

Another great night here in Clarke County, Virginia at our annual Fair.  Not just farm animals, carnival rides, but America’s Number one sport  the tractor pull!  Check out our video from last night’s winner.  The smoke will probably send you screaming for a gas mask and the CO2 police.  It is all country fun and we wouldn’t want it any other way in the Shenandoah Valley.

Just wanted to allow our patrons to get a feel for our style of entertainment.  Tonight is the lawn mower races.  Stay tuned.

VIDEO0013

Wine Dinner From the Land Down Under in Sept. 2012!

Land Down Under Wine Tasting Dinner

Shrimp on the Barbie

Our September 2012 wine dinner should prove as great a time for our guests at our past wine dinners were sold out events in both July and August. You may not want to miss this one.

We are traveling to Australia and New Zealand for a tasting of some world class wines and interesting finds. Did you know there are now some really great Pinot Noir wines from boutique wineries in New Zealand that are sure to become the rage? We will be tasting a few, along with some bright Sauvignon Blanc, luscious Shiraz, Pinot Gris, and Cabernets from the lands of OZ and NZ. Jason Bise from the Country Vintner will be on hand to give his usual brilliant talks about the wines and the wine makers. You will be delighted with his presentation.

The wine dinner starts at 1:00 on Sunday, September 9th. Usually we wrap up around 5:00 with 7 fabulous courses. Also, we are featuring food products from the regions such as New Zealand Mussels, Fried Alligator, Lemon Myrtle, Bush tomato, Aspen Honey Soy Sauce, all exotic ingredients of the Pacific rim. This wine dinner should prove exciting both for the food and the wine. Lots of our guests have made wine friends and are returning for every dinner. So book early and reserve your spot in our Shenandoah Valley Inn.

Here is a peak at the menu:

Land Down Under Wine Tasting

Sunday, September 9, 2012   Time: 1 – 5PM

 

On The Table:

Chico Rolls

Fried Alligator/ Fried Crocodile Fritters

New Zealand Mussel, Garlic, Butter Garden Herbs

Pikes Riesling 2010, Mt. Eden Valley, OZ

Coriole Sangiovese/Shiraz 2010, Hunter Valley, OZ

First Course:

Grilled Shrimp On The Barbie in a Mango Gazpacho

Plantagenet “Hazard Hill” Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Mr. Barker, OZ

Hope Estate Verdehlo 2010, Hunter Valley, OZ

Second Course:

Australian Thai Corn and Lime Soup, Shitake Mushrooms, Lemon

Sashimi of Ocean Trout, Cucumber, Pomelo, Verjus Jelly

Hayshed Hill Chardonnay 2010, Margaret River, OZ

Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough, NZ

Third Course:

Pickled Beet Salad, Zucchini, Lemon, Chervil, Shaved Fennel, Mozzarella

Pan-Seared Barramundi, Leeks, Lemon Myrtle, Munthari Berry Butter Sauce

Maude Pinot Gris 2011, Central Otago, NZ

Lawsons Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2009, Marlborough, NZ

Fourth Course:

Juniper Crusted New Zealand Venison Loin, Boundin Noir, Baby Beetroot, Pear and Parsnip Mousse

Grilled Quail, Foie Gras Tortellini, Sweet Potato Brioche, Rose Geranium Sauce

Neudorf Pinot Noir ‘moutere Road’ 2009, Nelson, NZ

Maude Pinot Noir ‘Mt Maude’ 2009, Central Otago, NZ

Fifth Course:

Akudjura Crusted Blackened Salmon Cutlets, Pepperberry Potato Cake/Lemon Myrtle, Fettuccine, Lemon, Aspen Honey Soy Sauce

Grilled Australian Lamb Lollipop, Caramelized Onion, Shaved Cucumber, Lettuce Puree

Gibson Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2003, Barossa, OZ

West Cape Howe Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Bookends’ 2009, Great Southern, OZ

Dessert:

Pavlova, Berries, Lemon Cream

Coconut Pudding, Yuzu Jelly, Lychee Sorbet, Oatmeal Tuille

Talijancich Solera White, Swan Valley, OZ

$125 Per Person

Shenandoah Valley’s Yummy Summer Recipes

Dogs at a stunning Virginia Bed and Breakfast.This is simply the best time of year for Winey and Cheesey and all of us here at L’Auberge Provencale our bed and breakfast in Shenandoah Valley. After a nice run/walk at the State Arboretum, I was greeted by Bernadette and Phoenix, our two dogs at our Villa La Campagnette. We happily strolled around the pool and came upon the riot of color of our Phlox in full bloom in the garden. I just had to share a picture or two.

Shenandoah ValleyWhen I entered the kitchen at L’Auberge Provencale, a little later this morning, the chef’s were happily canning  blueberry/Mint Jam, Spicy Tomato Chutney and Peach/Basil Jam. So yummy and right from our Shenandoah Valley Orchards and gardens here at the inn. Our new Pastry Chef Jason came up with a winning dessert using the fresh local ingredients. The dessert is multi-faceted and time consuming, but one great part of the dessert is the Strawberry Lime Sorbet.  And we thought it would be nice to share this sorbet recipe with our wonderful customers.

Strawberry Lime Sorbet RecipeSTRAWBERRY LIME SORBET RECIPE

Ingredients:
200 g. sugar
250 g. Water
105 g. Glucose
600 g. Fresh Local Strawberries (or from your local farm market)
60 g. Fresh squeezed lime juice

Method:
Bring the water, sugar, and glucose to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, cool.
De-Stem the strawberries and blend them with the lime juice until completely smooth.
Add to the blender the sugar syrup slowly and emulsify well.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Chill for one hour.
Process in your ice cream machine according to the machine’s direction.

At our Shenandoah Valley bed and breakfast, we are serving the sorbet with Vanilla Bavarian, Vanilla Panna Cotta, Pistachio Cake, and the Strawberry Lime Sorbet. If you would like to try the whole dessert, just stop in this summer and enjoy a break in White Post. Winey and Cheesey will be looking for you.

The Italians are Coming to our Virginia Wine Country Inn!

We are not sure they will be driving their Ferraris but on Sunday, August 5, 2012, we are going to Italy for an afternoon gathering of fine food, fine wine, and fine conversation at our Virginia Wine Country Inn.

Italian Wine Dinners at our Virginia Wine Country Inn These Ferraris were lined up in Monaco just roaring to get to L’Auberge Provencale, our French Country Inn and Restaurant for our Al Fresco dinner. Chef Benedict Zappone and his team are creating Italian family recipes paired with fine wines from Italy presented by Jason Bise of the Country Vintner.

As one patron told us yesterday, “I have been to wine dinners a lot, but yours is so different. The food is terrific, the best, and the wines are paired perfectly.”

Our recent wine dinners this summer have been quite a hit, and you may want to reserve early for this event as it is booking up fast. (Winey and Cheesey think as fast as a Ferrari.) It is a great way to spend time with family and friends gathering in the Shenandoah Valley for a leisurely afternoon. Life at it’s best. Come join us…there is no passport required.

To whet your appetite, here is the menu for the afternoon in Italy..

An Afternoon Gathering in Italy

Sunday August 5, 2012

On the Table:

Bruschetta

Our Garden Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, Balsamic Vinegar

Nino-Franco ‘Rustico’ Prosecco,    Veneto

First Course:

Proscuitto and Garden Melon

Fields of Anthenry Beef Carpaccio- Mache, Capers, Pecorino Romano, Truffle Vinaigrette

Coreggia Roero Arneis 2011,   Piemonte

Arepe Rosso di Valtellina 2009,    Lombardia

Second Course:

Grilled Summer Vegetables from The Inn Garden-Eggplant, Zucchini,

Yellow Squash, Red Peppers, Olive Oil, Balsamic

Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Massone ‘Masera’ Gavi 2011,   Piemonte

Sperino ‘Uvaggio’ Lessona 2008,     Piemonte

Third Course:

Pan Seared Bronzini and Herb Gnocchi-Shiitake Mushrooms, Fava Beans, Lemon Butter

Risotto Alla Piemontese- Meat Broth, Nutmeg, Parmesan, Truffle

Contratto Brut 2007,     Oltrepo-Pavese

Vajra ‘Albe’ Barolo 2007,    Piemonte

Fourth Course:

Rabbit Cacciatore Over Soft Rosemary Polenta, Tomato, Olive, Peppers, Red

Pollo Potenza-Braised Chicken, Tomato, Onion, White Wine, Pepperoncino, Basil

Parsley, Pecorino

Venica Pinot Grigio ‘Jesera’ 2011,        Collio

La Giaretta Amarone della Valpolicella 2008,    Veneto

Fifth Course:

Lamb Osso Bucco with Pappardelle Pasta, Lamb Jus

Veal Valdostana-Veal Cutlet with Ham, Fontina Cheese, Lemon Butter

Elena Walch ‘Kastelaz’ Merlot Reserve 2001,    Alto-Adige

Vie di Romans ‘Flor Unis’ Bianco 2009,    Friuli

Dessert:

Tiramisu- Biscotti, Peach Sorbetto

La Spinetta ‘Quaglia’ Moscato 2011,      Piemonte

Call to make Your Reservation at our Italian Wine Dinner: 800.638.1702

Virginia Wine Country Inn

Our French Bed and Breakfast in Virginia is All Things Provence!

Refreshing swimming pool in our French bed and breakfast in Virginia

At this time of year, one can really step into the world of Provence at our French bed and breakfast in Virginia: L’Auberge Provencale!  Just think of this list of five things that bring you to the South of France and our bed and breakfast near Washington DC has them all:

bed and breakfast near Washington DC

  • The beautiful scent of the lavender in full bloom in our French gardens.
  • The Provence water and olive oil pottery containers with a profusion of flowers.
  • The orchard with summer fruits basking in the sun and bursting with flavor.
  • Our herb gardens throughout our French bed and breakfast in Virginia with sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, scented geranium, thai basil, fennel (just  to name a few).
  • Fresh L’Auberge Provencale tomatoes, hot from the garden, picked at 4:00 and served to you at 6:oo.  Is there anything fresher than that?

Flowers at our bed and breakfast in Virginia

It is the perfect time to visit L’Auberge Provencale and experience all the delights of Provence, with no passport required. And don’t forget our wine tasting dinners. July brings us to Spain on Sunday, July 8th, from 1:00-5:00. Cavas, Tapas and Paella on a sunny afternoon Al Fresco. Look for July to transport you for an afternoon gathering of friends, food, and wine of Italy. That will take place on Sunday, August 5th. Make reservations early for these special events as seating is limited.

And when you come to dinner you will notice we have completed the change of the Peach room into our new Sun Room, with new fabrics from Provence and the Ochre from Rousillion painted faux on the walls. The warmth of the sun indoors is all here at our French bed and breakfast in Virginia.

 

 

 

RESERVATIONS