Weekend Reads: 03.21.13

Crillon-le-brave

(Photo from our lovely stay at Hotel Crillon le Brave in Provence.)

Taking full advantage of this week’s snow day, I read through every article in this month’s Travel + Leisure, something I rarely take the time to do with any magazine. Reading Luke Barr’s “Return to Provence” transported me – I was no longer sitting inside a cottage on a snow-covered farm in Maine; I was dining in a stone garden underneath a vine-covered pergola, feasting on mussels & rosé. If only… Barr’s piece has me now looking forward to the release of his book in February. If it’s anything like the following excerpt I’ve re-read a dozen times, I’m positive I’ll begin working on making my dream of moving to Provence a reality.

“This is the essential duality of Provence, I thought as I stood in the garden and looked up at the cliff. The softness and the toughness. The wild, fertile abundance, and the austere, unforgiving stone; the unbelievable richness and perfection of the tomatoes and peaches, but also the dry prickliness of rosemary bushes and thistles. Two sides of the same lovely coin.”

That same Travel + Leisure issue also features a short but beautifully written piece from Aleksandra Crapanzano, “Summer is Served,” about dining outside and the travel-inspired memories associated with such experiences. A delightful concept that has me itching for summer and the many al fresco meals on our back patio that accompany it.

I haven’t given much thought to staying in a hostel since studying abroad in Italy in 2006, but after reading about the new hostel brand, Freehand, on The Dapper Dude, I might have to revisit the concept.

I was also pleased to discover The Graham & Co., a hotel in the Catskills, through the Hither & Thither blog this week. I’m happy to report that I’ve mapped the hotel’s location in Phoenecia, NY and it’s only a 5 hour drive from Portland. Not too bad for a weekend away, right? (Ahem, Michael.)

Michael made us a slightly different version of this roasted vegetable salad from Love & Oil this week. We used farro as the grain and substituted apples for peaches – it was my favorite meal of the week!

Hopefully you all have something fun and/or relaxing planned for the weekend. New England friends, Maine Maple Sunday is this weekend if you’re looking for something unique & tasty to do. Michael & I are headed to the 4th Portland Hunt & Alpine Club Hush, Hush event tonight and then we’re off to pick up our first foster puppy on Saturday. We’ll have plenty of cocktail photos & puppy pictures next week I’m sure!

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