Chez Sara, Roquebrune Village, Cote d’Azur, France.
Team Dulcet Wanderlust (composed of myself and family) was kindly invited to dine in the gardens of the beautiful home of dear friend Sara in the hills behind Monaco. Having spent many years in Italy and now based on the French Riviera, Sara’s mastery of al fresco dining is unparalleled! British hospitality with Mediterranean flair reigns supreme.
Behind its wrought iron gates, this stunning villa sits nestled in the pine-covered hillside on terraced land with sweeping views over nearby terracotta villages and the glittering cobalt of the sea…
Tucked beneath olive and fig trees, our hostess had conjured up an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque setting, with bursts of coloured bunting, sparkling hematite nuggets scattered among pink flower arrangements and vintage family china.
Warm crusty bread was served in a handmade bowl whipped up by the hostess in pottery class (the bowl not the bread!), delicious crisp salad and thick slabs of homemade pizza.
The piece de resistance of our main course was Sara’s Divine Nut Pasta, a recipe so simple that the making of the dish lies in the quality and unique flavour of the ingredients. (I even jotted it down, just for you. Prego!)
Fresh, al dente bucatini (like thick hollow tubular spaghetti), Parmiggiano and chopped walnuts with secret ingredient “Panna“, which Sara insists makes the dish. Panna (literally “cream”) is comparable to thick whipping Elmlea double cream (but so much nicer!). Only available in specialist Italian delicatessens, the creams taste and texture is the dish’s piece de resistance; if you can track it down you will be rewarded handsomely indeed my friends. Add a glug of olive oil, season and serve with utmost flair!
Even late in the season, the humid air was thick with the hum of cicadas, the trickling of the swimming pool and much laughter among good friends.
I will never forget my first ever lunch invitation to the Villa several years ago, which resulted in an almighty post-lunch water fight breaking out, from which no guest was exempt! Pans of lukewarm water drenched me from the kitchen window as the men commandeered the children’s super soakers and one lurked craftily with the hose (!!)…Ever mindful of my blow dry, I was forced to adopt a strawberry shower cap, dignity in shreds as I defended myself with a spud gun and peals of laughter!!! …. A meal Chez Sara is never without hilarity and a tremendous dollop of fun!
However the protagonist is always without fail her cooking and on this occasion, for desert, we were presented with a delectable red fruit “Tiramisu” adorned with edible pink sugar shards. The light fruity desert is perfectly summery and simply scrumptious!
Much Love to you, fabulous Sara and family! Xxx