There are many challenges at Le Chassaing Knotweed being one of them. Sarah and Eric joined us for a break after the buzz of Paris to take some time out in the French countryside.

Eric chopped wood to keep us warm, Simon chainsawed new logs while Sarah and I got out into the garden.

The weather wasn’t kind to us although the rain and drizzle didn’t put us off. We braved the weather and took on the Knotweed once again. This will be round 7 so far!

1 Chop the 8ft green stuff down and pile on to 2 huge tarps to prevent further spreading
2 Cover up, mask and goggles on to Roundup weed kill the stalks and left leaves top and bottom
3 When regrowth appears. Keep blitzing with weed killer then do that several times over
4 Even when the leaves start looking brown and dead. Keep blitzing with weed killer
5 Burn the dried pile – listen to it pop! Mini air pockets within the thick tall stems
6 Remove the dead stalks and prepare for more weed killing of new growth
7 Mow one week after weed killer applied to keep the growth down

Take a look at our progress. Notice the red stubborn regrowth pushing its way up through the soil. Thank goodness for the pretty little crocus and snowdrops that make gardening worthwhile.

It wasn’t all work – we headed out to the Petit Creuois for lunch and ventured into a typical French lunchtime experience. It was to be observed with interest.

Picture of Le Petit Creuois coming soon

Wine on the table. (A sort of help yourself if you would like some approach. But are we quite sure we should? In a typically English way). There is no menu, no wine list, no choice. This is a working lunch for people who like a two-hour lunch break. The first course appears. Now, I would love to take pictures of my food but that might be a blog step too far. It just doesn’t feel right. You’ll have to get the picture from my description. It won’t do it justice and neither would a picture. It was simply interesting and nourishing.

Starter – Brioche slice (loaf of bread style) with spam type sausage cut out disc-shaped in the center.

A sweet and savory hot dog style amuse-bouche? I couldn’t quite tell you why I liked it, but I did. The plates were cleared with knives and forks quickly plonked back in front of us for our main course. (Why have more dirty cutlery to clean?)

Main – Chicken leg with little peas in broth.

Yes, that’s all it was and I was surprised that peas could really taste this good? Was I just hungry to the point where I would eat anything? Was the wine too strong and clouding my judgment? Maybe I was just in good company and really enjoying life? Who knows? We pondered long enough to see what everyone else was doing and wondered what might be next.

Cheese Board – followed by Dessert – Choux pastry filled with creamy stuff or Nutty hazelnut cake with sorbet (if I remember correctly)

The cheese board where you could take what you wanted. (Oh what a wonderful plan). The board was left on the table and it had duly visited every other table before it arrived with us. A delicious selection from soft and creamy, firm and tasty to ripened blues served at room temperature. Perfect. Then the dessert, Simon said it was the best choux pastry dessert he’d ever eaten. The cake was nice too. A delicate finish to a new food experience.

Coffee was ordered and the lunchtime workers bid us, Au Revoir, as they passed by our table. You can’t grumble at a served three course lunch for 12 Euros each including drinks!

It was a great meal to celebrate a lovely relaxing week with family. On the way back from the airport. We stopped for provisions. Our next guests were sure to kick up a storm of dust, work, and belly laughs!

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