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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

A Sunday Supper from the Richard Lenoir Market

Following along on the Spring Market theme from a previous was one of our last Sundays in Paris last week and I couldn't resist going to the Richard Lenoir  market at the Bastille. We were having J. & G. (visiting from Boston) for dinner and as you can see I made a Salad Nicoise, which seemed suitably French. As always I got the fish (Mediterranean red tuna) from Lorenzo's fish stall in the market. I seared it quickly in an olive oil, salt pepper, lemon and lemon zest combination and it was fabulous, even if I do say so myself! The garlic stuffed olives also brought a lot of flavor to the dish.
D and I couldn't resist these dates on the branch. They were great with the comte fruite  (on right) which was a milder version of the vieille comte we also like.

 One of the things I like about going to a larger market is that there are so many specialty products from a variety of regions. There were wines from the Loire, a stall selling nothing but champagne, another with oysters from Brittany sold by the dozen foie gras and other products from the Dordogne and a stall with cheese and meats from the Auvergne - including the smoked ham below. The ham was thinly sliced and wonderfully fragrant.

 As always there were lovely flowers at the market including these peonies. I can't wait for them to come out fully. There were lots of people selling bunches of small white lily of the valley which you could smell as you walked past. We have wonderful farmers markets in California and the fruit and vegetable selections are hard to beat, but I'll miss the variety, quality and breadth of the French food products you can find at the markets in Paris.
  The table set for our meal...
 There's no good reason for this photo, I just couldn't resist the green of the lettuce!