Travel at a Natural Pace; Enjoy the Journey

Red Peppers

Food and the Mindful Traveller

We love French and continental markets; it is the quality and selection of fresh, local, produce they offer. But most of our recent travels in France have been hotel based which has been very frustrating as we could not take advantage of seasonal local ingredients. We have enjoyed the local food but it has always been prepared for us in restaurants.

Arles Market, FranceWe had toyed with the idea of booking self-catering accommodation but it tends to confine us to a fixed location and we have always preferred to tour and follow our inclinations and the weather. After all The Winding Way is about letting serendipity be your guide. So the disappointing trip last summer where we struggled to find bed and breakfast by the roadside started us thinking. We considered the possibility of using a campervan and from that the Wild Rover blog was born.

The van we have bought is a trial; what I would call in my past career, a proof of concept. It is self-contained but with only two gas rings and a grill, cooking facilities are limited. However if we take to campervan living we will get a newer campervan with full hob, grill and oven.

During the next few months of the coming summer we do not see a limited cooker as very much of a constraint as we will be enjoying fresh salads and the like. Anyway, many traditional recipes are one pot dishes; many were originally cooked over open fires or very basic, usually solid fuel, stoves. Our constraints should be seen as a spur to creativity rather than a restriction; limited facilities do not have to mean boring food. Hopefully it will add to our repertoire of simple but interesting everyday meals for cooking at home.

Some fabulous food comes out of tiny restaurant kitchens in France and elsewhere on mainland Europe. So the challenge of cooking for two on what is essentially a small camping stove does not feel too restrictive. When we think about many of our mainstay dishes two pans is enough. With good ingredient what is better than an omelette with fresh salade mixte, or a Spaghetti Carbonara; perhaps with some nice crusty bread from a local artisan baker. Especially when helped down with a glass of something local, wine, beer, cider or even fruit juice. Follow up with local cheese and fresh fruit – bliss. After all the aim is to enjoy the best of local seasonal produce and the best way is to keep the dish simple. Let the ingredients speak for themselves.

Whether we are travelling in the UK, France or elsewhere the aim will be to share those dishes, the recipes we find or create. The Winding Way was always conceived as a mindful approach to travel; it is about appreciating places, people and the local food which says so much about both. I hope you enjoy the journey with us; indeed we hope you will share your own suggestions and favourites with readers of The Winding Way.

As well as the articles on people, places and food there is more about the specifics of our travels using a campervan in the Wild Rover blog. Please do share it with like-minded friends and of course, let us know what you think of the site. Only by your comments can we improve The Winding Way.

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