Eating to the beat in France

As I blogged last week, this past weekend we attended a massive party at Chateau Lartigolle in southern France. It’s the spot where we got married 2 years ago, and we’ve come to know the owners and have returned since. It’s obviously special enough because of that.

But this was a different sort of fun. One of the chateau’s neighbours is Andy Cato, one of the DJs in big-name UK dance act Groove Armada, and he agreed to be the headline star for the party the chateau was throwing.

That party consisted of a big feast in the courtyard on Saturday night followed by an all-night rave in the now-cleaned-out cave underneath the chateau. The owners put out a call to local friends and people (like us) who’ve shown a fondness for the place. Andy Cato also put out an invite to the band’s mailing list. They offered everyone a couple of options: local people could come just for the dance, or for the dinner and dance. Others could come and stay at the chateau (in which case you also got breakfast). They also opened up the field to those who wanted to camp. They put on lunch the next day for those who wanted it.

We flew in Saturday morning and met lots of other folks who were arriving. Only 3 other couples splashed out all the way to stay at the chateau like us. Dinner started about 8pm, and was a massive buffet of chicken tagine and salads and olives: all typical quality for the food at Lartigolle. A cool band (the same guys who played our wedding, actually) set the background mood.

Dinner in the courtyard

Dinner in the courtyard

After the meal was all done – at about 11pm – the party moved down to the cave. Some locals guys DJ’d a bit, then Andy Cato came out. It was a really friendly vibe with people dancing, hanging out, chatting outside: a lot of fun. We managed to shake our tail feathers until the wee hours. There were about 200 people, all told.

Dinner in the courtyard

Dinner in the courtyard

Unsurprisingly we relaxed on Sunday morning. Lunch was served: some excellent beef stew, again in the courtyard, but only to about a dozen people now, mainly the chateau-stayers. We had a great laugh, the bottles of wine kept flowing, and the whole afternoon eventually just sort of became the evening. We took some photos, played some ping-pong, and had an awesome day.

We stayed one more night, having taken Monday off, and had one more awesome meal at a great nearby restaurant. Honestly, I can’t gush enough about the place (having already gushed on their own web page).

If you want to see some of the photos I took over the course of the weekend I’ve uploaded a Facebook set.

And if you’re interested in hearing more about the music of the weekend, well, that’s on my other blog.

Photos embedded above are by Matthew Weinreb

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