Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prize Package Revealed

Tomorrow I'll announce the winner of the Vive la France! Contest.  Here's what one lucky entrant will win:

...First, let me tell you that one of my favorite movies of late is A Good Year, starring Russel Crowe (who I'm not a huge fan of, except in this movie) and the gorgeous French actress, Marion Cotillard.  The movie is based on Peter Mayle's best-selling book of the same title.

Except for the introduction of Crowe's character in an early scene in London, the movie is almost exclusively shot in the south of France.  Although the name of the village is never mentioned, hubby and I recognized it as Gordes.  The film offers an exceptional view of Provence (as this area of southern France is called).  Since the film is also a favorite of hubby and the kids, and since we were traveling through that region on our vacation, we put Gordes on our itinerary.

The photographer in you really comes out when you visit Gordes.  Every turn of the head reveals another breathtaking image you can't bear to leave undocumented.

The picturesque shops and boutiques in the center of town are no exception.  I chose this village to buy the prizes for the contest, and I photographed the shop I bought them in.  I'll include the photo with the prize package!  Here are the souvenirs the contest winner will receive:

From left to right:  A spoon rest, hand painted in typical Proven├žal colors and picturing an olive-laden branch. (Olive trees thrive in the rocky soil and sea balmy air of Provence, and olives and their oil are important regional products.)  Next is a matching rap ail (garlic grater).  Drag a garlic clove across this plate's rough central section to shred its surface and release its flavorful juices before rubbing the garlic on toasted bread or raw meats going into the pot.  And finally, a server set of salad fork and spoon, carved from local olive wood.  The distinctive, natural grain of olive wood gives these utensils their exotic look.  

While we were in Gordes, we hunted out several key settings in the movie A Good Year and took pictures of them.  It will be fun for the contest winner to match the actual photos with scenes from the movie, both of which I'm including in this prize package!

You will fall in love with France after watching this movie!  As I mentioned, this movie was based on a book by Peter Mayle.  Mayle is one of my favorite authors.  His style is comical and insightful.  For yet another peek into the wonderful world of Proven├žal France, I am also including with this prize package a different Peter Mayle book -- one of my favorites -- called A Year in Provence.


So, there you have it!  One lucky follower who left at least one comment on my France posts while I was away will win this prize package that includes the spoon rest, rap ail, salad fork and spoon, copy of the movie A Good Year, copy of the book A Year in Provence, and several photographs I took of Gordes.  I hope it's you! 

Best of luck to everyone!!