If you’re going to France, you have my attention.
France has a special place in my heart, since I was engaged in Paris.
I’ve spent time there on a few European trips since, and each time I leave, I immediately long for it.
It’s a true love affair that retains all its mystery, sensuality and beauty, no matter how much time or many times we get to spend together.
Though I like to think I’m France’s only lover, the country itself, like many of its men, have multiple lovers.
That includes Karin and Rob – owners of both The Truffle Cheese Shop and The Truffle Table – the former, a 6th Avenue landmark they bought in 2007*, and the latter, a casual restaurant they opened in the Highlands earlier this year.
The cheese shop is known to be the best in Denver, with every kind of cheese you can imagine, and authentic, knowledgeable customer service.
They also offer a myriad of events and classes, including a monthly beer and cheese tasting, which involves 4 artisan cheeses, 4 craft beers, fruit and local, fresh bread for only $20.
The restaurant offers cheeses [of course!], cured meats, and fine foods.
Cheese is important to a good life.
The French know this.
In that country alone, there are 350 – 400 types of cheese in 8 categories – and some say the number is closer to 1000.
But, you know the French – they aren’t the best at specificity.
You hear “plus ou moins” – more or less – a lot there.
In the early 1960’s, French President Charles de Gaulle said, “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six varieties de fromage?”
[How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?]
You could spend a lifetime just becoming an expert in French cheese alone.
Last Sunday, Rob and Karin did a smart thing, and that was to invite the community to the restaurant for a complimentary brunch, while they allowed people to meet and mingle, then explained the trip to Southern France that Rob, and restaurant manager, Miguel, will be hosting October 19 – 26.
The Languedoc region, to be exact.
On the brunch buffet – in order of importance – peach bellinis, more cheeses than I could count or name here, kale frittata, currant scones, fresh coffee and more.
Why this was such a smart idea, is that it created a sense of generosity and camaraderie, that allowed people to be truly receptive and engaged to learn more about this wonderful trip, and future trip possibilities [Vermont was mentioned, as was Italy].
I’m not a group trip person by nature.
I like to make my own itinerary decisions when traveling [and in everyday life], and tend to rebel against other people’s agendas or potential rigidity.
The tone of the whole itinerary is easy, heartfelt and the furthest thing from rigid as you can imagine.
For example: “Day 7 – Friday, Oct. 25: About ten minutes from our maison is a farmstead goat cheese maker that has agreed to let us scratch their goat’s ears and try their cheese. It would be nice to put their cheese together with some truffles, possibly from Maison du Truffle du Languedoc”.
Yes, that would be nice.
They explained each excursion is optional, and there may be times you just want to stay at the maison and cook – which is what I’d want to do often.
All breakfasts and dinners are included, as well as a stocked pantry.
You can join for the entire stay, or just a day or two.
If you’re interested in the trip, they’re taking reservations through August 19, with payment due on or before that day [airfare not included].
$3600. per person, double occupancy
$350. per night, double or single
You can contact Rob or Karin directly for reservations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Truffle Cheese Shop
2906 E. 6th Avenue
2556 15th Street
*open since 2000