The Art of the Perfectly Balanced Menu–Learning the Rules

Appears in

The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth

By Roy Andries De Groot

Published 1973

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At the end of this extraordinary dinner, we moved into Le Salon on the opposite side of the open hearth. It was an extremely comfortable and very French room in a country style. Its walls and rough-woven curtains were in fall shades of brown and gold. Its carpet and easy chairs were spring green. These restful colors were set off by the vivid brightness of fresh flowers. In one corner there was an antique scourtin, a wooden cylindrical press for squeezing the oil out of olives or walnuts. On this side of the fireplace you could control the heat by lowering a large sheet of insulating glass. It hung from steel wires running over hand-wrought iron pulleys to copper-covered counterweights. With the glass down, the flames still dominated the darkened room.