Today we hopped onto the number 10 bus from Boulevard Dugommier (next to the tourist office) in Antibes for a 40-minute ride to the village of Valbonne, so that we could meet Carol Drinkwater, who was speaking at the English Book Centre at 12, rue Alexis Julien in Valbonne Village, promoting her new book, “The Olive Route”. The compact attic-like room above the Book Store was packed, with standing-room only for many. Over wine and slices of Galette des Rois, the well-known British actress and author started by talking about her Olive trilogy, which includes “The Olive Farm”, “The Olive Season”, and “The Olive Harvest”, summarizing each book and recounting the events of her life at the time. As she shared the trials and tribulations she encountered at her beloved Appassionata, her olive farm situated nearby in the hinterlands above Cannes, her passion for olives was unmistakable. It was clear how her enthusiasm and curiosity naturally led her toward an inevitable pilgrimage to the genesis of the olive tree, resulting in the publication of her latest endeavor, “The Olive Route”.
As an added bonus, while she was expounding on her love affair with the olive tree, one of the main characters in her Olive trilogy, her husband, Michel, was dashing up to their olive farm to retrieve some of their A.O.C. olive oil, hot off the olive oil press, to bring to the Book Store for us to taste tonight. It wasn’t certain that they would be able to get the olives pressed in time for our dégustation, but, fortunately for us, he made it back down to Valbonne just as his wife’s talk was winding down. With a glass of wine in one hand and a morsel of crusty French bread in the other hand, we dipped into the glistening, unfiltered, “Liquid Gold”, and found our tongues dancing with delight ! Now, we’ll have to figure out where we can find it for sale.