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A Table in the Tarn: Living, Eating and Cooking in South-west France [Hardcover]

Orlando Murrin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 April 2008

While walking in South-west France, cook and journalist Orlando Murrin dreamed up the adventure of a lifetime: why not wave goodbye to the rat race and come to live in this rural paradise, where the only traffic is the boulangerie van delivering baguettes? His book tells the story of how he set up a boutique b&b and includes 100 amazing recipes.

The story of the Manoir de Raynaudes begins on New Year's Eve 2001 when Orlando and his partner first glimpse the ruined manoir at dusk. Set in 13 acres of lush meadow, woodland, lakes and garden, they set about transforming the dignified old manor house into a phenomenally successful boutique b&b with its own magnificent kitchen garden.

A Table in the Tarn charts the discovery, acquisition and renovation of the property. Along the way, we learn about the local food scene, with its astonishingly rich heritage of ingredients and dishes, about working in France and coping with the famous French bureaucracy, and about the unforeseen delight of working with the locals.

Four years on, with countless plaudits and a coveted entry in the classy Mr and Mrs Smith directory, the business attracts visitors from around the world and continues to be a gastronomic destination for anyone seeking peace, tranquillity and above all fantastic food.

Everything at the Manoir is home made, from breakfast breads to after-dinner chocolates, and the book includes 100 recipes. From the sublime Roquefort Brioche via Savoury Mini Clafoutis and Roast Pigeon Breasts in Armagnac to the unparalleled Chocolate Nirvana with Creme Anglaise, this collection of recipes offers a vivid experience of life in rural France. Cooks everywhere will devour the descriptions of country cooking as mastered by generations of French cooks.

Not only will you learn the insider secrets of making acclaimed dishes from the Manoir, but find out what it’s like to make a dream come true.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (7 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007263945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007263943
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘If there is any justice in the market, Murrin’s book will break all records - it is beautiful and perfectly executed…the nature and identity of the house at its centre - the elegant Manoir de Raynaudes - haunts every recipe and every word on the pages. This is quite simply a joy of a book.’ Simon Gallagher, Borders.

Reviews for Orlando’s previous book, The No-Cook Cook Book:

‘One of the best books of 2003, this is bursting with savvy and style. Best of all, you don’t have to be a skilled cook to get great results’ Jennie Muir, Independent

‘A year after it was published, I’m still recommending this book to anyone who has to entertain guests but lacks confidence’ Jenni Muir, the Independent Review

‘The book shimmers with verve, style and dash, the photographs make the simple look sophisticated and the recipes… are remarkably clever and appealing.’ Henrietta Green, Daily Mail

‘This book landed on my desk on the hottest day of the year. I have been using it ever since.’ Leslie Geddes-Brown, Country Life

‘Lazy cooks have been fighting to get this book off the shelves.’ The Week

From the Inside Flap

What happens when you make the choice to live out your dream ...?

When Orlando Murrin made the momentous decision to leave his life in London and open a boutique guest-house with his partner in a little known part of rural South-west France, he had some idea of how much he was taking on, but very little idea what a huge success it would turn out to be.

Le Manoir de Raynaudes, a modest but dignified old manor house amid a landscape of gorges and fortified villages, has been painstakingly transformed into a gastronomic destination. And in transforming himself from keen amateur cook to passionate professional, Orlando has created a table that is widely considered one of the finest in the Midi-Pyrenees.

A Table in the Tarn is a remarkable and intimate cookbook which describes in detail how to make more than 100 of the Manoir's acclaimed dishes. The origin of every recipe is given, along with the secrets that make the dish special and the learned-the-hard-way tips for achieving perfect results. The book also tells the fascinating story of the challenge of finding and renovating the Manoir, the creation of magnificent vegetable, fruit and herb gardens to supply the kitchen with produce, and the extraordinary people, from the neighbouring hamlet and from further afield, who play their part.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to go there! 15 Jun 2008
By Moana
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as an accompaniment to another cook-book - to get free delivery. The so called main book has been shelved and although I haven't read this one from cover to cover (saving it, determined not to read all in a oner) I have already recommended it on a worldwide newsletter. Although the recipes are superb - I am enjoying all Orlando's observations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 21 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
I asked for this for my birthday having read an excerpt in a Sunday paper. It's the best sort of travel/lifestyle/cook book. Everything's here; I defy anyone not to want to book themselves in for a stay having read it. And the recipes work too!
I keep it by my bed, and can't wait for "A Table in the Tarn, Book 2".
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special bit of magic 29 May 2008
Format:Hardcover
Okay, I've been there, made new friends, `sent the postcard' and now have the book. Magimix now on order and can't wait to try some of Orlando's recipes savoured at Le Manoir. Written with caring, and much love, by an exceptionally talented Orlando. Rare in these days of `celebrity chefs' that Orlando shares his `tips' to ensure that everyone can enjoy success with his wonderful recipes ... and there seems to be a story for every recipe too.

I defy anyone who reads this book not to want to beat a path to Orlando and Peter's; meet the villagers and, of course, try the recipes, and `send the postcard'. Without having to stretch the imagination in the slightest, you will feel you are there before you've even left home. I cannot recommend highly enough this beautiful read followed hotly by a visit to Raynaudes and discover a most special area in France. Enjoy the magic!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great yarn about the Tarn 23 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover
I was initially sceptical about the purpose of this book - I kept thinking, is this just a fantastic marketing exercise, an extended advertisement for a beautiful boutique place in France, something I could find in one of the glossy foodie or travel mags? And in a way, yes - but it is so much more, and so beautifully and engagingly done that I have completely succombed to its many charms. It really is the stuff of dreams - only these guys really did it, and did it with great success. It is a gorgeously put-together book, with seductive recipes - I salivate just reading them through, the mark of a favourite cookbook in the making for me. I look forward to going beyond the page one day, and make a visit to this lovely looking place and sampling its food, particularly the sweet variety.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Factor 12 Sep 2008
Format:Hardcover
This is not 'another cookbook'. It is a story of a renovation of a once pretty house into a rather lovely manoir. Beautifully written and illustrated. The book is a memory of happy times and some disastrous - normal problems which happen to anyone renovating in France. This is not just for francophiles but anyone who likes a good story and some wonderful recipes, which are easy to follow and delicious to eat. For gardeners, it has some wonderful ideas. It has to be on the Christmas wish list. Keep it on the kitchen table and when the winter is too much, have a little bit of France to cheer you up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous hands-on guide for swanky french food 22 July 2009
By onion
Format:Hardcover
As other reviewers have noted, this book falls into 2 parts - the descriptions of setting up and running the hotel (very seductive) and the recipes.

The food section is very French, practical (e.g. lots of info on how to do ahead), and has some very glamorous dishes - the aperitif section is particularly strong. However, it's probably *not* for less experienced cooks or for in-front-of-the-TV dinners - it's for pull-the-stops-out, impressive (but not difficult) meals. I've tried 3 recipes so far and have more earmarked for our next party. A very enjoyable book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
What a lovely book. Very readable, as it's written in an engaging and interesting way, and so attractive. It's a mixture of the story of leaving London to start a very stylish B&B in South-West France, combined with a really good, and different, cook book. Everything about it is good, and I know I will refer to the recipes again and again. They're a bit different, but eminently practical.
I absolutely recommend this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Table in the Tarn - Orlando Murrin 7 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover
A gorgeous book to look at, read and use for making delicious dishes. My last effort was with the chocolate mousse. Yummy! So easy and a real winner with the family and guests. What more could you ask, except that as well as offering wonderful recipes it takes you to another place, to meet other people. Like 'Falling Cloudberries' another delightful personal biography and selection of do-able dishes, A Table in the Tarn reminds us that providing lovely food for lovely people is what cooking is all about.
Maggie Goren
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars We have already tied and tested some of the recipes - with great...
An invaluable addition to any kitchen! We have already tied and tested some of the recipes - with great success! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars would warmly recommend it!
lovely lovely book! I started reading it at a friend's house and had to buy my own copy when I returned home half way through it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lisa Crossley
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Not especially local regional food, but a wonderful read and amazing recipes that I am working my way through. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Marlene Perowne
5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted
This is a wonderful book, ordered for a gift, as I already have a copy. It is a wonderful description of a table d'hote in France, with wonderful pictures and sublime recipes. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. K. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes - helpful hints
I live and France and found the tips for finding ingredients very helpful - just wish I had bought it 7 years ago when I arrived. Brining the pork tenderloin is genius!
Published 20 months ago by Peggy
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!
I was aware of Orlando in his Good Food Magazine days and always liked his approach to cooking. I have a vague recollection of him leaving and heading off to France, and so when an... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good for party buffets
I borrowed this book from my local library and found it so useful I renewed my borrowing of it for nearly two years. Read more
Published 23 months ago by foodieholic
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelational Recipes
Based on the great reviews for this book I was tempted to buy it and initially I felt disappointed that there are seemingly so few recipes - but what I have found with the recipes... Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2010 by L. A. Ellett Iolite
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book
A review by my wife (more of a woman's book I think).
A beautifully presented book - photographs, typeface - all in 'designer' class. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2010 by Roy Croft
5.0 out of 5 stars A slice of heaven in the sun
I adored this book. It's not the largest of cookbooks, not stuffed with dishes you are never likely to make. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2010 by Gentle Reader
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