We tested you (and in summary) the “Au pays du citron” picnic in Menton

We tested you (and in summary) the “Au pays du citron” picnic in Menton

Events begin in 4×4. Land Rover Defender of nine seats, to be precise. Taking us in front of the Municipal Music Conservatory, he takes us to the Au pays du citron lemon farm, located at 250 avenue des Acacias.

Because its leader, Fabrice Puech, has decided to open the farm to the public, giving tours accompanying the Menton picnic. The July 5 visit, which I am sharing this Friday is a preview, to which various experts have been invited, including members of the city hall, Au pays du citron staff, agents of the Tourism Office and the Menton sea trip Company, partner in the operation.

But back to our 4×4. At the wheel: Baudouin Lavoizard, who recently got the position of driver and director at La Ferme des Citrons. “I still haven’t had time to create a playlist for the trip, but I’ll make one. “, he jokes, while driving. Meanwhile, he has no time soon. Because since the purchase of Citron Farm a year ago, Au pays du citron employees, including Baudouin, have been keeping it accessible to the public.

Lemon on the door

After a steep climb to the highest point of the domain, we land on a land platform that offers a spectacular view of three hectares of land and the hills of Borrigo.

In addition to the cicadas song, we are greeted by Fabrice Puech and Laurent Marchal, the farm’s manager, and a fountain of lemon juice, which catches my eye. Recently, I was drinking with my colleagues, listening to Fabrice Puech’s statement: “We will welcome 32 people a day maximum. They will have a choice between two formulas: one for 29 euros, which includes field visits and a picnic; and that of 51 euros, which we will call Balade terre et mer, and which will include a boat trip at the end of the day.

With this final formula, Au pays du citron has teamed up with La promenade en mer menntonnaise, whose members are on this first tour. Salomé Dubuisson, the daughter of the manager, also notes that they will be able to “find customers at 5:30 a.m., at the port of Menton. So, this will give them time to calm down from the field [grâce au 4×4 Defender d’Au pays du citron, ndlr]. ” A formula that we will not try today, but that makes you want it.

Tropical forest

After the lemon, comes the journey. In one file, we walk – not sing – on the path created during the development work, allowing the passage of visitors. We pass in front of the tanks, recently installed on real estate. “Bees are the most important thing in our area, Says Fabrice Puech. Thanks to them, we will reap 30% more fruit, despite the extreme drought. ”

On these beautiful words after months of drought, we continue our journey, the direction: the forest of avocado trees. When you enter it is interesting. A wide path has emerged between the trees that cover us and cut through, forming a pile of leaves over our heads. Moisture is most noticeable here, and in a moment I could imagine myself in the rain forest. Without snakes and spiders, thank you …

Retail space and tiki bar

Once out of the forest, our nature continues, captivated by stations and stories from the owner. The orange fruit surrounds us and I will not hide the fact that, if it were ripe, I would be tempted to choose a few.

Further down, we reach a vegetable garden, planted for only a month and a half, but it is already well stocked. Melons, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers … everything is grown there “and will be sold at the point of sale.” Sales area, we find it on a shady platform, with a tick bar. Still under construction, “will be completed July 5”assures the domain administrator.

On the same platform, we discover garden furniture, games and the famous “picnic” – which, after forty minutes of walking in the sun, does not leave me motionless.

A great relaxing area, which guests can enjoy all day long, Fabrice Puech longing for “Have a nice day. I hope this area will be an important place to visit Menton.” Desire that looks good.

Picnic to do more than one drool

As we sit at the table, it includes glasses of wine, provided by Corinne Pangallo, assistant manager of Au pays du citron. “This is the wine that we have brought along with our fruit, he explains. There are oranges, lemons, clementines and three citrus fruits. ” It is in the end that I turn around. “It is on the basis of red wine, which we make all the fruit for 35 days. Then we take the fruit and insert the ingredients.” A drink that will attract sangria lovers, of which I am one of them. In moderation of course.

The food, meanwhile, is served by Sinini restaurant with deep focaccia, pan bagnat and barbajuan. “Special Menton, re-visited with lemon from Menton and made with our products”, insists Fabrice Puech. It is all accompanied by raw vegetables, which can be dipped into a tapenade from Au pays du citron and, for dessert, a lemon pie. And even if I find that my picnics are ridiculous around this, that doesn’t stop me from licking my fingers at the end of the meal.