The Frenchwoman who ran the bed-and-breakfast where we were staying in the Dordogne gave us a few addresses. One was for a ferme auberge (farm restaurant) where she’d arranged for me to watch the proprietor make her famous tourtière aux pruneaux (prune tart sprinkled with Armagnac).
And so one night my husband and I set out from Sarlat to the deep countryside following her directions. We drove on and on, hardly anyone on the road, through forest, through tiny villages. Just when we thought we were completely lost, we saw a sign for the ferme auberge.
I pointed the car up a tiny dirt road, headlights on high as it was so dark. Curve after curve and then one more: Suddenly, there it was, lights blazing like Las Vegas. There was just one other table that night, but a guest book with all sorts of illustrious names.
I remember we ate very well -- paté laced with foie gras, soup, duck. For such a rustic setting, what astonished me was the fact that everything was served beneath silver domes, the kind you might see at two- or three-star restaurants.
In fact, it turns out, the proprietor’s son worked at a two-star restaurant and had bought them for his mother. They were aspirational, to say the least. I remembered that whole strange skewed evening when I saw the latest arrival at my favorite online design shop, unicahome.com.
These resin “lapin” or rabbit domes from designer Tina Frey would have been more appropriate at a ferme auberge. Quirky and irreverent, they’re meant to conceal a cheese plate, a slab of butter or whatever. I love that they’re elevated on a pedestal. The rabbit ears are fun too, because they conjure the idea of a magician’s rabbit in a hat. What’s underneath? It could be cookies, big fluffy meringues, a cache of Pixie mandarins -- or a complete surprise.
Lapin dome on pedestal stand, white or grey, $176 small; $290 large. Lapin covered dish with spreader, $150; large $270. Available from unicahome.com.
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Photos: Tina Frey's resin lapin domes. Credit: Unicahome.