Saturday, 17 March 2007

No more wine THANK YOU

His Lordship's birthday was a resounding success yesterday. Jolly coloured balloons, an enormous lemon frosted sponge and lots of chilled fizzy wine taken in the warm sunshine whilst admiring the snow on the peaks of the Pyrenees in the distance. Once we had 'kick started' the party our guests attentions turned to the enticing aromas eminating from the Aga. Delicious olives from our own tree soaked in oil and herbs de provence accompanied a plate of mixed charcuterie. For the 'foodies' amongst you here's the menu. If you're on a diet skip the next bit...

Cold curried prawns on toast garnished with chopped parsley.
Drunken Quail stuffed with Foie Gras and flambèd in Cognac accompanied by a baby leaf salad.
Homemade mint and chocolate sorbet served in a tiny glass and drenched in Cognac, a real palate sharpner !
Salmon, egg and mushroom wrapped in a flaky pastry coat.
A fine cheeseboard.
And then the birthday cake.
And then some beautiful handmade Belgian chocolates ...

Our guests meanwhile became rather animated. "I found a rather nasty common looking cat under my bed" one of them remarked. "Oooh how awful for you" I replied and His Lordship and I exchanged amused smiles. "But that's your cat surely" ? one of our friends interjected. Meanwhile The Small Cross One takes a call from our friends in Ireland whose purpose is to wish us all a very Happy St Patricks Day. They seemed to be a day early in starting their celebrations but its a minor point really.

Before the guests retired for the night they requested that the bed be moved around. Being the 'hostess with the mostest' and full of bubbles I readily obliged. "We're not sleeping too well" they explained "with the bed in that position". When I first viewed the house the master bedroom had an air of reverence hanging over it. Next to the bedside table was a glass containing some false teeth. Spectacles were loosely pushed into a case and a pile of condolence letters edged in black sat on the dressing table. "We are very sorry for your recent sad loss" we proffered. The owners gave us a bewildered look. I gestured vaguely in the direction of the bed where presumably the deceased had lain but a few weeks earlier. My sympathies were greeted with a typical French shrug of indifference. Turns out the old dear had been as dead as a doornail for at least five years. The 'Chatelaine' had given birth countless times and finally died with the bed in that position. But this little gem of a story I kept firmly to myself.

This morning the guests were bright eyed and bushy tailed which is more than can be said of His Lordship and I. "We slept like a dream" they enthused, "we have had the most wonderful stay with you". We embraced warmly, kissed each other goodbye and smiled enthusiastically at the prospect of seeing them back in July here at Le Chateau Lasserre. Are you going to visit us this year too ?

After their departure His Lordship announces brightly that lying in the sweet pea bed is the largest juiciest rat with its head bitten off, presumably the work of the nasty common looking cat. If I hadn't got a migraine coming on then I most definitely have now. Au Revoir.

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