Sunday, 3 June 2012

A Meal Fit for a Pscycle Killer, Qu'est Ce Que C'est?


As a die-hard Pepita Style File follower, you will undoubtedly recognise the blurry photo above as my kinda dessert.  That's a Trou Normand - a shot of Calvados poured liberally over a boule of apple sorbet - marking the end of a truly remarkable meal at l’Hôtel Normandy Barrière in Deauville.

So what, you may be wondering, brought us to Deauville in the first place?

In my case, it was - literally - our car, loaded with way too much luggage for a one night stay.

In Monsieur's case, it was his bicycle.

At 5:30 yesterday morning, while I was still tucked in bed, no doubt dreaming of shoes and the upcoming summer sales, Monsieur was slipping on his lycra and heading for Fouquet's on the Champs Elysées, the meeting point from which he and 100 other cycho-paths would commence a 230km ride to the Normandy coast.

At 6:30am, while I was probably in a r.e.m. convulsion over a pair of Gianvito Rossi heels, he sent me this:


That was followed a few hours later by this:


The accompanying BBM message read "Beautiful countryside. Waiting for the rest of the pack to catch up."  For those who don't speak 'Monsieur', that translates to: WOOO-HOOOOOOOO!  I am one of the fastest guys out here and 97 of those suckers are way behind, mwah-hahahahaaa. Oh, and Normandy is pretty.

At 5pm, a deservedly chuffed-with-himself Monsieur rode into Deauville, with a long swathe of blue & white spandex trailing behind.



The group celebrated their stellar effort over dinner at the local golf club and, needless to say, retired early. I was therefore delighted when, after a good night's sleep (and plenty of De-Stress Muscle Gel), Monsieur decided to continue the celebration with Sunday brunch at l’Hôtel Normandy Barrière.

As you've already seen, the meal ended extremely well.  It began pretty well too:


But the main course was something else.




That's me, Monsieur and the biggest Crustacea platter I've ever seen.  Shock and awe is what's registered on my face.  Not only was that an awful lot of seafood - unshelling all those langoustines was going to be a bitch.

Luckily, the service at The Normandy is as excellent as the food, so when our waiter noticed me wince at my half of the crab, he whisked it away and returned a few moments later with the demi-beast elegantly deconstructed into something more manicure friendly:



Style File Followers Take Note:
1. Nicolas Sarkozy began his presidency at Fouquet's.  So glad Monsieur's venture was more succesful.
2. I'm very proud of Monsieur and his cycling achievement.  I just wish lycra-wearing wasn't a prerequisite.
3. I'm wearing a new cotton sweater from George Hogg.  There's one in Paris (rue du Bac) and one in Deauville.  Watch this space:  I think you'll be seeing more of this fantastic brand soon.
4. Yes, I did overpack for the weekend.  And I went shopping.  I'm not proud.
5. Pack this if sports are on your holiday (or any) agenda.
6. Stay (and eat) here if you want to enjoy a taste of the true Normand.

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