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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Barbara’s birthday celebration, which today will continue with a visit to Versailles to see a special exhibition recommended by Stefano and some kind of special secret lunch he arranged, exceeded all expectations.


She visited the two stores on her “must list”, City Pharma and the kitchen supply store. She needed some exercise clothes, which we did not think we would have time for yesterday, but there was a Lululemon right next to City Pharma so we were able to fit that in between City Pharma and meeting Stefano at the kitchen store.


While Barbara spent about an hour at City Pharma getting what she wanted for herself (but more for our three granddaughters than for her), I sat in a nearby coffee shop having a cappuccino and Perrier and watching the one woman behind the counter doing the work of three. City Pharma is a unique operation. It is huge and sells, at extremely fair prices, all sorts of natural remedies, supplements and toiletries. It does not sell cosmetics. Their staff is very knowledgeable and when you walk in, someone will be available to take you around and get done in an hour what might take you a whole day by yourself and still not do as well.


Between the three stores, we had so many bags that before we went to lunch, the main event of the day, we had our taxi drop all the packages at our hotel.


We then proceeded to an over-three-hour lunch at David Toutain, which was one of the great eating experiences of our lives. It is very small—38 seats in all, always fully booked for both lunch and dinner five days a week. It is closed weekends.


We had the best table in the corner facing the open kitchen where we could see everyone working, including Toutain himself. There is no a la carte menu. At lunch there are four choices: 4, 6, 8 and 10 courses. At night only 8 & 10 are available. Before one chooses which tasting menu to choose, everyone gets four different courses which are included. Thus, one must add four more courses to whatever number is ultimately chosen. We chose eight, which is the same as the one other couple, celebrating their first anniversary, that we could see from our table. They paid and extra euros 150 per person for the wine pairing.


We had a very fairly priced champagne from the most extensive champagne list is I have ever seen. It is proprietary and cannot be obtained in advance or accessed on the internet.

The food was extraordinary and unique.


One point of note regarding the butter. One of the world’s great chefs, Eric Frechon, who, among other places, has a Michelin three-star restaurant at the Bristol Hotel, makes the best butter I have ever tasted. It is truly extraordinary and has to be requested. Yesterday, when butter was provided, we were told that there were only 40 cows in the whole World that produced this butter, and it was the greatest in the world. I said, “Better than Frechon’s?” The server knew exactly what I was talking about that I am sure the fact that I said what I said gained us great respect.


Time prevents me from writing more today. After lunch, we went to a great Christmas market, but it was so bitterly cold that we went back to the hotel. No one ate a bite after lunch.

———————-

More tomorrow.


Go Ukraine


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