Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday 24 December - Le Grand Colbert

It was dry today and we enjoyed the 45 minute walk down to Le Grand Colbert (Saint Lazare, the Opera to the Bourse). We were a few minutes early and took the opportunity to walk through the gardens of the Palais Royal as far as the Comedie Francaise.
The Santas were out in force
The flower beds in the Palais Royal added some wonderful splashes of color.
 We were warmly greeted at Le Grand Colbert and had a long leisurely lunch. It was much more relaxed than on several previous occasions and it was good to have come early on Christmas Eve rather than later on today or on Christmas Day.  We each had a starter, a main course and a dessert, Mary had a half bottle of Pouilly Fume (Loire) while I had a half bottle of an excellent Bordeaux.

Mary helped herself to as much pickled herring as she wanted.  The waiter threatened to bring her a second pot!

There was also a bowl of boiled potatoes to go with the herring
I started with an excellent bowl of Soupe a l'onion gratinee.  The bowl looked small but the broth was very deep and full while the cheese was gooey and very thick.
Mary's main course was scallops

My second course was rognons with several rashers of bacon. There was a side plate of potatoes au gratin and an excellent mustard which took the roof of my mouth off..
By now we were pretty full but we couldn't leave without a dessert.
Mary was tempted by this mousse buche

I had the apple sorbet with some vieille calvados
Over coffee we chatted with a couple from Turkey with their two children.  They arrived here yesterday and leave on the 27th December. Makes us realize how fortunate we are to be able to spend six weeks here - every year.

The 45 minute walk back was good exercise. We stopped off at Marks and Spencer and I dropped into the Gare Saint Lazare where, wonder of wonders, I saw BB 17054 again on a train of double deck suburban cars.

The long distance side of Saint Lazare (platforms 24-27) was empty this afternoon as most people will already have left on their Christmas journeys.  However, the suburban side was still busy.
This picture reminds me of working at Reading passenger station at Christmas. To handle the rush I had to work 12 hour days then 12 hour nights alternating with the other Assistant. A few days before Christmas things would get really hectic and Christmas Eve was the worst of all.  Then about 1600 the crowds disappeared and a calm came over the station so that we were able to sweep the platforms clean and take a breather. I spent Christmas Day sleeping.

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