4th January - An amazing second Christmas

I have just been looking out the window at the white crispy view and reflecting on our second Christmas in Charente Maritime.

Christmas Day was spent with friends having a traditional French Christmas lunch.  We were so thrilled to be invited and didn't consider that leaving our puppies at home over lunch would be a problem.  We hadn't appreciated a French Christmas lunch lasts for 5 to 6 hours.  Beautiful appetisers of asparagus and mascarpone topped with caviar and smoked salmon with pink grapefruit, followed by smoked salmon and fois gras with pumpkin and gingerbread.  By this time we had already been away from home for 3 hours - thankfully the family quickly realised my dilemma and kindly invited the puppies over (which they had forgotten to tell us before so I didn't feel like I was totally ruining their day!).  The main was Guinea Fowl, followed by the usual French cheeseboard course and to complete ice cream in Italian meringue and strawberry yule log.  A six hour banquet.  I must confess to having an extremely tired brain after speaking French all day - but what an absolutely superb day it was.

New Year was spent with friends who flew over from England.  A great move as it meant car travel was out of the question as we didn't all fit in.  This forced us to stay local and walk and cycle and eat and be merry.  I couldn't wish for a better time.

Now my thoughts are turning to the summer - which I am really excited about.  There are lots of repeat bookings and we are really looking forward to seeing our guests back.