Well – after nearly two weeks in India, it was time for a long weekend. And where better for a quick relaxing getaway from Gurgaon, India – then Champagne, France? So – I flew to gay Paree. Ben picked me up – and we headed to Champagne.
Checked into a cheap dodgy hotel in Epernay, and then started drinking champagne. Well – not strictly in that order, but close enough. I had a bottle at the airport waiting for him. We had a bottle at lunch in Rheims. And then I think we checked in. And went exploring. Bought some supplies. Cheese, foie gras, bread, a couple of electric champagne coolers, champagne. And then decided that the ledge outside our hotel window could quite conceivably function as a balcony. And that pretty much set-up the template for the weekend. Cheese, foie gras, pate, champange & music on the balcony.
But then – we decided to fly in extra company. Caitlin Osborne celebrated her birthday recently – so Ben & I decided to buy her a gift. Flights for her & her friend from London. And then – suddenly there were four of us in a small dodgy hotel room. We did actually try to reserve the room next door – but when we picked up the key, and Ben opened the door to check whether we should steal that room if it was better – it turns out some poor girl had also checked into that room. So – we were stuck with small room, and balcony. (I did try sleeping on the balcony one night, but really rather cold.)
But – no matter. We had everything we needed. We were worried that two champagne coolers wouldn’t cope with the extra consumers – but good ol’ Rudy at the hotel bar kept us supplied with an ice bucket and a supply of ice. Put to very good use.
Sunday, we actually ventured out of town – and headed to a nearby lake. A little swim, and little sun, and a little Flunch. I don’t like Flunch. But – it seemed to be the only place open in the entire province on a Sunday. Except the A&P show – which was weird.
There was a lot of champagne drunk at restaurants. Our method was to go through the list alphabetically. I got two email addresses from an aussie girl and a french girl on the first night. The aussie girl was an air stewardess with Qantas – was with her co-pilot boyfriend – and held both my & Ben’s hands (and eye contact) for far too long during the goodbye handshake. Far, far too long. I bought a stop-bouchon. The best in the world. Don’t bother trying to look up what that is, because I think mine is the best in the world, because it’s the only one in the world. And did I mention we drank champagne? Our balcony had quite an impressive collection of bottles on it when we left. The huge bag of uneaten food delicacies had been moved into an airtight bag in the bathroom – but the staff refused to take it away.
- Favourite champagne: Kristal
- Least favourite food: Flunch
- Favourite person: Rudy
- Least favourite person: Little irishman who bragged about buying his girlfriend an expensive watch. While staying at the Ibis. Notable mentions: Ben, myself.
- Favourite purchase: stop-bouchon. Notable mentions: champagne cooler.
And now I’m back in India. With a couple of good solid 16 hour days to help me recover from the weekend.