We flew back from the States on a Friday, stored the extra luggage at Heathrow and hopped onto the next plane to France for S’ birthday.
It was an intimate party with only family and the closest friends, set in the family’s holiday home at Marcy, a little village in Beaujolais, east of France.
The house was over a 100 years old and many parts and details of the olden days were left untouched in spite of a few refurbishments. There was a big garden adorned with assorted flowers in rich colours, rows of almond trees, as well as several types of prunes, cherries, pears etc. and sundry other herbs, exuding lush rustic warmth and sheer tranquillity.
Through the beautiful curved front door is the living room, filled with 19th-century French furniture and beamed ceilings. The oak boarded floor and portraits in oil paintings were reminders of the past; the fresco-ed walls once painted by the Italians stood the test of time.
Before lunch was served, we gathered for apéritifs and hors d’œuvres.
There were a few verrines , pâté en croûte, some foie gras on gingerbread, melons … and of course, the bubbles. The crowd was a robust lot, glasses were clinked as greetings and kisses flew. I left my jet-lagged self along with those extra luggage at the airport and completely immersed in the birthday gaieties.