Eat drink and make Meribel
The Refuge in Meribel provided the raclette and fondue encounter to which some of our skiing party aspired. The venue changed from Le Fromargerie after some on-line reviews suggested that the place not only smelled, quite reasonably, of cheese, but the advice was not to wear any clothing that you might want to wear the next day because the cheesy smell would not leave you. With it being the last night, and with most things packed, and not wishing to be smelling all day of Norwegian Jarlsberger or Canadian Beaver Cheese, The Refuge literally lived up to its name. Quaint and old-fashioned, it was still Trois Vallees expensive.
This time the car started, and the torturous but spectacular trip down the mountain to Beaune, with all the other tourists leaving at the same time, was the expected nightmare all the way to the outskirts of Lyon, when suddenly the traffic cleared and we got to this pretty and ancient town in early afternoon, about 2 hours earlier than we expected. It was only a little warmer, still below freezing and was snowing gently as we unloaded the car. The lovely and charming La Belle Époque was once again our destination for the night.
Before venturing out in early evening, I completed, with the help of Jeroen of ABK Estate Agents, the arrangements for the launch of The Valbonne Monologues (Facebook; Valbonne Monologues) at Cafe Latin. The sponsors, so far ABK, Marina Kulik and Currencies Direct are between them supplying a glass of sparkling wine, a coffee or a glass of wine to everyone buying a book on the day, either Friday 15th or Saturday 16th March between 10.30 and 12.00. I shall be in personal attendance and will be available, if required, to sign copies of the book for lucky punters, who will in future years be able to say they were there when the book was first unveiled. Please do not forget that these valuable first editions can only increase in value in my own mind. Also, this time there are colour pictures throughout of some of your valbonnenews.com heroes, and for the richest amongst you, there is a hardback limited edition priced at a very reasonable 20 euros. For the rest of you cheapskates it is 15 euros for the paperback. I will take advance orders via paypal, cash and even those antiquated cheques.
After watching England beat France in the six nations, and studiously avoiding speaking English, not celebrating when England scored, and practising lots of Gallic shrugs and muttering “sacre bleu” as England went further and further ahead, we went out for an early dinner on order to get an early start this morning. Although the tunnel crossings are fully booked, there are bound to be people who are late or cancel, so with luck we will be back in Arundel before nightfall.
Then it will be Monday and the starvation diet will commence. Do not expect me to be upbeat, witty or amusing in the coming days. Many will say they never do, but there are a few loyal readers who admit to enjoying this daily missive, now approaching its third birthday. The week of eating and drinking at Meribel has not been sufficiently off set by the momentous skiing and energy usage involved. I would probably have to ski for a whole year to get to equilibrium, let alone a honing of my magnificent anatomy, so drastic measures have been imposed. 600 calories a day is about as close to starvation as one can get with expiring, and I have heard that it can make you grumpy.