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Lady in red?

February 29, 2012

There has been an astonishing oversight, not the kind I have been banging on about every day for nearly two years, ie the benefits of being a Currencies Direct customer, although that is a serious oversight as well, no, something equally as serious; some of my pals and serious party fodder had never been to The Valbonnaise.

As locals living in and around the village of Valbonne this is an appalling oversight (much as not being a customer of Currencies Direct) which I sought to repair as soon as it was revealed at lunch on Sunday. Last night then, after a brief visit to the Queens Legs for a sharpener, to raise dutch courage for what was to come (so to speak) the virgins amongst us got their first taste of being a fully grown up Valbonnaise. Amongst those Valbonnaise virgins were Peachy and the amazing amazon Suzanne Butterfield and the craggy tennis playing playboy Nick “Mr Derek” Davies, so-called because of his Basil Brush laugh. As I write they are no longer virgins, and much as it can be when losing ones actual virginity the expectation exceeds the actual event. Also much like sex, the Valbonnaise is an experience to which one must take time to adjust and eventually savour. Sometimes it works brilliantly, other times not as Mr Derek will testify.

It is a small bustling family run restaurant in an Italian style without much Italian style. It has a lively  but slightly too bright interior, bizarrely decorated in hand painted murals (or murials as at least one of my friends who cannot be named but is often described in fruity terms in this column), serves great pizza cooked on the wood in an authentic pizza oven, other food of patchy quality, although their entrecote steak is sometimes extremely good, sometimes a little indifferent, cheap wine and offers a great informal and often amusing service. The amusement is often as a result of the husband and wife team who run it disagreeing in quite violent and often high decibel terms. In short it is an experience which can be enjoyed without feeling one is dining at a quality establishment, and with red win priced at eight euros a carafe, what more could a discerning Brit need? so a party of 10 or so hungry virgins and several gigolos (by that I meant well-practiced) in the Valbonne experience descended upon this Italian eaterie having taken some anesthetising in the form of Guinness or cider in the Queens Legs last night.

When at Limone recently we were asked to fill in a survey about the hotel in which we were staying and were presented with a small red handbag for our troubles. Because of the alarming colour I had decided to present it to Peachy Butterfield who wears colours that would make my style guru Mr Humphries cringe (if he was free). I took it to the Valbonnaise last night and by coincidence it matched what he was wearing and his iphone perfectly as my picture shows.

Peachy looking a bit red in the face

Peachy was in top form, holding court about his visit last year to Chateau Petrus and telling all that as he stood between the vines of the finest vineyard in the world and the neighbouring vines some 6 feet away he could not understand why the crushed fruit as he called it on his left could fetch £25,000 per case whilst the vines on his right could fetch just £250 per case.

So up in the big bird in the sky today headed for the delights of Gatwick and Parents evening at Ashbourne College in Kensington, with the reward that only a pint of London Pride, the finest beer known to man can bestow to follow.

Chris France

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