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Cigar heaven

June 1, 2012

After a very nice lunch at Le Bois Dore, a restaurant that we do not usually frequent because the wine is ridiculously expensive, we were invited back to the “maison”, well, one of the maisons of the Buftons who had joined us for lunch. The lunch was particularly lovely because it was at the expense of my some time golfing partner, Peter Savin, thus I was searching for the most expensive option I could get away with.

The plan to go to Lou Fassum was scuppered earlier when my host discovered that their “menu du marche”, an expensive but still comparatively reasonably priced option when compared to their ridiculously priced a la carte menu, had been suspended for the summer. Not being the one paying, I did my best to persuade him that it would be worthwhile and how wonderful was their terrace looking down the valley to the sea but he was rightly unmoved. With so much competition in the restaurant world close by in Valbonne and the surrounding area and a recession eating (sic) into their income one would have thought that bringing in some thirsty ex pats might have been a commercially sensible option, but no, this is France where commercial reality is so often absent, so the Bois Dore it was.

It became clear over a sumptuous meal on the nearly as lovely terrace of the Bois Dore that the Buftons once owned a house – or maybe it was a friend – in Switzerland at a place called Wankdorf. Regular readers of this column will know that information such as this is fuel to the fire of innuendo and gossip for which this column is justly renowned. What a handy place to live I suggested innocently. It has good air and road links so I thought it was handy. Subsequently the lovely Leslie Bufton said “I wasn’t going to mention it, but for a long time I had to go there twice a day”.

As soon as she had uttered those words in the context of Wankdorf she looked at me and suddenly regretted it.  With my blackberry in my hand to take notes in order, as it were, to take in hand this piece of information, and in justifiable fear of the consequences she dug that hole of innuendo deeper still; she knew that my reporting antenna was primed and still she said she knew that “she had it coming”.

Lunch was charming, as was the waiter who was trying in broken English to explain the cheese option on the Menu Du Marche “pas de goat” he said, and I was mightily glad about that.

The perfect end to a day

I took this picture as I was sitting in the pav last evening constructing today’s missive with a Monte Christo to hand, considering the relative merits of living in Wankdorf, and thinking about the Swiss Franc when I remembered that I had yet to mention the benefits of opening an account with Currencies Direct.

So it is over. Our house guests leave this morning and I for one will be finished with strong drink for a few days. I know it is the weekend and the Queens Jubilee celebrations next week but a man can only take so much. I have my second book to complete ready for a launch later in the year. That nice lady decorator suggested Halloween as a good date but I think she may have been being slightly disingenuous. It is now about a quarter of the way through to completion so perhaps it is a good target date.

Chris France

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Pinman permalink
    June 1, 2012 12:51 pm

    “Living in Wankdorf with a Monte Christo to hand,,,,,,,,,,,,”

    What a charming diminutive.!

    Like

  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    June 1, 2012 12:53 pm

    Fancy taking the rise out of someone for innocently owning a house in Wankdorf. Just be careful you don’t rub them up the wrong way…….

    Like

  3. Pinman permalink
    June 1, 2012 1:00 pm

    They obviously left when inflation became a problem………

    Like

  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    June 1, 2012 3:52 pm

    Yes that argument stands up……

    Like

  5. Pinman permalink
    June 1, 2012 7:34 pm

    You should know………..you must guide your flock from erection to resurrection…….!!

    Like

    • Pinman permalink
      June 1, 2012 7:54 pm

      This MUST be tongue in cheek…………….

      Young Boys Wankdorf erection relief July 31, 2005

      Email PrintBERN, Switzerland, July 31 (Reuters) – The supporters of Young Boys Bern have not had too much to celebrate in the 19 years since their team last won the Swiss league title.

      Long since eclipsed by the likes of FC Basel and Grasshoppers Zurich, the club from the Swiss capital has even got a reputation for enjoying its status as a perennial loser.

      But this weekend Young Boys sought to shake off their old image by officially opening the 32,000 Stade de Suisse Wankdorf stadium — which cost 350 million Swiss francs ($271.3 million) — with an uncharacteristically flashy homecoming party.

      ‘I’m extremely happy, because I’m convinced this is the stadium from which Young Boys can finally launch themselves back into sporting success,’ Swiss president, and Bern native, Samuel Schmid told spectators just before Saturday’s show got underway.

      Looking on as acrobats, musicians and dancers took to the pitch, the stadium’s private investors gladly shared Schmid’s enthusiasm while insisting the financial viability of the overall complex does not depend solely on the team’s success.

      ‘We have learned a lot from the multifunctional stadium at FC Basel,’ stadium board president Benno Oertig told Reuters.

      ‘When you look at the total investment, it’s clear that we had to have other sources of income than just the football, which is why we have a supermarket, shops, offices and even a school included in the complex.’

      ‘But of course the performance of the football club will have an important knock-on effect.

      ‘We have calculated for average crowds of around 15,000 per match and are also targeting at least a third place finish in the league this season. That might put some pressure on the club, but you need pressure if you want to succeed.’

      Fortunately for team coach Hans-Peter Zaugg, the club’s backers also appreciate the need to invest in players.

      Working to a budget of about 8.5 million Swiss francs — surpassed in Swiss football only by FC Basel’s estimated 30 million — Zaugg made eight pre-season signings.

      The most notable coup was convincing Switzerland midfielder and former Basel hero Hakan Yakin to join the club.

      Having won both their opening away matches to take an early lead at the top of the Swiss standings, Young Boys already look prepared for their season of change.

      ‘The building of the new stadium certainly played a part in my coming here,’ Yakin told Reuters on Saturday.

      ‘I’d already seen what a new home can do for a team during my time at Basel — so now it’s up to us players to put in performances that will bring in the supporters.’

      Despite the recently appended Stade de Suisse title, the new Wankdorf does not have any official status as a national stadium and will share the staging of international matches with the other new Swiss grounds in Basel and Geneva.

      The future hosts for Swiss Cup finals — previously held exclusively in Bern — is also still to be decided.

      The Bern stadium is, however, already set to stage three group matches at the 2008 European Championships, marking a return to the international stage more than half a century after the old Wankdorf hosted the 1954 World Cup final.

      Back in those days, Young Boys had something of a giant-killing reputation in Europe and even reached the semi-finals of the 1959 European Cup.

      A second round defeat to Olympic Marseille in this season’s Intertoto Cup reminded Bern’s supporters that European glory is still a long way off.

      Thanks to the new home, though, domestic success no longer looks quite so impossible

      Like

  6. Rev. Jeff permalink
    June 2, 2012 11:58 am

    That must come in the ‘couldn’t make it up category’.

    Like

  7. Pinman permalink
    June 2, 2012 12:12 pm

    “must come”…………….

    …………..in Wankdorf ?? That’s a hard one to put into Chris’s blog………..

    Like

    • June 2, 2012 1:15 pm

      Glad you spotted that one…..sorry for giving the Rever end credit for the erection line

      Like

  8. Pinman permalink
    June 2, 2012 6:50 pm

    No worries Blue; give credit to whomsoever you choose. Just ensure you negotiate a higher rate of commission than you profess to receive from Currentcakes Erect……….

    Like

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