Subject: Serendipity at Versailles
Hi all,

The recent posts about Versailles reminded me of something that happened to us the last time we were there, maybe ten years ago.

We had spent a few hours wandering the house and grounds and were pretty worn out, so we decided to trek back to the train station. I'm not sure which way we exitted, or even if there's more than one way, but we were passing by this country hotel/restaurant so we decided to stop in for a drink. They sat us in a very pretty garden room and we noticed that people were getting up and walking over to this table that was out of sight from us, and returning with plates with something that looked good, from afar. After learning from the waiter that we too could partake, my wife made the initial foray, returning, in absolute bliss, since it was a table covered with the most wonderful pastry creations imaginable, and, you could make as many trips as you wanted. My wife, who is tall and thin, was in heaven - she's the family dessert freak (she is wearing out the pages of our Marcel DeSaulniers Death By... cookbooks - in fact, I need to bring most of everything she makes into my Monday bridge club so we won't spend all week eating.) I, who am not-so-tall and not-so- thin, also had a great time. We still count it as the best surprise eating experience we had. True serendipity!

All right - one more.

When we were in Paris earlier this year, we had lunch at a place Don and Linda mentioned in one of their travelogues: Le Souffle. While we were eating our entree, my wife noticed that a woman seated behind me, who was eating alone, was served an individual souffle and the waiter sprinkled some Grand Marnier on it. My wife said it looked like the woman asked the waiter to leave the bottle! About thirty seconds later, my wife said She's sprinkling more on!, and we both kind of laughed (discreetly of course.) Another thirty seconds and my wife said again, She's sprinkling more on!. This happened, I swear, at least six times (the sprinkling and the exclamations), and by now my wife was incredulous. How could anyone so blatantly take so much of this expensive stuff? How indeed!

Well you guessed it, my wife happened to have also ordered a Grand Marnier souffle for dessert and the waiter, without being asked, left the bottle on the table!! It had kind of a sprinkler top on it. All this time, I suspect that my wife was jealous, and she was trying to figure out how she was going to get the waiter to leave her a bottle - and then she didn't even have to ask. No comment on the count at our table.

I had the Chocolate-Raspberry souffle but, alas, there was no bottle of Chambord for me.

This was one of the few days that we didn't go to Angelina's for an afternoon Chocolate Africaine.

Regards, Al Sonoma, CA, USA