Our infamous “back-biter” shows just how cynical one man can be
There were several options given to me as possible topics for this issue. Amongst them “beds”. Judging from his biography, one would have thought Warren Beatty better qualified to cover this topic. Here goes. Expect a little wandering.
Hotel beds. Have you ever checked into a 5-star hotel? The pubescent bell hop had a major zit squeezing fest that morning leaving his face like a slab of corned beef. He explains how the light switch works in optimistic expectations of a $10 tip. And you tentatively look at the bed. Are you up to date with your shots? Do you wonder what unspeakable acts of depravity previous occupants have done on or in this bed which you will be climbing into this very evening? Low life with low morals and tragic shortcomings in personal hygiene grinning maniacally at their voluptueuse partner who is undiluted essence of fox.
I feel an extravagant generalization coming on. I can’t help myself, Your Honour. The French. (Nice link with previous para? You bet) The French drive French cars, Renaults, Peugeots, drink French wine, holiday in French-speaking places. A sizeable proportion sleep in French camp beds. Pun intended, Justin dear. The French eat horses. Which is why many horses sleep standing up – their legs have a locking mechanism to prevent them falling over. Why do they sleep standing up? To get off to a flying start when a Frenchman approaches with a carving knife. If it’s not horses, almost any domestic pet will do. I saw a bumper sticker in Paris which translated as: “So many cats, so few recipes”.
On the subject of food, try Mollard, 29, rue de Londres, Paris. Opposite Gare St. Lazare. It’s been there for more than 100 years. Enthusiastic friends booked us a table there recently. We were ushered to a table jammed against a buttress wall with another table jammed against ours. One table had to be removed for us to get to our pocket-sized table. The Maitre d’ crawled over like a haemorrhoidal gorilla attempting to postpone a bowel movement because he knew the pain would be intense. He glared at us, attempting to transmogrify his ill-contained bad feelings; this was as much of a strain for me as for him.
“What’s today’s special, please?” I asked smilingly. “Hake”. Glancing at Madam for her approval, I said, “Thank you, two hakes”. “Hake’s off;” “Crab perhaps?” I asked. “OK. Two crab.” “Is it dressed?” I asked. “No. You do it yourself.” Meanwhile, the next table had two plates of steaming cabbage dropped over their shoulders. It appeared to have been boiled into submission. Must have had a rosbif in the kitchen? When we got served (no offer of water, wine, bread, entrée) Madam got lotte and I got cod. Remember the address and avoid it. Fame is a capricious mistress.
Most restaurants and bars present wine lists and cocktails with the cheapest options first. This is bad marketing. It means that many customers go for the house wine rather than the far more profitable – for the restaurant – Château Très Chère. Wine lists make fascinating bedtime reading. Especially if you are in the Middle East where, incidentally, they have the best inflatable mattresses which blow themselves up.
Prize-winner for this year’s “Best Use of Champagne Award” goes to the charming Olga Berluti. The fragrant Mme Berluti is the creative director of the mega luxury shoe brand of the same name. She recently made a trip to London because it was felt that the City bankers and hedge fund managers had become so preoccupied with le crédit crunch and their to-be-highly taxed bonuses that they were neglecting their footwear. Mme Berluti held a shoe-shining demonstration at their Mayfair branch. The key to shiny shoes? Champagne of course. Madame Berluti likes to use Krug or Dom Pèrignon (don’t we all?) for that added toecap sparkle. However, these brands were deemed too ostentatious in straightened times. Instead a modest Moët et Chandon was called into action.
Spring is around the corner. Think about bedding some plants.