Bed, Breakfast and Fine Dining

Michelin logo. The chef's family doesn't always eat fine cuisine

This has been an interesting summer. I have enjoyed it more than usual because a) I didn’t have a broken metatarsal and b) somewhat strangely, because we didn’t go away.

The reason for our lack of exotic (or otherwise) holiday, was two fold: First, we couldn’t afford it. Things are finally looking up for us financially, but this summer we needed to service, even reduce, our debt, and certainly not spend more than necessary.

To further assist this aim, we decided to set up bed and breakfast  in our home (airbnb). This was the other reason we didn’t go away, we had too many guests – brilliant, and a considerable relief I can tell you.

cooked breakfast at The Old Meeting Place

I broke up from my job at the local primary school, and the summer stretched ahead of me, full of possibilities. The lazy and aimless days were wonderful. Mavis and I spent the first week doing GISHWHES – more of that in another post – but the rest of the time we looked after our lovely and undemanding guests, walked, drank, ate and did what people are supposed to do on holiday.

There was one momentous event: I hit 60. I know, it is amazing, I’m much too puerile to be 60.

I had a lovely birthday. Mavis and Horace recorded a song  that reduced me to tears in an instant. My wonderful friends had a collection and gave me a voucher to buy some designer jewellery (more blubbing) and my husband cooked me breakfast and took me out to lunch. I felt very special.

Horace also bought me three nights in Cheltenham with herself and Mavis. Whizz was assigned the task of running the bed and breakfast in my absence, a task he took on with slightly misguided confidence. I don’t want you to think he made a complete cock up, in fact he did amazingly, even stripping the beds and putting the covers in the wash – lights and darks all together giving the formerly white fitted sheet a fetching pink hue.

We three girls had a lovely time. We visited Bourton on the Water and did all the tripper things there: model village, ice cream, paddling in the river and more. On the second day we shopped, spending too much on MY credit card, and on the last evening, Mavis went to bed and Horace and I went to TGI Fridays, just across the way, for a couple of drinks and a chat.

While Horace was at the bar, inducing green-eyed wrath in the wife of a poor man who simply passed the time of day with her, my phone let out the prolonged musical rendition that announced the arrival of a text message. It was from Whizz.

‘Prepare to be horrified’ it announced on the screen, and I swiped the words to view the rest of the message. ‘Prepare to be horrified, L. and G. are here. As you know they are French, and it turns out that Raymond Blanc is L’s uncle. They are currently sitting in our kitchen eating Pot Noodles!!’

Illustration for blog post on fine dining

I was indeed ‘horrified’. I pictured their arrival at our house, tired and hungry, asking where to find the best place to get a meal at this late hour, to be offered a Bombay Bad Boy by my esteemed husband.

‘Pot Noodles!!!!!!’ was my instant (joke) response.

To my relief they had brought the pot noodles with them. I gather the pair felt a tad ashamed to be eating them. They had just left the Manoire aux Quatre Saisons, where they had received private tutelage in the finer points of cuisine from Uncle Raymond. I wonder if he has ever eaten a Pot Noodle.

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