Monday, January 13, 2014

ringing it in


Everyone knows New Year's Eve is a notoriously overblown holiday. That's why the older you get, the more apt you're to keep the night low key... it's not because we're old and tired, it's because the night usually blows and we know it. 

But after last year's epic New Year's Eve meal, I had high hopes for the holiday and figured I had the recipe for the perfect evening... a long, multi-course meal surrounded by friends and family. Being that I'm in France, the home of the long, multi-course meal, I thought I was in like Flynn. Wrong. 

The Croupier's cousin has recently opened a small restaurant and auberge outside The LPV, and opened for the first time last year on New Year's Eve. The Croupier, her fiance, and Mr. & Mrs.Honey were among those who had gone to the bash and they all raved about it. So when The Croupier mentioned to us that she was going again this year, Gregory and I decided to go with The Londons, Honey Jr, and Honey's Honey rounding out our party posse. 

(Did I just type 'party posse'? Kill me now.)

Now, this isn't a story of things going wrong in one comedic disaster after another, this is simply the story of a sucky night and failed expectations. It began at my house with a bottle of Champagne and some nibbles while Mrs.London and I got our pretty on (Gregory and Mr.London were nowhere to be found... I'm sure they were off somewhere wrestling or shooting each other). 

See, look at us smiling like fools full of hope. "Turn back," I want to say to the photo, 
"take off your makeup, ponytail the hair, put the onesies on and get comfy... you'll be better off.
If only I had a time machine.


Eventually the boys returned home, spiffied up, and we met up with Honey Jr and Honey's Honey and kicked off the New Year's Eve celebration.

When we arrived at the restaurant, I was surprised to see that the tables had been put together into a large connecting banquet table that spread about the room in a 'U' shape. Not what I was expecting, but fine, the 70+ people were sharing an experience, we might as well dine family style as well.

The evening was costing €67/$92 per person. I know that €67 isn't a huge amount for a night out in Paris or Nice, but in The LPV, for €67, I expect to be dazzled so imagine my surprise when I saw that the apéro table consisted of plastic bowls of nuts, some bits pieces of toast, a couple of types of tapenades and olives. For drinks, there were a few bottles of whisky, juice and Perrier put out... and the worst offence... boxed Rosé.

Here's the thing about boxed wine in France, it can be good, it can be very good, I myself am a huge fan of it and always have one on the go in my house. But on New Year's Eve, when I'm paying €67, I don't want to see boxed wine, let alone bad boxed wine. In a country like France where good wine is inexpensive, bad boxed wine is a crime and this was bad boxed wine, so bad, that Mrs.London and I mixed our Rosé with Perrier to turn it into a spritzer.

I decided to stay positive though and said that surely the boxed Rosé was only for l'apéro, nice bottles would definitely come out for dinner. I was wrong.

It was about 10:30 when we were finally instructed to find a seat at the big table (after two hours of milling about without even music to entertain us). Baskets of bread came out along with white wine... white wine that like the Rosé was presented in small, non-labeled, bottles... more boxed wine.

The white wine was to accompany the smoked salmon, which was pretty good, and the homemade fois gras, which wasn't. Gregory said that the fois gras was one of the most disgusting things he has ever eaten. This is coming from someone who will eat just about anything and has a high threshold for 'disgusting'. If Gregory says it's disgusting, it's disgusting.

Since we weren't really eating, and there was a L O N G lull until the main course, we found other ways to occupy our time. We played with babies, made moustaches with feathers, and decorated our faces with tabletop beads.


Eventually the party hats came out and we saw that it was getting awfully close to midnight (11:50PM and still no sign of the main course). The countdown rang out, and we wished everyone a bonne année! 


We danced for a bit and tried to work out if we were going to be getting a main course or not. Finally, at 1:30AM, Capon (castrated rooster), truffled mashed potatoes (which looked like truffled, liquidy mush), and boxed red wine made it's way out of the kitchen. 

None of it was good, in fact, it was the opposite of good, and we were tired and disappointed, so we decided to call it a night before the cheese plate and dessert could disappoint us as well. 


On the way to the car we made funny shadows of ourselves; this is Mrs.London being a wolf. Scary isn't she? #thisishowboredwewere

But even though the food, wine and ambiance were all terrible, at least we rang in the New Year surrounded by loved ones (Gregory, Honey Jr, Honey's Honey, The Croupier, Mr. & Mrs.London... you know, my loved ones) and when it comes down to it, that's all that matters. (Although a decent glass of wine wouldn't have gone amiss).


Bisous!

18 comments:

  1. NYE is overrated, but at least you hope for a run-of-the-mill fun night. Sorry it was sucky! Mrs London makes an excellent wolf though!

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  2. Yikes, that sounds depressing. I wonder what happened between last year and this one - a change of staff maybe?
    We had a nice BBQ with friends, low key, no truffles, but great nonetheless!

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  3. wow, and all of that for the bargain price of 67 euros. Yikes.

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  4. Urgh. That sounds grim...and expensive!! And a real disappointment for your last NYE in France. I hope that your 2014 is sparklingly wonderful, to make up for it!

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  5. Ugh, that is terrible! Especially when you still have hope that's it's going to get better, and if anything, it just keeps sliding and getting worse. At least you were surrounded with good friends, and now know there actually IS something Gregory won't eat!

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  6. Excellent writing, Sara. You've made a great story out of a disaster and started my day on Kauai with a smile. Thank you .. keep 'em coming! I mean really, bad boxed wine .. who would have ever guessed! lol

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  7. I am sorry that the night did not turn out the way you expected. But you are right, the main thing is to be surrounded by your loved ones. (And the more I read about France and the more I travel there I find out that France is not a country for vegans.).
    Have a happy and healthy 2014!

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  8. For the price that had better be a f&(*&ing good boxed wine!

    Btw we celebrate every Noel with a castrated rooster as well - who knew?!!

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  9. Oh that is just shite! Hope next year is better, even if you are in your jammies!

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  10. Awww my NYE was a disaster too, but I just kept telling myself I'm so lucky to be surrounded by people I love. :)

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  11. Awww my NYE was a disaster too, but I just kept telling myself I'm so lucky to be surrounded by people I love. :)

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  12. Oh god, that sounds terrible and expensive! Luckily you were able to have fun and laugh about it later :) Hope next year will be better! And just to make you feel better, everyone had the flu on NYE at our house so not much of a party either ;)

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  13. Disappointing evenings are just so... well, disappointing, you know you're being ripped off in France when the boxed wine appears. Just remember, NYE does not set the tone for the rest of the year, otherwise I'm doomed to make awkward small talk with odd Russian men dressed as burglars...

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  14. I would have been in the WORST mood after this. You are a much better person than me to be able to see the good in it. ;o) In no universe would I be able to wait to eat dinner until 1:30am. I'm way too grandma for that....

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  15. That sounds an awful dinner even if you were in good company, and a right rip-off too. I hope you wrote and complained, or left a review on Trip Advisor. They should not get away with such a bad meal.

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  16. Just think, next year you can do it American-style! For me that means no meal, just hanging out with party food and music, maybe some board games . . . none of this waiting around till 1am to eat (I assume that's when everyone ate, I was in bed at 12:05 lol).

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  17. Your year is going to be great,manyway, but ugh, I was feeling your disappointment while reading this. What a shame! But I think I'm mostly still reeling from the fact there was no music. Even though it might have been crap French music, that's still shocking!

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  18. I mean, on the bright side, you all looked great! and... the year can only get better?

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