~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Lunch in Paris with the Girls on New Years Day 2012!!!

Hello Dear Friends...

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you all....

Now Friends....

Pour another drink and join me for a magical trip....
I was invited  by my dear and glamorous friend Marsha of the blog  Splenderosa to join the girls for lunch  today....

I am meeting the other girls for the first time and I  am a little nervous....

The Invitation went like this...

"Come and meet the girls for lunch in Paris at Le Pré Catalan to catch up on Christmas stories and ponder "going forward" in 2012!

What a grand invite...

I still can not get used to this  twenty something business, all these years later... it still sounds like a very remote destination to say 2012!!

How very exciting....

It is only a virtual lunch but these ladies can roll out the glam and charm so join me as I meet them for the first time......for...

Dear oh dear....

What to wear????

It's a wintry morn in beautiful Paris...

After much deliberation and many discarded pieces ( as per usual, since I am a bit of an odd shape....shhhhh) I went with a winter white suit...
Where did I find it, you ask???
Well, at Marsha's of course, from Splenderosa ( I told you, she was a glam girl)

... and these lovelies from Chanel...

... and I am off to ...

Yes, can you believe it!

The Three Michelin Star restaurant now Part of Lenotre.
It is situated in the 16e in Bois de Boulogne in woodlands of what used to be the Royal Hunting Ground. It shares an entrance with the Garden of Shakespeare, where all plants mentioned in the his plays are housed.

The restaurant is situated in an old  grand Belle Epoque manor house with the most magnificent Murano chandeliers.

Take a look...

...and you may gasp and swoon to your heart's content...

I give you permission!

Because I am intensely interested in food and I always want to read the entire menu, I normally do this ahead of time, so as not to hold up the other guests!
and my oh my.... does it make for some interesting reading....

I never choose what I am going to eat ahead of time, you understand, who knows what I might feel like at that moment in time...

I was torn, as always between a few dishes, or rather my taste buds were....

Gelée de bouillabaisse de sardine

Whenever there are chicken livers or bouillabaisse on any menu it trips me up and I want it!
This one is a rouille with creamy white dots of garlic and gold of saffron interspersed with the silvery dots of sardine....an art work!

However, I also spied something with another favourite of mine, namely, paprika...hmmm ...

for mains...

The Lobster Ravioli served in a boulillion, the olive oil scented "pepper and mint", soy ice, avocado, fried lobster spring rolls.

imaginary delectable fare....

and for dessert...

The Le Cafe "Espresso" brulee with a crushed almond cream ganache

Can you begin to imagine the delight of it all...??

Wonderfully glamorous blogging friends meeting for lunch in Paris, sharing our Christmas news and holiday gossip...

Can you just imagine for a moment eavesdropping on such a gathering of talented women from around the world?

...gems of glam being offered, recipes shared, decor tips to die for, art being discussed, bits of gossip dissected, and so on and so on and of course Tina's Enchanted Home will be top of the list of chatter.

By the way, one of my Christmas pressies was of course a cookery book called "Festive France"  written by three very talented South Africans who live in the French Countryside in a French Chateau of course! I can't wait to get reading and cooking and will share it with you another time.
While we awaited the arrival of the Cheese Trolley, conversation turned to the new year and we started sharing our thoughts and pondered looking forward into 2012...

Christmas has come and gone rather rapidly as usual and I am very grateful for the time I was able to spend with family and friends.

I was delighted to have both my children home in the week before Christmas!

2011 has been a year of change for me in a big way. I am single again after twenty seven years of marriage .

This was the first Christmas we did not spend as a family on Christmas day.

As is usual at this time of the year,  I look forward and page through the pages of my new dairy and wonder....

What will these days bring?

Sometimes with trepidation
at the swift passing of time

sometimes with excitement
for the ever changing times

always with faith
and a grateful heart

I would like to share some of my thoughts and prospects for 2012...

My son will be starting Theatre School for four years after graduating from Stellenbosch University with a degree in English and Philosophy. We will be sharing our home with two other talented students who will be joining him at Theatre School, so my home will be all a stage... filled with music, singing and dancing and drama rehearsals. I am looking forward to being part of it all. What an incredible privilege and what a light bulb moment in the middle of the night to bring it all together!
I am delighted...
Sometimes insomnia pays!!!

As I pick myself up
dust myself down
and set my course on forward
I hope to....

rekindle my passion and love of gardening

Image: Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

read those books in my bookcase...

walk on the beach more than ever before and savour every moment

Improve my blogs and really get to know my camera intimately...

and, to visit all those wine estates on my list to taste the fruit of the vine!

Learn a few new things...

about my computer
try the new blogger thingy..um...um
to do the tango properly

and to do them with wild abandon...

... to make those plans to stay in Paris for a month....

... close to  that famous landmark...

... in a tiny apartment...

Visit all the food markets and cook to my heart's content

and tastebuds of course!

As we end the old and bring in the new...
 each year I turn to my favourite poem, as I do many times during the year as well, and as I read it again and again...
I try my very best to live by it and apply it

Please join me...

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
 to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
if you can bear
the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the  full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what need to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me to know
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I read this poem all the time!

Nothing beats...

Standing at the edge of the lake and shouting at the full moon


I hope to be proud of making the most of what I have and being my authentic self!!

May your 2012 be filled with many treasured moments
and may most of them be ...

... moments!

Happy New Year!



Please join me over at Splenderosa to visit the other glam girls here for lunch in Paris today!

Trust me, you won't want to miss a thing...as most of us Love...

thanks for your treasured company
for images click here
please leave me with some "ooh la la"
I'm all ears...



    Merci, THANK YOU for visiting me and leaving a kind word! YES! Let your ideas HATCH and fly away dearest! I see you may know Tina and of course, MARSHA! I was to belong to this fabulous group, but my duties as a full-time teacher and hopefully, a budding writer have limited the amount of posts I can produce. Beautiful images and I wish you a fabulous new year! Anita

  2. I so enjoyed getting to know you a little via this wonderful post. A shame our luncheon was only virtual! i am actually off to Paris in a few weeks. Looking forward to reading more of your post and my congratulations and hopes for the New Year. Your house is going to be a wonderful creative home. i do share your assion for gardening and reading, these bookshelves just look like mine, bursting at the seams...

  3. This is an amazing post...as Francine said, I feel like I got to know you a bit better and defi nitely like what I see. I'm hoping for you that 2012 allows you to dream you dreams and accomplish your hearts desires. Happy New Year. Mona

  4. What a beautiful post! I LOVE Neil Gaiman and adore that quote! Happy new year,

  5. Congrats, Veronica, on a stunning post! Your hard work on this is evident. I love your outfit! Next time I'll go light- very uplifting.

    Looking forward to following you in 2012!

  6. Happy New Year Veronica...well we are destined to be good friends, I would love to borrow your shoes, we will both be wearing chic winter white,I love to read menus in advance first too and LOVE good food AND your choices would be mine to a tee!! So how about that! I loved your post and we are so happy you are part of our group! You are right the conversation between us from all over the globe would make for interesting eavesdropping indeed!!
    Beautifully done.....wishing you all lifes best in 2012! I am now your latest follower:) Cheers to a fabulous new year!

  7. Veronica - So nice to meet you. I can tell you are a person with a true heart and soul. I think that matters more than anything else. Authentic self is glorious, and the province of age not youth.

  8. Wow what a post...just loved it. Wish we could lunch in Paris for real :(

    xoxo DJ

  9. Sweet lady May all your dreams and wishes be for filled in 2012. I'm looking forward to a whole year of blogs from you.

    What a beautiful poem if you don't mind I will copy it and put it on my kitchen wall for inspiration
    Happy New Year
    Sueb x

  10. Hi darling, what a beautiful post. I know you had a super time with the girls. What a beautiful city! I cannot imagine dining in such splendor.Thank you for all your support with each comment you leave, you always lift my spirits.. may all your dreams come true for 2012.
    Happy New Year. Hugs ~lynne~

  11. What an incredible, gorgeous, delightful post! And I'm loving those Chanel shoes sick (to borrow a phrase from Faux Fuchsia). I'm signing up as a follower and adding you to my blogroll. So nice to "meet" you!

  12. I knew when I asked you to join us you would add tremendous value to our lovely group. And with your first post, here, you have done just that, my friend. What a lovely tribute to our New Year and to our thoughts on "going forward." What a huge committment of your personal time you have made in order to create something so beautiful. Welcome, Veronica...I love the YOU you are.

  13. Hi Veronica - I'm soooo happy to meet you. Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving such a nice comment. Oh my, your post is wonderful and makes me long to go back to Paris, a city that I love. Looking forward to learning about Cape Town and will be checking back often to read more of your lovely posts.

  14. That is a Beautiful Poem with profound Wisdom in it.

    Dawn... The Bohemian