Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Auxonne to London via Paris

The Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer established Angelina named after his daughter-in-law, in 1903.  For over a century, the Angelina tearoom has established itself as a high point of Parisian gourmet pleasures, Angelina became a must-not-miss venue for the Parisian aristocracy.

There, Proust, Coco Chanel and the greatest French fashion designers were to be found, as indeed was our dear friend Raymonde who, depending on whose version is to be believed is either escorting or being escorted by daughters Gabrielle and Elliane on their tour.  Once again we bounce into a surreal zone, in the company of the familiar, in unfamiliar surrounds.

It is quite disconcerting, the way the world shrinks in the presence of friends, to a dimension no greater than the distance between the backs of chairs.  There in our little space-warped bubble of familiarity we could have been anywhere, the Swiss Cake Shop in Buderim perhaps, or on the footpath outside Van Weegans' in Mooloolaba, or in one of our own living rooms, oblivious to our actual surroundings as we caught up on our respective comings and goings since our last catch-up.

The only clue that we were not at home came from the occasional interruption of the waiter taking orders for more of the richest hot chocolate and the finest pastries as we passed our time in transit in the most splendid manner imaginable, although of course perhaps the occasional glance over our shoulders at the decor beyond did provide a teensy hint.

So Paris was nice, and by day's end we were once again in London, and we had lived another dream.

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