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A Dream Trip to France

By Lynn Lindsay

In October of 2003, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Baron Bertrand de Boutray led a group from the Seattle Bailliage (chapter) of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs on a culinary adventure in France.
Our first stop was Giverny where we enjoyed a spectacular Norman lunch at Les Jardins de Giverny. We then visited the home and gardens of Monet, lingering on the famous green bridge at the pond.
After a night in the harborside Hotel Absinthe in the picturesque fishing port of Honfleur, we drove to Arromanches - the landing site on D-Day. That evening we dined at La Marine on Omaha Beach . . .
We next visited Marigny, the family chateau of Baron Bertrand de Boutray . . . viewed wonderful "pin-up girl" cartoons painted by Allied soldiers on the walls of the stables. At the Chateau de Sully, we were hosted by Bertrand's boyhood friend, Marquis Benoit Montlebert. Dinner featured woodcock shot by the Marquis, himself, and Calvados 1965 (brandy) made by the Marquis' mother.
In Bayeux, we attended High Mass in a 900-year-old cathedral and visited the famed tapestry woven by Queen Mathilde. Dinner that night took place at the Lion d'Or Hotel. Back in Paris, we enjoyed a lunch at Le Procope restaurant where Napoleon's hat is prominently displayed. We also visited the Cordon Bleu cooking school where Chef Patrick Terrien created classic dishes for us. Also in Paris, Bailli (President) Honoraire Kurt Fisher organized an elegant dinner for us at the palatial Hotel Meurice.
In Avignon, we were greeted by Bailli, George Brown, who escorted us the the Bistro le Paradou where Chef Jean Louis prepared a sublime lunch for us. After a visit to Chateau Beaucastel, we climbed to le Verger du Papes, a terraced restaurant overlooking the Rhone River. . . Our dinner was at le Bistrot d'Eygalieres, in an inn operated by Chef Wout Bru and his wife, Suzy.
On our last morning, we ventured to Arles for a spectacular street market and lunched at a charming outdoor café at the Roman Arena steps. . . .(in the evening) we dined at the Restaurant Margaux. We said farewell with many toasts and . . . ready to embark on our next great culinary adventure . . .