In 2018, we had decided to spend the summer in Europe. Kate and her sisters were meeting their mother for a milestone birthday and the four of them were going to go to Norway to see as many fjords as they could. As Sean didn't want to be left behind in Canada, he decided to create a base camp in France - nice and central for European visitors and very handy to the bike paths that spider-webbed the region. The total time in Europe would be ten weeks - too long to be a house guest ... and with Susan, Wendy and Nancy all planning to spend time there, we couldn't take over Florence's place in Bischoffsheim.
Sean found a place in Obernai (a 4 kilometre walk from Florence's home) that was central in town and had extra room for visitors. The owner seemed quite pleased that we were renting her spare apartment for the whole summer and she wouldn't be required to move guests in and out as they changed over.
When we arrived in June, we found the owner, Véronique, to be a lovely, bubbly soul. She was happy to have us. When we mentioned her name to Florence, it turned out they had worked together years ago. Hooray! A connection!
On this visit, four years later, we decided to revisit Veronique's home. She has now opened a café and serves coffee, tea and desserts from the house and courtyard where she lives. It's a beautiful space and being over 400 years old, full of history.
|Sean and Florence at Véronique's café|
|Inside the café|
When Véronique spotted us, she came over and chatted and briefly explained how the café had been built and opened. She also invited us for aperitifs in a few days when she would have more time to visit (the café was quite busy). Her cousins "from America" were coming and we could meet them. We happily accepted the invitation on the spot.
On the night of the invite, we arrived after 7:30 (as requested). We had drinks and met Mike and Rob from Ohio. They were indeed (second) cousins and were visiting for a week. After an hour, Véronique sheepishly admitted that she still had some café business to attend to - she needed to prepare a large order of samosas. We all immediately decided to volunteer at the café for the night.
Work parties bring a sense of camaraderie to a group - we are all focused on a task, it gives our mind that little bit extra to do while we drink and visit. The kitchen in the café was modern, well laid out, bright and easy to work in. There was room for everyone. We learned the fine art of making Au Fond de la Cour Samosas - luckily, the fillings were waiting in large bowls in the commercial fridge. We folded, drank and laughed our way through the evening.
|A well laid out kitchen - great space!|
|Folding lessons ... with wine|
|One tray, ready for the fridge|
|Samosa filling and lots of chatter|
We filled and folded and filled and folded and filled and folded and ... what do you mean we are out of filling? What do you mean it is nearly one o'clock in the morning? It was such fun, I can't wait to go back and work for free again.
|Time to go! Florence, Véronique, Mike, Rob and Véronique's sister and husband|
Thanks, Veronique, for a lovely evening. Bonsoir!