Champagne for your Valentine; Champagne anytime.
We Brits tend to see Champagne as a celebratory drink and rightly so, it is special, but in France they serve it in Patisseries on a Sunday morning. Knowing that and having seen it with my very own face-eyes I feel like I’m missing out. This is the story of how I wished I was a Transvestite, just for a second.
January in Paris. The skies are blue, but the air is so cold it’s even getting in to my knickers. Searching for a sunday morning Pain au Chocolate we happen upon a small Patisserie from which the laughter of several lady-men tumbles forth out on to the street the way only a woman wearing chunky heels, heavy make-up and a skew whif wig can fall out of a bar rearranging the bulge in her knickers all at once.
I peek my head inside and the smell lures me in. To my right there are sweet pastries as far as the eye can see. To my left the tables are all occupied by a party of Transvestites. Transvestites sharing cakes and pastries and, what’s that? Champagne! Might I remind you it’s Sunday morning – 10 am on Sunday morning!
I’m instantly jealous.
We queue for around ten minutes and it takes us this long to decide on a Quiché Lorraine each, followed by a Tarte au Citron each topped off with a Citron Macaron – we can always come back later for more. Meanwhile the head Transvestite has been to the front of the queue several times for more Champagne – more! Bottle after bottle is teased open and the Champagne fills their glasses as the group polishes off lots of small cakes they share teasingly.
We pay and leave with our bag of goodies. As we go I glance back and they are just opening a bottle of Moet Rosè Champagne and are cutting a cake the size of my head that’s thickly layered with smoochy pink frosting. Just then, for that moment, I wished I was one of them – tucking in and drinking Champagne. Because you see Champagne is not just for Valentine’s, or Weddings, or Christmas; Champagne is for drinking with cakes that you share with your friends because it’s Sunday morning and to be honest, you don’t have anything better to do.
So buy Champagne for your Valentine, please do – they’ll be chuffed – but drink it whenever you fancy too, because that’s what’s intended.
I might follow this up with a ‘Which Champagne to buy for your Valentine’ post. Or I might just go and look through some more windows.Image: http://bistrocultural.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/paris_10-600×445.jpg