Yes, you read correctly and no, it wasn't a banquet for a king, just an everyday midweek type of thing. Remi and I actually weren't even certain that it was a lunch as the invitation was to "stop by for a glass of wine after the market." Hmm, ok, at noon? Sure enough, when we walked in the door the table was set and a bottle of Champagne was popped before we could pretend to protest. As our friends were taking care of their visiting grand-daughter there was lengthy chatting and munching of 'tomato caviar' (aka sun-dried tomato paste) covered toasts while she played with her pasta. And then for the adults, aioli, the quintessential Provençal plate of steamed legumes and mountains of stinging garlic mayonnaise (just in case you thought it was a healthy dish).
The little one gave a round of bisous, or little kisses, before heading off to nap time and I could have joined her save for the melty Brie that was brought out. To at least try. One bite. And then who can say no to a home-made apple tart? Not this girl. Slight pickings at the lemon cake that I had brought and mercifully strong coffees helped to keep the conversation fuelled. I tried to properly express my disappointment at the mid-term elections, the "tea party" power over the press and that Obama is not actually a Muslim. The sun was already rosy by the time we headed out to the car, talking all the while, grateful that we didn't have an office to report to, at least not today and such wonderful friends to share an afternoon with.