Sunday, 27 November 2011

A birthday in Saint Jeannet

What a birthday!

Saint Jeannet, a small medieval village in the hills above Nice, was the location for a small party to celebrate the end of Jen's 20's. With Steph flying from Oxford, Evelyn and Emily from Amsterdam and Rho from Munich, as well as a special bottle of champagne and loads of food and drink, it was going to be a very special weekend.

We found a quirky but perfect "gite" in the village, called "The Studio of the Artist" - obviously because it is frequently inhabited by a local painter and sculptor and is still inhabited by his works, which cover every available space. At the top of an old building in the town and facing south, it caught all the sunshine going - providing much needed vitamin D for the northerners.

Some people had some work to do, some read books, others lazed in the sun or went for walks or runs around the village or up the hill behind it. Jen really enjoyed catching up with her sister and friends; it could only have been better by being longer.

Everyone helped cook (and clean up after!) the numerous meals consumed - proper English bacon for breakfast, a Morroccan inspired banquet for dinner, and no shortage of French cheeses and saussison inbetween.

One highlight has to have been the gift of new ice tools for Jen from Mark - Petzl Nomics, to be precise ... can't wait to try them out on the ice this winter!

And that special bottle? A 1990 vintage Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, purchased from the cave in Rheims a while ago and carefully kept for this very day. Whether it was the company, the location, the occasion or even the anticipation - it was by far the best champagne Jen has ever tasted, and the whole experience was unforgettable.

A big thank you to all those who made it such a special day, whether through your presence or your messages from afar. It was truly the most memorable and most fantastic birthday I have ever had.

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