We stroll into the French villa, with a basket filled with produce, for this evening’s dinner – a much anticipated gathering to herald the arrival of spring.
Set upon the patio table is an eclectic mix of Astier de Villatte dishware. Each piece is elegant and welcoming. A feminine Nathalie bowl may rest upon the braided edge of an Aurelie plate or next to the mysterious wink of an Alexandre cup – each setting is as unique as those sharing the meal.
The best of company attends this feast – the confidants, the cut-ups, the lifelong friends. They are those who know much about the world and yet are still so curious about what may come next. The first course sets the tone… slices of fresh fruit alongside courgette roulées. A bottle of Moët is popped and the festivities begin.
For le potage, a fresh, herbaceous soup cradled in a fluted Marguerite bowl. On the platter at the center of the table? A good piece of fish followed by artichoke, asparagus, young carrots and haricots splashed in olive oil and pepper.
Once the plates are cleared, an interlude. A break for a moment of cushioned, comfortable silence… Space to enjoy the presence of long-known company or to admire flowers set lovingly at the center of the table. Fresh-cut stems of lily and daffodil – their own breath of fresh air.
After dinner, we light the candles and wrap ourselves in shawls as the sun sets over the hill. Out come the aperitifs – génépi, lillet, picon. These sips accompany a splash of espresso, a sprig of mint. A macaron or two… or three.
Around each final bite threads the delightful, quiet conversation that winds down an evening… Laughter, nostalgia and the company of those we wish would stay just a little bit longer. In the background, crickets chirp and stars glow softly as the last candle wisps dark.