When Raymond met Sally

Technically this post should be when Raymond met Sally and Hazel, but somehow that is just not as catchy! (Sorry Hazel!)

Finally. almost one month after I returned to Northern Ireland, I will finally finish blogging about my trip to Bristol.

Did you miss the other parts? Well, I’ll forgive you this time, and you can catch up HERE, and HERE.

On the Saturday evening I had been invited to attend/gate crash the 40th birthday of a husband of a mum who I knew from the school playground during our year in Bristol 4 years earlier. It was the perfect opportunity to meet up with lots of “old” friends. There was delicious food, a jazz pianist was playing, we are out in the garden watching the hot air balloons sail over Redland……. and you wonder why I miss Bristol?!
Later in the evening, the pianist kindly humored us as some started to sing along to one of his tunes, and somehow the evening evolved from relaxed, cool sophistication to impromptu karaoke with a live pianist, who seemed to know EVERY song that was suggested.
The singing ranged from Abba to Frank Sinatra via most Andrew Lloyd Weber Musicals. Sorry Andy for lowering the tone of your elegant evening!

Sunday morning, another hot and sunny day, I went with our friends to their new community church. Lovely, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and I recognised a number of faces from various events earlier in my visit.

Finally, Sally, Hazel and I had a “pass” to be “ladies who lunch” while their husbands had a BBQ and waterfight for the kids.

We had booked Brasserie Blanc a new restaurant in a newly redeveloped area of Bristol city centre called Cabot Circus.

It is owned by Raymond Blanc a french chef who is often seen on UK TV – both cooking, and lately on a reality TV show called The Restaurant where he chose a couple to run a restaurant (loved that series) (I think it was shown on BBC America as Last Restaurant Standing). He also owns and runs Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saison in Oxfordshire, a 2* Michelin Restaurant (check out the link – amazing!)

Before going for lunch, Sally could not resist a paddle in the fountains in the square in front of the restaurant, but left them quickly when she realised that they randomly shoot water high in the air!
The food was delicious, and the set menu excellent value at under £16 for 3 courses including wine (however we did upgrade to a glass of champagne – it was that sort of a day!).

We were enjoying anticipating our food on the terrace, watching kids in the square playing in the fountains, when the man himself, walked passed and sat down at a nearby table. Being very uncool, we tried to look cool while taking a photo of him in the background of the photo of Sally and the menu! Raymond Blanc owns a number of restaurants all over England so it really was unexpected to find him dinning in Bristol. He is identified in the following photo with a circle and arrow!

We need not have bothered trying to be subtle in our photo taking, as after stopping by a table to meet an elderly lady who was there with her family celebrating her birthday, Raymond came over to our table.

Raymond asked if we had enjoyed our meal, and Sally asked him if he had enjoyed his too! Of course I asked if I could take a photo, and although he posed between Sally and Hazel, I could not manage to get all 3 in the photo (sorry again Hazel!). He was friendly and charming, and of course had a wonderful french accent.

Here IS Hazel, the food, and the most delicious dessert ever – hot chocolate mousse served with vanilla icecream – yummmm!

And here is a chance for you to listen to that wonderful accent for yourselves!

We just had time for a little bit of shopping in the new Cabot Circus area.

So that was the end of my Bristol trip, I headed back to the airport, so glad I had been able to pack in so much, and see so many friends again.

Thanks for making it to the end, and tell me, have you even met anyone famous, and if so, were you as equally embarrassing? Do tell!

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  1. WOW, sounds like you had an awesome time! Never met anyone famous. But I am sure I would have been just as embarrassing, lol!

  2. I’m so envious. I would *love* to meet Raymond …got a bit of a soft spot for him. 🙂

    I’ve had a few close encounters but the most embarrassing has to be with Dudley Moore (eons ago). We were at the airport and my parents got talking to him – don’t ask me how. Our flight was called and we walked with him across the tarmac to the plane (which, in itself, will indicate just how long ago this was). Mid stride one of our carry-on bag burst open, the contents tumbled out and scattered in the wind. It was decidedly uncool!

    Have a good day…from a fellow SITSA.

  3. Great post! I’ve met several celebrities, but the best was when I had dinner with Richard Branson while living in London. When I told people at the office the next day, nobody believed me. Ironically, I scrapped about it, and that layout is up on my blog today.

    Some of the celebs I’ve met…Branson, Princess Diana, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwartzenneger, Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, and Jimmy Buffett. I’ve also met some famous business people.

  4. What a fun trip! Yes, I’ve met a couple…the best was having breakfast with one guy who was a friend of a friend and I had never seen any movie he was in (particularly There’s Something About Mary, just not my type of humor) so it was “nice to meet you, who are you?” I managed NOT to say that but had to admit I’d never seen him on screen. Hehehe. Embarrassing but ah well…

  5. I just stopped by from DST Blog Train!!! I love reading about your trip, wonderful photos too.
    Happy scrapin’ Kat

  6. I’ve never met anyone famous, but have come close more than once. Someday maybe I’ll get the chance. I’m glad that you had a wonderful trip and I enjoyed reading about your adventures and looking at all the photos.

  7. Oh my gosh that is SOOOO neat!!! What a wonderful thing… to meet a world famous chef! I think that is something I am goinna have to put on my list of things to do… what an entirely wonderful day!!!

    Wow… that just really is super neat!!!

    God bless!

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