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