Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.

Bob and Sophie take their gardening skills to new levels. Low hanging tree branches now a source of intrigue. By lunchtime every branch within leaping distance lopped off. Tree pruning PON style.

White van day at the cafe under the arcades. We take a seat in the recently redecorated 'salon'. Sophie makes herself invisible under the table. Bob sits, facing outwards, on guard. I study the Christmas decorations - glitter balls and stars. The white van men ignore us. Despite being busy, the waitress remembers the illicit half croissant and my cup of coffee. Bobs tail beats against the leg of the table with a joyful  thwack- thwack- thwack.

An afternoon on the phone to America trying to make reservations for a summer visit.  An inn outside Washington informs me that  '' If you want to dine with us we only have one slot left. We can seat you at five thirty but you'll have to vacate the table by seven ". When asked if there is anything later the lady on the other end firmly (officiously ? )  replies " Sir! This is a fine dining establishment and we book up quickly. You should have called earlier ".  What sort of people make dinner reservations six months ahead of time ?


  1. Oh no! It cannot be true! A 'summer visit' somewhere nearby Washington? Sans les chiens? Sans les Anges? Sans BOB et SOPHIE? Do they know of such plans? Where will they stay? Who will care for them? I am sure that I am not the only one, out here in your audience of caring readers, who is thinking exactly the same thing. What about their daily routine? What about the illicit half croissant? Alors!

  2. The sort of people you probably don't want to be dining with?

    1. Bertie, you took the words right out of my mouth!
      We walked out of a famous restaurant in California because, having been lucky in securing a cancellation, it seemed that the diners were expected to put up with absolutely awful service. Nowhere is worth being treated as second class citizens just because the chef has a great reputation.

  3. Gail is right. Sounds like the service is crap.

    Love the one-headed, double bodied PON.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. Sounds like the Inn at Little Washington and I have no problem believing it is booked up that far in advance, especially if you are asking about a weekend... it is a destination unto itself. Long-time reader here... thank you for sharing your PONs (Bob and Sophie as well as Wilf and Digby before them) and your little piece of France.

  5. You are so lucky, soon you won't need Loic the gardener at all......at the rate that Bob and Sophie are going....tree lopping now....wonder if Brownie will help me out this way in the garden too.
    I hope you have found another "nicer" inn to stay at....we can't have you and the Font staying somewhere with "officious" staff. My mother used that word, and you have just reminded me of her with only that word.
    Bouncing Bertie is right....you don't need to stay at that inn......dinner at 5.30pm is ridiculous!

  6. tree lopping.
    there is no end to their talents!
    i would say that you and the font are not self~important and pretentious enough to eat there. their loss.

  7. those goofy Pons! never a dull moment when you live with pups!!

  8. In my experience, restaurants that describe themselves as "fine dining establishments" seldom are, and are best avoided. I doubt that place serves decent croissants.

  9. That two-bodied, single headed PON is unusual, to say the least. I totally agree with all who said the inn does not deserve your patronage!!! Snooty can spoil even the best meal.

    Joan and JH

  10. Love your blog! I so enjoy checking in with you & the font, Bob & Sophie. What a treat to have a window into your world through your lovely writing.

    My first comment...to say that you must be referring to The Inn at Little Washington! Indeed, reservations open one year in advance. It sounds as though you would like to make a reservation without staying at the Inn itself, meaning that there are a very limited number of prime times available. (If you have not been to the area before, you will find a little cottage community around the Inn, basically B&Bs to lodge people who are dining at the Inn but not staying there. The Inn is a stunning place to stay, of course, but the meal is the main draw.) If you want a premiere dinner reservation, there are really only two options: (1) book a year in advance, or (2) stay at the Inn.

    Alas, the challenge here is that the Inn really IS worth all the trouble. I apologize as an American for the haughtiness during the reservation process, though. Completely unnecessary!

  11. sheesh.
    I'd better get on the phone to Scotland.

  12. Looks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for you. Probably more palatable than obnoxious attitude.

    Love that second photo!

  13. How unfortunate that your planning of a special evening has been met with such pretentiousness. Hopefully that will be forgotten once you've arrived and are able to enjoy your dinner.

  14. Tree pruning is an art form!

    Good grief! I don't know where you're visiting, but it's not near here. I'd be afraid to commit to that kind of pretentiousness...

  15. Not me! I barely know what I'm going to eat an hour before dinner!

    I'm so glad that the illicit half croissant tradition has continued... although I might have thought that each dog would get a half :)

  16. Love your stories about Bob and Sophie and the village, but am always impressed with your wonderful quotes.