Catching up with old friends in our favourite new restaurant proved the perfect Sunday afternoon. We picked up the conversation with Katy and Gary where we had left it when we last saw them in March.
That’s the good thing about old friends.
I was pleased, too, when they seemed to like our choice of lunch venue: Hove’s best French restaurant, Bistro Nantais. My partner, Damon, and I have been there several times this year already, but it was new to our Yorkshire friends, who were down for a few days.
I’ve known Katy for 20 years – Damon presented her to me, like his dowry, when he and I met. Back then, she was one of his most prized possessions. Now, she’s like family.
In the intervening 20 years, she’s found a family of her own too, with Gary and their two-year-old daughter, Genevieve. (They insist on pronouncing her name Jen-a-veev. We, of course, have opted for the more French-sounding Sjun-a-vee-ev.)
The four of us caught up over lunch.
Among the starters were quenelles of langoustine, poached in a rich crustace sauce with courgette tagliatelles. Three of us chose the dish and agreed it was delicious.
I moved onto the overnight slow-cooked rib-eye of beef for my main – served delightfully rare. Finally, for dessert, Damon and I shared an assiette gourmande – a plate of five of the restaurant’s most popular desserts.
We all agreed it was a terrific lunch.
In case you’re wondering, the dowry I offered Damon was my France Gall record collection, a Delia Smith recipe for Basque chicken and a video of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. He can’t say he didn’t know what he was getting.