Monday, 23 May 2016

A Journey to Florence in 1817 - from Montgeron to Sens

The road leading out of the Forest of Senart towards Melun [Cassini]
Renaud Arpin has written to me from Montgeron with details of a tragic event that is linked to the Hôtel de la Chasse in Montgeron. 

On the evening of 27th  April 1796, the mail coach was attacked in the forest of Senart, near Lieusaint. 

The bandits murdered the postilion and the courier and seized seven million livres (the currency used until the turn of the century, when the livre was replaced by the franc) worth of assignats (bank notes used during the Revolution) meant for the Italian army. 

The investigation quickly established that four criminals had dined that evening in Montgeron, at the Hôtel de la Chasse

Assignat worth 125 livres issued in 1793 
Two maids, called as witnesses, thought they recognized a man brought that day before the judge for another matter: he was Joseph Lesurques, who was the victim of a resemblance to one of the robbers. 

On the strength of this testimony and some other unfortunate coincidences, he was condemned and executed a few months later. 

Thus this hotel in Montgeron was the source of one of the most famous miscarriages of justice in the history of France.

Melun is a town on the road to Sens, where the Campbells were heading that night. But Beaujolois doesn't tell us anything about Melun, for she was too absorbed in the novel she was reading to look out of the carriage window.

In the last post you were promised tales of murder, miscarriage of justice, and eggs.  Eggs? Well, it's not the old joke which runs, 'Why does a Frenchman never eat more than one egg for breakfast?' - The answer being, of course, 'Because un oeuf is en-ough.' 

The route from the Forest of Senart (top left) through Melun to Sens
[CARTOGUIDE SHELL-BERRE FRANCE: Isle-de-France, 1970 edition]

No, this is a story gleaned by M. Michel Chancelier, President of the Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron, from the 19th January 1908 edition of the magazine La Cuisine des Familles.

It is told by the raconteur  and gourmet Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin:

One day I was travelling with two women whom I was accompanying to Melun. We had left early that morning, and arrived in Montgeron with an appetite that threatened to devour everything.

Idle threats: the inn where we were stopping, though of fairly good appearance, was devoid of provisions; three coaches and chaises had happened by and, like the locusts of Egypt, had devoured everything.  So said the chef.

However I could see a spit turning, loaded with a gigot [leg of lamb]  just as it should be, and towards which the ladies, out of habit, threw very hopeful looks.

Alas! It did not go well; the lamb belonged to three Englishmen [two of whom may seen through the open doorway in the scene depicted above] who had brought it with them and were waiting patiently while drinking champagne.

But, at least, I said half in sorrow and half begging, could you not whisk up some eggs for us in the juice of this gigot? We should content ourselves then with the eggs and a cup of coffee with cream. 

'Oh! Most gladly,' answered the chef, 'in law the juice belongs to the public, and I am going to attend at once to your request.' 

With that he began the dutiful breaking of eggs.

Once I saw him 
busy, I approached the fire and, pulling from my pocket a travelling knife, I made in the forbidden leg of lamb a dozen large wounds, from which the juice of passed out to the last drop.

During this operation, I feigned paying attention to the concoction of the eggs, not wishing him to be distracted. When all was ready, I took the dish of eggs and carried it to a room which had been prepared for us.

There we feasted, and laughed as if crazy about the fact that in reality we were swallowing the substance of the leg of lamb, leaving our English friends just the dried residue on which to chew.

I hitch-hiked out of Montgeron that  afternoon after taking photos of the buildings that had once been the Hôtel du Lion d'Or, the Hôtel de la Chasse (marked on the map above) and the Hôtellerie Lombard.

Since leaving Montgeron I have learned much more about the town thanks to the kindness of Michel Chancelier and more recently Renaud Arpin. Renaud went to so  much trouble to send me copies of the old town maps of Montgeron. 

These are most detailed, divided up as they are into several sections. On each section Renaud has marked the location of the hotel, in this case the Hôtel de la Chasse.

This map (above) is just a small element from section D of the collection. The mapping was undertaken in 1810, and all the documents are now held in the Archives Communales de Montgeron.

I would like to thank both Michel and Renaud for taking the trouble to write to me. All the information received was greatly valued, and has been of immense use to me in my research of Beaujolois' diary.

The next entry Beaujolois makes in her journal was on the evening of July 31st:

We went on without stopping to Sens, where we slept. The Inn where we have already been at was full. Therefore we stopt [sic] at one called le grand cerf.

So, the next post in June will take us to Sens where the building that was Le Grand Cerf still stands. There will be no more eggs, but there will be elephants.

Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century.  You can examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here.  The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters.  It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide. The launch post of this blog gives further details.  The second post provides links to maps, etc.

If you'd like to track these blog posts, you can follow me, Peter Alexander Gray, on Facebook.

Monday, 11 April 2016

A Journey to Florence in 1817 - Montgeron

I arrived by train from Paris on the evening of Thursday 24th June 2004.
My rail ticket from Paris to Montgeron [PAG 2004

Beaujolois' diary entry for the Campbell family's arrival at Montgeron on the evening of Wednesday 30th  July 1817  reads:

On enquiring at the same Hotel we found that fortunately the landlady had not gone to bed...

Alas, that hotel has been closed for a long time. The coming of the railway from Paris put the old post houses along the coach roads out of business.

Leaving Montgeron station I spotted a group of youths hanging out in the Place Joseph Piette and asked them for directions to the town centre. They pointed up the Rue Louis Armand, but when I asked about hotels, they just shrugged and shook their heads.  
It was nighttime, I was tired, and something told me that I wasn't going to find a hotel for the night... 

I had my rucksack over one shoulder and a lightweight one-man tent over the other as insurance for this eventuality. I lugged my possessions up the Rue Louis Armand as far as the crossroads with the Rue des Bons Enfants.  

My luck was in, for I reached the junction just as a car arrived there out of the Rue des Bons Enfants.  It was a warm summer's evening, and the lady driving the car had her window open. The car had stopped at
The corner where I got lucky [Google images]
the junction to check for traffic.

I gave a quick bonsoir and in my rusty school French said that I'd just arrived from Scotland. Was there was a hotel to be found in Montgeron?

Another shake of the head.  She told me that there was the Hôtel balladins at Vigneux-sur-Seine, a cheap hotel a little way outside Montgeron.  

A one-man tent is very small!
It is handy that I don't look menacing - in truth, I wouldn't know where to start!  I nodded and asked if it was within walking distance.
Anything is better than sleeping in a field in a tent. 

She indicated I should get into the car - which I did - and immediately I was whisked away. How lucky can you get?  I gave a mental 'thank you' to the bon enfants, whoever they were, for they surely looked after me that night!

When we arrived at the hotel we found the reception closed for the night.  My guardian angel pointed to a machine on the wall to the right of reception, and seeing the lost expression on my face said, 't'en fais pas!' Don't worry!  

She motioned me to put my credit card into the machine, and after I'd entered the PIN it discharged a pass for what would be my room for the night. Everything was automatic - no staff.  

As she got back into her car I thanked her profusely. She shrugged and with a smile, a wave and an au revoir, she was away into the night. 

The Hôtel Balladins at Vigneux-sur-Seine

It was the sort of kindness that I was to experience so many times as I followed Beaujolois' 1817 journey all the way from Montgeron to Florence.

England eliminated on penalties, Euro 2004
Inside my hotel room was a shower, a bed and a TV.  I turned on the TV just in time to watch England fail in the penalty shoot-out against Portugal, which eliminated England from Euro 2004. 'Some you draw, some you lose' is the England supporters' motto. Now, in 2016, England are about to try again...

The next day I went to the now-open reception and left my tent and rucksack with the receptionist (those were easier times) to collect later.  

The road from from Paris, through Charenton and into Montgeron used
North of Montgeron [Google Maps]
by the coach in 1817 is marked 'D50' on the map section to the right. 
Nowadays, the modern road, the N6, bypasses the town.  The two roads  meet up again south of Montgeron in the Forest of Senart.

The few things I took with me on the walk into Montgeron were Beaujolois' dairy, my Psion palmtop (pre-loaded with French, Italian and German dictionaries) and Harrap's French verb book.  These are brilliant little books! The French, Italian and German copies were to populate the side pockets of my rucksack as I journeyed through France, German-speaking parts of Switzerland, and Italy.

Road and rail links arriving into Montgeron [Montgeron Plan Officiel 2004]
In Montgeron  my first stop was the Office de Tourisme in the Rue de la République to get 
a street map.

The cover of my 2004 street map of Montgeron [Montgeron Plan Officiel 2004]

When I explained the reason for my visit to Montgeron, they directed me to the Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron, giving me the name of their president, M. Michel Chancelier.  Michel was unavailable that day but when I arrived back in Scotland, we corresponded for a while by letter. 

He very generously supplied me with information and articles about the town. Nowadays, the Society maintains a website containing images and historical information about Montgeron's history. 
The Avenue du Chateau - La Pelouse [Le Parisien 25/10/15]

The image to the left shows croquet being played in La Pelouse, a recreational area with a long avenue of trees whose centenary of adoption by the town occurs in in 2017.  The photograph dates from around 1900. The avenue of trees also appear on the cover of the 2004 street map.

The first hotel the Campbells would have reached, arriving late at night from Charenton was the Lion d'Or on the Rue de Paris (the D40, now renamed the Rue de la République).  

Showing the site of the Lion dOr  [Montgeron Plan Officiel 2004]

The location is marked L on the street map section above. The Office de Tourisme is marked i. 

The site of the Lion dOr in 2004 (40, Rue de la Republique)  [PAG 2004]
The Rue de Paris was the main road leading into Montgeron from the French capital; it passes through Montgeron and heads east through the Forest of Senart, and thence on to Sens.  In 2004 I was told that the hotel was  'disparu', the ground floor partly occupied at the time of my visit by the commercial premises of Albert Cornu.

But it seems to me that in arriving so late the family would have tried the larger hotel, the Hôtel de la Chasse a little further down the road (at nearby Chalandray). Whilst I was writing this blog post the image below was sent to me by Renaud Arpin of the Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron, together with more information about his town. 

The Hôtel de la Chasse (left of centre)  circa 1900 [Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron]

Writing to me in 2004, M. Michel Chancelier had made two suggestions as to the most likely places where the family might have stayed in 1817, and one of these suggestions was the Hôtel de la Chasse.

Beaujolois says very little about Montgeron in her diary.  

At Mangeron where we had already been twice. On enquiring at the same Hotel we found that fortunately the landlady had not gone to bed with the rest of her people. We were very well and reasonably served.

She mis-spells the town name as 'Mangeron' but we have to remember that she was 14 years old. Nevertheless, she spoke good French and also some Italian and German.  Better than most of us at 14, n'est-ce pas? 

The photo above shows the main street, the Rue de Paris, as it was around 1900.   I am convinced that this was where they stayed; they were arriving late at night and this was the largest inn at that time in Montgeron.

101,  Rue de la Republique (the Rue de Paris in 1817) as it was in 2004 [PAG 2004]

Detail showing the entrance to the stabling [PAG 2004]

Above is a photo of the same street in 2004.  

The 'Service Culturel' in the detail to the right was the entrance to the stable yard in Beaujolois' time. 

It is remarkable how much of our history is lost without trace.  In the photo below if you look carefully you can see the old name above the first floor windows.

The old hotel building survives.  The ground floor is now Le Royal Chinese restaurant. 

The above detail shows the old name more clearly.  

The hotel in 2015 [Google Maps]

Sadly, the letters disappeared some years later when the building was redecorated (the image above) and modernised.

L’Hôtellerie Lombard [Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron]

With regard the hotels of Montgeron the Campbells might have stayed in on the night of the 30th July, M. Michel Chancelier also sent to me a second suggestion - L’Hôtellerie Lombard.  

In 2004 he sent me photocopy of the picture above; while writing this blog post Renaud Arpin sent me the image above.  The anonymous engraving which was published in 1904 by Jean-Charles Gatinot in the second volume of À travers Montgeron, shows what L’Hôtellerie Lombard looked like in the early nineteenth century, allowing us more insight into the view Beaujolois would have had in 1817.

In the engraving, on the first floor, you can see a small wrought iron balcony; also visible is the abreuvoir for animals (such as coach horses) in need of water, and the cross marking the Chalandray crossroads.

But Chalandray in the past was not part of Montgeron (as it is nowadays).  It was called Chalandré and was some distance out of Montgeron on the road that leads through the forest of Senart to Melun and onwards to Sens.  In the eighteenth century the Cassini family, over several generations, produced detailed maps of France. 

In her blog Montgeron ma ville, Isabelle Bigand Viviani tells us that in 1789, the first Mayor of Montgeron, François Lemoine, was charged with the task of grouping a number of these small towns (fiefs), including Concy and Chalandré, so as to come under the jurisdiction of Montgeron.

The road leading SW out of Montgeron through the Forest of Senart towards Melun and Sens [Cassini]

So it would seem that by 1817 Montgeron had expanded sufficiently to include both L’Hôtellerie Lombard and the Hôtel de la Chasse within the town's boundaries. 

L’Hôtellerie Lombard seen on a postcard from the 1950s [Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron]

Still recognisable, above the door, is the small wrought iron balcony visible in the early engraving.  An extra floor has been added and the old building has been converted for use as Montgeron's Town Hall, a use it maintains to this day.

The Hotel de la Chasse in the early twentieth century [Société d'Histoire Locale de Montgeron]

But I am convinced that the Hôtel de la Chasse was the place where they stayed that night. The old hotel takes it's name from the hunting in the Forest of Senart.

You can just discern the hunting scene on the inn sign.  

The Hotel de la Chasse was a large hotel used for gentry wishing to hunt.

The morning after their stay there the Campbells left for Sens.  They headed past Chalandré and on through the Forest of Senart past Lieusaint.

The road leading SW out of the Forest of Senart past Lieusaint and onwards towards Melun and Sens [Cassini]
In the year 1796 the forest, near Lieusaint, was the scene of robbery and murder.  Later in her journal, Beaujolois relates the story of a coach in Italy being attacked by robbers and murderers - so it is clear to a reader that she knew nothing of the events of 1796.  Moreover, She had her head in a novel by Maria Edgeworth.

Thursday July 31st
In France which with Tasso  may indeed be called ampio paese e bello it would be wrong to say, here flat and uninteresting country...  

But the truth of the matter is, I was much engaged in reading Miss Edgeworth’s new novel Harrington in which I was much interested and although by an occasional glance over the  surrounding undulated plains waving richness I did not at the moment think of what I saw.

We went without stopping to Sens, where we slept.’

Maria Edgeworth was a popular novelist of Irish descent who had brought out Harrington that same year.  She is little read nowadays.

The book was written as an apology to the Jewish community, following an anti-Semitic remark in an earlier novel, The Absentee; this resulted in a complaint by letter from a member of the Jewish community in America about her depiction of Jews. Harrington is a fictitious autobiography and features one of the first Jewish main protagonists to appear in an English novel.

In 2004, after taking the photos that appear in this post, I picked up my tent and rucksack from the hotel at Vigneux-sur-Seine and set off for the N6 in order to hitchhike to Sens.

In next month's post of this blog we follow the Campbell's route to Sens - through the forest, thence to Melun and finally to Sens.  I still have a wealth of information sent to me from Montgeron, tales of murder, miscarriage of justice, and eggs.  Yes... eggs! All will be revealed May's post.

I must record my gratitude to M. Michele Chancelier who provided me with so much useful advice and information in 2004, and also to M. Renaud Arpin from the same Society, who has corresponded with me during March and April this year, providing so much extra information.  My apologies to  go to Renaud - I couldn't fit all the fascinating material sent into this rather long post but I will make amends in the May post.

Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century.  You can examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here.  The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters.  It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide. The launch post of this blog gives further details.  The second post provides links to maps, etc.

If you'd like to track these blog posts, you can follow me, Peter Alexander Gray, on Facebook.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Journey to Florence in 1817 - from Bernay to Montgeron

Once again, a few words for those of you who are reading this blog for the first time. Originally I began the
The old post inn at Bernay en Ponthieu [Google images]
blog to support readers of my book 
The Door of PeraroloFor some time from now the blog posts will cover the research relating to the 1817 diary introduced in the last post.  I undertook numerous trips to France, Switzerland and Italy  in order to gain some better understanding of life in those countries at the beginning of the nineteenth century. I followed the route taken by the Campbell family from Montgeron in France (the subject of the next blog post) all the way to Florence, there to find the house where the family settled into their new life in Italy.

With me on the journey at all times were the pages of Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer's book  A Journey to Florence in 1817, in which was published for the first time, the diary of Harriet Charlotte Beaujolois Campbell.

Here, below, the diary continues as they leave Bernay in late July (Beaujolois was only 14 - so allow, please, for minor errors that were left uncorrected by de Beers and myself):

The route (red) from Bernay to Abbeville
Tuesday 29th

It is curious to see how in every town and village they endeavour to appear Englishified.  At every petty shop and ale house they hang out a large sign with the french above and the English translation not always quite correct being the literal translation of the original. The inn cards too have generally the translation into English on the opposite side; and frequently they beg leave to inform the travellers that they will find some one happy person of the house who speaks English. All these marks of civility to the English were not practised when we left the continent last year. It is a mark how many of our country men and particularly how many ignorant ones, since the inhabitants find it necessary to translate their language.

Leaving Bernay that morning they took the road south towards Abbeville, aiming to get to Amiens by late afternoon in time for table d’hôte.  With such a large party, eating a fixed price meal with few (or no) choices was their best plan for economy, if not satisfaction.

The roads linking Abbeville to Amiens [CARTOGUIDE SHELL-BERRE FRANCE: Nord, 1969 edition]

We reached Amiens at about four O clock the hour for dinner at table d'hote.  

Subtitled A Rather Uncouth group of  Gentlemen Dining
[Artist George M. Woodward, engraver Isaac Cruikshank; published in London by Allen and West, 1796]

I should have enjoyed this very much personally were it not for certain long faces which I perceived at my side seeming to say "how horrible". As soon as we left the table Eleanor's complaints were unrestrained and Miss de la Chaux joined with her.  It is true that were our party smaller it would be more agreeable and one should feel more at one's ease but as the number cannot be lessened it is well to bear with it patiently.  The expense is less and the entertainment greater.  In the middle of the long table sat the the landlady a middle aged woman not handsome nicely dressed, and with a sufficient degree of self approbation to appear perfectly at her ease...

The landlady remarks in French that all the men are grouped together, as are the ladies.  Beaujolois' eye is on the men gathered at the table.

Amongst the men there were two ugly old ones who looked clever and entertaining.  I should have liked to have talked to them very much.  The others were chiefly young puppies.

Amiens Cathedral by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

She continues,

Immediately after dinner we went to the Cathedral. That Cathedral which had formed so lasting an impression upon my memory from the first moment I entered it three years ago I had expected to experience again the same enthusiastic awe but the whole was changed. I have since seen finer churches and consequently I judged of this one by comparison. As it was broad daylight that I revisited it I could no longer see the fading rays of the evening sun casting a partial light through the darkening aisles.

Amiens to Breteuil
First impressions are often lasting but they are rarely felt again.  Time having elapsed or circumstances changed rarely permits them to return in full force.  We slept at Breteuil: a small place but where there is a good Inn and civil people.

The inn at Breteuil is not identified by name in Beaujolois' diary, but was possibly the hotel seen on the right of the image below. As at Bernay, the coming of the railway to the region would have ended the inn's commercial coaching operation.

Leaving Breteuil the next morning Beaujolois immerses herself in reading letters by Friedrich Matthisson, translated from German. We hear no more in the journal until the coach stops at an inn at Chantilly.

Breteuil, La rue de la République before WW1  [Edition Martinat]

 Breteuil to Chantilly
Isle-de-France, 1970 edition]

Wednesday 30th 

At Chantilly we dined, a good inn.  They showed us the list of people who had been at the inn.  All English and amongst them was Walter's and Mr Bury's.

'Walter' is Beaujolois' eldest brother, Walter Frederick Campbell; 'Mr Bury' is Walter's tutor and travelling companion, the Reverend Edward John  Bury. Bury is destined to cause Beaujolois much heartache later that year.

Chantilly is, of course, world-renowned for 'Chantilly Lace', though most of the lace bearing this name was actually made in Bayeux in France and Geraardsbergen, now in Belgium.

Beaujolois' diary shows that she is longing to visit Paris, but it was not to be...

Scarf in Chantilly Lace, 1850-1880.
MoMu - Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp,
 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
via Wikimedia Commons

Although inclination would have proposed a very different plan, necessity, hard necessity urged mamma to avoid going to Paris. However, we went through St Denis which was to me a great satisfaction as I had expected to have one glance at this beautiful Cathedral.  But our road did not lie that way and my hope was in vain.

My maps of France are nearly 50 years old, dating from a trip to France in 1970.  I have been using them in these posts as they don't show any of the modern French motorways built since these maps were printed.  

But as Beaujolois' diary takes us further south towards the northern environs of Paris the modern roads as seen on the Isle-de-France map become too intrusive. The 1780 map of the Paris environs below gives us a clearer picture of the journey round Paris.

Part of an 1870 map of the environs of Paris [M. Bonne, Ingénieur Hydrographe de la Marine]

The road from Chantilly runs from the north, through Pierre Fitte and St Denis. Pierre Fitte has grown and has been renamed Pierrefitte-sur-Seine - it is a town much changed since Beaujolois' time as it was ravaged by enemy bombardment during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

St Denis is so named after Denys, a former bishop of Paris (d. c.250 AD).  He was put to death by
Bishop Denys seeking a suitable building site
[Encyclopaedia Britannica]
beheading but, as is a common story in towns and cities elsewhere 
bearing a similar name (for example, on the 10th September the Campbell family arrive at Borgo San Donnino in Italy, where the same story persists), he chose to wander around for a while, head in hands, until he placed it at the spot where he thought a new cathedral should be founded.

In her journal she records:

At the very gates of Paris we turned off to Charenton. The road followed the outskirts of Paris and I felt doubly the disappointment of not going there by being so very near. This though apparantly trivial was one of the many  occasions in which I have experienced the truth of what  is so often said: that this life is a scene of constant trial.  I am so young that I can scarcely be said to have known privations, but every age has those peculiar to itself and young as I am I have known real privations and heart felt greif which I shall ever remember.

The 'heart felt greif' (d
on't you think 'grief' looks better as spelled by Beaujolois?!) may refer to her life in London. Later in the journal, when nearing Lausanne she reflects on her distress of leaving Italy the previous year to return to the stifling existence in London she hated. Charenton can be found on the map below at the junction of two rivers, the Seine and the Marne. 

Part of an 1780 map of the environs of Paris [M. Bonne, Ingénieur Hydrographe de la Marine]

At Charenton we had intended sleeping but after the rooms were chosen and we were preparing to go to bed, the landlady who I believe was at a loss to fix her price asked so exorbitant a one and behaved and spoke in so disgusting a manner that we agreed to order horses and go on till we should find more hospitable people.  All the party seemed disconcerted at this plan, but  it being an uncommonly fine moon light night I went upon the dickey and slept away two posts.
They took the road that runs south from Charenton towards Villeneuve St Georges.  The dickey is a platform or seat at the back of a stage coach, intended perhaps for the use of a groom.

Valenton to Montgeron via Villeneuve St Georges [Cassini, Carte 1 (Paris)]

At Mangeron where we had already been twice. On enquiring at the same Hotel we found that fortunately the landlady had not gone to bed with the rest of her people.

The Hotel de la Chasse [© P.A.G. 2004]

We would hope she had not!  In her diary entry Beaujolois spells 'Montgeron' as she may have pronounced the name - as though she had not seen the name written down; this was quite likely to have been the case. In 1817 there were not the road signs on the approach to towns as there are nowadays. The hotel were they stayed that night was possibly the Hotel de la Chasse. In 2004 I arrived (2nd class) by train from Paris and took the photograph seen above of the hotel.   

Today it is a Chinese restaurant, but if you look carefully you can still see the name of the hotel above the first floor windows - but more of Montgeron in the next post. 

Oh, one other thing. As we have passed by Paris in this post, let me say that we can do la cuisine parisienne here in Scotland too!  Nae bother!

If you take a trip to Bonnie Scotland and travel as far north as Inverurie, you can grab a bite of lunch, where my family often do, in The Kilted Frog. Now, there's a name for you! 

Juliet and Patrick are your hosts.

Patrick is a real Frenchman - Juliet tells me he comes from Paris. 

In this photo he looks like a refugee from 'Allo 'Allo!  

So listen very carefully - I will say zis only wance: 'E looks more serious when 'e is doing eez cuisine.

A bientôt!

Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century.  You can examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here.  The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters.  It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide. The launch post of this blog gives further details.  The second post provides links to maps, etc.

If you'd like to track these blog posts, you can follow me, Peter Alexander Gray, on Facebook.