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Home & Away 2010 - and the New Year

Home & Away Dining Society News

Home & Away 2010 - and the New Year

Posted by: webmaster on Tuesday December 21, 2010 (15:42:20)   (4240 Reads)
Home & Away Christmas 2010
Home & Away Christmas 2010
Whilst we all suffer the effects of the inclement weather and wonder if we'll get home for Christmas or whether our loved ones will reach us it's a great time to look back over the last year and look forward to the next.

We haven't managed a dinner every single month but we have managed 5 this year, with a very good turn out to each one. Probably with the current economic climate every other month on average is a good thing to aim for. We visited three restaurants, all of which got pretty good reviews as well as the first real 'home' Home & Away dinner at our home. We'd like to make this a regular thing in the summer - it doesn't involve a great deal of work as everyone brings a dish so if you'd like to host one let me know. Finally we had another successful and well-attended Christmas Dinner, once again at the Chateau de la Tour in Gouvieux.

This year, with the numbers involved we were lucky enough to book a downstairs room, which was a lot bigger than
the Salle Pauline we had last year. Being downstairs also meant we had room to mingle before hand whilst cocktails were served, and room to dance afterwards! There was perhaps a little less ambiance than the smaller room upstairs but I think we managed to create our our pretty well once we got going!


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Food was well received on the whole - the starters of Foie Gras or Salmon went well with the Pinot Gris which had just the right amount of sweetness. Vanessa organised the table swapping once again this year (thank you!) which involved a little bit of brain power to ensure that everyone got to sit with a selection of people through the evening. I think with a few new faces this worked pretty well.

Main courses were a little more mixed. Generally speaking the lamb went down well, nice and pink and a good size, whilst the fish was a little on the small side. Perhaps next year we'll be brave and not select a fish. What do you think? The wines with the main course were very good I thought - and this year flowed well. Susan had managed to organise a good increase on the amount from last year so no shortages were noticed!

We then moved on to cheese and then desserts - which everyone seemed to manage. Perhaps the French custom of smaller courses but more of them does work? There was plenty of wine at this stage too - and more arrived with the coffees too. Not sure if we managed to drink our entire allocation but we did a pretty good job!

There was then an opportunity to say a few words. We had to say good bye to two couples who have been great supporters of Home & Away; Sue and Malcolm and Caroline and Phil. Sue & Malcolm are returning to Australia after their great French adventure. I think I can safely say they enjoyed themselves and we'll miss them - especially Malcolm's barbequeing skills! Caroline and Phil are moving down to Lyon and will be missed not only by everyone who comes to Home & Away, but also Caroline's fitness class pupils, her APARC pupils and Phil's Scouts. They have been part of the community for a long time and we'll miss them. The good news is they have offered to host a Home & Away dinner in Lyon in the summer - so once we have a date we'll be booking a train! It was also a good time to thank Susan for all her help in organising the evening again. From then on the music turned up and for some reason so did the temperature (you know what I mean Very Happy ) as we all hit the dancefloor.

That leads us neatly on to plans for next year. We are going to start with a dinner (away) on January 22nd. The venue is yet to be decided but we are hoping for a venture into Paris if we can. As ever if you would like to come along, or more importantly if you have a restaurant to recommend please let me know! We may take a break in February with the school holidays but should be back for March. Again if anyone has a local restaurant they'd be happy to organise let me know. Summer plans are also starting to take shape.

The Chateau de Chantilly has announced its replacement for the 'Nuits de Feu' which was cancelled this year. Next year will see the start of 'Les Feux de Chantilly' at the same venue, to be held on June 16, 17 and 18th. We thought we would arrange a Home & Away picnic to be held either in the grounds of the Chateau or just outside on the 18th. If everyone provided something I'm sure we'd have quite a spread! Please let me know as soon as you can if you'd like to attend - the easiest thing will probably be for everyone to buy their own tickets and to meet up early evening.

After that in July or August we will go down to Lyon for a real away trip. I suspect this will involve a train journey and an overnight stay - details to be confirmed but watch this space!

So all that remains is to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, wherever you may be. We look forward to meeting up again in January. Please do get in touch if you know of a restaurant, near or far that may be worth trying...
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