J’aime l’autoroute française!

We checked out of our hotel at Reims around 10:00 and headed towards our final destination, Calais. The city was 274km away and A26 would take us there.

I must say, driving on the French motorway was a pleasure…

You see what I mean?

Especially, the landscape around Arras, was very flat and open. The scenery may have lacked the grandeur of the Alpine region with the rugged peaks and winding roads, but I preferred the calm and predictable vista on A26 after the continuous driving of the past nine days.

There was just a blue sky and golden crop fields on the both sides of the motorway…

Another thing I liked more about driving on the French motorway than on the German equivalent, was there was hardly no bullies behind their high-powered wheels. I really was fed up with those German drivers who tailgated my car and pressurised me to move to a slower lane despite my speed was nearly 90mph while we were in Bavaria.

The French autoroute was all calm and civilised…

As we got closer to Calais, we started to see more cars with the British number plates. ‘What shall we do at Calais?’ We would have more than six hours to kill before boarding a train home…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Aimez-vous Brahms

I have to interrupt the report of the Waitors’ Race at Reims for today because I have come across a wonderful gem during I was beachcombing Youtube last night.

“Goodbye Again” 1961


The film is based on a novel by Françoise Sagan’s Aimez-vous Brahms.
I call the film a gem because the cast is amazing: Ingrid Bergman, Yves Montand and Anthony Perkins, the location is glamorous: ever so beautiful Paris in the late 50’s and the costume for Ingrid Bergman: designed by Christian Dior! What not to like?

As a teenager, I read all of Sagan’s novels, imagining how it would like to be in love. Even though most of her love stories ended tragically, it didn’t put me off from reading them and I found being “ennui” impossibly grown-up and sophisticated. Oh how shallow and immature I was then.

Anyway, the film may be getting deleted from Youtube soon because of the copywright business. So watch it while it lasts!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura


After returning to our room from our evening saunter, we turned on the TV and scrolled down to check what channels were available in Strasbourg.

My French was almost good enough to get by as a tourist. I could understand French TV programmes as long as it was not too complicated so mum and I had a load of fun during channel surfing in our hotel room. I served as a translator, and we shared lots of giggle.

Hötel Cathédrale didn’t offer any English programmes, such as BBC or CNN, but French and German. At Reims, we discovered Les Guignols and found it hilarious therefore we were looking for something similar.

Then, we found “Verstehen Sie Spaß?”(Do you understand fun?)…

A German prank show!

It was because we understood very little German, except ‘Wunderbar!’, ‘Bitte?’ and ‘Danke’, we didn’t understand what those poor victims in the show were actually saying. Still, their reactions were priceless and the ideas behind the pranks were brilliantly funny. Long live Spaß!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Allez, Brigitte! Allez!

So Emmanuel Macron has been inaugurated as the 25th President of France today.

A new First Lady of France walking down the red carpet…

So elegant and confident!

Blue really suits her. She looks beautiful,

Hope they will visit London one day soon. And I and Bella will be there along The Mall to cheer her on!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Lunch @ Les Deux Salons, William IV Street WC2

When Alex and I discussed what we fancied for lunch, her first suggestion was Thai. Since I would never be able to take my chilli-shy Hubbie to any Thai restaurant, I was more than happy to follow her proposal. After lunch, we were planning to visit the Somerset House for their Christmas Arcade, therefore, we hopped on to Victoria Line, heading South East. We alighted at Charling Cross and found ourselves a little lost at in front of St.Martin-in-the-Fields, because we didn’t know any Thai eatery around there. Then, Alex suggested that we could have a quick bite at a French bistro she knew near Trafalgar Square Post Office.
It was cold and we were getting increasingly peckish so we agreed to postpone our Thai lunch for some another time.

During a festive season, everywhere I had been so far was adorned with Christmas trees and Les Deux Salons was no exception…


A beautifully decorated tree stood next to their well-stocked bar area, adding a fuzzy joyful atmosphere.
And the dining hall was already teeming with lunchtime diners…


We were ushered to the upstairs and seated by the balcony overlooking the ground floor…


For a starter, I had cream of cauliflower & potato soup while Alex settled on green salad…


The soup was hearty and delectable. It warmed me up from the inside.
For our main course, Alex opted for fillet of cod while I decided upon roast chicken and gratin dauphinoise…


The chicken was succulent and the gravy was seasoned just right…


The gratin was creamy but not too heavy. A perfect lunch for a chilly December day…


Even though the service was a little too slow for our liking, their foods were absolutely delicious. If one is not in a hurry, the place is an ideal place for dining, chatting & people-watching. Highly recommendable…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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