Thursday, January 25, 2018

La Fete de la Fleur, Bordeaux 1997

An UPDATE: tomorrow I am attending the Paul Bocuse memorial service in Lyon. More to follow. Sorry for the double posting !!

  • A WINE WATERCOLOR from the huge international wine exposition takes place in Bordeaux
The crowning event at the end of the expo is a grande soiree,
La Fete de la Fleur
Only the creme de la creme in the wine trade attend:
chateau owners, distributors, celebrities etc.
Each year it's held at a different grand chateau in the Medoc..
The year I went, it was at the lovely
Chateau Cantenac-Brown.
I wrangled an invite by suggesting I should take photographs
for Wine Enthusiast magazine. A tradition at the Fete is the prestigious awarding of new memberships intoLe Commanderie du Bon temps du MedocNew and old members get to parade about in claret red velvet robes..
Hugh Grant was a recipient, but alas, I did not get his picture. Here are the St. Emilion Bon Temps members parading.After Champagne and hors d'oeuvre on the grounds
there's a grand dinner inside. In 1997 it was held inside a tent in case of rain. Between courses there was Cirque du Soleil-style entertainment. Performers on stilts dressed up as Bon temps members paraded.
Acrobats decked out as corks flew through the air to keep us amused.
I did this party doodle after the Fete.
The dinner menu served was quite simple - just 5 courses.
After all there were 1500 guests attending!
But I was amazed to see the cheese course/fromages served to each guest individually by special cheese servers, rather than 6 cheese chunks sitting on a plate.
The piece de resistance was of course, the wine menu shown here.
13 wines served to go with the 5 courses!
I noticed while sitting at the Wine Enthusiast table,
a bit of tipping the waiter to get very large glasses refilled
with some of the world's finest wines.
Here is the sad secret that has kept me from following in Ms. P. Hilton's footsteps.
My alcoholic capacity is about 2 THIMBLES FULL.
Anymore than my quota
and I am known to become dangerously flagrant or fall asleep à table.
Plus I suffer mild hangovers.
So I did not leave the soiree drunk and disorderly.
But I did get a very nice claret red umbrella (it started to rain)
with the insignia of Le Bon Temps Commanderie on it
And the truly amazing fact is
I still have this umbrella 10 years later!


  1. Bonnie6:38 AM

    Have endless admiration for your journey. Very inspiring to so many of us

  2. Me too! BTW that calligraphy:)With l'aquarelle of course♥

    1. But look at the calligraphy on the invite! Wow

  3. The story of your history in wine during the 90s is so enjoyable! Thank you for posting it. I had been thinking you were simply a watercolorist who got lucky enough to live in Paris. I see that you well deserve this glorious fate!

    1. 😀Haha I am laughing ear to ear.
      I see I shall have to tell of my days as a shoe designer, fashion too, medical artist, so many different things!

  4. Love, love, love this post (and the last). You have such amazing talent, and have experienced some wonderful events in your life!
    AND looked absolutely beautiful in your Degas dancing dress. Reading your blog makes me happy!

    1. yr a darling to say so Judy.
      Love hearing that PB brings joy to others!!

  5. Wow - what an event! (And can you give me an example of "dangerously flagrant" behavior? Hah!)

    1. Loved this post, of course. You're was a really exciting time! I'm so glad we both got to experience it.

  6. Still laughing over the two-three thimbles comments. HAHAHA
    What a lovely day you had.
    You must write a book.

  7. Sharon T.1:38 PM

    I love your reminisces from your illustrious past jobs...we can imagine your adventures and being in the company of the "greats"...Merci, Carol...keep Em coming our way...

  8. Winewalker11:03 PM

    Love your party doodles

  9. Estelle11:06 PM

    Oh my goodness, so happy to see all your hard work come to fruition. Beautiful! When are you offering watercolor lessons in France?

  10. The art work is great.

  11. Great story to read, sounds like an amazing dinner, good on you getting an invite! The question is though, do you still have the umbrella?!?

    1. No I lost that umbrella long ago Kirra😀

  12. What an experience you had....I am loving reading all about your experiences....something for that book of yours! WOW is all I can say and your doodle after the looks like a work of art to me-a good umbrella is hard to come by ...hold onto that sucker!

  13. Winewalker11:36 PM

    "My only regret in life was not drinking enough champagne."
    ---John Maynard Keynes

  14. Keep your feet dry! I hope you are not forced to wade anywhere.

  15. I'm glad you'll be able to go to the funeral. He was so well loved this man!
    Love the paintings.
    I followed your advice and am now responding to comments on my blog, including yours, starting with the Elephant post.
    Thanks, Carol!


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