So ... my recommendation for THIS year is AIR FRANCE. We boarded our flight in Delhirium at 1.00 a.m. and were greeted at the aircraft's entrance by airhostesses wishing us "Bon Soir Madame/M'sieur!" -- it was a great start for any Francophile -- and the rest of the flight confirmed that first impression. Yep. By the end of it, E and I were chattering away in French, like a pair of parrots that have been taught a series of stock phrases, and are eager to try them all out!! I don't know what it is about the french language, but being immersed in it makes the immersee feel supercool, elegant, sophisticated, pleasantly perfumed and even (at a stretch) slender.
The result of this was that we wafted out at Boston's Logan airport in a haze of gaulic good-humour, buoyed up by TOTALLY OUTSTANDING FOOD (are you reading this, Amro?) -- not too much, not too little, but fresh and tasty and even the trays weren't too fussy or the little packets impossibly difficult to break into. Red wine both meals, and a nice, smooth dry one it was. There was a scheduled six hour wait at Paris' Charles de Gaulle and that was a bore, but the flight after it was just as good as the one that preceded it so ... like I said, we arrived in very good humour. We were out in the mild spring sunshine within minutes -- literally, I think it took about 20 minutes from the time we left the aircraft -- and that even includes the surreal 15 minute wait between the aircraft and the interior of the Immigration Hall, with all 300+ passengers backed up in one long, bewildered line in front of a locked glass door, coz SOMEBODY forgot to open it and let us in. My niece's partner L collected us in his car and took us to my niece D's sweet, pretty and pleasant-scented apartment in Arlington.
And yes, Amro, we had a GREAT dinner, cooked by my niece, of angel-hair pasta and excellent salmon. Delicately herbed and very tasty. MMMmmm.
I am not going to extend this much longer coz I actually have a life that I need to get back to right about ... NOW. But before I go, I need to say a word about two books I've been reading: one is Irwin Allen Sealy's RED -- which I found so charming, unusual and mind-tickling that I gave it away to D before I'd finished reading it, so keen was I to share it with someone else! More about it in my next post. And the second book is one that I read about in Zig's post about the BLOOKER awards -- it's called JULIE & JULIA by Julie Powell and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. I would've preferred it to have included every single recipe that the author talks about, but even without them it IS, as the backcover blurb promises, a delicious read. All about the joys of cooking -- something I know nothing about, but am constantly hoping to just acquire someday without REALLY TRYING. (If you're reading this, Hurree, I hope you're feeling pleasantly jealous!! I promise to lend you my copy if you haven't got your own by the time I return ... chucklechuckle)