Hidden Paris : October 4th 2014
Around 50 got together on the evening of Saturday 4th October at the Free Church in Shelford for a most enjoyable evening put on by the Shelford Twinning Association. The Shelfords are twinned with Verneuil en Halatte, a village about 30 miles north of Paris. We were delighted that members of our Association were joined by a few members from the Stapleford Twinning Association and also villagers who had seen the event advertised locally.
Our speaker for the evening was Francine Rouanet-Démocrate, founder of the Alliance Française in Cambridge, who now runs innovative language courses and organises accompanied trips to France. An enthusiast for all things French, she is particularly passionate about her capital city and certainly inspired us to return to Paris for a closer look. With the aid of a slide show, she took us on a lightning tour of the arrondissements, stopping at each one to pick out some of the highlights. These ranged from cafés and restaurants (from the smart and famous to the quirky) to beautiful gardens, canals, hidden courtyards and more modern buildings. She also explained how Paris is actually in a basin, surrounded by hills (the highest one being Montmartre), and showed us where to go for the most stunning views.
The talk was followed by a supper of cheeses, pâté, bread, olives, tomatoes etc, and a glass or two of wine (all French, of course!) Lively chatter was interrupted briefly for the raffle, whose prizes ranged from some rather special sparkling Vouvray to a beautifully presented marrow.