If I'm really honest though, it's because it took me a week to recover from Madrid, but before all that, you'll never guess who we met at the airport on the way home. Only Raymond Blanc himself! Strange as it may seem, I mention the man in my blog, and next thing you know, we're standing there having a conversation. It was beautiful, he looked at me, I looked at him, he waited for it, and I delivered...
Star-struck idiot: "I really love your TV show Musure LaBlonc, it's brilliant"
Raymond: "Thank you" *shakes my hand*
Tongue-tied idiot:"Yeah, it's the best thing since sliced bread, ha ha ha...food joke there Raymond, did you like that?"
Star-struck: "Can I call you Raymond?"
So there we were chatting away, him telling me he was in talks about a new series of The Hungry Frenchman, and that he didn't really like the whole celebrity chef thing. I took that as a hint and decided the obligatory celebrity photograph could wait until next time.
He was actually lovely, very friendly and chatty and I was happy for the rest of the day. But that was the end of the weekend. The beginning began a few days earlier, with myself and the wife flying out, checking into the hotel and then heading out for food.
On leaving the hotel, we had no real idea where to go, but luckily, my superior manly sense of direction took control of the situation, and decided downhill was best.
Turns out I was right once again and we soon ended up sat outside a nice little tapas bar, hungry and in need of feeding. The waiter didn't have a word of English, but he got the ball rolling by making some strange movements as he pulled up his apron. After careful consideration, I told him I was Irish, not Scottish, and no, I don't wear a kilt.
He didn't bother taking our order, he just pointed to something on the menu and we agreed. Why he let us spend ten minutes trying to figure out the menu is another thing, but it's probably an in-joke.
Anyway, we ended up with some lovely sliced beef tomatoes dressed in olive oil, followed by a mouth watering selection of chorizo and other meats and cheese.
We left the tapas bar in search of some sun, and two minutes later, we parked ourselves in Plaza Mayor, sitting in direct sunshine, drinking cold beer, smoking my first Ramon Allones of the day.
A few hours later when we met up with the Doyles, I was having a great time, five beers and two cigars to the good. But there was no time to waste as we emptied the minibar of all alcohol while waiting for room service to deliver the wine.
We finished the wine, left the hotel and entered a bar for some more tapas and wine and/or beer.
I was actually in reasonable shape by the time we met up with Kaz and Rolo out in Rolos old neighbourhood. We met Rolos friends and I ate deep fried pig fat, which was nice. The friends, not the pig fat, which I can still taste.
That was pretty much it for the first night. I'll cover off Saturday and the rest of the weekend next time, but for now, here are some photographs for your viewing pleasure.
|Johns head in a glass|
|John pointing out a much gayer jumper|