I confess that I had been feeling like a hound dog for some days, crying all the time. Not tears of woe but tears of fucking desperation as it had become apparent to me that my new internet server had never caught a rabbit and was certainly no friend of mine. As with all good things, all bad things must come to an end which end found me standing in a misty car park clutching an over designed cardboard box filled with wire and plastic that would serve to allow me to do that which I am now doing. The all pervading greyness of the occasion caused my memory to alight on the acronym GUM which, on that damp muffled morning in an empty provincial town, spoke volumes to me of erstwhile grim Soviet melancholy, only lacking in precision that which the insertion of the letter “L”after the letter”G” would have afforded. I have never been to Moscow, or indeed to Russia, so my sentiments are without foundation ….. as is our house which, never the less, stands as solid as a rock, unlike my conceptions that change with the frequency of a paper table cloth in a busy French brasserie.
And so the table cloth of my mind is whipped away from beneath the last set of dismal thoughts revealing a reverie of where and how I like to eat. There is an ambiance to a “bouchon”, which is where this dream is set, that cannot be recreated with carefully considered design or a kitchen bent on cleverly crafting dishes from combinations of ever more obscure ingredients. This is “echt”. Good charcuterie, pate en croute, oeufs meurettes, truites d’Iraty meuniere, classic desserts, followed by well chosen cheese and affordable wines. Ideal in its simplicity yet so very difficult to find….why?