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Le Dîner pour la Soirée Française - Samedi 17 Octobre 2020

28th October 2020

The French soirée was another opportunity for self-professed quiz mistresses Ruth Green and Jude Owens to exercise their little grey cells* to test the club’s Francophiles’ general knowledge.

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We may not be able to travel easily to la belle France en ce moment with the on-going Covid-19 restrictions…but with the ambient Parisian café-style music, flags, berets and Coco Chanel-inspired stripey tops (and dresses!) – along with beaucoup de RDYC bonhomie, that early autumnal evening we were in the mood for le fun français.

Embracing autumn, le plat du jour was a dish to lose yourself in. As the Coq au Vin had lost itself in the red wine, cooked lovingly and lingeringly until the chicken was falling off the bone with only the gentlest, greedy prod. Getting in on the cosy action were mushrooms, adding depth and flavour to the feast. Bijou onions were a cheeky twist bringing texture and a slight sharpness to keep us diners alert (it was a quiz evening, after all!). This was a dish that took its time in the cooking to be savoured in the eating and around the bar could be heard many a "mmm" between mouthfuls.

Sautéd pommes de terres – the French cousins to our English roasties – the crisped-up halves a cunning dipping tool in the coq’s gravy. The braised cabbage and green beans for colour and crunch completed this plat rustique. Sensual summer salads and al fresco barbecues may now be a faded memory; but snug stews of autumn have their place.

The Frangipane Pear Tart was another gem. The French take great pride in their patisserie as a culinary art form. Pretty to look at and charmingly crafted, the shortbread-like pastry base with the moreish ground almond frangipane added a moist sweetness with the tangy pear slithers on top. The boule of vanilla ice cream cut through the gorgeous richness. More mmm's.

Agatha Christie fans will know that many a dénouement takes place with the suspects and red herrings alike gathered in a dining room as Ruth and I prepared to reveal all with Le Quiz.

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Quizzes can remind us of what we know and what we don’t know.

Five topics: General, Food, Culture. Paris and La Langue Française.

You may have already tested yourself in a previous news story, but here it is again now and we would like to thank members for their grands efforts and congratulate the girls’ team for their presque parfait win - only dropping un point!

Merci aussi to chef Zack and the Kitchen Crew for cooking up our fantastique French feast, and to Adele and the Waiting on Team for looking after us and their careful Covid discipline.

A bientôt et à la prochaine!

* For quiz aficionados...reference the Poirot allusion – I know he was Belgian (not French!).

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