The alarm went off a 5am which was rather horrible but I leapt up over the still sleeping Bob and groped around quietly finding my stuff. Roused Lucy and said goodbye to Daisy and we were on our way by 545. About 10 minutes later I said to Lucy “Have you got the press pack with all the tickets”? There was a silence and then “****” and the car turned round and we raced back to the flat. Lu ran up and retrieved them and we set off for Gatwick again. I was feeling a bit tense (LOL Understatement) as by now it was 615 and check in closed at 740 and I wasn’t clear how close Gatwick was. Anyway, Lucy got us there in record time. We parked and even had time for coffee and a snack in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant.
On to our Easyjet flight which was packed. We pushed back on time but then sat on the runway for about 35 minutes no idea why. During this time a couple two rows behind me started a very loud conversation/argument over a building project they were involved in. They kept it up throughout the entire flight causing the people around them, myself included, to lose the will to live. The woman would accuse the man of some gross inefficiency and then he would invariably say “oh no no no no. Let me just say…..” and spout off for ages. I wanted to nap but they made it impossible.
We arrived pretty much on time after all that and got the train straight from the airport station to Lausanne. About 40 minutes through some lovely vineyard hills and along the lakeside. We were met at the railway station by the lovely Veronique from the Lausanne Tourist Agency. She took us to our hotel: the beautiful and rather posh Chateau D’Ouchy, and we checked in. Very nice room.
Had lunch with Veronique outside on the terrace beside the lake. An absolutely lovely view and we have been blessed with the weather. Sunny and warm. Lausanne is so pretty in this area. Very Belle Epoque. The lunch was fabulous too. A tartare of lake fish with a mustard cream cheese sauce followed for me by courgette flowers stuffed with a mousseline of lake fish and a basil cream sauce. Just delicious. I sampled the girls’ dessert plates which were delicious.
At the end of lunch we were joined by Christine, a local tour guide and she took us on a walking tour of Lausanne. We explored the old town as well as the super hipster warehouse area, uphill and down dale. The cathedral which was lovely and of course everywhere views of the town, the lake and the mountains beyond.
By 430 my feet were aching and the old back was complaining a bit so I wasn’t sorry to get back to the hotel, grab a quick shower and have 30 minutes rest.
Out again to get a train for a short ride to an area outside of Lausanne en route to Neuchatel. We had been given places at a great annual dinner event. 9 top chefs from Lausanne have got together for the last 4 years to put on an annual dinner of multiple courses, giving tastings of regional dishes and wines. The dinners are always held in unique and unusual places and this year was no exception. It was in a disused factory that had previously made a sort of chocolate sweet that looks like our Snowball ie chocolate casing around a marshmallow centre. We arrived to find the aperros underway in the factory courtyard. There were 100 diners at the dinner. We were served a delicious local white wine and 6 different canapes, all very very unusual. Then we went inside and ate at long tables whilst the chefs operated from a kitchen area on the mezzanine level. We were hosted by a lovely lady and her husband from the tourist board who made sure we knew everything that was going on. Also the chefs came down at intervals to check we were enjoying the food and atmosphere. Who wouldn’t??? It was a hugely fun event, very lighthearted and with non stop food and wine. I wasn’t particularly hungry after the lunch and frankly by the end of the dinner I never wanted to eat again!!!!!! Obviously, I struggled through out of politeness LOL. We had about 8 courses all served with different wines. Courses that were outstanding for me were the 64C poached egg served with the yolk and white separated, garlic crumb, poached wild mushroom . That was just great. Also enjoyed the pintade (guinea fowl) cooked with a deep raisin reduction sauce, natural carrots in an apple and coriander jelly glaze, beetroot puree, and something else that escapes me. The cheese plate was historic Absolutely epic and served with a wonderful hot gingery fruit bread. We literally staggered out under the weight of food we’d consumed. I guess we drank quite a bit of wine too but it didn’t stand a chance against the food. Taxi back to the hotel for about 1130. Another full day tomorrow. A wonderful day rounded off by some amazing news from Daisy which must wait till Monday to be confirmed but ……… GREAT NEWS!_