Sunday 17 Feb, 2008

Paris O Postcard: Lunch at Versailles

Lunch at Versailles, originally uploaded by following.equator.

Full roasted chicken, a buffet of cheeses, a fresh baguette, strawberries, string beans … all served on a city bench in the center of the town of Versailles.

What started as an impromptu lunch idea last year during an excursion to the palace of Versailles may now be a full-fledged tradition after some EF staff members repeated the feat this afternoon during Paris Orientation.

Last February, EF Group Leader Greg Holmes and I roamed the open-air Sunday market in Versailles searching for lunch. We were forced to get creative, buying a full chicken, cheese, bread and fruit. We even bought real, metal forks. Then we found a bench on a quiet side street and spread out our feast. This clearly was not a common sight, as the Versailles passers-by either smiled, nodded or grimaced. Several even offered us a “bon appetit!” It was a great moment that Greg and I recall often. We both even saved our forks as souvenirs.

So, today, when our group of first-time group leaders made the way to the open-air market, I told the story to my colleagues — Erin Bennion, Joe Burkett and Diana Tavares. We decided to give it a try. We bought our supplies (including forks and knives) and settled in on the bench. Not only was it a delicious feast, but it also was another memorable experience. We also toasted Greg for the inaugural Versailles lunch.

Greg even emailed me Saturday night, asking when we were headed back to Versailles. Greg, you’ll be happy to know, I’m adding my new fork to the Versailles collection.

The EF Paris Orientation concluded today after a busy day of sightseeing and a wonderal Moroccan Farewell Dinner. Special thanks to all of the first-time participants for another successful Paris Orientation.