Lovely evening first at the Institute Français, where the Culturethèque project (try it here for free) was launched and a profusion of Mumm champagne served (I had five glasses), and then chez M. L'Ambassadeur for a petit four-course dîner, sprinkled with some of the best wines I've had in years (point No.1: yes, I am not tea-totalling any more; point No. 2: an illustrious publisher – not me – complained that SPANISH wines had been served at the French Institute party during the London Book Fair: I can guarantee these were the very finest wines and champagnes of France – Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2004, Château Léoville Las Cases 2001 and Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blanc [sic]).
The dinner, by and large, went down very well – the consommé de homard was quite good; so was the poitrine de canette – but a few French noses, as well as a couple of Italian ones, were turned up at the potted tiramisu aux noisettes et pont-l'évêque: the chef could have done better there, sorry. Tiramisu is something else.
However, the coreography was better than La Scala's – so many bouquets of fresh flowers, so many white-gloved waiters serving all sorts of delicacies and topping up your glasses . . . it was an Epicurean's paradise. All in all, it was a great day for French cuisine.
And I am not drunk – amazing. I am simply wasted.