These days, the travel-prone Mrs. E and I travel by armchair for the most part. So we live vicariously. Regular readers will know that I love to get postcards from our friends who alight in distant cafés in far-off lands. Yesterday’s mail brought something more. A lovely (in all senses of the word) couple who were married just a couple of weeks ago chose as their honeymoon destination one of the most romantic — Paris.
Being passingly familiar with The City of Light, La Belle M. E and I sent along a list of a few things to do. My suggestion (mine are always more “touristy” and over-familiar — or as I like to think “comforting”) was to liberate the bar at the Ritz as Hemingway did during the waning days of “The War.” Although he never drank in this room (It was a reading room, I believe — he was across the hall at the larger Bar Vendôme) there is today a smaller, friendly bar dubbed The Bar Hemingway.
Friends will continue to amaze you.
Imagine my surprise when the package pictured above arrived through my letterbox. The honeymooners had the privilege of being entertained by Mr. Colin Field (that’s his autograph on the magazine), dubbed by Forbes Magazine “The Best Bartender in the World.” And to top it all off, they thought of us, here in Richmond, VA, pining for the glory days of drinks at the bar in some far-flung capital. No “been there-done that t-shirt,” or even a most welcome and witty postcard is this truly elegant and thoughtful gift.
I wish I’d thought of it. Inexpensive (although I hope that the six napkins once each held a cocktail), yes. Easy, undoubtedly. Although it must have taken some effort after cocktails to remember to bring along the souvenirs. This is a charming keepsake (with hand-written note!) from a most charming couple. Easy and elegant.
I think I’ll frame the composition and hang it in the bar room, next to the poster (that friends brought back) of the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel.