Weekly updates on what happend in Richard Art life in the last 7 days
RICHARD'S WEEKLY UPDATE
Richard Scott Blog: 17th September 2023
Monday, we got up late-ish and packed our backpacks for a train trip to Epernay. I popped out to the local corner shop to get some Saison and sparkling water.
Joanne made us a yummy French cheese and Saison breakfast while I fried up some mushrooms we bought at the market on Sunday. Our train to Epernay was only at 12pm so we had some time to chill. We noticed a big green box outside our apartment in Paris where you can donate clothes to, so we also sorted out our large cases as we brought too much clothes with us so we both chucked out some old clothes. I had a marketing idea to put a whole load of new Richard Scott t-shirts in and before you know it a whole load of Parisians will be wearing Richard Scott t-Shirts.
After that, we were off to the train station. We decided to do the 30 minute walk as Uber was €14 and Paris metro was €4 but both take about 25 minutes. So by walking you stay fit and get to see the city.
The train to Epernay was 90 minutes. Joanne and I played cards and chatted.
Epernay is the heart of the champagne region with regards to sales.
Our host for 2 days was our amazing friend Denis, who we met at Woodstock Brewery a year or so ago. Strange how having a beer with someone in your hometown can turn into you taking a train from Paris to their town and be treated to a first class champagne experience.
Denis is a world class sommelier. He also works for Pierre Mignon. He directed us from the train station to the Pierre Mignon shop where Benoir treated us to a 5-glass tasting with Spanish charcuteries. It was world class. Denis rocked up and took us along the Avenue de Champagne. Wow. Denis knows everyone. Our first stop was De Venoge where we got to meet the big boss who gave us a private tour of the cellars. It was out of this world.
We finished up and headed back to Denis's place where we plucked the feathers of 2 ducks that he shot for us that morning. He then deboned them and cooked them up for us with a nice bottle of red. Early night as we had a big day Tuesday. Denis had a presentation of Pierre Mignon in Paris, so we decided to walk into the town and shop and get a nice breakfast. It got cold very quickly so we headed back to the house to change and get the umbrella. We walked back to town as it’s only 10 minutes and headed to Pierre Joūet for lunch and our first bottle of champagne.
After Pierre Joūet we went for a tasting at MOËT and Dom Perignon. It was expensive but we had to do it. It started to pour with rain while we were in the garden under the tent. It was beautiful. The weatherman predicted rain as it had been so hot all week. We did a quick sneaky tour of MOËT and headed back home to Denis. He had a super-duper surprise for us in mind. He took us to meet some friends about 20 mintes drive into the countryside as they were small champagne farmers and were celebrating the end of the harvest. It was such an honour to be welcomed into their home and feast with them. Not one of them could speak a word of English and were as shocked as we were that we did not know French.
We learnt from them and Denis that they are the lost. champagne makers. The huge companies have acquired all the big names and have good sales due to good branding and marketing strategies. The french families champagne was fresh, crisp and delicious. The champagne flowed and a beautiful evening was had by all. Then, we were off home and off to bed. Wednesday morning, Joanne and I were off and back to Paris to enjoy our rooftop flat for 2 more days but not before Denis took us for one last champagne tasting at Alfred Gratien. We met the wine maker and he gave us a personal tour of the wine cellar, but not before serving us a glass of 2008 vintage Alfred Gratien. Once again, we were blown away. Then Denis took us to Epernay station in his 2-man car singing “cool drinks and Ice cream” at the top of his voice and tooting his hooter every time he saw someone he recognised.
Finally, we were on the train, all champagned out. LOL
We got back, had a nice clean shower, shoved a load of washing in and we were off to see the big attractions. The Arc de Triomphe and the famous Eiffel Tower. We sat on the grass outside the Eiffel Tower for an hour drinking a bottle of Pierre Mignon Blanc de Blanc that Denis gifted us. We tried to get into the grounds of the Eiffel Tower to celebrate but they turned us away as you cannot take alcohol in with you. Nontheless, it was even better on the grass bank.
Then we headed back home on the metro but not before enjoying a nice Aperol Spritz at a side walk cafe.
Thursday morning, Joanne and I woke up and I realised we had to check out at 11am but our flight was only 10pm. Eeek. I whatsapp'd our host Isabellto ask her if we could check out at 6pm and she said no problem. That made our trip. If you ever go to Paris please stay with Isabel. Here is a link to her Airbnb:
We got up and decided to just walk the streets of Montmartre, the area we lived in. We tried to go to a few galleries, but they were not open yet for some reason. So we decided to hop the Boulangeries as we walked and eventually got to lunch time where we did starter hopping. That is something Joanne and I do. Order a starter and a glass of wine from a few different restaurants. You can even tell the waiters your plan and they recommend the next restaurant.
The day past quick as did the sights and it was time to UBER to the airport. We got there the customary Richard Scott 3 hours early to enjoy the lounge, but Emirates had changed their policy and you now have to be GOLD status to get into foreign lounges. Nonetheless, we found a nice little restaurant and enjoyed a small meal and some free WiFi.
Our 10pm flight to Dubai was delayed and we didn’t get any sleep onboard as you would know. We arrived in Dubai 5am Friday morning at my brother Ben and Cathy’s house, in Al Manara, shattered.
It was really good to see them after 4 years.
We unpacked and were off to the Dubai Mall. I had a upset tummy from something I ate but I took Joanne Dubai Mall shopping and she loved it. We popped into a famous Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung where Joanne had the dumplings and I had beef broth soup to ease my tummy. Then back to Ben and Cathy where they treated us to a walk through the spice and clothing Souks, then a lovely boat ride down the river and a nice supper at a Jordanian restaurant. Joanne loves her humus and the likes so it went down well.
They early to bed.
Saturday morning it was up early and off to the beach at 7am to watch the girls do a 1 hour lifesaving lesson.
Joanne and I decided to catch a tan and swim. The heat was unbearable, and the humidity made it even worse. We decided to swim in the ocean and that was even warmer. We waded in the bath water for some time and swam out far, tanned a bit and then off home to shower. Joanne and I both looked like beetroots from the heat.
Cathy took us shopping to the local supermarket for some goodies for the kids and then we were off to MK, a sushi restaurant at The Four Seasons as a Engagement celebration from Ben and Cathy. It was next level. Definitely one of the top 5 highlights of our entire trip.
Then back home, early night as we had a Sunday morning flight at 9am back to Cape Town where I’m sitting now and writing to you.
Joanne and I both agreed day flights were better.
So here is the trip in photos:
Denis meeting us in Epernay
Day one of 3 days of Champagne
And were off
de Venoge with Deinis
We got to taste the best of the best at de Venoge
Cheers. A bronze statue outside de Venoge
We got to meet Gilles Morisson
Celebrating Champagne hundreds of years ago
de Venoge has a record of every single transaction dating back hundreds and hundreds of years
Plucking a duck that Denis shot for our supper
Exploring the Church in Epernay
It was so hot outside, yet this 125 year old building was still cool inside
Day 2, lunch and Champagne at Pierre Jouet
Celebrating life with Joanne
Joanne and I thoroughly enjoyed Epernay
Next stop in the rain for a tasting only
I thought tastings were expensive in South Africa. EEEEEEEk
Chandelier made form Champagne flutes
MOET stooped in history
Joanne and I meeting Stephane who owns Vin de Vouvray
Next morning Denis took us to Alfred Gratien to meet Nicolas the wine maker
We got a cellar tour thanks to Denis
Nicolas loved my stickers so he added one onto his phone
Then on a train back to our flat in Paris
And were off to see the sights on our second last day of 3
Arc Triomphe from below
Quick Aperol Spritz on our brisk walk to the Eiffel Tower
Yeah we made it
Celebrating our engagement with Pierre Mignon Blanc de Blanc
Cheers to us
Spot the scott
Paris Metro back to the flat
Last day in Paris restaurant hopping
Oysters at La Mascotte in Mont Martre
Made some new friends from Morocco and Madagascar
Time for some yummy final treats with our 2011 Pierre Mignon
Nom Nom. I cannot remember what this is but it was Nom Nom
Cheerio Paris. Thank you Joanne for such a wonderful time in Paris and agreeing to my marriage proposal and wanting to spend the rest of your life with me. I love you.
We did not sleep on the flight and decided to hit the Dubai Mall
Showing Joanne Dubai
Ban and Cathy showing us the Souks
Souk night life at 40deg
River boat 1 DIR each
Cathy ordering us the olderest frozen desert in the world. Quote from Google:
'Legend has it that faloodeh was the first frozen dessert ever made--dating from around 400 BC--and that it was invented largely by accident, when flavoring syrups were spilled on snow, and people realized that they could be transformed into a delicious treat."
Hydrating in the heat
3 kids in the back heading to a Lebanese restaurant for supper
Last minute shopping for stuff you only get in Dubai
Next Day, on our way to lunch at MK Four Seasons
Celebrating life with Family
Early night and off to Cape town at 6am
Until next Sunday
r i c h a r d