The rain is here to stay. This news does not make me happy, and it most certainly does not warm the cockles of my heart. I'm struggling a little for fun weekend activities that can be conducted in rainy weather (housework does not count), so I guess every now and then, you just have to plaster on a grin and bear it.
This particular rainy Sunday, I've only a fold-up umbrella and I'm in Havs - it appears my reasoning went out with summer. But on the bright side, I feel I could be in Paris: running in from the cold, wet day into a warm and welcoming cafe proffering tarts, slices and cakes and the promise of good coffee.
Le Petit Tarte is the cosy cafe of choice, the charming indoors having an immediately defrosting effect on my toes. All the better to walk with, to the back area next to a non-functioning fireplace. The reverse air is certainly effective and it's not long before short sleeves are appropriate and a coffee ordered to cuddle and warm the insides.
The coffee is good, creamy without being spectacular, although I must admit that I'm looking for more than a caffeine fix. Afternoon as it may be, I'm on the breakfast trail, while my already-breakfasted companion feels a sweet tooth coming on.
Is there a more satisfying - without being overly indulgent - breakfast than bacon and eggs? I suppose it depends on mood and a number of other variables, but my excuse is that it was beyond noon and I hadn't eaten a thing all day.
Eggs Benedict is not a dish I'd normally order but there was a hungry thought in my tummy that wanted hollandaise sauce. The particularly lovely toasted white sourdough bread was weighed down with a generous pile of well-done bacon - a crisp piggy after my own heart.
On top, two quite perfectly poached eggs,enticing with their wobbly posture, finely chopped chives and cracked black pepper. I've yet to master poaching eggs without the aid of about a metre of cling wrap, so I'm impressed with the two almost identical, natural shapes presented before me. Even more delightful is piercing the eggs, orangey-yellow molten yolk cascading down onto bacon, toast and then the white plate - even though the whites are my preferred part of the egg.
In hindsight, Benedict isn't really my thing as I don't really like hollandaise, or at least not this one. Served as requested on the side, it was rather cool, and too creamy and rich for my palate, although the tanginess was pleasant and appreciated with some lonesome bites of bread.
Speaking of tang, the glossy lemon tart is sugar hit of choice for my (non) breakfasting companion who declares it sumptious - the short pastry not too short nor sweet, the curd not overly sour - but in the end, still quite a large snack.
My brow furrowed, and still does, at the blob of whipped cream and chocolate sauce lines - distracting and not at all necessary. On that, I wonder if places do that to justify an additional eat-in charge or something of the like. Anyway, I don't like the practice.
A few hours and thousands of spoken words later, having finally thawed out entirely, it seems the rainclouds have dissipated leaving those fluffy grey-white ones in their wake. It's time to come out and play; momentary relief but the rain's sure to come again.