On Saturday we got a text message from a friend in Marseille, nicknamed Nicodemus for reasons I won't go into. To be honest, I am not sure what he's real name is. (Goodness this sounds dodgy, but it isn't, I assure you.) He was visiting Bordeaux to consult his architect (who we put him in touch with) and would we care to join them for lunch and also see his flat.
Since his flat is in probably the most prestigious address in Bordeaux, right on Quinconces, and since he's a splendid fellow, we quickly agreed. So lunchtime found us sheltering outside the beautiful 18th century crescent waiting for our friends, then riding the lift (yes, there's a lift) up to his small loft apartment.
It's beautiful. Well, to be honest it's a shell, but it will be beautiful, and it has a rooftop terrace with the statue at Quinconces peeping over the roofs at you. Wonderful.
We ate at "La Maison du Magret", a restaurant entirely given over to the consumption of the duck with a chart on the wall to tell you where the various cuts of duck come from - with the notable exception of the gésiers, absent from the chart. Starter was salade de gésiers, and very delicious it was, too, with big meaty slices of gizzard and a variety of salad leaves. Main course was roast breast of duck with chips, salad and some kind of sauce which I couldn't entirely identify. The restaurant has it's own duck farm down in the Landes somewhere, so all their produce is fresh, local and good.
We discussed church life, the family, future ministry, etc. The architect is the current president of our church council.
"Have you ever been to l'Entrecôte?" asked our friend. L'Entrecôte is a Bordeaux institution, a steak house which serves only one meal - entrecôte and chips - but with a secret sauce and apparently it's the best steak you'll ever eat. You can't book. You have to turn up between 6pm and 7pm and just join the queue of people outside the restaurant waiting for it to open.
"No, but it is on our list of things to do before we leave Bordeaux."
"Next time I come I'll take you there. "