Last night was grand banquet of our conference. It was in the regal Le Petite Palais of Montreux. Hardly looked very 'petite' to me.
Two levels down, a ballroom which opened to lovely gardens, seven hundred people seated in classy round tables. A setting for the Cinderalla's ball.
I was late and thought the place was full. Till a few friends from Delhi tried their jugar (fixing abilities) and a beaming maitre d got me a place.
The table I sat at turned out to be a six degrees of separation one.
- Someone from a design agency in the UK who was working on a project at Mumbai. Was mighty thrilled to know that I was from Mumbai
- Two Britishers who loved food on both my sides. I launched into a discourse on mutton kolhapuri, bombil fry and bata wada versus sweet, vegetarian, Gujarati food as one of them wanted to know if the food of Mumbai was different from what his North Indian friends at London had
- One turned out to be from the county of Kent in the UK. I was born in Canterbury, the capital of Kent! He told me about how the Kent county ground was the only one with an oak tree inside (!) the boundary
- White wine
- Three lovely fish pates, 'marrieage of two fish' as the card said
- Red wine
- Slices of roast beef from 'our mountains' as the menu described it
- Potato gnochhi (a sort of slab of cheese potato bake)
- 'Local vegetables' which people at the table traded with the slices of beef from the plate of a vegetarian European lady there
- Sorbet with raspberry cheesecake for dessert followed by coffee and petite fours.
As the dinner got over, the live instrumental jazz players moved away from the starry stage. A dance floor was made as another live band came up.
Many danced into the night.
Some of us younger ones headed back to our spouses.