Only in France.
We arrived a few minutes early for our favourite restaurant the Francois 1er in Ardres.
It being a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid thirties we decided to sit in the car and absorb the peace and tranquillity of the Place d'Armes in the centre of Ardres.
We had parked on the side of the historic square, still proudly boasting the original cobbles of a long past era. The buildings surrounding the square also echo the past as can be verified by the reproduction photographs that adorn the restaurant walls. The restaurant itself being a former marble workshop harking back to the days when marble was a major product of the area.
As we sat with the car windows open, outside the local butchers shop, we were treated to the most
mouth watering aromas emitting from the artisan products in the shop.
Due to it's elevated location on the side of the square facing the restaurant the little shop had a number of steep steps at it's entrance. The owner had thoughtfully installed a handrail for customers use, not only did it serve it's purpose the elegant sweeping style of the handrail made a handsome
addition to his premises. As we sat contemplating our meal, the thoughts of which had been stimulated by the aforementioned delightful aromas, we were suddenly affronted by a very loud chorus of young voices.
In front of us and alongside the butchers shop was a lovely old alleyway the Ruelle du Flot that provides charming access to the rue des Lombards.
Apart from admiring its olde worlde charm and watching customers of the butcher disappear into the distance along its pathway, it now suddenly came to life in the most charming and exhilarating way.
With their mouths wide open and obviously enjoying themselves tremendously a crocodile of young children from the local school thrust their way down the alleyway and burst into the square.
Their chaperones were singing likewise and the whole entourage made an impressive sight as they marched across the square in search of some unknown destination, only in France!
Eventually time arrived to visit our restaurant and in a way we were somewhat reluctant to vacate
our vantage place on the Place d'Armes amid the atmospheric pleasantries of Ardres.
Despite being regular visitors to the Francois Premier over many years we had never met the owner and Chef Gerard until now.
Having prepared once again a magnificent and mouthwatering meal Gerard appeared in the restaurant at the end of our meal to a much earned round of applause from each of his guests.
It was the perfect ending to another special treat at the Francois Premier in the Shadow of the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
Only in France.
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