I have been to a few weddings in France before but I would never have imagined what was awaiting us in terms of food.
Usually, upon arrival, guests are welcomed with champagne and small canapés.
Here, the display of food was absolutely incredible, a dream come true for a food lover! I was even too busy eating to take any photos at all!
It all started when I was catching up with members of my family. We were sipping our champagne and eating small canapés that were carried around. Then, my younger brother arrived running, out of breath with his arms waving all over the place:"Guys, guys, you won't believe it!! There is an actual cheese fondue over there in the corner and I don't think people have noticed it yet!".
The cheese fondue was indeed incredible. And I could have put my head in it, it was so big (not that I would ever put my head in food!). A man was slicing a huge smoked ham to have with it, there were big chunks of country bread to dip in the cheese, and lots of charcuterie to accompany.
You would think that would be a lot already with the canapés right?! But this is not over...
We also realised that beside the table where the drinks were served, waiters were serving little white china dishes filled with delicious mini scallops (noix de pétoncle) cooked with vegetables in a wonderful creamy sauce.
And then, we turned around and spotted the huge seafood display. A barrel filled with freshly shucked oysters, langoustines (Dublin Bay prawns or scampi), bigorneaux (winkles) and so on.
I moved a bit to go and say hello to a relative I had not seen in years, and bam! There, on my right, a chef (wearing the biggest chef's hat I have ever seen) grilling meat pieces on a hot plate.
And as the time was passing, more new canapés appeared. Two of those you could chose from appealled to me a lot: a beautiful crumbed prawn sitting on top of a verrine (little glass) that was filled with a creamy fennel soup; and a crispy thin crust filled with creamy boudin noir (black pudding) and cooked apple.
At this stage, I knew I had to stop eating because we were obviously invited to the dinner that would take place sooner rather than later (it was an evening wedding). That self-control was really hard on me.
Our starter was a duo de foie gras. A slice of foie gras with poached pears, a crispy pastry filled with more foie gras, and a scoop of balsamic vinegar ice cream. You might think the choice of ice cream is weird. It was actually surprisingly interesting, with caramelised notes through it. A great match to the dish.
Our main consisted of fillets of quail served on a vegetable samosa accompanied by a drizzle of lentin des chênes soup (shiitake mushrooms). It was all delicious and so much in season!
And because it is France, we also obviously had a cheese course. We had hot chèvre (goat cheese) sitting on crispy bread and a very thin layer of tapenade.
I was in awe with the dessert as it contained two of my favourite things: chocolate and raspberries. We had raspberry sorbet sitting between two small violet flavoured meringues, fresh raspberries on top of a divine square of chocolate cake (I am not sure there was any flour in it, probably mainly chocolate, cream and butter!).
After a bit of dancing, we usually finish with a bit of coffee and tea (more champagne and other drinks for those who want), and brioche! Our family comes from Vendée, and there is a tradition there to make the bride stand in the middle of a gigantic round brioche and carry her around the ballroom. Here, we just had the brioche cut in big chunks. It was just as nice.
On the photo, you can see les dragées. At a French wedding, the bride and groom offer those to all their guests and to the people who could not attend the wedding. They are mainly almonds covered in sugar, but some of them also have chocolate or fruit paste inside.
I hope you enjoyed reading about all those food wonders and that you are not too hungry now!