Hugh, apart from being a wonderful host, is also a most excellent and accomplished cook…..
….. and whenever Darrell visits, they dine like kings…. “Cooking for you is such a pleasure mon ami” Hugh would say “You nom in zee most delightful and satisfying way!”
Darrell confessed that at times he had sorely been tempted to lick his plate, he had so robustly enjoyed his meal, but if I had found out that he had, he knew he would have been in a state of absolute disgrace, with the words “You DON’T lick your plate in company and especially NOT in Notting Hill” ringing in his ears!
“Tonight, I have zee most magnificent treat for you Darrell …….” Hugh announced with a flounce and a flourish ….
…… “Escargots!”. Now Darrell’s French is almost non existent other than the odd “bonjour” and “oiu” so rather than look totally non de rigueur he simply replied “Nom, nom, nom!” and made out that he knew exactly what escargots were.
He studied the packaging carefully and thought that the seashell on the label might be a clue ….. and presumed they were some sort of pudding …… a posh cooked chocolate seashell with a creamy filling a bit like the chocolate seashells we’ve had at Castle Greysquirrel when we are being decadent while watching X Factor!
Hugh set to work ….. pots and pans flying everywhere in a most impressive and expert fashion, while Darrell watched ….. thinking that the escargots didn’t really smell very chocolaty as they were cooking!
And Darrell’s verdict? ……Well, in the end it became obvious to Hugh that Darrell had been incredibly polite but didn’t actually have a clue what he was eating ….. especially when he tried to eat the shell, saying that French chocolate shells were a lot more crunchy than the ones we had had at home and the filling a lot more savoury and chewy!
“Oh mon ami, you are soooooo, how you say, Funny! Zeese are not zee chocolates, zeese are zee snails! ….. What are you like? I think you tease me, no?”
Darrell gave Hugh one of his most devastating smiles (despite being slightly mortified by what he just eaten) ….. and then picked up his plate and licked it vigorously …… “Nom, nom, nom!” he said, followed by a very small burp! How could I be cross with him!