Saturday, 24 November 2012

Thanksgiving, Monaco Style

When I heard that the American Club of the Riviera would be hosting its Annual Thanksgiving lunch in the Salle Empire in the Hotel de Paris, I thought it would be the coolest gig in town.  

As luck would have it, my American foodie friend Scotty would be in Monaco for Thanksgiving so I saw it as a sign and snagged seats at the lunch for Hubby, Scotty and I.  Just to be on the safe side, I brushed up on the words to the Star Spangled Banner.
Carved potiron squash

I seek out any opportunity I can to visit the magnificent Salle Empire even if it means just sticking my head in to take a look when it's empty.   Who wouldn't?  With it's luminescent gilt trim, 6 metre high ceilings, and frescoes of naked and bare breasted women cavorting with various creatures and each other, the décor is much more theatrical than its subdued neighbour, the 3-Michelin Star restaurant, Le Louis XV.

Funny thing about the luncheon was that I'm not American and I don't eat meat so you think I'd feel out of place at a traditional American Thanksgiving meal but I didn't.  I felt very much at home and welcomed, and we ate quite well considering that we were the first two people to have ever requested a vegetarian meal for the Club's Thanksgiving lunch. 

Even though the Salle Empire is about as far as one can get from the modest first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, the sentiment was the same:  one of sharing, creating new friendships, and giving thanks.

I'm just hoping that at next year's lunch there'll be pumpkin pie.

Members of the military were there from Camp Darby in nearby Italy

Le Menu

Turkey lunch (l) vegetarian lunch (r)

Dum de dum.  Souvenir de Monaco


Barbara Lilian said...

What a magnificent building, how did all the men manage to eat their meal with all those naked women staring down at them... I Loved the potiron & squash carvings. Hope the guy with the plate didn't get seen on 'candid camera'. Thank you for sharing your thanksgiving.

Jilly said...

Absolutely beautiful photos. I adore the waiter carrying the turkey - love the movement. You really brought this event to us, Gustia. Wot no pumpkin pie!