(Excuse the poor quality of photographs, please! I didn’t have my camera so my cellphone had to suffice)
Life through rose-tinted glasses. Yip, that pretty much sums up my outlook. I’ve been lucky enough to dine at La Vie en Rose in Illovo twice – for a friend’s 50th birthday lunch a couple of years ago, and then last night for supper club. I’m listening to Edith Piaf as I write this to help recreate the spirit of the restaurant.
My supper club meets once a month. We are 7 moms with 7 – 8 year old children in common – all in the same year group at the same school for the last 5 years. We are completely different people with different careers and situations in life, but we share not only children of a similar age, but also love for fine food and conversation. A few of us enjoy a glass of wine too. Each month, one of us gets to choose where we will dine. We can’t always all make it, but there so far there have always been enough of us available to have enjoyable dinners.
Toni chose La Vie en Rose for last night’s dinner. In terms of venue, it’s a pity that there is a skyscraper being build right next door – overlooking this gorgeous garden, but it’s a sweet spot. By day, events are hosted slightly away from the main building, in amongst the beautiful rose gardens and fountains. Because it was nighttime, we sat closer to the restaurant – the upper garden not being an option. Although the decor is a little tired indoors, the service is excellent and the wood-burning fires in witches’ cauldrons make the atmosphere warm and inviting. If someone in the party is celebrating a birthday, the whole restaurant can enjoy the manager’s special birthday serenade.
The menu is varied and quite a few items are Banting-friendly (a characteristic which is important to my wellbeing at the moment!). I chose the Thriller option from the Light Meals – sesame-coated beef rump strips with red cabbage, broccoli, roasted peppers and marrows, sprinkled with cashews. I declined the basmarti rice. My meal was delicious, and more than enough – I’m having the leftovers for supper tonight. The salads looked delicious, as did the mushroom and something pie that Feroza ate and Nadia’s wrap. Karen’s Sassy – chicken breasts with balsamic reduction and root veggies was incredibly tempting, looking all lovely on the plate next to mine. Even those diners who are wheat or lactose intolerant found something to delight in. We didn’t eat desserts but the table next to us did, and it looks to me like the chef is on to a good thing. I noticed Toblerone and Oreos as ingredients on some of these. You can check it all out on their website here: http://lavieenrose.co.za
But more important than the delicious food was the company of women who experience similar things in their homes to what I experience in mine. Of the ten children we had between us, there seem to be at least 5 who are picky eaters or who have allergies (one per family, I think. This is a huge relief to me – one always worries about whether one’s own picky eater is alone in the world, or if she is getting enough. We griped about the cost of extra mural activities and trying to keep houses tidy. We laughed about that drawer or cupboard we all seem to have where we stash all the things that we don’t know where else to put. We shared tremendous laughs about accents – and one day I’m actually going to make notes about our conversations so that I can try to capture the hilarity here. I guess we find humour in the insanity of modern living by simply being together and sharing our stuff.
I love my once-a-month indulgence with the Serotonin Sisters. We might not be in constant contact, but we all care deeply about each other’s well being. How is the studying going? How are the renovations? How was the hot date? Did your son get into that school? How was your trip? We always miss the others who can’t make it, and our dear friend Tina who is keeping afloat on Mud Island. It’s important that I am accepted for who I am, as part of a group of women who are diverse and interesting. I have a few such groups, each with their own appeal. And they all help me to see the world through rose-tinted lenses. La Vie en Rose.