While I was in Amiens, France, I was honored to have lunch with the Secretary General of hosteling international, Madame Edith Arnoult-Brill, at Les Bouchees Doubles.
Have you ever met someone so inspiring that they made you stop and wish that God had put more hours in the day, just so you could keep talking to them? This was my wish while talking with Edith. We sat and chatted about her life adventures and how she got to where she is today. From her stories of driving a tour bus in California to her trips that have gone oh so wrong while camping; Edith continued to put me in awe. She lives the life I strive for. Now, she devotes her life to youth and social tourism working with hostels.
For lunch, we went to Les Bouchees Doubles. It’s right by the Notre Dame Cathedral and close to all the great Amiens shopping. It has a lot of classic French dishes and a great French experience.
In France, it’s perfectly normal to have an afternoon glass of wine. Well, it’s appropriate anywhere, but almost expected in France. She recommended her favorite, the Sauternes, a Bordelais.
It was very sweet and full of flavor. I like sweet white wines. After dinner, I always need something sweet and taking a swig of this wine would have done the trick if I hadn’t been tempted with one of the greatest desserts ever.
We both went with the same dish. I wish I could remember what it was called, but I can’t find it anywhere and I should have taken a photo. Of course it’s a salad, but it has a name.
The salad had crisp romaine lettuce, tossed in a creamy lemon dressing with ham, roasted potatoes, parsley, provolone cheese, breaded warm goat cheese, and croutons. I’m going to be obsessed with warm goat cheese for a while and I can’t wait to make one when I get back to the United States.
Of course after dinner, we had dessert. We went with the Moelleux ah Chocolate. In the United States, we call this a « lava cake. »
I’m used to having the one from Dominos, so you can imagine how amazing this one tasted to me compared to the usual pizza joint lava cake.
It was served with a homemade vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and vanilla cream sauce.
This dish goes into my top five favorite desserts. It was so incredible.
We continued to chat about the importance of hostels and our experiences with cultural shocks. I told her about putting my croissant in my coffee bowl, and how I’ve done some pretty silly things because of the cultural differences. That’s why it’s important to experience life somewhere else. You get a better understanding of other cultures, and you can learn a lot from one another.
To top off the entire meal, we continued our conversations over espresso. She gave me a international hosteling pin and a book about the hostels. I have a lot of stories to share with you about how the hosteling all started in a future post. We walked down the cobble street roads and she introduced me to the best macaron shop.
Now, I must get my things together and head out to the airport.
I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, but at home it’ll be possible because I won’t have cathedrals, restaurants, cafes, tour buses, or trails to distract me. I guess it’s back to reality.
I also have 14 hours on a plane and will absolutely put together some more posts.