I’m at the Cafe Leffe in Lille. What to choose? Leffe De Saison, Leffe Blonde, Leffe Royale, Leffe Rituel, Leffe Brune, Leffe Ruby.
A smartly dressed elderly couple sit down at the next table. They’re typically French. I can tell by their language. I’ve still no idea what to have, so when in France and all that… He orders a Bloody Mary. It’s not on the list.
I have a Brune. Large. When the waiter steps away I notice a poster advertising Leffe De Noel. My Leffe Brune arrives. It’s in a punch bowl.
It’s hard to describe how it feels to be in a cafe surrounded by people talking in languages you don’t understand. I’ve never been good at learning languages, ask Miss Hunter my French teacher. So told me to master my own language before atempting to conquer another. I dropped French.
But sitting here listening to people’s stories is like enjoying songs for their tunes not their words. French is beautiful to listen to when you’ve no idea if they are talking about the Christmas market that’s just opened or all the atrocities in the world. (My auto-correct suggested that what I was actually trying to type then was ‘auto cities’. See it knows me so well and my ability not to grasp the way we spell words correctly).
I’ve finished my large glass of Brune and have now asked for a steak and a small Blonde. The waiter brings me a bowl of nuts. I didn’t ask for them. I eat them anyway. He brings me another one. I eat them too. He brings me another one but I’m saved by the steak.
I never used to be one for sauces with my steak. I think it goes back to my own waiting days when Steak Diane was all the fashion and having it cooked at your table was the meme of the day. But recently I’ve been having Bearnaise sauce with my steak. It’s just seems to work. Although lettuce drowning in mayonnaise isn’t my idea of ‘salad’ But I guess when you come to a place called Cafe Leffe it’s the Leffe more than the Cafe you’re after.
Having said that the food is flavourful and plentiful.
Now if you excuse me I have nuts to eat.