Birthday lunch at the French Laundry

As I said yesterday, I was lucky enough to celebrate my friend's 40th birthday with her on Sunday, with lunch at the French Laundry. There were 10 of us in the private dining room. They looked after us so well.

The food was a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.  Such beautiful plates and glasses and different styles of presentation. Even the water glasses were so fine that you noticed them and it made the water taste better.  The dishes and how they plated the food was gorgeous - definitely worthy of a few photos.

We also got a tour of the kitchen and it seemed a nice calm atmosphere.  Busy people but not frenetic.  They've done it all many times before.

There were so many dessert courses - I lost count and then they give you gifts to take home too.

It took us 5 hours to eat our meal.  Five happy hours where all our senses were stimulated, and we enjoyed each others company with lots of laughs.

What a wonderful celebration.  Yes, I ate things that I normally don't eat, but a visit to French Laundry isn't a regular event!

Have you ever been?

Eat with your eyes

When we were on holiday in Mexico a few weeks ago, we had this beautiful outdoor setting for one of our dinners.  I loved the way they had taken individual flowers and arranged them so prettily.

Creating an attractive setting really helps with your enjoyment of a meal.   This is particularly important if you aren't feeling hungry as a result of treatment like chemotherapy or something like that.  If you are in that situation, see if your partner/friend can help encourage your appetite by making things look pretty and inviting.  Even putting a vase of flowers on the table can make a difference, or some candles....

Remember, we first eat with our eyes, then our noses and finally our mouths - so stimulate your eyes first, and the rest will follow!  Make the environment attractive, both the setting and how the food is arranged on the plate.