Went to Ardres, lovely old place which is very close to Calais – need to look it up for all the history, but where Francois I of France met Henry VIII before the Field of the Cloth of Gold. One of our team had fond memories of a cave run by a couple from Wolverhampton and a trough called La Fregate, by a lake which is next to the town. Couldn’t find latter but found instead a fine new brasserie L’Authentique – opened a week ago – run by the son of the frigate bird who had sold up. Black Country vintners had also gone. Had splendid lunch – gambas au whiskey, bavette frites, fromages locales. Pouilly Fume and Cotes du Rhone, followed by a small Calva on the house. As driver, I maintained iron discipline … Then back to Cite de l’Europe and serious damage in Carrefour. Scored well with Savigny Les Beaune at €12 and Chorey Les Beaune at €11, Chateauneuf du Pape at €9, 5litre box (a gallon!) of Cotes du Rhone at €17 – it’s still great value. Back home by 10pm – cats a bit hungry, but easily mollified. Listened to At the Drop of a Hat en route back – rousing chorus of ‘Mud, mud, glorious mud’ enjoyed by the intrepid musketeers. Altogether not too smelly a day!

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