English Expat French Village Tea Shop has Best Day Despite Vandals
We had been running the salon de thé for less than a fortnight when we we arrived for our early morning start and found the poster we’d fixed to one of the trees looking the worse for wear.
The poster was four sheets of laminated paper held together with scotch tape. After the weekend rain we almost expected to find the sheets hanging loose after the tape had washed away. Finding it in one piece except for one corner deliberately torn away was an unhappy surprise.
Anyone who’s tried to dispose of temporary signs after a school or corporate event will know how hard it is to tear a sheet of laminate. Realising someone was prepared to make that sort of effort made a serious dent in our enthusiasm.
Happily, the destructive impulse that inspired the damage wasn’t the general attitude of the scores of happy customers we saw in our usual 8 am to midday slot.
After a deceptively quiet start it was obvious to us both that this was our busiest morning so far. Familiar faces continue to return, so we must be doing something right. It’s certainly meeting our number one goal, to break the ice with as wide a selection of our new neighbours as possible.
The gâteau de jour, our first repeat appearance for the previously crowd pleasing apple and almond sponge, flew off the counter. The trio of peanut butter, coconut and raisin cookies were almost as popular.
After hints from our customers we switched the quiet background music from French radio station RFM to an all-English playlist spanning the sixties to the eighties.
Many golden oldie English hits are familiar over here, covered by French artists with French lyrics. How else to explain the customer who quietly whistled the chorus of “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” when the song had long faded from the CD player?