A few weeks ago I was heading to work with my travel bag packed for my upcoming countryside stay, courtesy of G&T weekends. I was equal parts apprehensive and excited at the idea of getting to know 30 strangers over the course of 3 days in Poitiers. Our accommodation was the fabulous Château St. Julien. Not too shabby eh? Then I had the comfort blanket of knowing 2 people already there – fellow Paris expats Haleigh and Meg – and I had absolute confidence in Gillian and Tess, the G&T founders.
Let me just pause to mention that my 7 year Parisversary is approaching. My main social group here is French so I was definitely rusty on the partying front. But I knew it would be a fun weekend when I was greeted with a big hug from Gillian and Tess (and handed a glass of bubbles) upon my arrival at the beautiful Château. It was a bit of a struggle initially to remember everyone’s name but I know now that beer pong is a great icebreaker.
Dinner was a glamorous affair. Seated in between gorgeous Kristel and charming Tom, we ate delicious French food and the dining room was buzzing with everyone's conversation. And so the tone was set for the rest of the weekend. We were kept busy with a combination of cooking class, horse-riding, dancing and Champagne tasting (whilst dressed up in various French disguises).
One of my personal highlights was our 5 hour al fresco lunch getting to know my table neighbours whilst enjoying the beautiful surroundings and indulging in several glasses of (b)rosé. My Château adventure was a refreshing break from the Paris routine and I enjoyed meeting some lovely people and having new conversations. Saying goodbye was tinged with some sadness, a bit like that feeling you got when you leave summer camp as a child.
Thanks Gillian and Tess, I think you’ve created something really wonderful. Here’s to the next G&T weekend! Lou xxxxx