Birthday Omelette

Limoges in February can be as cold as a shaved cat in a bizzard, just as sorry-looking and twice as miserable.

Our first experience of the biggest city in the Limousin region was bleak. Snow was thick on the ground and swirled in the air around us, blown by a wind with its origins in the last ice age.

We spent half an hour driving around Limoges in an oversized rental car trying to find our hotel, driving past the library 4 times, before realising it was just round the corner. I was trying my best not to snap at my wife (chief navigator), because; a) it was her birthday; and b) it was me who had downloaded the directions to the hotel.

The hotel was small, and clean, and had the atmosphere of a car showroom. We decided to go out to celebrate Mrs H’s birthday.

Despite wearing a sweater and a jacket the cold tormented us as we slogged through the pavements, choked with snow, and devoid of welcoming bar or restaurant. Our first impressions were not good. It appeared to be a miserable place with no old world charm (it was the next day we realised if we had taken a turn for the left instead of going right, we would have found the beautiful old town – complete with crooked wood-framed houses, lovely restaurants and lively bars).

We trudged for an hour and found nowhere suitable to eat. We decided to go back to the hotel, for a birthday omelette.

It is probably at this point I should point out two things; 1) we are hopeless at making a decision about food and often find ourselves walking for miles before going back to the place where we started; 2) my wife is a vegetarian which, when abroad, makes it almost impossible to eat anything apart from omelettes or pizza.

Eating a plain omelette, washing it down with a glass of passable Côtes du Rhône, we reflected it was perhaps not the best start to the long weekend. But both of us looked forward to the search ahead...

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