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Jean-Vier and Hélène Darroze

Hlne_darroze_2Jean-Vier linen is part of the heritage of the Pays Basque, where in the olden days fabric was cultivated and woven to create SAÏAL, a strong fabric cover used to protect the cattle from the sun.

These days it's transformed into mouth-watering striped tablecloths and napkins (or serviettes if you are non-PLU).

Not normally susceptible, I've noticed a little trend in the l'art de table - black slate serving platters are smidgened with Piment Espelette on a corner and on the other side a crumble of fleur de sel then presented on a berry coloured Jean Vier table linen. This seems to have begun as a collaboration with fellow Sou'Wester Hélène Darroze.

Yes, she of the eponomously entitled restaurant next to the Bon Marché, too expensive for mere mortals like us. Being a woman in a man's world and 4th generation culinary royalty she takes a fair bit of stick.

As we can't afford to eat there, a friend who is a key member of the team cheers us up with tales of the Manuel type antics of the Sommelier with a drink problem who from time to time pours the best wines on the laps of the customers at the 250e a head (without wine) tables.

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