Selene – Thenancara

Thenancara

My first time – https://thegourmandsguidetogourmet.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/thenancara-or-lost-in-translation/

It had been several months since my fateful operatic encounter with the young Parisienne and her bewitching sea green eyes. The resulting scenes between my uncle and this vaping goddess plagued my dreams, resulting in an almost permanently grumpy gourmand.

Unlike the rest of Europe, this gourmand likes to work during August and take time off in September when the weather is slightly cooler and most of the tourist’s are safely at home. On a whim I caught the train to Blois, determined to cycle around the Loire valley for a few days. Sure that a few Chateaux visits coupled with some tastings at a winery or two would be just the thing to help me forget all about seductive vapoteuses and uncles apparently oblivious to their oddly amorous advances.

It was late afternoon by the time I reached Chambord, tired but slightly exhilarated after all the exercise… I revelled in the quiet splendour of the marvellous architecture and after circumnavigating the entire structure I went inside to pick up a bottle or two of their famed raspberry liqueur.

They were closing but obliged me with two bottles and threw in a quick snifter for the road. Bless them.I was just reaching for my wallet when once again I heard the lilting laugh that thrilled me to my very soul. Slapping down a 100 euro note I grabbed the bottles off the counter and left without bothering to collect the change. Rushing to the front door, I observed a young lady peddling gracefully down the long drive… hands free… plumes of vapour in her wake.

There was not a second to spare, so I stuffed the two bottles into my saddlebags and sped off into the dusk desperately trying to catch her.

(N.B – Always remember to tuck your trousers into your socks when cycling)

Night fell swiftly and soon I was tracking the demoiselle by the faint light of her bicycle and the fragrant smell of cherries or was it almonds in the cool evening air? I could not be sure, so I pedalled faster. After all mysterious beauties with exquisite taste in e liquids are sadly all too rare these days.

She veered right upon exiting the estate, so naturally I redoubled my efforts to catch up as we sped down the long straight road heading for the river. The smell of violets became stronger and stronger as I drew closer and upon passing alongside the mysterious mademoiselle, I managed what I thought was a suave “Bonsoi – aaagh!”.

It would have been much more impressive had my flapping trouser leg not caught in her chain during the attempted “Parisian pass”.

Despite the crash cruelly exposing my ineptitude, the young lady actually landed on top of me in one of those frankly unbelievable Hollywood moments.

I leaned forward hoping for a kiss, fortune favours the brave, right?

Wrong!

I just about caught a glimpse of her open hand as she slapped the hope out of me.

“Are you crazy? She demanded.

“You are mad… or drunk or… both perhaps?

“Well?”

“My brakes failed and the smell of your vape was so intoxicating” I lied almost but not quite tongue tied and yet undeniably intoxicated by her beauty.

Spotting her ego one on the ground I picked it up, polished it with what was left of my shirt, made sure it was firing correctly and handed it back to her.

“Your vapour, it has a most unusual… bouquet” I said desperate to prolong the encounter and try that vape.

“Selene”… she said and took a long slow puff, deliberately blowing a plume in my face.

I inhaled a sour fruity vapour that was maddeningly elusive and yet slightly floral… the violets.

In these circumstances it pays to play it cool, I had no idea whether Selene was her name or that of the e liquid, so I merely said “mmm smells rather moreish, can I buy you a drink at the next town and perhaps we can discuss this most unusual vapour?”

She took a long hard look at me and decided that yes that would be fine but that she was meeting a friend for supper and perhaps I would like to join them?

She smiled knowingly as again I tried to play it cool, inwardly rejoicing, this was working out perfectly.

“Yes, but only if I can buy you both dinner?” After all desperate times call for desperate measures.

“Perfect” said my future wife and we set off… coasting down the long road into town.

Halfway down she handed me her ego one in a breathtaking Parisian pass.
“Here…try it…it’s really rather good.”

Her smile was all the sales pitch I needed.

Carefully checking the road ahead and the distance between us…I pressed the button and inhaled, it was cherries not almonds, with a vibrant violet floating over the top. At times mouthwateringly sour (Acerola?) at times sweet, it went from floral to sherberty… lost between Dubonnet, Chambord liqueur and Kirsch this was a really unusual vape. However this time it was I and not my burbling uncle sharing a glorious moment with this charming vapoteuse.

I smiled back and thanked her managing to pass back the vape without incident.

The journey passed quickly as we chatted about the benefits of cotton over rayon, claptons or twisted coils and many, many other topics of mutual interest, it was perhaps the most memorable evening of my life.

Arriving into the sleepy village of Muides sur loire we dismounted and elected to walk the last mile, I walked slowly determined to prolong this enchanting evening.

We parked up outside the “Aberge du bon terroir” and like any gentleman who has nearly maimed a beautiful young lady while attempting to catch her attention I held the door open.

She walked in and just as I was about to follow, I heard a familiar voice that turned heaven into hell.

“Don?… Don?… Is that you?”

I spun slowly on my heel as my mad uncle bounded up the steps bellowing “Fancy meeting you here Don, I was just about to have dinner with that girl from the Opera house…Selene.”

To sample the very essence of eccentricity please visit http://www.thenancara.com

Rating: Jack Butler Yeats http://www.bertc.com/subtwo/g108/

Chambord: http://www.france.fr/en/sites-and-monuments/chateau-de-chambord.html

Auberge du bon terroir: http://www.auberge-bon-terroir.fr/

Advertisements

Thenancara – or lost in translation.

“The Opera”… two words that strike fear into the heart of a grown man, only surpassed by “the accused” or “paternity test”, worse still… when uttered by a mad uncle.

I had been running around Paris translating for the black sheep of the family, who had filled several containers with antique furniture, at hugely inflated prices for dealers in Shanghai and Singapore.

I vaped to calm myself before the ordeal ahead when I realised not only was I on juice fumes, my battery was also dangerously low. I told the dinosaur that I would meet him at the Opera and ran off down the street, towards a little vapoterie I know.

Quel disastre, it was closed.

I managed to get to the opera early, which allowed me exactly one stealth vape and one dreadful dry hit outside the magnificent Palais de l’Opera.

My eye was caught by a striking young French lady and I walked straight into one of those ornate pillars. Her lilting laugh turned heads, but before I had a chance to investigate further, my crazy uncle berthed alongside me and said “you look tired and need of a good meal, but first young man, some food for the soul, hurry up!”

It was during the middle of the first act when I discovered that in the midst of all the commotion outside, I had mislaid or lost my trusty cana. Quel horreur, my skin crawled… a night at the opera with mon oncle, without a soothing vape, could prove to be a tougher than the tour de France on a tricycle.

Quaffing some interesting “Champagne” during the intermission, I heard that lilting laugh again, from directly behind me, as I turned to identify the source, my uncles elbow appeared in my way, emptying what was left of his glass, all over my jacket.

Escaping his apologies, I fled to the sanctuary of the men’s room to restore my jacket under the hand dryer. Matters were in hand within minutes and I strolled back to the bar thinking perhaps a quick stiffener was in order, when I noticed my uncle had bumping into that Parisienne. Her sea green eyes brimming with mischief as she brazenly puffed away on an eGo one.

The smell of a good vape drifted across the now empty room… “What are you vaping?” asked my urbane uncle of the mademoiselle. She smiled and shrugged and I groaned inwardly as my uncle produced a notebook and scribbled furiously. He ripped off the note and handed it to the Beauty to read. whatareyouvaping.

And then she graciously, handed over her stealth vape. He smiled, bowed and proceeded to vape away with a beatific smile on his face and a terrible twinkle in his eye.

Another scrawled note later

shallwegoupstairs

this vision took him by the hand… led the crazy old coot slowly upstairs and stopping at door that was almost invisible, pulled him inside. I quietly followed behind, trying to make sense of what exactly was happening? Slipping through the door, I hid behind some chairs and watched as the mysterious French woman strode across the strange room to open the curtains at the far wall and voila, the odd couple were looking down directly at the stage.

We were in the space where you normally expect to find the phantom, I thought trying to avoid whiplash by looking around carefully and making sure there were no murderous organ players.

Once I calmed down, I remarked that the acoustics were perfect, I found myself enjoying an opera for the first time ever, but the spectacle unfolding in front of me was even more interesting.

After another crude drawing

shallweshare

they agreed to share his drink and her vape.
I watched like a despicably dirty voyeur as they continued the oldest and most intimate dance known to mankind… using only a pen and paper.

They passed the vape back and forth as I began to inhale as much of the floating clouds as possible, I really, really missed my trusty cana.

Using my opera glasses I watched enviously as a bottle of Paradisio was removed from its velvet pouch, opened and decanted into the vape. It smelt divine, a very good hazelnut followed by what I would call chocolate liquor (not Chocolate liqueur) rather than a dry cocoa. There were wisps of vapour with vague hints of coffee and some gingerish caramel surfing alongside it all. It sounds perfectly straightforward and yet managed to be anything but. I inhaled the drifting vapour like a drowning man sucks on air as he rises for the third and final time. Think Nutella or Ferrero rocher with a twist from the Riddler.

The enchantress giggled softly as she almost dropped the bottle of Shinshiro, its aroma was somewhere east of classic Coca Cola mixed with what can only be described as Irn Bru or Frescolita. So kola nuts, some top secret spices and I suspect iron, violets, a hint of ginger, tangerine and who knows what else? It almost drove me crazy trying to identify what exactly was going on. Imagine cola bottles made by a French Willy Wonka and a team of Scottish Oompa Loompa’s in a secret lab hidden inside a Venezuelan Volcano. I emptied my lungs and vainly attempted to absorb all of the tantalising plumes, almost coughing with the exertion and betraying my presence to the operatic pair.

Thankfully they were still unaware of my imitation of a vacuum as they proceeded to open a bottle of aptly named Antarctica together, this was a mint wrapped in cane sugar hiding a sub zero blast of menthol and if I am not mistaken… raspberry, a definite summer soother. Its sinus clearing, tongue freezing mentholated mintyness coupled with the cheekiest of berries would be perfect for the long hot days of July and August. Indeed it could even serve as the perfect tonic for even the most homesick of jam addicted penguins.

The fragrant demoiselle grabbed the notepad as the last solo ended and she spent quite a moment drawing something before passing it to my uncle. He reddit, smiled and shook her hand and handed her his business card. He then got up and left the room with a wave and a bow.

The young lady pouted then crumpled up the note only to angrily storm out of the room and I almost dying of curiosity, quietly crept out from behind my concealing stack of chairs to find it.

areyouinfurnitureorvoulezvouscoucheravecmoi

Shaking my head in disbelief at how this shrewd businessman had missed such an obvious invitation I walked down the stairs, in a state of minor shock.

“Ah, there you are Don, I hope you enjoyed the opera? I met the most interesting young lady and spent the evening underneath the roof, watching the show and vaping some delightful French e liquids” said the geriatric ladykiller, with a sly grin and a demented twinkle in his eye.

“I would have loved to have gotten to know her better, if you know what I mean?” he burbled with a suave elbow into my ribs that made me groan aloud both in pain and despair at his ignorance.

“What I don’t understand is just how she knew I was into antique furniture?” he asked me as I first gaped and then groaned again in amazement at his missed opportunity.

All liquids were vaped using a shared eGo one, and several one ohm coils, by my lunatic uncle sitting oblivious at the right hand of a mysterious French goddess.

Avoid idiot savant uncles, operas and missed opportunities by checking out http://www.thenancara.com and confound your tastebuds for aeons attempting to ascertain what divine madness inspires these juices.

Rating: Don Giovanni.