THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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March 2015

En voyage

If you get out of this blogging habit, it's hard to get back in. Time was, I would have meticulously taken a photo at the start of this trip and then logged each stop. I am more relaxed these days. Sorry.

I am on one of my favourite runs - through France to Cannes for MIPIM, an annual real estate jamboree that I have attended every year since 1992. I go now more from habit than necessity. Most of my friends are still working and it's a splendid chance to catch up with them and set the world to rights. One good thing about having lots of friends from post-socialist countries is that I am easily the least right-wing of any group of drinking buddies. Those guys have lived The Guardian's future and they know it stinks.

Tonight I am overnighting at the Chateau de Gilly in Burgundy. When I stayed here last year for the first time, they apologised for the restaurant being closed and regretted that they could not serve something of appropriate quality. They then delivered one of the best meals of my life so I have been waiting for a year to find out how much better they can do than the magnificent meal they so regretted  last year. They achieve all this, by the way, in a village smaller than the one in which I grew up. I fear my home town's chip shop, Chinese takeaway and Indian restaurant are unlikely ever to test a Michelin inspector.

I love the bits of France where the road signs look like wine lists. I am not far from Gevrey Chambertin here, where my favourite tipple comes from. These days, so many Chinese have emerged from poverty to become wine enthusiasts that a humble ex-lawyer can't often afford  the stuff, but after a wonderful drive on some of my favourite roads (with the roof down in sunshine for part of the way) I might just indulge tonight.

A 1974 Lambo was parked at the Eurotunnel lounge while I was there this morning. That's about the time I was fantasising about supercars!