This morning the sky is grey and full of rain, but yesterday was beautifully sunny and warm. And it turned out to be a perfect day for the “inauguration” of Fabrice Lemonnier’s new café/bar, L’Annexe.
I introduced you to L’Annexe just a few days ago (May 8) in my posting “At last — an afternoon place with promise.” My summation: “The plan is for L’Annexe to offer a completely casual eating and drinking experience. L’Annexe has been granted a Licence IV, which means it can offer bar service, so that customers will not need to order food. But there will be food on offer — easy dishes like tapas, burgers, pizzas, and ice cream.”
Jan had bumped into Chef Fabrice yesterday morning, who said his new place would be unveiled at 6 p.m. So, naturally, we were there a bit early (to make sure we could get a parking spot), and things just weren’t quite ready. So we waited out front for several minutes, chatting with a French couple who had also arrived ahead of time. And then we were in.
I’ll start with a photo of the inside of the café/bar, which shows the bar itself, with Fabrice in the background (in chef’s whites, of course) and one of his staff members in the centre of the photo. Everyone was focussed on getting the place ready — arranging the trays of hors d’oeuvres, putting bottles of wine into ice water, and so on.
Aside from serving drinks and food, L’Annexe also features a wide number of specialty food products for sale. They include a variety of sauces, mustards, and so on. Here’s a look at the shelves:
After things settled down, Jan and I moved outside to one of the many picnic benches, and joined a group of friends and neighbours. And then the drinks arrived — poured freely, free of charge, which I think are some of the best things you can say for servings of rosé wine. Here’s our table, being served:
As time went on, two more good things happened: The servers started bringing out trays of complimentary snacks, including (my favourite) little paper trays holding pieces of char-grilled sausage with crispy fries; and more and more people arrived. By the time Jan and I said our good-byes, around 7:30, it looked like every table was filled:
Last night’s event was actually just the “inauguration” or “dry run” of L’Annexe, rather than the “official opening.” That is still a few days away, as chef Fabrice awaits some last pieces of equipment for the kitchen. Then he plans to start serving food, as well as beer and wine. To us, it looks like L’Annexe got off to a good start, and should act as a magnet for cyclists and other tourist, as well as locals, as the summer season arrives.