Oct 23, 2014

Unbridled Grooming: Anneau du Poitou


My record, achieved on a recent Tuesday morning walk, is seeing six wedding portraits within one hundred meters of each other. Welcome to Part II of the story of the Love Locks Bridge: We are besieged by brides and grooms primping and posing for their glam wedding photos. Unsurprisingly, the most popular spot is in front of the love locks, with the full view of Notre Dame in the background.

Sometimes the party moves inside the garden itself for close-up Notre Dame views.
And once, we see not just the wedding photo but the wedding itself (and no, this wouldn't be the official wedding in France, as that must be done by a civil servant at city hall or some such spot).
More unusual, but no less spectacular, is this bride on the front side of Notre Dame.

This barrage of brides and glut of grooms means, of course, that we also see them hanging around the neighborhood prepping for photos, taking photos in other spots, or just taking a break from photos.

The smarter ones, in my mind, get where they need to go in sneakers, carrying their high heels. 


Another hot spot, you will not be surprised to hear, is the Eiffel Tower. But since I'm rarely over there, I have fewer photos of this in my wedding collection.

From the Pont Alexandre III, newlyweds (or about to be newlyweds) can get a nice view of the Eiffel Tower, and it's a beautiful bridge to boot.

Now you didn't really think I would let this go without joining in the fun, did you?
We interrupt this tender moment for this:

And this:

 (photos taken by our girls)
Is it just me, or does Anthony look like a silent movie star?

If so, I feel the message in the photo below is quite clear.
The original plan is to have my Dad (who knows his way around a camera) do the shoot, but Anthony is scheduled for shoulder surgery just before my parents get to Paris. So instead, we call a friend on a Sunday who comes down with a coffee cup, grabs our camera from the girls' hands and shoots for us. One of her daughters comes along, and shoots a photo of her taking photos. Taking a picture of somebody taking a picture of somebody.... that's a classic in the family I grew up in.

 Apparently, our family just can't take ourselves, or the wedding photo situation, too seriously.

In the garden behind Notre Dame, we take a nice one, and then one that shows Pippa's true personality.

Most of the brides we see doing photo shoots are Asian, but for some mysterious -- and I'm sure completely coincidental -- reason, literally right after Anthony and the girls and I go out and take our wacky wedding photos, we suddenly see a slew of non-Asians taking portraits as well. And, just in case you're wondering, that is my actual, real wedding dress. The irony of the fact that most of the Chinese brides are dressed in classic Cinderella gowns while I got married in a Chinese-style qipao (also called a cheongsam) is not lost on us. And yes: I do, in fact, move around with my wedding gown, because I also use it as a "regular" dress for formal occasions.

THE CHEESE: Anneau du Poitou

This rare, hard-to-find raw goats' milk comes from Deux-Sèvres in the Poitou-Charentes region. In my mind, that's enough to recommend it right there. I invariably find Deux-Sèvres goat cheeses to be of excellent quality. This one is a small batch farmhouse cheese found in the elite Laurent Dubois store, and it doesn't disappoint.

An oozy, creamy, melty, silky moldy donut of a cheese (the best kind of cheese, according to the children, Anthony, and myself), Anneau du Poitou -- which is probably really Anneau de Poitou, but my cheese shop has spelling problems -- is lightly speckled with a deep black ash. It's in the shape of a ring, hence the name "anneau" which means "ring" (a band, not a bejeweled ring). The toad-skin crust is fine and delicate and just barely manages to contain the inner ooze, which wants to burst out Incredible Hulk-style. Needless to say, these are best eaten when fresh and soft.

If you see this cheese, grab it while you can!
Today is Anthony and my 15th wedding anniversary, so it seems just the right time to show you some of the best of my collection of brides and grooms, and our own photos (which we took a month ago, because a) we knew Anthony would be in a sling now and b) the chances of great weather are iffy in late October). The reason I choose this cheese is not just because I love it ("if you love it, why don't you marry it?"), but also because it's an anneau -- that is, a round ring with no beginning or end. A "ring" is a "bague" in French, but a round, plain ring of this style is called an "anneau". Lord of the Rings, for example, is translated as "Le Seigneur des Anneaux". More specifically, an anneau used as a wedding ring is called an "alliance".


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