Let's admit it, a pilot friend with a plane is a good friend, but it's been literally years until we have found a weekend where we along with two other friends have all been free - and the weather has been good enough to pop over to France for a) the flying experience b) some fabulous lunch and c) the purchase of some amazing wine and food.
I was fortunate enough to pick up some nice bottles of red in Cora the week before - so was mainly looking forward to the first two. I dressed in what I believe to be suitable jet setting attire, a new mini maxi dress (I love this style) boots and a Karen Millen jacket (we were told to wrap up), and of course, Ray Bans. Not aviators, although the pilot was wearing those - standard.
The runway at Panhanger is only 875ft long, therefore take off was fast and surprisingly smooth! Turning, however is slightly different. 'Banking' the technical term you are literally doing a steep wing over and can see the floor - scary the first time but it gets very fun (especially post two bottles of wine).
Landing was probably the smoothest landing I've ever done, it was amazing. The destination was Le Touquet on the northern coast of France. It was beautiful. We browsed the shops but really our mind was on food. The pilot, being a frequent visitor knew where we could get the best mussels in Roquefort in town, sold. The restaurant was absolutely charming and the smell was out of this world.
A wonderful bottle of Sancerre, 3 portions of moules frites and a duck for a non-seafood loving friend and I was very happy. Following the Sancerre we went for a bottle of Bordeaux and creme brule - I really need to switch to a new desert soon, I feel like that's all I've been eating.
We vowed to not leave it as long next time, and to go back in the summer where we can lay on the beach and snooze off the cheese. Amazing. It is so good to get a taste of the high life. I could get used to this.