Wednesday, September 22, 2010


A Corsican with an Irish accent

There’s rarely a year goes by that we don’t find ourselves at the Mata Hari restaurant in Lumio at some time or other during one of our stays.

Since we started going there some ten years ago, the prices have gone up and it is no longer possible to order a pichet of local wine: the Mata Hari has undoubtedly gone upmarket with its white linen serviettes and uniformed staff. But we are still given a sincere and dignified welcome by the proprietor - despite the fact that we never select an item from his specials board - and the food we do choose is always of excellent quality and value.

A number of the waiters remember us from one year to the next. This year, however, we were served by a waiter we hadn’t met before. Now as readers of this blog will probably know, we do try to stick to French when ordering our meals. Today was no exception, but as we were paying the bill while savouring the last few drops of our Renucci rosé, our waiter asked Chris in a familiar and beautifully modulated voice if she was Irish.

A little taken aback, she explained that my family was Irish. He had spotted her Claddagh ring (a 25th Wedding Anniversary gift bought while in Galway) and the Irish family name on our French debit card and had come to this perfectly reasonable conclusion.

Our Corsican waiter had lived in Waterford for six years and had there picked up not only the gift of the gab but a distinctly Irish vocal inflexion. Clearly a man after my own heart. On our next visit to my family’s homeland I hope we find an Irishman with a Corsican accent to balance things up.

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