Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. It’s been about 20 years since I lost track of the commercialized must-have-a-soulmate to celebrate thing. It was about 20 years ago that I started giving out kiddie valentines to complete strangers – almost every year - after I’d read a story of someone who did that and I thought it was brilliant. It’s also a surefire way to spread great joy.
For me, it’s just another day to celebrate Love, to be a more shining Presence of Love in the world … which is what I see as my purpose in life anyway. It’s such an easy day to celebrate.
This year I didn’t give out kiddie valentines, as I believe there is no such thing in France. Valentine’s Day is – from what I’ve been told – a day for lovers, to maybe go out to dinner, give chocolates. It’s not a day for anyone, really, who is not in a romantic relationship, and it’s not over-the-top commercialized as all American holidays are.
Still. For me, this year it was a day to celebrate my own Love affair with Life, and to love myself up in ways that mean a lot to me.
I started with le petite dejeuner at Vilets et Rose, an exquisite little cottage-y tea room. Sophie, the lady of the house, reminds me of Marinette; she is a sweetheart. My little breakfast had just-squeezed fresh orange juice in a First Communion glass, adorable. Served with - a little bowl of yogurt and muesli, a croissant, and toasted baguette with butter and the most delicious raspberry jam. Oh! And a Christmas napkin.
One of Sophie’s special green tea blends had fruit and vanilla, and was divine. To her sheer delight, I bought some to bring home. All of this with Frank Sinatra crooning love songs on the stereo, a sunny table with a view, two walls of love with photographs, and the entire decor was pink and magenta. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!
Next stop was the resident art museum that traced Bayeux’s history from the first century. When the story landed in post-Middle Ages, there was a fantastic exhibit of handmade lace. This part was one of my favorite exhibitions ever, so it won top foto above. I shopped ever-so-happily in the gift store afterward.
Then to lunch at Le Bouchon, where Chef winked at me from his bar kitchen to say hello. I ordered the daily special fish plat, and the fresh catch about melted in my mouth. Dining alone here always feels anything but that, and I love that Chef serves my dishes personally.
The Tapestry Museum followed lunch and it was very interesting, since I knew nothing about the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror and, I do now. There was also an exhibition for the David Hockney spring multidimensional painting that rivals the Tapestry, which celebrates the artist’s own splendid work during the pandemic. His book that goes along with, is titled We Can’t Let Spring Die.
Some final boutique shopping to finish gifts for my loves and myself, ended my day out.
My evening was about packing my bags for my departure to Paris the next morning, which was much less eventful than my wonderful day’s excursion.
Valentine’s Day in Bayeux was a very sweet, memorable one. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.