Sunday, May 28, 2006

Some enchanted evening

Last night we went to the INSEAD Summer Ball, held on the stunning grounds of the Chateau Courances.

Yvonne’s birthday was last week and I had bought a nice bottle of champagne at the legendary Vinvin wine shop in Neuilly. During the ride from Paris to the Chateau, we sipped champagne, listened to classical music and enjoyed the beautiful drive.

The chateau is jaw-droppingly beautiful, not just the slender and sophisticated building itself but the grounds around it. We strolled around for almost an hour before the party admiring the Japanese gardens, huge reflecting pools and columns of enormous trees that seem to create a cocoon of enchantment around the chateau.

I had to look twice to recognize most of my students, who had transformed themselves from t-shirts and jeans into tuxes and gowns. As much as I enjoy talking to them in class, it was even more interesting to talk to them in a social setting and find out about more about who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

We sipped champagne in the moonlight, we were dazzled by a private fireworks display across a huge reflecting pond, we danced until 2 and were then whisked back to Paris by our courteous taxi driver, who assured us that he would be working through the night ferrying people to and from the chateau.