The Dandoy Saga – 4

This summer, Maison Dandoy takes you to sunny Marseille for a saga in four episodes.

Mystery, madeleines & speculoos bits

The day at the beach is coming to an end. Under the parasols, some people have fallen asleep. At the water's edge, Jean and Lola make sand castles with Hélène.

Noah slowly starts to gather their things. The sun is everywhere, on the sea, on the warm sand, and on their eyes and cheeks. Diego stretches and yawns.

‘Good nap?’ Aurélia asks.

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Still in a haze, Diego nods his head. Lola suggests going for a coffee to wake up. Everyone likes the idea and gets busy.

Léa is looking for her sunglasses, Noémie has lost her crossword, and Jean wonders where his shorts have gone.

‘You are worse than kids,’ says Noah, laughing.

Hélène has gathered her things in her little backpack, waiting for the adults to get their wits together. She also wants to have a coffee, like a grown-up.

Ten minutes later, everyone is sitting on the low wall of the parking lot, removing the sand from their shoes. Lola has rented a scooter and asks Léa to come with her. She hands her a helmet. As usual, she has thought of everything.

In the car, Céline Dion is back on duty, much to the delight of Diego and Hélène (and Noah's despair). Lola rides the scooter while Léa enjoys the city, sea view, and salty wind.

They settle down on a terrace. Lola orders two espressos. The waiter ticks: a double espresso? No, she likes to drink two espressos in two different small cups; that's how she rolls.

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‘Do you have a decaffeinated chai latte with rice milk’
‘You're unbelievable,’ Lola says before being reminded that she's not necessarily in a good position to talk.
‘And a coffee for me too!’ Hélène says, delighted.

Everyone bursts out laughing. When the drinks arrive, Léa notices with a smile that there is a little madeleine with each coffee.

The discussion turns to the choice of restaurant for the evening. Some people want to go to Limmat, others to Livingstone or Crabe-Toro. Hélène, who doesn't really care, is hungry and asks for ice cream. After all, it's snack time, and everyone seems willing to indulge.

‘All we do is eat’ Aurélia laughs.

At the ice cream shop, Léa goes for a classic: vanilla from Madagascar. When she gets her order, pieces of speculoos cover her ice cream pot.

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‘I love speculoos,’ she informs the waiter, ‘but I didn't ask for it.’

He looks at her, unsure of what to do next. Lea wonders if it's a sign, all these cookies that keep popping up. Maybe it's the heat, but she begins to think that they have a life of their own and are eager to sweeten up this summer, to make sure she never forgets it.

She watches her friends walking ahead of her, talking to each other, laughing and loving. She'll probably never know the truth, but that's fine with her. She prefers mysteries to endings.

Good spots:

In this episode, Jean, Lola, Diego, Noah, Aurélia, Léa, Hélène and Noémie have a drink at Au Petit Nice and enjoy Vanille Noire's ice creams on the old port. And when they were not listening to Céline Dion, this playlist was playing.