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Friday, 6 June 2014

Serving up French diplomacy - the François Hollande way

If ever you doubted François Hollande's capacities as a world leader or his talents at practising that oh-so delicate yet famous art of French diplomacy, you may be reassured.

As the host of this year's 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy, the French president found the ideal way of meeting and greeting world leaders as they assembled for Friday's events - and ensuring that nobody had their nose proverbially put out of joint.

And he managed it with bonhomie - helped along with a healthy appetite or at least a gastronomic capacity which would make any man proud.

First up Hollande played host to Queen Elizabeth II at the Elysée palace.

Tea for two - and a few more - presumably along with something to take the edge off his appetite as he had a hard evening of chow down power talking ahead of him.

Then it was off to Michelin starred chef Guy Savoy's restaurant Le Chiberta in the VIII arrondissement of Paris for dinner with the US president Barack Obama (and entourage).

On the menu, according to Savoy who tweeted (what else?)  what he had  prepared - blue lobster salad and Normandy sea bass as the two men (and entourages) talked (but hopefully not with their mouths full) politics.

(screenshot Guy Savoy Twitter)

And then back to the Elysée palace (because of course Hollande had a "double dinner date dilemma") for what was described as a "light supper" (doesn't that just make the mind boggle) with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Ah yes. Hollande - willing to sacrifice all - and especially his waistline - for the sake of keeping everyone happy.

François Hollande at the Salon de l'Agriculture, February 2014 (screenshot collage from Le Petit Journal Zapping)

And he hasn't finished yet.

Because after Friday's memorial celebrations in Normandy, he'll be hotfooting (or more likely helicoptering) it back to Paris and the Elysée palace once again for a state banquet with Queen Elizabeth II as the guest of honour.

Chapeau M. Le President.

Alka Selzer?

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