Welcome reception for foreign diplomats
Perfectly organised and full of surprises
Bienvenue once again lived up to its name in the lounges of the Quai d’Orsay, where our diplomat friends
were greeted on arrival by a group of beautiful hosts. But behind all the gold, we are well aware of the
remarkable groundwork laid by the members of the Bureau, whom we warmly congratulate.
Students from the Ecole Ferrandi stood at attention in the entrance hall and behind the buffets to offer us a
glass of champagne.
The guests were dazzled by the sumptuous decor, the bouquets of flowers from the Ecole Nationale des
Fleuristes, and an admirable piece of silverware, “above all” 19th century solid silver which was decorated
with care, and extended from buffet to buffet by candlesticks from the same period -such a fantastic way to
rediscover the splendour of the Second Empire.
Our President Véronique Debieuvre paid tribute to the many sponsors as well as to “the team at the Hôtel de
la Ministre led by Mr Thibaut Marès and to all those who helped us to organise this event on a practical
level.” The Chairman of the Renault Group, Jean-Domique Senard, wore two hats: that of sponsor and that of
the son of a diplomat, happy to be back on familiar ground.
Galeries Lafayette was on hand with a range of products, including a canvas bag with surprises.
The organisers, namely "all those who keep our association alive every day of the week, the hundred or so
volunteers who welcome our foreign diplomat friends and their spouses" fully deserved the thanks of their
President for "their efficiency and generosity".
The Secretary General, Anne-Marie Descôtes, was also full of praise for the Welcome team: “As a diplomat,
I appreciate the extent to which the quality of the welcome provided by the country in which we serve is
essential to the performance of our duties.” Referring to the many senior officials from the Quai d’Orsay
present, he added: "I would like to remind you of the need to have a diplomatic community in Paris that is
well connected to the Quai d’Orsay".
After mentioning the organisation of the Olympic Games in conjunction with the embassies, “a moment of
truce for the whole world"..., the Secretary General went on to explain the details of Marque France: “It
promotes internationally everything that attracts people to France and makes them dream; with Marque
France we are inviting talent from all over the world to come and create here. Make it iconic, choose
After a glass of Coquillette champagne and some Pierre Hermé macaroons, we moved on to the buffets. It
was time to taste the wines while nibbling on petit fours.
Four great Burgundy terroirs presented by the Albert Bichot group gave us food for thought: which one
should be preferred for diplomatic tables? A second tasting was in order. Difficult to choose. Why not take
them all? The same dilemma applied to the Bordeaux wines from Laplace and Cap Vin.
As usual, around the magnificent baskets of fruit and vegetables donated by Rungis, the cheeses triumphed,
and a little further on, a buffet of charcuterie was next to another just as tempting, but without the pork! We
had thought of everything, even foie gras from Périgord on delicious bread from the Leduff-Bridor group,
Basque desserts from Pariés and fruit salad from Bharlev.
The only exception to the ’made in France’ theme were the blue tins filled with caviar. In fact, the caviar,
offered by Kaviari, was Chinese, and tasty.
And since there’s no party without music, the "Musique de la gendarmerie mobile" was there with its four
saxophonists. To be listened to to your heart’s content.