Twinning visit to Châtenay-Malabry in June 2023
Cllr Anthony Lowe wrote:
VISIT BY 26 WELLINGTONIANS TO CHATENAY-MALABRY FROM MAY 26TH TO 29TH 2023
For the 1st time since June 2019, Wellingtonians travelled to Châtenay-Malabry to enjoy an educational weekend of lavish hospitality, friendship and bonhomie.
Our French twinning friends knew that they had a tough act to follow after their well-timed and historic visit here last year to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee, Midsummer Fayre and procession, traditional Jubilee afternoon tea in a country garden and followed by Odd Socks Ceilidh and Supper in Little Wenlock Village Hall.
This time, Wellington Twinners opted for a coach to St Pancras, Eurostar to Gare du Nord and RER to Robinson where we were collected by our hosts and whisked to a splendid Civic Reception in Châtenay-Malabry town hall attended by the Deputy Mayor, other Councillors and members of their Twinning Committee. The food was delicious, the buffet table decorated with an expertly crafted wooden crown, welcome speeches were made and friendships renewed.
Some, but by no means all, of the guests were staying with the same hosts as in previous years. The weather was glorious, warm but not too hot. Summer at last!
On the Saturday, we visited the beautiful chateau of the famous French 19th Century author, traveller, diplomat, politician and thinker, Chateaubriand in 2 groups (French and English speaking) and the arboretum and bonsai collection that surround the chateau. We were treated to an al fresco lunch in an open-sided marquee with delicious savoury canapes, salads and desserts. After lunch, we Mrs Laurence Moses was invited to read “Ode to Venise” from Lord Byron and Cllr Anthony Lowe from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”. 2 of our French hosts read from Chateaubriand’s “Memoires d’outre tombe”. A sort of post-prandial literary interlude!
In the evening, we all attended a formal Civic Dinner with dancing, speeches and much animated conversation.
On the Sunday, we all did different excursions with our hosts in and around Châtenay-Malabry and into central Paris. Many Wellingtonians opted to visit the nearby Palais de Versailles.
Monday morning found us exchanging excited stories at Robinson RER station like school children before saying our good-byes and making our way to Gare du Nord for the return journey which was uneventful. We were back at wellington Leisure Centre by 7pm