First Ladies Raise Glasses on Morning Out in French Countryside
(Bloomberg) — While their husbands sparred over Iran and the global economy in Biarritz, the first ladies of the U.S. and France were all smiles as they sampled local sangria in a Basque countryside town 30 kilometers to the southeast.
Residents of the commune of Espelette — known for its spicy dried red peppers — greeted U.S. first lady Melania Trump warmly on Sunday morning as she browsed in local shops, accompanied by the spouses of other world leaders attending the Group of Seven summit nearby.
But it was Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, who drew cheers of “Brigitte! Brigitte!” from the gathered crowd when the spouses emerged from a tasting a La Cave Des Barons D’ezpeleta.
“Just an advice, don’t drink too much,” Macron could be heard warning her counterparts as reporters were ushered out of the local wine shop in the town center.
The sangria was “very good,” Jenny Morrison, the wife of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed as she exited the tasting, glass still hand.
Trump, Macron and Morrison — along with the first ladies of Chile and Japan, as well as Malgorzata Tusk, the wife of European Council President Donald Tusk — also visited a textile store, a bakery and a shoe merchant specializing in locally-made espadrilles.
A White House official said the first lady didn’t make any purchases.
At a sixteenth-century church on the town’s outskirts, Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, snapped photos on her phone as the group took in a choir performance in front of a Baroque altarpiece.
Their next stop was Villa Arnaga, built in the early 1900s by French playwright Edmond Rostand. A dance troupe from La Bastide-Clairence, a village near the Spanish border, entertained the women as they sat in the shade to avoid the midday heat in the villa’s manicured gardens.
For lunch, the group dined on fresh tomatoes in a light broth and farm-raised organic chicken with sweet bell pepper sauce, a local specialty. Dessert was a peach parfait and Basque-style cake.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Biarritz at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org, Kathleen Hunter, Ros Krasny
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