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Queen's Speech 2015

Posted by Sue on December 9, 2015 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This is the annual report that was read at the Christmas party on 9th December for those who missed it:

2015 saw us celebrate our 10th anniversary, with a delicious dinner at the Casino in Bagnoles, and we continue to go from strength to strength.

This year is probably the first year we have not lost any members going back to the UK, and so we have not been able to welcome any new faces as the chapter remains closed at 20 members.  (We discussed whether anyone thought we should expand, but everyone thought we were the perfect size as we are)

We have held a lunch every month and the attendance has been fantastic, at an average around 14, but very often up to 18 attendees.

The restaurants have been varied, and were all recommended by members.  We tried the Chinese at Flers, but have since found a much better buffet in the town centre, which we might try next year.  We also visited restaurants at Chanu, St Georges de Rouelley and Geneslay for the first time.  Our annual lunch at Lassay was a great success this year, as the weather was kind to us for the first time in years, and we were able to walk round the magnificent rose gardens and sit out at a pavement cafe and have coffee afterwards.

The visit to the ice cream factory at Lonlay was less successful, with only three of us setting out to visit after lunch, and only two of us actually getting there.  Never mind, next time we will know that going past the biscuit factory does not actually involve going past the biscuit factory (thanks Grace)!  The ice cream, by the way, is delicious and I am glad Wendy and I made it.

Le Grand Gousier remains a firm favourite, and hopefully we can fit it in from time to time during 2016.  That dessert trolley is such a hit and it is always popular for special occasions, like Grace's 70th birthday in October.  (Grace thanked everyone for the wonderful gifts)  I would also like to thank everyone for their generosity.  It is never a difficult job to collect for special birthdays with you lovely ladies.

Our annual day trip to the seaside was not particularly well attended, but those who came to St Malo had a fantastic day out, a great laugh, and a delicious lunch and afternoon tea.  Well done Dorothy, Ann and Wendy, who, although not the most able bodied among our membership, came along and joined in the fun without complaint.

Only Hilary and myself made it to the European Hoot this year in Amsterdam.  It rained almost connstantly, we fell asleep with our clothes on, and were like drowned rats.  However, it was a really well organised weekend, thanks to the Dutch Red Hatters, and we had a great time.  Wouldn't have missed it!

Next year's Hoot is being organised by the German ladies and is in Luxembourg.  Having looked at transport options I am not recommending we go.  Instead nine of us have signed up for the UK Convention in Chichester from 14th to 16th October.  It is not too late to add your name to the list if you are interested and contact me quickly

Thank you to Wendy and Sylvia for opening their homes to the Red Hatters again this year for New Year's Eve, afternoon tea, the summer picnic and also to Gill and Dave for inviting us to use their pool in the summer.  In fact thank you all for supporting our lunches, our anniversary dinner and a special mention to Wendy and Dorothy and our loyal book clubbers - a dedicated bunch of intellectuals all!

We held sixteen different events throughout the year, and the top ten attendees were all in double figures.  Gill and Sylvia were on 10 each; Wendy, Sandy and Grace on 11; Viv, Ann, Dorothy and me on 13 and the winner of this year's Opening of an Envelope Award is Hilary on 14.  It just proves the old adage that it is the busiest people who find the time to do everything!  Well done Hilary.  Thank you and Sylvia and Wendy for supporting me as Vice Queens and to Dorothy for being everyone's Mum in her role as our beautiful Queen Mum. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Sue Denny

La Reine de Domfront

9 December 2015

June lunch in Lassay

Posted by Sue on June 5, 2015 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

i was in Lassay today and the rose gardens are already looking beautiful, so it should be perfect for a stroll after lunch on the 18th. Please let me know if you are comin as soon as possible.  I booked a table for 16 but as the restaurant is so popular I need to let them know quickly if we will have more or fewer people eating. Look forward to seeing you there!  

Queen's Christmas Message

Posted by Sue on December 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)


It has been another great year, with fantastic attendance. Averaging around 14 per lunch.


We have supported many local eateries of various types: from the Grange, Bistro St Julien and Grand Gousier in Domfront, two visits to Juvigny, Bagnoles, Fougeroles du Plessis, Lassay les Chateaux and today returning to Lonlay. Thank you Sylvia for the crackers and Wendy for making her usual delicious mince pies.  Sylvia, Wendy, Clare and I have also welcomed members to our homes on at least one occasion during the year.


Book club continues to be well attended, and unfortunately has to be closed to new members at this time, as we hold the meetings in our homes, and can only cope with a limited number. Many thanks to Wendy and Dorothy for all their hard work throughout the year – to Wendy for a wonderful lunch last week. Thanks to everyone who has hosted meetings though the year. And we have even managed to read a few of the books!


Seven of us ventured to Brussels for the European Red Hat Hoot in the autumn. Even a train strike could not manage to stop us getting there – although having got to Brussels we were unsure whether we would ever find our hotel.


We have celebrated some BIG big birthdays this year – notably Dorothy our Queen Mum's 90th, Sylvia and Mary have reached 70, and young Clare was generous to entertain us on her 60th birthday in the summer.


This is normally where I announce that Sylvia has the highest attendance of the year and we all tell her to get a life. Well she obviously has taken heed and the winner in 2014 is me! So I shall give myself a prize later.


Hilary, Dorothy and Alison were all level runners up, with Sylvia, Viv, Wendy, Ann and Gill not far behind. Thank you all for your support.


I could not do this without you, and particularly without my Vice Queens Sylvia and Hilary, who take charge when I take the occasional weekend off!! And, after discussions with Sylvia and Hilary, I would like to invite Wendy to become a Vice Queen in recognition of all she does for the Red Hat Society.


We are holding our January lunch at Chanu at midday on Thursday 22nd. Sandy is arranging this for us, as she knows the owners, so when I have spoken to her I will send details to you.


Our 10th anniversary falls on a Thursday, so on 19th February, we will hopefully be celebrating with a special birthday lunch at the Grand Gousier (as long as they are not off skiing)


Please let me have suggestions of good new restaurants and your favourites you want to visit again for the remainder of 2015 so we can put the programme together.


Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.

European Hoot 2014

Posted by Sue on September 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (2)

Following the success of the European hoot in Paris in June this year, Becky (the German Queen) and I have been discussing the possibilities for a bigger and better hoot in 2014.

At the moment the possible destinations are Paris, Lille, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels or even possibly Amsterdam.

I am looking at train fares, possible hotels, and what there is to do in these locations.  Please let me know if you have a preference.  Also tell me if you think you might like to join us next year.  We had such a laugh last time!  

Thanks Girls

Posted by Sue on June 3, 2011 at 5:01 AM Comments comments (2)

Thanks to Em and Milly for creating our first ever website and bringing the Red ExpHat Society into the 21st Century.  I hope everyone will use the site on a regular basis.  It's your site, so please feel free to air your views and join the chat.