the christmas cocktail – part 2

by Sharon Santoni

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a little bit of fiction called ‘a christmas cocktail’, you can find it HERE …. this is my second instalment,  just for fun … I hope you enjoy.



After a late night celebrating Christmas Eve with her friends, with Madame de la Garenne and of course the newly discovered Frederic, Mathilde woke early to tidy the apartment before appearing on duty at the hospital.


Christmas morning in Paris felt strangely quiet.  There had been the lightest of snowfalls during the night, and the city looked more beautiful than ever.  As she cycled to work through the calm streets , she thought about the dinner and in particular her unexpected guest.

When Frederic had come into her  small flat yesterday evening , with Madame de la Garenne on his arm, she was slightly intimidated by his good looks and distinguished manner.  But as the evening warmed up, and everyone relaxed, he chatted easily and fitted in with the conversation without a hitch.  He teased madame and joked with Julien, and as he left the flat at 2 in the morning he gallantly offered to come back after dawn and do the washing up while she was on duty.  Of course she laughed and declined, but she couldn’t help thinking how nice it would be to have him around again.

Christmas day at the hospital was mercifully quiet.  Mathilde worked at the emergency unit, but the day brought no serious injuries:  a little boy who had swallowed a marble from his Christmas stocking;  a father to five who had cut his hand while carving the turkey, and an older lady who was worried about heart palpitations, but actually was just lonely ….

Six o’clock came and Mathilde wished good luck to the next shift, before putting on her coat and hat and heading out to find her bike.  It was snowing more heavily now, and  realising that cycling home was not an option, she headed instead to the metro.

The warmth of the underground engulfed her, and comforted her after the long day’s work.  She was lost in her thoughts when the train drew in, and she stepped on to the  carriage mechanically, without looking at the other passengers already standing inside.

As the train doors shut with a swooshing sound,  she felt a hand on her shoulder and a voice in her ear “a penny for them…”.  Mathilde turned around quickly,  ready to rebuff an indiscreet stranger, and found herself nose to nose with Frederic.  She had just that moment been thinking about him,  and to see him, so close to her, smiling in his knowing manner, made her blush deeply.  He smiled more broadly.

“So how did your day go?”

“Good , thank you, what a surprise to see you!”

“Thank you for yesterday evening, it was fun”  Frederic was staring at her intensely, and Mathilde found it difficult to concentrate on an answer.  She could only think that he had such deep blue eyes, and wonder why she hadn’t noticed them the evening before.

They chatted easily until they arrived at their stop, and walked back from the metro to their flat together.  Frederic explained that he had just arrived in Paris, and knew nobody yet.  He was from the Savoie region, all mountains and fine wine.    He was brought to Paris by his new job as a lawyer, in a big Parisian firm.

Suddenly he turned to Mathilde  “Would you do me a favour?” … Mathilde wanted to say “anything” but she knew that could sound too eager, so she just smiled and raised her eyebrows, waiting for the end of the sentence….

“There is a  company dinner coming up …  I should really go with someone, all the partners are will be with their wives .. I really don’t want to go alone … it’s going to be a good dinner, at Fouquet’s, on the Champs Elysees … you know,  black tie  ….well, I wondered, would you like to come with me?”

“Oh!  well thank you… yes,   I could do … um, when would the dinner be? “

Frederic flashed his blue eyes at her and grinned ” eum … tomorrow evening”

“Tomorrow evening?!  but at what time? how can I be ready? what about the snow? what should I wear?”

Frederic just laughed “I can have a car here to pick us up at 8 and  I’m sure that whatever you wear you’ll look beautiful … so is that yes?”

It was a bit of a blur, but by the time they each  reached their front door,  Mathilde agreed to  accompany the handsome Frederic to the dinner and they bid adieu, until tomorrow at eight.

As she opened the door to her garret flat and turned on the lights, she found a handwritten note waiting for her on the floor.  Madame de la Garenne had slipped a thank you card beneath the door ‘darling it was a magical evening, thank you so much … come and see me when you get back this evening, I’d love to know what you think of Frederic’

Mathilde laughed out loud ”  oh madame de la Garenne, what have you got me into?!”.  She put down her bag and went down stairs to knock on Madame’s door,  where she was  greeted with champagne, and a little snack “ma chérie, you must be tired, so sad to have to work on Christmas day”

Madame normally wanted to hear all about the day at the hospital, but not this evening:  “Well?  so tell me, what do you think?  isn’t Frederic just the most lovely  boy ?”

In no time at all she had extracted from Mathilde the details of the chance encounter on the metro, and the unexpected invitation to the dinner and most of all Mathilde’s big worry: “I have nothing to wear!”

“Oh ma chérie, that is just a detail, we shall fix that little problem straight away, pick up your champagne glass and follow me”

Intrigued, Mathilde followed the elegant lady through the apartment and into a huge dressing room, that smelt faintly and quite divinely of L’Air du Temps.  “You know ma chérie, I used to be just about the same size as you when I was much younger.  Oh I led quite the high life, and I have all these beautiful dresses that I never knew what to do with”   She flung open a curtained closet to reveal a row of stunning dresses.  Mathilde’s jaw dropped, and Madame smiled  “This is what you call vintage designer.  I am told it is all the  rage”

Mathilde’s fatigue was forgotten, her worry for the next evening instantly dispelled as for the next two hours she tried on  every single dress that was there.   With each dress came a story from Madame’s past and where and when each outfit was worn.  At ten o’clock, she said a happy goodbye to Madame and  returned back to her flat carrying a beautiful black dress  and the sweetest black bag , both in pristine condition, the dress a perfect fit and both bearing a discreet little label with one embroidered word CHANEL


so what will happen next?……

well I’m really not sure yet, but I promise  you more  between Christmas and the New Year!

And if you have your own idea of how Mathilde’s adventure should continue, then leave me a comment or send me a mail

click here for the  christmas cocktail story :

part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4


Vicky Dickens December 19, 2013 - 11:35 pm

Such a perfect Christmas story! I think this is going to be a tale I’ll love! I’m intrigued so don’t make me wait too long for the next installment!

Diana Ferguson December 19, 2013 - 11:40 pm

Such fun! I do hope it has a happy ending…

Arell December 19, 2013 - 11:48 pm

Oh, what fun! I am so happy that you wrote a second installment!

Louise December 19, 2013 - 11:51 pm

Nice… I’m captivated. Joyeux Noêl.

Debi December 19, 2013 - 11:51 pm

Ooooohhh….this is such fun. I am being swept away.

Jane Cammann December 20, 2013 - 12:02 am

Sharon, I am so smitten by your blog! I just recently found you. Our local newspaper has reduced home delivery so each morning I read your posts and I also follow you in Instagram! Thoroughly enjoyable and I want to be you when I grow up! Well, I am already a grown up but my next big thing…..who knows!
Warm regards,

Esther George December 20, 2013 - 12:02 am

Hi Sharon I love your Christmas story, can’t wait for the finale. Thank you for sharing. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS I can only imagine how beautiful those deep blue eyes are…..Wow

cheri December 20, 2013 - 12:03 am

Love, love, love your story, can’t wait for more. Thank you.

Denise December 20, 2013 - 12:10 am

OOOOOOOh I am so intrigued. Give me details soon. This would be a great book.
I want all the French Details.
Joyeux Noel Sharon,

Lyn December 20, 2013 - 12:35 am

I’m just loving this story, I hope it has a happy ending as I’m a bit of an old romantic.

Cindy White December 20, 2013 - 12:46 am

So fun! I love your story and cannot wait to read the next chapter- keep it going!

Jeanne McKay Hartmann December 20, 2013 - 12:56 am

Thanks so much for continuing to spin this delightful tale, Sharon. Can’t wait to find out what happens next! XO

Ann December 20, 2013 - 12:58 am

Bravo! Wonderful story! I think perhaps an air of mystery surrounding Mathilde might have Frederic even more intrigued by her..;)

Mariecapucine December 20, 2013 - 1:04 am

Superbe reportage . . .

Belles Fêtes avec beaucoup de bulles de joie,
avec toute ma sympathie,

Penne December 20, 2013 - 1:41 am

Delightful story! We all love romance! Happy ending please.
You write very well and should add a novel to your list of activities/accomplishments!

Sally Leonard December 20, 2013 - 2:17 am

Can’t wait for the next installment!!!

Emm December 20, 2013 - 2:28 am

Ohmy, I want to be Mathilde! It’s Christmastime, so the story has to have a happy ending, yes? And all those beautiful pictures of Paris in the snow, just lovely. Plus Chanel.

I’ve forgotten if you said how Madame de la Garenne happened to have Frederic on hand, but surely there are layers of history and mystery there.

Marisa swendseid December 20, 2013 - 2:58 am

Loving this so much,,reminds me of stories from my younger years,,so enjoyable,,thank you for your lovely blog ..with much affection..Marisa from Canada

Debbie December 20, 2013 - 3:46 am

Sharon, I am loving the story. Can’t wait to read more.
Merry Christmas and have a wonderful new year.

Lorrie December 20, 2013 - 4:04 am

What a lovely gift to open your post and read this 2nd installment. I can hardly wait for the 3rd one. Please have a happy ending.
The photos of Paris in the snow are magical.

Linda Quast December 20, 2013 - 4:45 am

Hello Sharon,

I have loved both installments of this Christmas story and look forward to the next segment. And, I must say that the photos of Paris in the snow are the icing on the cake! Love them!


Loretta December 20, 2013 - 5:29 am

What a lovely story! Can’t wait to read the next chapter…in fact, why end it? We would all like more!

claudia December 20, 2013 - 8:34 am

Dear Sharon, your story is really delightful, so please give us a final instalment. A happy one…Thank you and merry christmas ! Claudia

Heather in Arles December 20, 2013 - 9:00 am

Sharon, I literally did the little hand clap of “Oh Hooray” when I saw that this was today’s post! I did! And oh my, I was certainly not disappointed. Just to say: even with my wobbly memory, I didn’t have to search for “Oh, what was that story again? Who is Mathilde? etc.” because it had been so finely written that it was all crystal clear.
I will look forward to la suite!

Moji December 20, 2013 - 9:42 am

Oh so charming…Please continue this lovely story! Your story telling is divine and the perfect Christmas present to your readers.

"R" December 20, 2013 - 11:18 am

And……..I am roped in!

Lisa December 20, 2013 - 11:32 am

Thank you so much for such an interesting story! I just love your blog and am always looking for your email announcing the next one. Your life seems a dream, I’m sure it has it’s challenges but the beautiful home, the shopping tours, guest house, country all adds up to a dream!! It would be a dream come true to ever get to come and just stay in your guest home. A very Merry, Blest Christmas to you and your family. Again thank you for so much enjoyment from all your postings.

Lois December 20, 2013 - 1:36 pm

Beautiful and uplifting with great shots of Paris, looking forward to the next one!

Karen Sternberg December 20, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Oohhhh!!! I can hardly wait for the next installment! What a wonderful Christmas gift! Thank you! xxoo

Judith - Texas December 20, 2013 - 2:58 pm

You have magical writing skills! Love the story….just know it must have a happy ending.
Pictures of Paris (both installments) are beautiful. I have Chanel 5 on my Christmas list; hope Santa doesn’t disappoint me.
Used to wear L’Air du Temps so Madame’s apartment must smell heavenly.
Merry Christmas to you and your Family.

Nancy December 20, 2013 - 3:03 pm

Sharon, you must have a room in your new house in which to write! You must write the new novel…..
Love your story…..
Merry Christmas!

Fiona December 20, 2013 - 3:42 pm

I have discovered your blog this year and it has been a joy to read. This little story is truly wonderful. Thank you so much!

Sally December 20, 2013 - 5:35 pm

My dear Sharon
I have shed a little, happy tear for your beautiful story in magical Paris today. Thank you thank you for your captivating and inspiring words and pictures..that have given me true joy and inspiration to discover this year,
Joyeux Noel,
A very Merry Christmas, and love from England
Sally x x

Elsie Jason December 20, 2013 - 7:45 pm

Chere madame, I have to tell you that i have make my daily visit to your blog. It’s been going for 3 years, I love your blog! And now i am captivating by the story, can not wait for the next chapter. Enchanting!! Joyeux Noet et Bonne Annee de New-Jersey ( Etats- Unis)

Catherine Dallas, TX December 20, 2013 - 9:13 pm

This is a wonderful story. Please keep writing.

Donna in California December 20, 2013 - 9:42 pm

I discovered your blog with last Christmastime’s story “Mistress of the Chateau” and have followed since. Love the new story (wondering about the bike…will she find it the next day where she left it?) and can’t wait for the next installment.
I’ve just got to get to Paris, any season will do!

Trudye December 20, 2013 - 11:06 pm

Well, I am hooked! What a delightful Xmas story that comes at the perfect time to get us all to stop,for a minute, at this busy time of year,inviting us to get lost in the romance of the story!
What a thoughtful gift to all of us here! Thank you,Sharon! I cannot wait to see where this goes! Xmas blessings to you and yours, T

Dori December 20, 2013 - 11:51 pm

You really must write a novel. This is my kind of story and I can’t wait for more. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

hedi December 21, 2013 - 12:01 am

Hedi in

Sharon you made my day we had soft snow
falling which made your story so enchanting.
I want to go to Paris.
I to wondered about the bike.
Bless you and your lovely family for Xmas

Kattrinka December 21, 2013 - 12:55 am

So enjoyable! Such a fabulous closet too!!

vicki archer December 21, 2013 - 2:22 am

Romantic heaven, Sharon… 🙂
Have a wonderful Christmas and very happy, happy New Year… xv

Suzi Stiefel December 21, 2013 - 3:44 am

Thank you for a wonderful story. It is perfect.
Happy Holidays.

Mary in Oregon December 21, 2013 - 5:11 am

With a new man in my life, a recent accidental ‘encounter’ just like in your story, life is full of surprizes! You said you were eager to change your blog and you certainly have!

Mary in Oregon

Robin December 21, 2013 - 2:12 pm

I can’t wait for the next installment! Thank you for the wonderful story.

Ardith December 21, 2013 - 3:08 pm

What writing talent, and like your other fans, I am swept away and cannot wait for the next installment of Matilde’s tale. Joyeux Noêl, Ardith

So December 21, 2013 - 5:11 pm

The romantic in me is absolutely loving this sweet, gorgeous story Sharon! Shall so look forward to the next instalment.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas!

Sophia x

Michelle December 22, 2013 - 1:33 am

I love your story all the way from Las Vegas.

Merry Christmas!

Kate December 22, 2013 - 3:32 am

Oh so love your blog and this story brings back the wonderful memories that I had of my Paris in the springtime. I now am thinking I need to come and spend a Christmas in Paris.
It too is snowing here and is a perfect ending to a cold snowy day. Cannot wait for the next chapter.

Have a very merry Christmas.

Bernie Shell December 22, 2013 - 6:44 am

Oh Sharon! Love Part 2! I am at the edge of my seat!! Love it!
Thank you! And Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Julia December 22, 2013 - 9:47 am

I see that you have your snow-banner
It is beautiful 🙂

Diane Dainis December 22, 2013 - 11:10 pm

I am so loving this Christmas story! Can’t wait to hear more. And please tell us your stories won’t stop after Christmas.
Paris is such a wonderful city, just think of all the adventures Mathilde and future friends could go on. Some friend just might be an American who goes over to Paris and falls in love with the country so much she decides to open a small shop selling vintage finds or maybe a small cafe or tearoom….. the ideas and endless. Just keep writing!
Have a Merry Christmas

Marianne December 23, 2013 - 8:05 am

Hello, I discovered your blog not too long ago and I must say I’m enjoying it. I love this christmas short story—so romantic—and can’t wait to read the next installment.
Merci et bonne fete de fin d’annees.

Susie December 27, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Thank you so much for bringing a smile my way as I got lost in the 2nd chapter of your lovely story. You have us hooked and are mesmerized by the gorgeous photos and look forward to the next adventure!

Jeanne....Collage of Life January 7, 2014 - 10:46 am

I love Madame de la Garenne…just imagining her wardrobe makes my heart pitter patter in pink. I can’t help thinking about silk and velvet..have no idea why. Frederic is all charm and the fact that Mathilde rode her bike to work on Christmas day…lovely. xx

Looking forward to Chapter 3…


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