'I was in the south of France recently and visited the chateau at Pau where Henri IV was born. They supposedly used a tortoise shell as his cradle and the whole castle has become a memorial to that monarch who famously said: ‘Paris is worth a mass’, having renounced his Protestant faith for the French throne. We were on a guided tour, and to be honest, I was not that interested in the shell, the King, the gold frames and mirrors. What did draw my attention was… a big table. I think it was one of the biggest tables I had ever seen! Apparently, it could seat one hundred guests and I started imagining the noise, the food, and all the table talk that would have taken place around it...'