The French Ambassador and his entourage spend a busy day at Natchez
Posted at 2:31 a.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2022
NATCHEZ — The French Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne, spent an entire day visiting Natchez on Saturday.
Etienne and Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson met about a month ago when they both attended the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative conference in St. Louis.
Gibson invited Etienne to visit Natchez, founded by the French in 1716.
Etienne arrived in Natchez on Saturday morning, accompanied by his wife, Patricia, Anne-Laure Desjonqueres, Consul General of France, and Keltoum Rowland, Honorary Consul General of France.
Etienne toured the town, including the site of Fort Rosalie, and had lunch at Rosalie. Later in the afternoon, Gibson, Etienne and his group met with several Natchezians at Conde Contemporary for a discussion on arts and cultural heritage.
At Stanton Hall, the Pilgrimage Garden Club hosted the entourage for dinner.
Gibson gave Etienne a key to the city.
“It’s so beautiful. It was a wonderful day, thanks to your hospitality,” Etienne said. “We created many memories. This day was also important for me as an ambassador.
Gibson said he was grateful for the rekindled relationship “between Natchez, the jewel of Mississippi, and France, the jewel of Europe.”
Etienne, who is fluent in six languages – French, English, German, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian and Russian – thanked Gibson for the key to the city in each of them.
“On behalf of myself, my wife and the Consul General, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hospitality,” said Etienne.
At Stanton Hall, the Ambassador and his party, along with several in-town guests, dined on beef tournedos with Bordelaise and Bearnaise sauces, Provençal salad and bread pudding soufflé, created by The Continental Cook at the Wayne Bryant Canon in the Carriage House and staff.
Later that evening, the Ambassador and his band attended the Blues and Soul Super Bowl concert with Patti LaBelle.
The ambassador and his wife spent the night at Dunleith.
On Sunday morning, the group was to have breakfast at Magnolia Hall, hosted by the Natchez Garden Club.