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Day in the Life: Virginie Brouard, owner of Edinburgh's Le Di-Vin and La P'tite Folie

The owner of these food businesses tells us about her typical working day.

Published: May 12, 2021
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7.15 am

Getting up is a painful moment as I never manage to go to bed before 3am, sometimes 4am. 

I blame lockdown for that. Caffeine is badly needed. I wake up the kids.

They’re both very organised and prepare their school uniform and bag the night before.

I just deal with their breakfast and packed lunch. Pierre is now 14 and walks to the bus stop himself.

I walk Genat, 9, to school. She scoots and I run behind.

11am 

Off to work and I have my breakfast in my car.

Breakfast is two coffees and two croissants. I don't do lunch, so this is more of a brunch.

I also use the journey to catch up with calls with my head chef, PR and suppliers.


12.30pm

All day long, I run about between the wine bar Le Di-Vin and the restaurant La P’tite Folie, next door.

During the lunchtime rush, before covid, the staff sometimes needed my help. 

Since reopening the wine bar last week, I have spent my days at the cash and carry doing the shopping for the chef.

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We have suffered so much in the last year and I hate the loss of control that the pandemic has caused.

Hopefully, it will pass soon and be a bad memory. Once alcohol is allowed indoors again, I know I will be a lot busier.

We haven’t been very lucky with the weather since reopening.

It is way too cold to drink outdoors in Scotland at the moment.

6pm

I collect Genat at the after school club. I hate the traffic now that it’s back to normal.

Pierre is already back home. I cook dinner, we enjoy time around the table as a family and catch up on our day.

Milan, my 25-year-old son, sometimes comes home to spend the evening with us.

That’s when the kids have to speak French with me. I love having my three children around the table together.

I always cook except on a Friday, which is pizza night.

9pm 

Kids are off to bed, bonne nuit mes amours! That’s when my second shift starts.

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I tidy the house, do some paperwork, catch up on my emails, print the bills, pay the bills, and spend too much time on my phone to my friends and family.

11pm

Plenty of time to relax now. I watch the news on Al Jazeera or BBC Africa as I need to know what is happening in Ethiopia.

It is my daughter's birthplace and I have been doing humanitarian work over there for the last 10 years.

Civil war broke last November and I’m terribly worried for my friends over there.

I now read a magazine, or watch Netflix while starting a jigsaw (I am completely addicted since lockdown), I drink more coffee and eat chocolate or my favourite bourbon biscuits.

By 3am, I start to think that maybe I should go to sleep. Once in my bed, I read for a while and fall asleep.

Le Di-Vin is currently open for food indoors and drinks outdoors on their terrace and La P’tite Folie is reopening on May 20.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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