A glittering life of food, travel and fun told through the author's own inimitable stories.
Ludwig Bemelmans - legendary bon vivant, raconteur and self-mythologiser - lived life like a character from a novel. Thankfully for us he was there to write about it himself.
After an idyllic Tyrolean childhood followed by an equally rebellious adolescence, Ludwig was shipped off to America by his family. He spent years working in New York's hotel and restaurant demimonde and a period in the US Army before eventually becoming a celebrated artist and writer. He moved seamlessly from below stairs to mixing with the rich and famous. He spent time in Hollywood, designed sets for Broadway, opened restaurants and travelled on endless adventures through South America and Europe.
Wherever Ludwig went and whatever he did - letting Parisian criminals baby-sit his daughter, getting caught with his toenails painted red by the Gestapo or discovering the only restaurant with toilets in the Amazon jungle - you were guaranteed magic and pure entertainment.
'When You Lunch With The Emperor' paints an enchanted picture of this life less ordinary through Bemelmans' finest tales.