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Hot stuff -- Bruni tries the chili on her US tour

Carla Bruni turned up the heat on her first trip to Washington as France's first lady, visiting a school in a poor neighbourhood and lunching at Ben's Chili Bowl.

The diner is a long-time fixture in Washington's black community.

The ex-supermodel later met US first lady Michelle Obama for dinner with their husbands -- behind firmly closed doors in the Obamas' private quarters in the White House.


That left the curious guessing about how the glamorous four got along and whether their children joined them.

The White House put such a clamp on the dinner details that not even the menu was released.

Youngsters at Washington's KIPP DC charter school were over the moon at their visitor and her entourage of bodyguards and serenaded her with Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy read them a French book.