A few days away
Spent the night in Narbonne on Friday to be able to pick-up my friend P from the train station very early Saturday.
From we had a very pleasant drive to Marseille. went straight to my preferred car park and walked along to the Vieux Port. Brilliant weather. The old ship on the photo is called SeaCloud II and I need to investigate what it is all about.
A bit early to go to the planned restaurant but not too early for an aperitif. Why is it that I always break my non-drinking periods every time I am in Marseille? Anyway, I cannot think of a better spot to enjoy a pre-lunch drink.
The restaurant „Relais 50“ is a few yards away and we are quickly there. As usual, the service is excellent and friendly. The food is also very good.
Later in the afternoon we take the coastal road to Six Four les Plages via Cassis, La Ciotat, St Cyr sur Mer & Bandol. A very pleasant drive indeed and far away from the motorway.
We arrive late afternoon. We have time to catch with our 3 friends and I have to admit some catching up was needed. In my case I had not seen Ri for just over 45 years (on my wedding day to be precise).
It is then time for apéritif and dinner outside.
At this point, I must note that my French friends and family appear to all be fans of the so-called Prosecco Spritzer.
Over 5 years ago it was also the rage in Germany. Rumours are that the Italian company has produced too much Aperol and has a major advertising campaign to try and reduce inventories.
Off to bed not too late as we expect a fairly busy day tomorrow and more to the point some of us (me) are not feeling too brilliant.
To start the day P & Re go down to the beach with another friend for a swim in the bay. Ri, myself and C stay in for a bit of breakfast and in my case download the daily Covid-19 data.
The weather is excellent and the view from my friend’s house is always worth it.
We have time for coffee at the port
As soon as we see the boat entering the port, we join the queue to board.
The crossing only take a few minutes to the Ile des Embiers which is where my friend Re is mooring his own boat.
But first it is lunch time in the Sarti restaurant where reservations had been made.
The location is great, the drinks good and the company excellent. The food could have been a bit better. One could see it was the end of the summer season.
The plan is for the 9 of us to go to the boat for a ride and swim in the open sea.
Back at the port a couple of hours ago. We wanted to play a game of pétanque, a couple of our friends are more or less pros and it would have been nice to measure ourselves against them. Unfortunately, my kidney or rather my “supposed-to-be-on-the-way-kidney-stones” are playing up rather badly so we abandon the plan and head back to the mainland.
For dinner Cr has prepared an excellent Soupe au Pistou which as everyone knows is quite a local dish and was one of my mum’s speciality.
Again not a late night, especially for me.
Same as yesterday, Re & P go for an early swim
Quite a few guests are expected for lunch and a paella for 15 people is being prepared.
The result is great
Soon it is time for the lunch time apéritif as the crowd turns up sharp. Everyone has to give a hand.
We have an excellent lunch with great company with friends who all live locally.
However it is time for P & myself to leave the place as we are expected in Cavalaire later on. It is always a bit heart breaking for me. I really feel at home there.
It is not a long drive along the coast. Just the usual slow down approaching Toulon.
But it is worth it when we reach the apartment where my brother and his wife are waiting for us. As I have written before, I shall never tire of the view.
It is soon time for yet another apéritif and we decide to go down in town for a couple more drinks (3 bottles of Rosé in fact) and a small bite to eat at the Rôtisseurs de la Côte (as usual).
Night cap consisting of Mandarine from Cabanel (Carcassone) back home looking at the stars. I have to admit that this last drink might have been slightly superfluous. On the other hand my pains disappeared and I could enjoy a fairly good night.
The plan is to go to St Tropez because Tuesday is market day there. We set off by 9am and make the mistake not to take the back roads. The last 5 kilometres are chock-a-block with cars. Just like in the middle of August. We notice that there is a very large amount of Germans on the road.
We finally make it and are lucky to find a parking space under the Hotel de Paris.
First a coffee at the harbour to have a look at the boats. We avoided Senequier and went to the Café de Paris instead.
I fell in love with that boat from Norway
Shopping had to be done as planned, local cheese among other things.
We also bought some fish for lunch. A nice Mérou (Grouper in 🇬🇧 ?) and a colourful Chapon (Capon 🇬🇧 ).
Cooking is simple and the usual way. Fish in a dish lying on sticks of fennel, some “groundnut oil” and the very important splash of Pastis. Oven at 180ºC for 40 minutes which gives ample time for a couple of glasses of Rosé for apéritif.
Maybe it was a little bit more as a couple of glasses of Rosé so a little nap was needed after lunch. My friend P and I decided to go down into town for a walk around and more importantly a couple of drinks at my local (formerly known as the Galiote).
As we are people of habit, we went back home up the hill for a pre-apéritif before going back to town, just like the evening before for a drink and a bite to eat.
Time to go home and leave town. It always gets me down to leave the place. I would not live there all year long but would gladly spend more time.
Fortunately we had planned to visit our friend A in Hyères. That was very pleasant and P & A had not seen each other in over 40 years. So of course out came the Rosé. Only one glass for me mind you as I had to drive home. I arrived in Carcassone at around 5pm after having dropped P in Narbonne on the way.
An excellent few days. To be repeated as often as possible.