Sunday morning arrived and in bright sunshine we made our way outside the apartment and straight onto Rue Hoche where we tookin a lovely coffee from Café Itineraire with some rather good astringency! Meeting up with John we thought we’d start the day walking down Rue Meynadier and on to Marché Forville which to those who are not familiar with, is an amazing covered market selling a myriad of different local produce to a very discerning clientele. You can easily lose an hour or so in there, buying or simply looking at the unrivalled selection of produce available. While we were there we met up with a lovely lady who was freshly deep frying courgette flowers in a tempura batter. Having seen her wares we were only too keen to sample them and bought a punnet full of these delicate flowers. I’d hasten at this point to say that in England we are accustomed to throwing these away, which is criminal as they are delicious!
Having thanked her for her time and purchased as selection of other items we went for some further refreshments on a small lane off of the market, Rue des Halles, where we happened upon a lovely wine shop-come bar Ets. Vallauri where we stopped for a glass of Rosé each. This wasn’t the end however as it was such a lovely setting that we thought we’d stay for a couple more. Then we heard that Pat was going to join us so we had a few more after that!
So much for being a busy day of work, although we decided it would be a day of research and contemplation! Some local people that John and Pat knew stopped to say hello and a catch up. One even thought I was Bill Murray the famed American actor, which I wasn’t sure how to take initially but did in good grace as they must have had me as his doppelganger due to my comedic nature…or so I’d like to believe!
Having said our goodbyes we walked back through the market, which at this point was now wrapping up for the day, packing everything away the remnants of a good days trading ready for the next morning
This was a good opportunity to stop and meet with some of the traders to exchange stories and get some insight into their busy schedules. And what better place than Bar La Terrasse which is located directly opposite on the other side of the market. Enjoying an aperitif with the locals was a joy and even the owner came over to share with us his love of Rugby and in particular Jo
nny Wilkinson who he’d avidly seen play for Toulon just along the coast and in Nice where they occasionally played and for his love of South Africa; where he had worked and lived for a few years before returning home to Cannes.
The night, well day, was still young so we went for a short walk towards the marina and made a stop at one of our favourite bars, L’Annexe, which admittedly is a sports bar which would not normally be a place you would see us, however, the bar staff are all very friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere is gregarious and just the sort of remedy for us all.
Monday came before we knew it and was a rather sedate affair, by comparison to previous spates of hedonism. We were in need of a detox and paid a visit to Rush! Gastronomie Rapide on Place Pierre Sémard, opposite the Train Station, which has an array of food and drink options to meet your healthy needs. We all opted for Bubble Tea which I’m sure your familiar with, selecting a mixture of Mango and Tapioca pearl bubbles to accompany our fruit infused milk Green Tea…. Delicious and just the tonic!
Having enjoyed our beverages whilst taking in a lovely walk up Le Suquet, passing a reproduction of the Mask from Man In The Iron Mask who was held captive nearby on Ile Sainte Marguerite which is visible from the top of Le Suquet. Deciding this was a good place to stop we took in the amazing views of Vieux Port, Palais Des Festivals, Casino, Boulevard de la Croisette and in the distance Port Perre Canto and the Ile. We were joined by a rather dashing Seagull who was very inquisitive of us and a number of tourists who had come over to admire the views!
This was now was a good time for a spot of lunch so we made our way down and back into the town, stopping off at San Telmo, a rather fine Italian eatery close to our apartment which serves the most amazing pizzas imaginable. On this particular occasion though we were surprised that they did not have any Italian beers to complement our meal and quench our thirst. This however was quickly abated at they were serving in its place Quilmes, which is a fantastically quaffable beer from Argentina. Although we didn’t fully appreciate the connection between the countries we were still delighted with the results… Grazie San Telmo!
It was about time that we got down to some work, having been distracted for so long, but what a beaudelais that was!
Tuesday had arrived before we knew it and although we were due to depart today, we wanted to make the most of it, albeit at a more sedate pace. Having discussed our options we decided upon a nice relaxed morning and a lovely lunch on John’s rooftop terrace with lovely views of the sea and in the other direction looking up the hills of Vallauris. Although this might sound like a major change in the character of the rest of our trip it was, for us, the perfect end to it. Sitting, enjoying the warmth of the sun, food, drink and good conversation…. It was almost reminiscent of our arrival 6 days earlier.
This was our remains of the day…
Sadly it was time to get our things together and make our way back to Nice Airport.
Arriving at Terminal 2 at the ‘Kiss & Fly’ we bid adieu (or à bientôt, j’espère) to our great friend John thanking him for his amazing generosity and friendship, content in the knowledge that although we were entering Departures we were already making plans for our return to Arrivals.
Words and Photos: Michael and Michelle