24 March, 2011

Nice Journal - Spring 2011 - 2

We awoke on Thursday, 24th to glorious sunshine at 9am and the familiar screams of the children in the school across the street. A breakfast of coffee, clementine juice, Bayonne ham, French bread (the sliced, peasant kind not a baguette or similar stick: those have to be bought immediately before eating to be good) and President butter later and we were all set to head out for the tram that takes us into the centre-ville.

We strolled, reveling in the warm sunshine, down to the port (where we heard the daily noon-day cannon firing which always makes Lisa jump even though she knows full well that it's about to happen!) and over to Perry's place on Rue de Foresta. Nicole, Perry's cleaning lady - who we know well and who has worked for him ever since he moved to Nice twenty years ago - was still hard at work, so we retreated out of her way to Perry's study to chat for a while and make our lunch plans. With much hugging, kissing (BOTH cheeks) and shaking of hands, we left Nicole to her duties and made our way down to the port in search of lunch.

We ate, sitting on the waterfront terrace, at Le Vesuvio on Quai Lunel. A regular haunt where Marinette & Fred greet Perry with delight and even recognise Lisa & me. Perry went for the lasagne, a house speciality, Lisa chose the steak tartare and I enjoyed a dish of veal in a cream and mushroom sauce. A nice white CĂ´tes de Provence went very well with the food. For dessert, Perry opted for the apple tart (a genuine French apple tart is a real work of culinary art!) but Lisa and I both went for the cafe liegeouise: a sundae of intensely flavoured coffee ice cream topped with masses of dramatic but insubstantial whipped cream. Coffee and limoncello ("on the house") to finish by which time it was feeling a little cool to be dining al fresco as the sun had gone behind the Chateau hill and we were left in the shade.

We walked Perry back to his place and, after making plans for his birthday meal tomorrow, Lisa and I left for a stroll along the seafront and a beer in the Cour Saleya on our way back to the tram. The tram was packed, as usual at the end of the afternoon, so we were standing all the way back to our stop.

Lisa headed back to our apartment and I walked on up the hill to Monoprix to get a few essentials, including a cocquelete for tonight's dinner.

As I was queuing at the check-out I noticed Lisa waiting at the back of the store. I had rushed off to the shop without leaving her the apartment keys!

As we had had a good lunch we just had a salad with the roasted chicken for supper and felt quite satisfied. We found the bottle of Cotes de Languedoc I'd chosen rather young but still potable.

Lisa took a shower and washed her hair while I cleaned up and filled the dishwasher and then she headed to bed while I stayed up a while to finish the wine and start this journal.

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