14 September, 2011

Nice Journal - Autumn 2011 - 9

Wednesday, 14th September, 2011

In spite of the late night, I woke at seven. I lay quietly with Lisa until about nine before making coffee and taking out the bottles and "emboullages". We talked together about our sense of not having had as much "us" time while here as we would have liked. We determined in future to get up and out earlier so that we would have time to ourselves in the town before meeting up with Perry. We made a quick breakfast and were out around ten thirty.

We got off the tram at the Cathédrale stop and walked down through the main street of the old town, past the familiar shops and the fish market. Once at the Cathedral itself, we zig-zagged back through Vieux Nice to emerge in the Cours Saleya at les Ponchettes. By now the noon-day gun had gone off and the churches rung their agreement as to the hour so we walked directly round Quai Rauba Capeau to Foresta.

After a short chat and some nice cold water, we walked down to Quai Lunel to lunch at the Vesuvio, aka Chez Marinette & Fred. Marinette greeted us all warmly and we were seated at a very nice outside table. We all three consulted the menu but Lisa and Perry both decided to reprise favourite dishes from previous visits: an assiette cannibale (steak tartar and beef carpaccio) for Lisa and lasagne for Perry. I chose the "Joue de Lott" which was monkfish and moules in a creamy sauce flavoured with tarragon and saffron. We ordered a bottle of "Domine de la Croix" a cru classé Côtes de Provence rosé to drink, plus the regulation apple juice for Perry.

My dish was absolutely delicious! We definitely bookended our visit with the two best lunches judged on sheer quality of cooking. Lisa loved hers too and Perry was as satisfied as always with his favourite lasagne. Sitting on the Quai, in the warm sun, in such welcoming surroundings, eating such fine food (and very good wine too!) was heavenly. For dessert, Lisa had ice cream with chantilly cream and so (in the form of a Café Liègeoise) did I, while Perry opted for the "tarte paysanne". Coffee, of course, to finish along with a Limoncello "on the house". Perry graciously allowed me to pick up the bill for the lunch and, at the third attempt to get a card accepted by the machine, so we were able to treat him for once.

Lunch over we walked slowly down to the end of the Quai and then back along Rue de Foresta to Perry's place. There we sat out on the terrace and chatted for a couple of hours while looking out over the port. We ate the water melon that Lisa bought yesterday and Perry produced a half bottle of Champagne to toast Lisa's forthcoming birthday. The last parting is always the hardest but eventually we made our farewells, promising to call tomorrow and, of course, to return in March.

Lisa and I walked along the Quai des Etats-Unis to the Jardin Albert 1er and caught the tram at the Opéra stop. At the Casino on Cessole, we got bread and supplies for tomorrow's train journey. Back in the apartment, we reopened up all of the balcony doors and sat quietly for an hour or two before making a start on the packing. Once we'd made good headway with that, we turned our attention to the task of making the sandwiches for tomorrow. That done, we felt we'd made sufficient preparation for the journey and grazed on a selection of meats, cheeses, olives and tomatoes that we had left over. We felt very relaxed even though very sad that, yet again, we have to tear ourselves away from this place that we love so much.

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