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While Adam and Margaret were exploring the Gaudi laced Barcelona, I flew to Nice a few days earlier to spend some extra quality time with my lovely little brother and sister in-law. It was quiet a treat to be able to stay put for a week, to hear Chris and Laure’s travel stories through Asia and Europe, and catch up with Jean again (and even Ems on skype).

Our time in Nice will always be remembered foremost for the amazing array of extravagant meals we managed to squeeze into the week (Laure now refers to our visit as ‘Food Week’…see http://thesoupchef.blogspot.com/ for more). Taking it in turns to walk to the boulangerie nearby, each morning the breakfast table was covered with fresh croissants, pan au chocolate, a warm baguette, a selection of cheeses and coffee. If we were in town exploring the old town we would have a coffee stop at Laure’s favourite café, ‘le pain a table’, with a delectable spread of tarts and pastries for our morning break. This eleven o’clock coffee stop would often flow into lunch –  perhaps a salade de chevre chaud or rich lamb shanks.  While Chris was in French class in the mornings Laure (when not working as an assistant chef in a cooking school) often acted as tour guide and led us through the streets of her home town. We poured over the shiny fresh produce at the daily market in the old city and bought some local sweets (candied fruit and chocolates), walked up to the lookout with views over the red tile roves and the pebbly beach, and past the port area in search of some funky bottles Margaret had spied in our regular cafe.

We were itching to make use of the array of produce so readily available, and created a feast each night- rabbit in a mustard brandy sauce and apple and almond tart; glazed duck breast with a green aniseed reduction and roasted figs followed by Laure’s rich chocolate tart; onion, eggplant and courgette facie (a specialty of Nice, made under Laure’s strict instructions). Laure’s uncle joined us for a simple but delicious dinner – wild mushroom fettuccine with plenty of good red wine, followed by goats cheese, fig paste and a desert wine from Malaga.

We also had a delectable meal out, in the old part of town. Laure took us to Birsto d’Antoine, a wonderful little restaurant that has earnt the reputation of being one of the best eating venues in Nice. We had a lovely evening, more dishes that only the French can produce (steak with foie gras, risotto with white truffle, duck breast, buddin noir, chevre chaud, beef capriccio, slow cooked lamb, crème brulee, chocoate mousse).

In between all the eating and drinking cheap but delicious French wine, we ventured to Grasse and Canes for day trips. Grasse, perched in the hills about an hour from Nice is known for it’s perfume factories, and lovely old centre. It was a Sunday, and the city was quiet, but we wandered the streets and managed to find a cute restaurant open for lunch. After a couple of bottles of rose, we made our way back to the train station via my favourite perfumery, Fragonard. We stocked up on some alluring fragrances, then having lingered a little too long over the perfume, ran to the train station only to miss the train by one minute!

Our second outing was to an Island just off Cannes. We took a picnic lunch and walked around the island, exploring the old fort and tried to walk off a few kilos that we’d all put on in the week.

On our final night in town Adam made up some Caipirinha’s with the cachaca we’d brought from Paraty in Brazil while we cooked up the final meal. Just to top off the week of indulging in the richest foods of France, we decided on the classic raclette – sliced meats, boiled potatoes smothered with decadent melted cheese. Chris, Laure Adam and I chatted in to the evening, then Adam and I finally packed, ready for an early departure.

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3 Comments

  1. I only just noticed this update today and must say that reading it and knowing I’ll be on my way to Nice exactly a week from now has my taste buds totally psyched! I’m just sorry there won’t be quite as many family members around to share the local yummies.

  2. Thank you for sharing the lovely time you had in Nice, it sounds so good, the perfect way to experience such a lovely French city.
    marie

  3. I can’t say I ever totally recovered from food week….


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