Thursday, October 2, 2014

La Goelette, Ile Rousse hotel

I wouldn't have chosen this restaurant spontaneously, as it is part of the luxurious hotel Ile Rousse in Bandol. But our son played with two french girls all our stay and the father has invited us to this very nice terrace. We met with the family every day and twice a day.

They came to our place to watch fireworks for July 14. I just served a good rose wine with amuse-gueules, as it was at 10PM. We had a great view from our balcony, but it was really our pleasure to receive them.

When there were Medusa at Renecros beach we all decided to try Plage du Casino, and loved it. The water is warmer there although there are algae and stones in water, but passed that there is sand. But there is a play ground with kids playing soccer or volley. Our son enjoyed this a lot.

Then their last day we rented a pedalo so the two men brought our son and the two girls for snorkeling from the pedalo. They had a great fun. Then we dressed and just walked to the the very nice restaurant terrace where our new friends invited us.

This place is expensive, but we were told the tartare was excellent there, and the father of the two girls took his coffee there every morning, so he made friends with the staff.

The food was spectacular in presentation at least. The wine was excellent. Kids had chicken nugets and fries, and they were excellent. The tartare looked very good and I know it has to be very fresh. I chose seafood platter from appetizers menu and it was 20E. My husband went with a rack of lamb.

Sea food was good, however at the Brasserie Toche it was more fresh and spectacular. It was also very fresh from the market.

We had a great meal all together, and our host was happy we enjoyed it. I gave to the girls little gifts with lavender pouches, eau de cologne and soap. I offered to pay because it was expensive, but he wanted to invite us absolutely.

Then as he asked us if we wanted to have a desert, after a coffee; I offered we all walk downtown for the best ice cream. Really, deserts were 12E each and kids didn't even finish their food.

We just walked in the sun to an ice cream place right in front of our apartment and indulged everyone with cocktails and most delicious ice cream from Provence for only 38E for the 5 of us. Two melon cocktails for men, a Kir for me, Shtroumph blue ice cream for the girls, and our son with water melon and strawberries refreshing ice cream. And finally we had to say goodbye to our friends, which was very difficult.

This was a very emotional day for us. Our son also made friends at the other beach and we stayed there until 8PM so he could play and say goodbye to them. They all will be waiting for him next summer.

Already, I didn't have a siesta, and then we had to pack, and I didn't sleep at night at all. Needless to say I was exhausted even before we had to travel for about 20 hours to get back home from Bandol to Marseille airport by bus and train and then a 4 hours wait between our flights at CDG. But I survived and we have great souvenirs of France and its very warm people in our hearts.

Bistrot Chez Pauline

We returned to this bistrot with excellent food. L'assiete du pecheur is incredible and my husband after discovering my sauce, ate it with bread. Before that he finished his plate of sardines on ratatouille. Just Mmmm. Our son went with lasagna this time. As a desert I couldn't resist creme caramel with Madagascar vanilla, while husband and son got a delicious tarte aux abricots.

Food wise this little place is a highlight.

Arriving in Bandol

We drove for 2 hours with some waiting at the tolls.

When we finally arrived in Bandol, I called our contact from the agency and we agreed to meet in 30-45 minutes in front of our apartment.

This gave us time to sit right bellow our apartment at the bar le Nautic. And we ordered a cheese plate, cold cuts plate and a croque Monsieur for our son. Cold cuts and cheese where a 6E special with a glass of wine. With bread it made us a great light meal.

All was delicious, and it is always impressive watching little trucks to take the sidewalk to load daily market. They have great skills for very small spaces and not hitting any motor bikes parked there in big numbers. Although I would hesitate parking there. They are also approaching very close to people sitting on the terrace.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

From Millau to Provence

We've left Millau in heavy rain. It has taken us a long time to drive to Provence. We took a wrong exit and ended up in a place we wanted to avoid because of traffic in an unknown town. We finally got back to the freeway ignoring the GPS.

We then decided to drive past Avignon then change the freeway to get to Bonnieux to avoid big traffic. The rain had stopped and we decided to stop for lunch.

Chicken, ratatouille and potatoes were delicious with a rose wine and our son ordered pasta and meat in his child meal. Not bad for a place by the road.

Monday, August 25, 2014


We drove from Beaune to Mont Dore close to Clermont Ferrand and spent a night there. It is a beautiful place surrounded by old volcanoes I believe. Husband and son went to Puy de Sancy for the views.

Mont Dore

Puy du Sancy

The morning after we drove to the Dordogne, to our camping in Carsac.

There are always plenty of things to do there. One morning we visited Beynac castle, then we had lunch at les Pres Gaillardou, a restaurant by the road.

The appetizers were a salade de lentilles tiede with gesiers confits, for me and husband and son chose the terrine. All excellent choices.

My favorite foie gras stand at the market in St Cyprien.

Views from Beynac castle.

The wine was divine Le temps est venu. The mains were duck confit for the 3 of us.

Followed by mousse au chocolat and a vanilla ice cream for our son. We had a chat with the waiter, he was really nice to our son. Two french families were there at lunch and both groups knew the owner and the waiter. We were the only tourists. Everything was very good, but the wine was exceptional.

We also ordered a pizza to go from our favorite place by the road on one occasion.

A pizza with chorizo for our son and a pizza pissaladiere for us. This is not a pissaladiere as you can find in Provence, but a pizza with anchovies, onions, very delicious.

A pastry store in Sarlat is selling among delicious pastries oranges confites in chocolate simply spectacular.