Yesterday Mr Hope and I went to the seaside.Cassis is under two hours drive away and the starting point of the GR98 to Les Calanques – finger like inlets of clear blue water. We had tried to walk the route last year for my birthday but found it closed due to fire risk. This year however it was packed as there was a tri-athalon in progress … which made for an odd mix of lycra clad competitors, school groups and hot tourists all huffing towards the sea. Luckily we found one of the first inlets quite empty and clambered along the rock to find a secluded spot under some pine trees.There were lots of people perched along the rocks like us, all of whom seemed to be waving there baguettes at us …the only thing we forgot was the picnic. By 4pm we were starving and headed into Cassis itself to find some food. The first place we came across had Moules Frites as it’s special for 12euros. We then had a stonking ice cream sundae (each) mine had vanilla, cinnamon and caramel ice cream with figs and whipped cream. Needless to say I felt throughly sick afterwards and greatly needed the stroll around Cassis’ harbour afterwards.On Saturday we had a serious mornings gardening.Dan and I then decided to catch the 6.30 showing of Drive – our first VF (version francais) film. Carpentras has a plush cinema called the Rivoli which has great retro styling (even down to the ticket stubs).
I spent the first half of the film trying to lip read, the second half trying to understand the French and the whole of dinner afterwards wishing I’d just let it wash over me and enjoy the visuals! Before the film we had time to wonder around. It was nice to see Carpentras out of season as it’s usually full to the brim with market go-ers that noticing the architecture is impossible. Here are a few of my favourites – grand and not so grand.We also went to Jouvaud the best cake shop EVER. I tried something I had never heard of before – Coup de Soliel… a little tart with pear and almond filling and a kind of creme carmel on top. INCREDIBLE! It is my mission for this week to learn how to make it.When the film had finished we headed back into Carpentras to find somewhere for dinner but found the entire city battened down for winter. Not one restaurant was open! We raced back to Malemort praying the small pizzeria would still be open …only to find it packed and pumping with spectators of the days motor-cross race nearby. An unnesseraryly large meal followed. I had Camargue pizza – a base of creme fraiche, mozarella, jambon cru, olives and emmental with un verre to vin rose followed by chocolate cake. I was sorely tempted by Pizza aux Truffles but for 18.50euros thought I could probably buy my own truffles and have gourment omlettes for a week.
NB – Malemorts restaurant is called La Malina, there is a fantastic Italian film called Malena that it well worth a watch (with a box of tissues).