Friday, June 28, 2013

Gassin, France - Final Day in the South of France

We all woke up rather late on Sunday morning (due to an impromptu game of Marco Polo that ensued around 3am in the pool), but were delighted to find that Harry had been up early to the market and had laid a breakfast table for us full of croissant, pain au chocolat, french bread, Nutella, fresh peaches, coffee and a side of June sunshine.

The view from the house down to the port was just beautiful on a hazy summer morning:

It wouldn't be fair if Harry didn't cook us at least one meal before we left, so around noon he started preparing lunch, which we would eat down by the pool. Harry counts Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey Jr. and former British PM Tony Blair as his clients. (For my London readers, Harry can be hired to cook for private dinner parties in your home).

He decided that he would try and recreate the famous Le Club 55 crudite that we had at lunch the day before

Next he got to work on three caramelized onion and goat cheese tarts. These were so delicious I could have eaten an entire one myself!

Then he prepared two pizzas:

And they all go into the oven:

Harry also prepared some prosciutto and melon:

He sent me out to the herb garden to pick some fresh mint for garnish:

Together with salads, charcuterie, baguettes and lots of rose wine, we brought everything down to the pool and laid a beautiful table for an alfresco lunch:

There really is nothing as divine as a loooooooong and lazy family style outdoor lunch on a summer Sunday with delicious food and good company. 

After lunch, everyone did their own thing from napping to backgammon, to reading the paper and even a little laptop work from the pool!

Michelle and I had to literally be forced into our car at 6pm for the drive back to Nice airport. This was one of the best weekends both of us have had in as long as we can remember. New friends, great food, summer sunshine, lots of laughs and a stunning setting made for an absolutely perfect long weekend.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

St. Tropez, France - Day Two in the South of France

Our friend Harry (the chef) woke us all up at 7am so we could get to the market in Place des Lices to buy food for the house before all of the crowds arrived. He did let us stop first in the port for a croissant and pain au chocolate breakfast at the famous Senequier cafe.

As we were eating breakfast a parade went by the port (we have no idea what for):

Then Harry wanted to get all his shopping out of the way so he marched us off to the fish market in the port:

Our next stop around the corner was the most amazing cheese shop I have seen outside of Paris, the Fromagerie du Marche:

We bought some cheese with truffles and enough prosciutto to feed an army:

It was such a rare sight to be up early in the morning and see the normally jam packed streets so empty:

We then ran right into some sort of religious parade (again no one spoke French well enough to figure out the occasion or significance):

And then straight into the Place des Lices market we went with Harry, as he picked ingredients for a meal he made up as he went along:

We picked up a few rotisserie chickens just because the smell was too tempting to resist:

After the market we all went home and played a game of tennis and then got ready for a four hour lunch at the very famous Le Club 55:

They are known for their massive crudites and their equally enormous artichokes, both of we which we ordered:

After lunch we took a stroll through the Le Club 55 Shop (one towel will set you back 120 euro!) and then went for one more drink at the beach bar on the sand overlooking the famous dock where celebrities arrive on tenders from mega yachts.

What I'm Wearing:
 Citrus dress, Stella McCartney. Belt, Intermix.
Bag, Louis Vuitton Epi Noe. Sunglasses, Ray Ban aviators

And so we decided to take some paparazzi shots of our own:

The wind proved formidable and made posing difficult, but we had a good laugh at our own expense:

And so after such a large lunch, we needed to burn some calories, so we headed down the beach to the Nikki Beach Club for a little late afternoon/early evening dance party:

Here we all are at Nikki Beach: Team Villa Florentine!

We danced until we worked up an appetite again (funny how that happens), so we all drove back to Villa Florentine and had a wonderful alfresco dinner until the very wee hours of the morning (those rotisserie chickens came in handy!).

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