An ideal day in La belle France begins with a cafetière of robust espresso and a few these flaky buttery croissants that solely the French could make. Adopted by a soothing time on the seashore studying Good Matin, Le Figaro and La Figaro. So says Peter Jones, a person who has taken so many holidays in France he’s virtually a neighborhood…
A delicate stroll alongside the seashore with my toes within the turquoise sea led me to the city of St Gilles. Right here, overlooking the busy little harbour, a glass of pastis was adopted by a wonderful assiette of fruit de Mer, washed down with a few glasses of ice chilly Muscadet. Wandering again to my lodge I ended at a department of Credit score Agricole financial institution to replenish my euros. And stopped off at a Carrefour grocery store. Again at my lodge I loved a supper of foie gras mi cuit and an ideal entrecote and frites, adopted by a traditional Rhum baba, all loved overlooking the ocean.
Sure, an ideal day in la belle France.
However simply une minute. The turquoise sea was not my French mom’s beloved Mediterranean Sea. It was the Indian Ocean. And never solely was I south of the Equator – I used to be greater than 9000 kilometres from Paris.
I used to be on the island of Réunion, a division of France.
A number of ineffective details:
The foreign money of Réunion is Euros.
The flight from Charles de Gaulle to Roland Garros airport is at the moment the worlds longest lively home flight.
The costliest highway on this planet is right here.
And extra persons are eaten by sharks off Réunion’s coast than wherever else on this planet.
My base for my 4 nights was a quite elegant 5* lodge on the west coast, proper on the seashore. With a selection of a number of eating places, it has all the trimmings you’ll count on of a lodge of this class. Paradoxically my first meal was a superbly cooked shark steak, which makes the present rating one nil to me.
I’m not an enormous seashore sitter, I usually like to simply get misplaced, observe my nostril and discover, however my time on the island was restricted so I took a coach at 5.30 within the morning to take me to the Piton Maido which at 2190m excessive, AKA the Balcony of Réunion Island, provides really spectacular views.
It was very chilly; my pink seersucker shorts and Rolling Stones t-shirt could have appeared cool on the seashore however have been completely insufficient up the mountain. Nonetheless, the views made the coolness worthwhile.
Descending to sea stage the coach dropped me and my companions on the weekly market in St Paul. Proper on the seashore it has every little thing you anticipate finding in a French market. Rotisserie chickens, mountains of saucisson and charcuterie and big shows of cheeses. It’s what you’ll discover in any French city…
…After which – quelle shock! Piles of coconuts, pineapples, sugar cane and a few of the weirdest wanting greens I’ve ever seen. A few of them are so scary I’d run a mile if I met them on a darkish evening again dwelling in Oxfordshire.
However the massive stars are the spices, nice pyramids in each hue, filling the air with sensational aromas. And naturally the native speciality Vanilla is right here. I couldn’t resist and crammed my suitcase.
So if you need La Belle France with a tropical twist – head south, however take a few books it’s a protracted flight.
Peter Jones is a photographer and freelance author who blogs at pinkshoesontour
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