We are getting settled into Nice and loving it. It has been rainy off and on, but our apartment has a wonderful view so fun to watch the sea no matter the weather.
My friend, Anna, also visited this weekend. She and I used to work together at Groom and have been friends for years. She is attending a conference in Paris so stopped by Nice beforehand. What fun!
We all met up (my parents, Frank, me, and Anna) in the famous Cours Saleya market in Vieux Nice (Old Nice) and searched for a good dining spot. We ended up at Chez Freddy (named after the owner, Alfred). We had a lovely meal that lasted hours and hours with laughing, talking, and excitement.
We tried our first:
– PASTIS – Anise liqueur that is served as an aperitif. It is very strong, but comes with a pitcher of water, so you can keep watering down (which makes it last longer, too).
– SALADE NICOISE – With lettuce, tomato, tuna, local olives, and hard-boiled eggs.
– BOUILLABAISSE – Fish stew that, to be official, must be made with 3-5 different varieties of fish, depending on whom you ask. They serve it with a basket of crusty croutons, shredded cheese, and a mustard made of olive oil, garlic, saffron, and cayenne pepper. You are supposed to smear mustard on the croutons, add shredded cheese to stick to the mustard, put the whole thing in your spoon, and dip into the broth. Delicious!
Soiree on the Promenade
The next day we hosted Anna at our apartment for a light lunch and visit to the Matisse Museum. Well, our light lunch (with a bottle of Rose – another specialty of Provence) turned into an afternoon (with another bottle of Rose) – but much fun. We never saw Matisse. Instead, we went exploring and wandered around the landmark Hotel Negresco. Its rotunda was built by Gustave Eiffel and features a huge chandelier (16,000 pieces of Baccarat crystal) that was supposed to go in the Romanov palace – ordered by Czar Nicholas himself. But then the Russian Revolution happened, so it ended up staying in Nice. We finally settled down to dinner at a french/itialian brasserie on the Promenade – and of course we started with our new favorite aperitif – Pastis.
Anna has left for Paris – and we have spent the last two days just recovering! It has been rainy and chilly with mistral winds and giant waves breaking over the sea wall, so perfect to stay in and read about what we want to do next. We did venture out to the boulangerie for little quiches and baguette, which we had for dinner last night. And to the market for eggs, cheese, and mushrooms for omelettes tonight. A perfect French life.
Tomorrow: Day trip to Cannes (by the #200 Bus – wish us luck!)