Friday, 20 May 2011

Hollyoaks Sur Mer

As we arrived at Bistrot Marin for an early morning coffee today, the quayside was packed with a film crew. They were shooting a cafe scene in the next creperie along from us and it transpired that the drama unfolding was for the popular France 2 soap "Coeur Ocean". None of the actors was over thirty and we nicknamed it Hollyoaks Sur Mer. There were at least twenty five cast and crew so the expense of filming must have been significant. The costs were escalating by the minute as three old blokes like a French Compo, Foggy and Clegg at the table next to us enjoying a croissant and coffee listened attentively and obediently to the runner's whispered plea for silence and then repeatedly broke into loud and animated conversation as soon as the director shouted "trois,deux un action!" If that was not enough a young lad starting up his souped up Harley Davidson just as a third take was almost in the can had M Directeur flinging his headphones to the floor in desperation and when all around us was finally silent, the waitress at Bistrot Marin decided to wind up the bar's enormous parasol with a squeaky handle whilst giving a Gallic shrug and saying that she wasn't a big fan of the show. Great entertainment.

And speaking of entertainment we spotted that there's a boat trip to Fort Boyard next week. Son Paul used to love the game show that was filmed at this remote Napoleonic fort so we feel that we must take the visit to be able to take some photos and tell him about it. Like the Crystal Maze (another of his favourites) the show involved teams competing against each other in a number of daredevil games in this very different studio.

Another day another nice restaurant. We stopped off for lunch at Le M at Rivedoux Plage. Part of the La Maree hotel, the restaurant has a pleasant and modern seating area across the road from the hotel right on the sea. A little more up market than La Route De Sel at Loix, this is the sort of place where your aperitif comes with an amuse bouche rather than the standard bowl of stuffed olives and a couple of cocktail sticks and we were perhaps a little under dressed in our cycling outfit of shorts and t shirts. Under dressed or not we were made extremely welcome by our waitress Sonia and enjoyed a super lunch. 

Marion had a vegetarian platter and I had an excellent hake with rice in a lightly curried sauce. 

To finish we shared the chef's special dessert - a medley of home made bon bons - a jokey but delicious bunch of confections based on childhood favourites, liquorice, sweet and sour candy and caramel cream. The lunch came to 77 Euros for one main course each, the shared dessert, a couple of glasses of wine as an aperitif and a small pichet of house wine and I thought it was good value for the very high standard of food and service. The only negative is that the restaurant is right on the roadside and, although covered and sheltered, on a busy day the traffic might be off putting. On the positive side, when the tide is lapping at the restaurant's edge the setting is very attractive.