Wednesday, 25 May 2011

We're Like Royalty

We don't carry cash. Well as little as we think we are likely to need. So today we set out with about twenty euros in our pockets and had a wonderful three hours cycling to the famous Phare De Baleines lighthouse before heading back to our favourite cycling lunch venue La Route Du Sel in Loix en Re. The lunch was super. We shared a goat's cheese in filo pastry (see below) for a starter and I had the superb duck breast in lime and honey sauce that I raved about the other day for a main course whilst Marion had a scallop salad (also below). We followed this by sharing some fresh strawberries and cream. Another great meal. We are happy to recommend this to anyone who visits Ile De Re. The restaurant is always busy and the food is moderately priced and beautifully presented. Unfortunately when the bill was presented, the restaurant's credit card machine decided to pack up and, having about ten euros left between us we were envisaging having to do le washing up. But fortunately the waitress pointed out that there was  a cash machine in the square around the corner where all could be resolved. Sadly not so as that too was having an off day (which is not at all unusual as the helpful woman in the tourist office next to the cash point pointed out). 

By now the restaurant was closing but the chef suggested that we come back tomorrow and pay as the restaurant is closed on Wednesday evening and they were all going home. We then hatched an ingenious plan with the waitress to post an envelope of cash through the restaurant shutters and headed off on our bikes to the nearest machine. 4.5 kilometers away in La Couarde, that machine was working and, on the hottest day of the holiday yet we returned to Loix with the cash having added 9 kilometers to our planned day's cycling. The chef was just locking up so no posting through shutters was required. Maybe we should carry just a little more cash with us in future.

Like Jack Spratt who'd eat no fat and his wife who'd eat no lean, Marion likes her beef well done and I like it very rare. So several nights this week we have sat in Bistrot Marin on the quayside and watched couples enjoying the restaurant's fabulous speciality cote de boeuf for two in the knowledge that if we ordered it we'd have to go for a medium compromise that neither of us would enjoy. Not so, said the proprietor. He'd be happy for the chef to cook half (let's say 65%) very rare and the rest bien cuit. End of problem. So that's our final meal of the holiday sorted for Friday night.

See if you can spot the difference. Here is the view from our restaurant before we ate last night and half way through the meal.

A flotilla of about eighteen beautiful yachts entered the harbour and moored for the evening. It seems that there is some sort of regatta going on. We didn't go into details but the boats were spectacular.

The weather on this holiday has exceeded all expectations. The forecast is bad for the last two days but we've already had two weeks of sunshine and high temperatures so a bit of rain will be a welcome respite. It's hard to believe that it's not really summer yet. And being retired, we've still got all summer to look forward to.