31 October 2008

Wot no carving?

You might call this a cheat Halloween. Wot no carving?

At the Carrefour shopping centre in Monaco there is an enormous display of sweets (candy) - just pick what you want and get them weighed. And in the centre a pumpkin.

Happy Halloween everyone!

30 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Sundeck

We leave the restaurant and walk back through the beautiful gardens. If you are staying in the hotel you can sunbathe here and I believe have a massage. We passed the masseur earlier. Now that would have been nice...

The peninsula you see is Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. Saint Jean is a charming port with some wonderful restaurants along the water. You can also visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild with its famous Belle Epoque architecture and wondrous gardens.

29 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Owner's Cat

At first he slept under a chair, later he came and begged at our table - jumping up and telling us he wanted a piece of our fish.

He belongs to the owner of the Chèvre d'Or and I love that even though it's a Michelin-starred restaurant no one has barred him. For me, one of the joys of France is that animals are accepted as part of the family and allowed in the majority of restaurants.

(Looking at the photographs closely I wonder if there aren't two cats! In the first photograph, he appears to have a sore over one eye, not so in the smaller pic)

28 October 2008

Eze Village - Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - Profiteroles

Three tiny perfect profiteroles filled with ice-cream and about to melt - just ready to eat, in fact...

And afterwards - an espresso.

Thanks to my friend Casper for such a wonderful lunch. Casper and his wife are two of my best friends - I've known them for more years than I want to say. They are part of my 'south of France family' and each year Casper takes me to a restaurant of my choice for my birthday and then I take him out for his. Sadly, Philippa has massive health problems and lives in London now, near to her doctors. Casper spends part of the year in Monaco and so, when he's here, it's birthday time - even if it isn't. And thanks to this blog, birthday lunches or dinners now take place in grander and grander restaurants - for the photographs, of course! What is fabulous for me is that Casper, who hasn't a clue about photography, computers and even hates telephones, goes along with it all, even pointing out something I should be photographing. I adore him. Casper is Norwegian which probably explains a lot. I've never yet met a Norwegian who doesn't have an enduring love of life and a childlike wonder in everything.

Tomorrow - who else was at the Chèvre d'or?

27 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the First Course

We decided to choose the 'menu' - as opposed to eating from the 'carte.' With the menu, there were no choices. The first course, which you see here consisted of spiced meat balls (à la vapeur) made of filet of Charolais and rolled in sesame seeds which you then dip in a piquant sauce (not shown) and then place into the bowl of ginger-flavoured bouillon and Asiatic noodles.

As I don't eat meat, I asked for a substitution and was told I could have a salad. I thought this might be boring but in fact it was probably the best salad I've ever had: a base of chopped, skinned tomato, then a layer of mashed avocado and then a mix of salad leaves, piled into a perfect sphere: roquette (arugula to Americans) lambs lettuce, other leaves. And served with a subtle and tasty dressing. (I wish I'd remembered to photograph the salad but I ate it instead).

The main course was made up of three types of fish from Menton served with tiny new potatoes and a tasty jus. Very nouvelle cuisine and delicious.

After that - sorry by now I was into wine and conversation and continued to forget the camera! - we were served a slice of the softest, most delicious goat cheese (natch, being the Chèvre d'Or) - with grapes and a light and fluffy savoury pastry.

The 'menu' - as I know someone will ask - cost 68 euros. Not what you'd spend every day on lunch - that's for sure - but on the other hand, much much cheaper than eating from the 'carte' and not expensive when you consider where we were (that view over Cap Ferrat) the service, the ambiance, and that the Chef, Philippe Labbé has a Michelin star.

Dessert - well I did photograh that - so come back tomorrow...

26 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - Amuse-Bouche

I love the word amuse-bouche - literally 'amuse the mouth' - in other words, something to wake up the taste buds. If anyone doesn't know - an amuse-bouche is a single, bite-sized hors d'oeuvre. It differs from an appetizer in that they are not ordered from the menu but are chef's selection normally served with an aperitif.

The original French word - still very much used - is amuse-gueule. Gueule is slang for mouth but in fact means an animal's mouth. Amuse-bouche is the word used in fine restaurants.

You can see in the photograph they are served on porcelain spoons - perish the thought of using our fingers! One had some meat in it, something else was basically aubergines - the small round mouthfuls, not on spoons, were made with cheese. All went down very well with the champers...

The terrace ahead is empty - the tables to the left, ie behind us, were full. Within half an hour all the tables you see in the photograph had been taken.

Tomorrow - lunch.

25 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Sommelier

Meet Ludivine - the sommelier of Les Remparts - the name of the terrace restaurant. She was absolutely charming, complimented my companion on his choice of wines. I'm sure she does this with everyone! And at the end of our meal, she presented us with the wine labels as souvenirs - each inside a plastic cover. A bit corny perhaps - but rather nice. It also means I can now tell you the wines we drank. Note: we ordered two half bottles - just in case you think we rolled out of the restaurant...as if!

The first was a rosé - Château Simone and the second, a white - a Condrieu. (Wine buffs - click on the links - both make fascinating reading - apparently Condrieu is one of the rarest wines, not just in France but the world)

Ludovine explained that her name goes back to German origins - from Ludovic presumably. She also told us that more and more women are now training for this profession.

Tomorrow - the food - and lest you think I eat like this every day of the week (I wish...) I'll explain the reason for the lunch.

24 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - Pink Champagne

We were offered a choice of four different champagnes from the champagne trolley - one was pink. We didn't hesitate. This is a Bollinger.

You can see the tip of St. Jean Cap Ferrat to the right.

23 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Bar

We've walked up to the bar. I particularly wanted to see the Chèvre d'Or's champagne glasses. You may recall that David from Tamarindo Daily Photo posted photos of the beautiful 'angel' champagne glasses. (click and scroll down) Well, they've changed! As you can see, the champagne glasses now feature a goat and of course chèvre is French for goat. The bartender kindly displayed one of the champagne flutes on the bar.

You can see the decor of the bar in the smaller photo. We decided the terrace was where we wanted to be, so asked for our champagne to be served downstairs.

Tomorrow: pink champagne.

22 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Terrace

Don't know about you but I'm getting hungry, so whilst there is much more to see in the gardens, let's go eat! We can take another look at the gardens another day.

We've walked up the steps you see in the lower photograph. Had we walked through the village, rather than the gardens, we'd not have encountered such a steep staircase.

21 October 2008

20 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Statuary

The gardens of the Chèvre d'Or tumble down the hillside in terraces. You can better see this in the smaller photograph or click on THIS LINK (then enlarge the photo) and you'll see even better how the gardens fill the land below the old village.

Each terrace is small and there is a mind-boggling amount of statuary - every animal you can imagine, fountains, grottos, naked women...we'll get to those.

19 October 2008

Eze Village: Lunch at the Chèvre d'Or - the Pool

You are invited to lunch at the Château de la Chèvre d'Or. Get your glad rags on - comfortable shoes though - because we are going to walk through the hotel gardens on our way to the terrace restaurant.

We've driven along the Moyenne Corniche to Eze but instead of parking below the village, today is going to be special. We turn up into the village and stop in front of the police barrier - normally you can't drive beyond this. We tell the policeman we are eating at the Chèvre d'Or and he allows us through. Already we are feeling rather special! We drive up the hill and stop at the beautiful wrought-iron gated entrance where the car will be parked by one of three liveried young men waiting there.

We've walked into the gardens below the hotel - here you see one of several pools overlooking Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. It's a little overcast today as you see. Tomorrow - more of the gardens.

18 October 2008

Eze Village - the Altar

The altar of the church we saw yesterday. Such lovely soft colours, don't you think - and lovely old wooden pews.

17 October 2008

Eze village - the Church

The construction of l'eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption began in 1764 and was completed in 1772. The style of the facade was influenced by neo-classicism and decorated with monumental pilasters. Its architect, Antonio Spinelli, contrasted the outside with its interior which is decorated with cornices and trompe l'oeil paintings producing a dramatic effect proper to the baroque style.

16 October 2008

Eze Village - the Window that isn't

A trompe l'oeil window high up on an old wall.

15 October 2008

14 October 2008

Eze Village - the Red Pot

Another pretty corner. Eze has so many moments like this. I love the glaze of this lovely pot, set off so well by the succulents growing out of it and of course the beautiful stone.

13 October 2008

Eze Village - the Chef and the Manager

Well I'm assuming these two are Chef and Manager... it was taken around 2 p.m. so the main lunch service would be coming to an end.

12 October 2008

Eze Village - the Filigree Gate

This pretty corner of the village is roped off for privacy, as you see in the small photo - but the zoom lens allows a view through to this pretty gate. Note the wonderful twisted trunk the climber (or tree) that seems to grow out of nothing.

11 October 2008

Eze Village - the Luggage

If you come and stay at one of the two fabulous hotels in Eze village, this is how your luggage will find its way to your room.

10 October 2008

Eze Village - the Well

An entrance to the gardens of the Château de la Chèvre d'Or.

Click on David's Tamarindo Daily Photo for photos of the Chévre d'Or's 'angel champagne glasses.' Scroll down to view. You can also read David's wonderful tale about these in the Comments (last two days) on this blog.

09 October 2008

Eze Village - the Flower Pot

Take a walk through the village - turn a corner, on a bit, perhaps take a left. Look up, look down - and you'll find little wonders. For instance, this pot outside an old gate.

08 October 2008

Eze Village - the Espresso

With two important hotel/restaurants in the village, it's no surprise to pass some of the men and women who work in them. This young man is taking a coffee break from his work at the Chateau Eza.

07 October 2008

Eze Village - Château de la Chèvre d'Or

The Château de la Chèvre d'Or is one of the two prestigious hotel/restaurants in Eze village. The Golden Goat (Chèvre d'Or) is a legendary animal, made famous by Frédéric Mistral and appears in several local and Provençal legends.

This prestigious establishment was originally no more than a group of dwellings restored in the early 1920s by the American violinist and composer, Balakovic. It was later converted into a restaurant and then a hotel and since then many famous people have stayed here. And if you've seen the 2007 film, The Bucket List, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, you'll recognise the scenery.

Click on the links above to read more.

06 October 2008

Eze Village - the Mannequin

You'll find many shops and art galleries in Eze. We'll visit a few as we walk through the village.

05 October 2008

Eze Village - Wander and wonder

The way to see Eze is to wander the little streets - don't follow the tourists on their way directly to the gardens at the top (although we will go there) - take any little turning - you'll find pretty squares, tumbling plants, stone houses. You can't get lost - Eze village is too small for that.

04 October 2008

Eze Village - the Setting

Here we are, looking up the perched village of Eze from the Moyenne Corniche. In the smaller photograph we can see the tip of St. Jean Cap Ferrat jutting out to sea - this has some of the most prestigious and expensive properties on the Côte d'Azur.

Man lived in Eze village as long ago as Neolithic times (around 2,000 BC) but now it's a trendy place with two exceptional hotel/restaurants, arty shops and a beautiful exotic garden at the top. It is also well-known for its perfume factory - Fragonard - the yellow building you see on the lower right.

03 October 2008

Eze Village - Roof tiles

Eze village is just along from Monaco on the Moyenne Corniche. It's a more 'touristy' village than those I've been covering on Menton Daily Photo but with views to die for and the quaintest little streets ... as we'll discover as we start to look around.

See you tomorrow. Flat shoes for the ladies please.

02 October 2008

More Lines

More lines today... here you see the lines that mark the tennis courts, home to the famous Monte Carlo Tennis Masters. They are being watered to keep them in perfect condition.

Behind - more yachts than usual are out at sea. That's because, when I took the photograph last weekend, the Monte Carlo Boat Show was taking place in Port Hercule. These yachts had to give up their berths for the duration of the show. The large hotel is the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort.

01 October 2008

Theme Day: Lines

Lines of light show the Basse Corniche (lower cliff road) and the Moyenne Corniche (middle cliff road) from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin to Monaco. There are four roads that run along the coast here - the Basse, the Moyenne, the Grande and above the three, the Autoroute. You can see le rocher (rock) of Monaco and Port Hercule in the distance. Photo taken from the medieval hill village of Roquebrune as night was falling.

164 other City Daily Photo bloggers are interpreting today's theme - Lines. We are in for a treat. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

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