My first day and a half was spent in Nice, where I actually managed to pack in quite a bit of food. On the first night, my colleague and I strolled the main square and along the seashore, stopping for a bit at Le Mirador for dinner. I had set my sights on the fresh ravioli with asparagus ratatouille, but sadly, they were sold out of that special. So I settled on the ravioli a la niçoise, which was a boldly seasoned meat ravioli with chunks of tender braised beef and jus. It was quite delicious and gave just enough sustenance for the rest of our walk, until we were ready for dessert. It was quite late at this point, so we ended up at the Häagen Dazs bar and had expensive, but very refreshing and tasty fruit smoothies made with their ice cream.
The next morning, I met Lindsay at her hotel, closer to the airport, and with a few hours to kill, we took a trip to the marina and did some more seashore strolling. This time, I actually got to walk in the water, which was great on such a hot day. The beaches at this part of the French Riviera were certainly nothing like the Caribbean beaches I grew up with. Instead of soft sand, they are made up of water-worn rocks and pebbles, which can make walking a bit challenging. But it's a lovely place to walk, as the Mediterranean is beautiful in the sunlight, and the marina area is lined for miles with restaurants and cafés. Our thirst brought us to Le Belgique, where we accompanied our water with crêpes and house-made ice cream. For my snack, I went with honey/lemon crêpe with a scoop of Madagasgar vanilla ice cream. When it arrived, I kind of swooned at the smell of the honey tinged with citrus, and it didn't disappoint on the tongue.
Then we were off to the venue for sound check and my first show night. I'm not going to lie. One of my first thoughts after the initial excitement of being offered this gig was how the catering food would be. We all know this kind of buffet cooking can leave a lot to be desired in its attempt to please everyone's palates. I'm very happy to report that the team that will be feeding everyone for the next few months put out an astonishingly varied menu, every night, and the food I had that first night was de lish us. It was a hard choice, but I went with the pan roasted pork fillet with lentils and saucisson. Pork on pork action, people! Then I rolled myself over to the dessert cart for a tiny piece of soft, fluffy tangy-sweet yellow cherry sponge cake with treacle and crème anglaise. Oh, my, yes. Everything was cooked with obvious care and went way above my expectations on the flavour scale, so kudos to the catering team. Can't wait to see what's on the menu for the next show!