Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Carrie on Cannes

So after my very sensible early night post Chelsea, it was time for Cannes. Although it is a work trip not a holiday I love travelling full stop so I was really looking forward to it. The cab was collecting myself and 2 others, I was last pick up at 10am for a flight at 1pm, loads of time it should only take about an hour to get to Gatwick. Check in closed at 12.30pm, at 12.10 we were still in the taxi on the M23 literally willing the cars to part like the red sea. We were plain going to miss the flight...nightmare.
By some freak of nature we ran through the airport and straight to the front of check in. We were then waved through a special concealed fast track security and made it! Amazing it was such a relief, I have never even missed a train before so there is no chance I’d fancy missing a flight.
I have also never flown EastJet and I was pleasantly surprised. The seats were normal size and clean, I was also pretty impressed with the choice of food and drink, having not eaten all day I happily wolfed down a hot bacon baguette with a This Water, no problem.
On arrival in Cannes, a quick change of clothes and a walk down the beach to La Croisette, the main marina area which holds the bars and restaurants. It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and from our hotel it was a pleasant 40 minute walk. We went to a pizza restaurant called Palm Brassiere and sat facing the marina, beautiful. After sitting there for a good 3 hours I had cooled down a bit, so it was a welcome relief to move on to another bar for more drinks.
Palm Restaurant
The next day we had an all day work conference in a really nice hotel on the front. I woke up with Ghandi’s flip flop mouth and could not wait to get down to breakfast for a good 2l of water. Last time I was in France the breakfast was amazing so I was looking forward to it. The choice at the hotel was not as good, and my stiletto heel kept getting stuck in the decking making it logistically difficult to manoeuvre to and from the buffet. I opted for a little bit of ham and cheese and a bagette, with loads of orange juice, apple juice and water. I did feel better for it.
That evening I vowed to take it easier on the wine at dinner, we went to a gorgeous little French place called Auberge Provencale (I was so glad, when in France and all that!) Also another thing, why in Cannes are they still so stuck on Rose? I don’t think I’ve had so much in about 6 years...
Auberge Provencale

On the menu I opted for the fish soup as it sounded garlicy, mmm. It was nothing like I’ve seen before, sort of a build your own. Once we’d learnt how to do it (spread the garlic sauce on the toast, drop the toast in and top with cheese) it was beautiful. It was quite hard to spoon it out of the bottom and it was a nice place, I wasn’t going to pick it up...
For the main meal I was torn between a duck risotto and a black and white fish risotto. I opted for the black and white. Now we’d been seated at 7pm, and granted there was 24 of us but it was now after 9 and no mains had appeared. We were spread over 3 tables and the other two had finished their mains; we’d ordered first. Someone actually came in late, ordered and got their food before we had ours. Luckily I was still taking it easy on the wine but it would have been so easy to sit and get slowly sozzled.
When the main arrived I was a little disappointed, the look of the duck risotto someone else had had was amazing. Although it was very nice I wasn’t bowled over, it could have been that I had been waiting so long I’d gone past being hungry.
Now one thing I’ve really gotten into is Crème Brule...the only problem with the one on the menu was that it was lavender. I’m not a fan of lavender to smell. My housemate has one of the wheaty bags that smells like it and I don’t even like that. Someone else on the table wanted it too so we decided to share. I’m so glad I didn’t get one to myself. The lavender was so overpowering. Someone actually commented it tasted like the inside of their knicker funny and so true (not that I’ve smelled said drawer).
Tonight was the first night the conference ‘beach club’ was open, and I’d heard a lot about it from those who have been before and was really looking forward to going. Unfortunately it being the first day of the conference the next day it was dead and pretty rubbish, I was assured it would be better the next night. Still I was happy to be seeing a bit of Cannes and having some lovely meals and a general great time.
The next day it was early doors for the start of the conference. We were exhibiting and I was going to be one of the first on the stand to set up. Thank god I was sensible and felt absolutely fine. I’d forgone breakfast in favour of a little longer in bed – especially as it was nothing spectacular the day before. The show went really well – and I was flying back the next morning...tonight was going to be special.
I ended up attending various networking parties until 7pm, so unfortunately I was unable to go home and change into my party dress and put a fresh face of make up on. I did however feel pretty elated when I met the rest of the team at another French restaurant; Cafe Boehme. I got stuck into another glass of rose. Conference over it was time for some fun, and what a way to start.
The menu looked fantastic. I opted for the mozzarella and tomato salad to start. It was enormous and every bit as good as it looked. For the main I had been hankering for some decent fish, although I’d been warned off shell fish as apparently others who have had the shell fish in Cannes have gotten ill. Therefore the tuna with a sesame crust was appealing. Yet again, absolutely out of this world. I would go as far as saying the best thing I’ve eaten since I was in Vegas.
Now it was on to the beach club. We were sponsoring this evening and there was a band on – No Expectations made up of some very influential people in the world of TV, although the songs they were playing were great they were not a ‘professional’ standard Again it was quiet when we arrived, but it was also fairly early. The only sensible thing to do? Rum and coke, and they weren’t skimping on the measures.
One bad thing about a gorgeous Cannes evening, a beach club and a band? Sand vs my freshly heeled Louboutins. They did not like it one bit.
Several rum and cokes later it was full throttle on the dance floor. Flailing limbs and sandy shoes, while still in the clothes I’ve been wearing all day and no fresh make up, I must have looked fantastic...
The next day? One word...ouch. I had taken myself off home without saying goodbye to anyone – seemed like the sensible thing to do. The next morning I was hoping my dancing wasn’t going to be topic of conversation. Luckily it was not. Just a couple of hours at the conference before the trip back to sunny London, where the heat wave was well and truly over.
I loved Cannes, I can’t wait to go back.
This fantastic artwork is all over Cannes representing different countries

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