Monday, 1 April 2013
After this rather mixed bag of weather over Easter - here in Berthemont les Bains in the Mercantour it started out warm and sunny and now there is cloud and a nasty Northern blast to the wind - you may well be starting to think about your next walking holiday in France or Italy.
Don't delay if you wish to come and visit your chums Liz & Mel - as their accommodation is already getting pretty full.....but don't forget that over and above the delights of the Mercantour National Park, there is much fun to be had on the coast. You may wish to avoid July and August in Nice but for most of the time you can enjoy the Alpes-Maritimes without the revenue of Prince Albert of Monaco. There are plenty of good value hotels and restaurants - ask for more information by all means, and it is always possible to fill up on pizza and icecream if you must!!!! The Saint Exupery hostels comes highly recommended, plus the €1 bus anywhere* in the Alpes-Maritimes means that your dollar/pound, whatever, can go a long way!!! * Note that to get a €1 ticket from the airport to town, all you need to do is take a 5 minute walk onto the Prom des Anglais.....otherwise it is €4 for a day pass!
A nice way of wiling (not sure about the spelling of that!!) a morning is to take a glass of rose in the Nice flower market - lots of scrummy things to buy but if you have the opportunity to cook for yourself get to the section where local growers are selling their freshly pulled produce.....and thank heavens it is not UK supermarket beautiful - but the fruit and veg taste great.
With your rose, enjoy a plate of socca if you can......if you've never heard of it - go for it - it's a chick pea flour type pancake which is cooked on a flat griddle pan and then served with enough freshly ground salt and pepper to make you really want to get your face into it!!
To make it at home is simple - it's a mix of chick pea flour (farine pois chiche) 250g, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 500ml of water - all beaten together, left to rest for 30 minutes and then cooked in a heavy bottomed pan to achieve a crispy base - and (at home at least) easiest to finish it off under a hot grill..... French style is thin and crispy - Italian style a bit thicker and more stodgy - I'm saying NOTHING!!!
It's easy but you have to stand sentinel over the grill but it's a perfect tear and share type nibble with your early evening apero whilst admiring the sunset or playing boules!!! and of course it's perfect for vegetarians.
Ask spacebetween to make you some when you are having a break in the Mercantour.....a bit of spice may be thrown in - but that's not unusual......
Holidays in the South of France - rarely disappointing!!!
Thanks to Lindsey of Sinclair Exposed for the images....