A very surreal meal

We decided to eat at the hotel for our first night in Corsica and had been given the option of the restaurant or a barbecue.

After a delicious glass of chilled rosé on our deck, it was getting on for 9 o’clock and so we ambled down to the poolside tables to see what was going on.

We sat at a small table in the grass with one mosquito coil and a candle for light. We sat for a while before a bowl of crisps, some olives and a few small slices of bread spread with various dips arrived.

At 10pm, after the slightly underwhelming first course, a plate of meat arrived. It was dark by that point and the meat wasn’t easy to see. Probably not a bad thing as two dubious sausages, a chicken leg, a small chop of some unknown animal and what might have been a piece of bacon sat sadly on the plate.

I decided not to partake and enjoyed the large vat of rosé I’d been given (in contrast to Letad’s smaller glass) while he bravely worked his way through the meat.

His ‘n Hers glasses of Rosé – mine was the big one!

In a strangely disconnected way, after the meat we were given salad and vegetables. And finally what looked like chewed fruit.

During the course of the meal several wine glasses had been dropped by the staff and Letad’s wine had accidentally been knocked over him. 

We decided it was time to leave the surreal Corsican barbecue as we’d given the mosquitoes enough blood.

And so to bed.

Corsica – Day One

Arriving on the car ferry at Ile Rouse, we disembarked and set off to wind our way south towards Porto Veccio.

Navigator

Corsica is a land of many terrains it would seem and we drove from the turquoise coastal waters through craggy mountains and low hung clouds and back.

Through the mountains

We stopped for a spontaneous lunch at Chez Theresa, a small beach shack reminiscent of Mexico where fresh oysters and prawns were simply delicious.

Almost deserted beach
At Chez Theresa

Continuing on we discovered a rustic brocante where wrought iron bedsteads and old French shutters filled us with inspiration. We resisted the temptation to fill the car with crap on our first day, perhaps we’ll go back before we leave.

Resisting the crap

Arriving at the Ambassador hotel, a poorly named delightful cluster of adobe-style stone villas nestled around irregular shaped pools reminiscent of fresh water rock pools, we discovered our delightful room and sat on the deck enjoying the view before heading down, by golf cart, to the Plage de Palombaggio for a lazy swim. www.ambassador-palombaggia.com

View of the garden, The Ambassador
Private deck at The Ambassador

By early evening we returned and sat enjoying a delicious cold glass of rosé on our deck before deciding to join the barbecue.

The pool at The Ambassador

And that turned out to be quite surreal…

La Lune de Miel… Heading to Corsica

5:30am and the alarm went off. We awoke to the sound of harps and from my deep sleep of the truly exhausted, I struggled to surface.

Sunrise, heading to Nice

I had accidentally booked us on a 7:30am ferry from Nice. Time to get up.

The Ferry
Always good to remember where one has parked
Leaving Nice

By 6 o’clock we found the nondescript but functioning hire car and we were on our way and by 7am we were parked in the bowels of the car ferry.

Approaching Corsica, with helpful hand

Time to start to relax, we hoped.

The Wedding… Part Seven

After breakfast we spent an hour at the pool. There were a few people the worse for wear, a few missing jackets from the night before but in general, good moods all round as the diving competition began. 

The challenge… to dive through an inflatable rubber ring. The success… dependent on body size. 

By early afternoon, subtle remarks about hunger resulted in us serving lunch on the terrace, a combination of leftovers, charcuterie, cheeses and bread. It was a very hot day and while the intention had been to play rounders, there was a general lack of enthusiasm. 

Letad and I spent the day serving food, drinks and cleaning up. We were exhausted by the time we left the chateau, the Mini was complaining loudly and we weren’t sure we’d make it home. 

Thankfully we finally made it after screaming along the péage, the hot wind blowing in our faces and the car about to die. We dropped the kids off and then Letad set off to the airport to pick up an emergency rental car to take to Corsica as we feared the Mini wouldn’t make it. A very good decision as it turned out. 

With that done we made our way to the square in Valbonne for dinner and farewells to family and friends. 
The wedding was finally over. Next stop… Corsica!

The Wedding… Part Six

At 7am, after a few hours sleep, it was time to organise breakfast for the thirty guests staying in the chateau.

I went downstairs only to discover that breakfast had gone missing.
Letad had gone to pick up baguettes and croissants and when he returned, we set off in the ailing Mini to buy tea, coffee, milk, jam and all the other missing items.
Shops in France aren’t usually open on Sundays so we were extremely lucky to find a nearby supermarket not only open, but with everything we needed.
We hurried back and before long had breakfast set up and no one knew the saga of the missing breakfast.

The Wedding – Part Five

The setting was perfect as we sat down and helped ourselves to an array of Provençal salads, tomatoes and mozzarella, artichoke, delicious pesto.

The wine poured and the conversation flowed. I said a few words of welcome and then we settled down to enjoy the ambiance.

Before long the wine took effect and a Mexican wave went around the tables. It seemed to break any remaining ice as everyone joined in and around it went again and again.

By the time the main course of poached salmon and lemon risotto was served, a great time was being had by all. Photos were taken against the sunset (and will be posted soon) and the evening was perfect.

A best man’s speech, witty, personal and very well received set the tone for spontaneous speeches from friends and family alike and it seemed new friendships were being formed all around.

We cut the gorgeous fruit-covered, cream filled sponge wedding cake and then, with the troublesome playlists finally complete, the dancing began.

It was fantastic to see so many people spontaneously dancing especially as Neil Diamond proved to be a popular choice for many. Arms were waved and hands were clapped.

By 2:30am, a few stragglers remained and Letad and I said goodnight. It had been over so quickly. Six months of hard work but a great success and while it was a blur for us, everyone had loved it.

The Wedding… Part Four

We carefully picked our way from the chapel to the reflecting pool where champagne and delicious canapés were served.

We mingled among friends and family with Christian Dior’s beautiful chateau creating a stunning backdrop.

The grass was damp and the ground soft. Those wearing heels found themselves sinking slowly, slowly into the earth and looking around there were images of friends heel deep in the mud. We moved to find higher ground. Sadly the gorgeous suede impractical Prada wedding shoes had a tide line of mud. Hopefully they’ll recover when the mud has dried.

I made my way to a drain cover and there Letad and I stood for a while as we were greeted, congratulated and kissed.

Pious Giles refused to stay for a drink and as he left, I finally started to relax.

Delicious canapés circulated in the form of fig on warm polenta and a caramelised onion tartlet; bruschetta including a pea purée and mint and an olive tapenade. Accompanied by crisp, cold champagne, it was the perfect start to our Provençal banquet.

We slowly moved to the terrace where two long banquet tables were, by some miracle, set for dinner. Ten white table cloths had been washed, dried and ironed between the torrential rain and the ceremony. Gorgeous flowers and candles in jam jars created the perfect balance of casual beauty and the scene was set for the evening to come.

I found my way to my seat and sat down… next to my husband.