It had been years since I’d read it but with a few spare hours this week, I read Tender is the Night. Set along the Riviera, I always like to read about places I know.
A future career in the making perhaps?
I have now finished restoring (if that is the correct word) two antique French beds. Ring the village bell!
They were bought for a total of €160 and with the addition of a new mattress, a custom-made base for the wicker bed as it curves at the end (new words learned, sommier and demi-corbeille), man hours involved, the above mentioned beds are now worth thousands. And having just seen a similar wicker bed on the Internet for £995, I’m not entirely joking!
|The Wicker Demi Corbeille – before|
Despite the frustration of trying to buy a base for the wicker bed, having to improvise on the mattress slats for the single bed as vintage beds are of course, a different size, I’m very pleased with the end results.
|Poor old rusty single bed – before|
|And now with shiny polished brass!|
Let’s hope the future guests agree!
Despite my intentions to go hiking again, it appeared that Valbonne had other plans.
It was the weekly market in the village and the tiny streets were crammed with stalls selling very specifically white asparagus, melons, strawberries, linen clothes, bread and roast chickens.
I decided to look for cushion covers, a strangely elusive item for some reason and so I wandered up and down the cobbled streets until I discovered just what I wanted in a little shop tucked away in a rue.
Two days left and another item ticked off the list.
|Salon with new cushions|
|View of a rue, not on market day|
After the success of yesterday’s hike, I decided to up the ante. Typical!
The map was fairly vague and I took a couple of minor detours, paddling at one point to get across the river. Two and a half hours later, I eventually emerged at the top of a hill and walking down the road, found myself in Biot.
The view was spectacular as the blue Mediterranean sparkled in the distance. I bought a well-deserved baguette and sat by the fountain to eat my lunch. Fortified I looked for a glass shop where I’d bought glass balls, glass being a speciality of Biot, but sadly it was closed. After looking around the village, I decided to start the walk home.
Having picked up a map of local walks in the Office du Tourisme, I started the day with a little bed restoration (still painting the wicker) and then chose my route of the day.
It doesn’t get much better when you can sit on the doorstep and eat crusty French bread which was baked less than six feet away. Combined with the best butter in the world, with large crystals of sea salt crunching under tooth, it’s the perfect way to enjoy a taste of France.
And having already hiked for an hour and a half this morning repeating my new mantra of “Portion size… Exercise” a well-deserved taste indeed.
The work on the house is almost done and so with five days left, it’s time to relax by going hiking every day.
Walking off the cheese, day three!
Sunday morning and we meandered around Antibes having a coffee and buying some pretty Provençal bedding for the small bedroom which is starting to look very nice.
After lunch it was time to get away from the house renovations for a while and walk up into the mountains and surrounding forest. Heading out of the village, there was a steep climb up to a ridge where on one side, a picturesque view of the tiled rooftops of the village with mountains beyond, and on the other, hills rolling down to the Mediterranean in the distance.
We walked through the forest enjoying the view. It was a side to the Cote d’Azur I hadn’t seen before and one I plan to take advantage of more often.
Walking off the cheese!