Europe, France, Recent, Travel
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Antibes, Cannes & Valbonne Food Adventure

Three cities. Three meals. One day.

Basically the best way to spend my day off of work.

In a completely spontaneous adventure that started off with Babette asking me if I wanted to go to the beach on Sunday, we ended up driving to Antibes to go to one of my favorite cafes for lunch.

It amazes me how much Babette and I have to talk about after only one week of not seeing each other, but when we sat down for lunch we basically unloaded everything that had happened during the week in the kitchen in a storm of conversation. I think both of us are so grateful to speak fluent English to someone who understands what a professional kitchen atmosphere is like and to someone who is equally passionate about pastries.

After we had finally decided to move locations, we were just about to head back to the car when we decided to go on a pastry adventure instead of heading straight to the beach. In a moment of crushing disappointment, the pastry store we were hoping to go to was already closed–and the second pastry store around the corner was closed on Sundays as well.

Dejected, we headed to Babette’s car. We might as well just go to the beach and chill then, right? Babette told me about a nice pebble beach that was apparently close to where we were, and we set off in search of it.

Maybe it was because we couldn’t stop talking to each other or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, but soon we realized that we had managed not only to not find the beach but we had basically driven to Cannes.

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So of course I suggested that we continue our pastry search in Cannes before going to the beach.

We ended up at a beach side restaurant to get “cafe gourmande” which is apparently a popular concept in France. Basically it is an espresso served with a little plate of desserts, and you can order it at most restaurants. I had never heard of it until Babette told me about the version she makes for her restaurant, but it is basically the French version of an English tea time.

After we had each taken our fill of pictures, we continued the extreme talking fest while we gobbled down our desserts and espresso.

Finally around 6:30pm we made our way to the beach. It only took six hours, two meals, and two cities to get there 😛

The beach was absolute perfection. I’m a little baffled still by the number of people who are constantly at any given beach in the area, but it was nice to have a little spot to ourselves next to the waves–relaxing and, you guessed it, chatting about pastries.

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Luckily just at the time we were about to leave the beach, some clouds promising rain moved into the area, hiding our sun. We hopped in the car once again and headed off to Valbonne to pick up two of our friends at Chateau de Bégude before heading out for dinner in the city center.

I had technically been to Valbonne before–as you might remember from the last time I was at the Château–but I had never been to the city center. I’m going to be honest, I was not expecting much. Small town city center? I thought. I was sure it would be overly kitchy and maybe a little rough around the edges.

Nope. It was beautiful.

Valbonne is quite small, but it is small in the quaint and charming kind of way. The square at the center of the city was filled with people eating outside, and strung up lights twinkled as the sun began to set. Striking out at all the restaurants due to the large number of people, our little crew of four wandered up and down the side roads and alleyways branching out from the center square, discovering new little restaurants…each of which were already filled to the max.

By this point we were all quite hungry, and the locals remembered a good burger place more on the outskirts of the city, so we wandered in that direction. Of course, it was closed. Just when I was beginning to wonder if we would have to find a fourth city to explore in order to eat dinner, I was led just down the road–to a food truck.

The food truck basically just does pizza, and I was assured that it was delicious–it was already the third time Babette had gone there this week 😛 Even though the truck was on a random road away from everything, there was a constant line of people, and as soon as we got our pizzas we walked back towards the city in order to eat.

There was a random music festival going on, so we propped ourselves up against a wall and attempted to chew quietly while quite possibly the most sorrowful music I’ve heard to this day in France started coming up from the stage. It was lovely, don’t get me wrong. But it was not exactly the kind of concert you bring a whole pizza to.

Our day of adventures came to a close too soon, but not to fear there are already more food adventures planned for the upcoming weeks.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more! Next week I am getting a special visitor all the way from the US, so keep your eyes peeled for pictures to make you wish that you, too, were in the south of France.

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