Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime – Don Camillo, Cassis

Monday is the YD’s only day off, but her copain, Ash, has had to work almost every Monday since they got here.   For the first time, they were off together on Monday last week (we went to the Gorge du Verdon and they did an adventure thing in the trees) and lo and behold, it happened that they were both off on Monday this week, too.

We’d like to go to Cassis, they said.

Everyone says Cassis is lovely, they said.

Well, ok, if you insist, we said (or something like that).

So by 8.30 we were all packed into Jeepy and trundling along towards Cassis, hyperterriers and all.

Everyone is right.  Cassis is lovely.

We set off to explore the calanques, a series of deep-set inlets along the coast.  This was the first one we passed.

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This was the second one.

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The LSH and I didn’t go any further.  It was 30C and we’re in our fifties, thank you very much.  And then there was little Cinny and her dodgy heart to consider.

We lounged around on the beach for a few hours, picnicked, took the hyperterriers in for a swim, swam in the clear water ourselves, read and watched the world go by.  I saw my very first one of these :

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A real live cicada, or cigale as the French call them!  I’ve heard plenty of them but I’ve never seen one before!

There was a bit of drama on the beach.  Someone overheated and Les Pompiers were called and took her away.  All very exciting, lots of men in uniform and blue flashing lights.

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While I lolled around,  the LSH played with his camera and Ash and the YD hiked a bit further.  They went almost as far as the next calanquewhich they assured us was MUCH nicer than where we stopped.  I bet there was no drama or pompiers there.

After a long, hot hike back to Cassis, we were all looking forward to a nice cold drink, followed by dinner.  Unfortunately, we had another emergency to deal with.  Poor old Jeepy had a flat battery (SomeOne had left the lights on.  Not looking at anyone in particular, Husband!) and she needed a jump start.

The fact that there is no photograph of that particular piece of drama tells you how we all felt about it.  I think if I had tried to take a picture , I would have been hospitalised for an emergency cameraectomy.

Anyway, we were soon on the road again, thanks to some nice French people and their jump leads.

At last, it was time for food.

We chose to eat at Don Camillo’s, in the harbour, despite the creepy clergyman on the cover of the menu

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and despite this scary character in the doorway.

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We decided to chance it because we’d seen six sacks of mussels being delivered that morning and because it had a lovely view across the harbour.  And besides, Bonaparte was closed (we were disappointed, Sara!)

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Starters were from a buffet.  I wasn’t terribly hungry and neither was Ash so we sat that one out.  The LSH took a fair selection.

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It was just alright.  Not special and some of it seemed to have recently escaped from a can.

My main course and Ash’s arrived at the same time as the starters.

Veal escalope in mushroom cream sauce with chips.  Yes I felt guilty about the veal, but it was a seafood restaurant and there wasn’t much else I could eat on the menu!

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It was good. The sauce was mushroomy, the veal was tasty, the (frozen) chips were well cooked…

Ash ordered linguini and clams.  I think he liked it.  He’d never had clams before.

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The LSH ordered dorade, sea-bream.  It was very good.

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Finally, the YD ordered mussels, to try to make up for her disappointing experience last time she had them.  She was served a huuuuge pot of mussels.  They were clearly fresh – nice, plump juicy mussels and NO DEAD ONES! Hooray!  There were so many that she couldn’t finish them!

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While we ate, a troupe of buskers did the rounds of the harbour restaurants.  They danced and drummed and did acrobatics, but mostly they had a lot of six packs.

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I’m already looking forward to going back to Cassis.  Once the weather is a bit cooler, we’ll hike all the way to the next calanque and see it for ourselves.  And we’d be happy to eat in Don Camillo again (if Bonaparte is closed again).

Star Rating (out of 5) : 

Service : ✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮ If the starter buffet had matched the main courses, it would be four stars
Value : ✮✮✮ a bit expensive, but not bad for such a lovely location!
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮✮

and Cassis itself gets ten stars from me.
✮✮✮✮✮✮✮✮✮✮
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