Thursday, April 27, 2006

Chez JuJu

What an excellent day! It all started by agreeing to meet Bob and Lynne in Saintes Maries de la Mer, with the dogs, for a romp on the beach (for the dogs that is). It was a beautiful sunny day and it was Minnie's first real trip out. B&L's dog Harry is an old friend of Max but I was slightly concerned whether they would remember each other after a seven month gap. No problem, the three of them took off and rolled and fought in the sand and in the water. It was excellent to see them having such a good time. A very enlightened council have allocated a small section of the beach for dogs and whilst there were several families on the beach they did not cause any problem (the dogs that is) and a good time was had by all. Having said that, why a family with small children would want to sit on the beach specifically earmarked for dogs, beats me. We all, at various times, had to clear up puke or shit and I wouldn't have taken young children there, but what do I know?


Anyway the next bit of good news was that B&L had booked at their favourite resto on the beach. The Tahiti Plage serves simply and freshly cooked seafood, without messing about with the fish, which is quite unusual in this part of France. Additionally, you can book a sun bed and reserve a table, all at reasonable prices, if you fancy a day by the sea. Excellent. We started with tellines and then I had my current favourite, dorade. All this washed down with an excellent Pic Poul. This is the life. We will definitely go back.


And the final bit of good news? After mentioning to William this morning that we were going to the seaside (yes, I did beat him and restored some English pride), he mentioned that there is a good restaurant in that area and proceeded to tell me roughly where it was. If you have seen Rick Stein's television programme about his culinary trip down the Canal du Midi, he mentions a great restaurant that he ate at, in the Camargue, near the end of his journey. He also refers to the restaurant in his cookbook of the journey (page 89, and the book incorrectly calls it Jou Jou) but always refuses to say where it is. He makes it sound very exotic by mentioning that it is favoured by film stars but that it is in the middle of nowhere and difficult to find. Mission on, mystery to be solved. B&L, foodies themselves, had also heard about this place so we set off in convoy to find it.
The journey turned out to be a real trek. The town that William mentioned proved to be inaccessible, and, just before we were going to head out to sea, Bob pithily said, "We've just made an executive decision, that no matter how good the food is, we won't be eating there anyway." We had already been forewarned by Lynne that she'd seen a sign for the resto a few miles back but ignored her advice. We ploughed on to see what we could find, when we came across flocks of flamingoes in full flight. A little treasure round every corner.
We retraced our steps and found the sign. Thank you Lynne. 'Resto JuJu' is indeed in the middle of nowhere and it was only Lynne's eagle eyes that spotted the name, within the sign for another establishment. God only knows how 'film stars' would get there. You're talking helicopters here! Anyway, we know where it is, and we even have a telephone number. The phone number is available at huge cost to anyone that's interested and, at even huger cost, we will sell you directions as well. That was the good news, the bad news, according to the sign pinned to the gatepost, is that it is closed Wednesday night and all day Thursday. YESTERDAY WAS A BLOODY THURSDAY! We will probably book to go next week, all being well.

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