I’m back from the motherland or what I should call 1/2 half the fatherland since my mother was English and Welsh. I didn’t realize how affected I was by my little adventure until I went to the grocery store yesterday and items like camembert cheese, baguette, Niçoise olives, and anchovies found their way into my cart. Yes, that’s right. I said anchovies. I also restocked the bar with several French and Riviera-inspired ingredients. I digress. As promised, I have created a tally of my recent trip to France and I’ll be filling you in on all the details with photos in the coming weeks.
Lady Sensory’s France Tally (or ‘Le Score’)
Pain au chocolat: 1
Sandwich (yes, they call it a Sahnd-weeeech): 3.25
Baguette, excluding sandwich: 3
Macarons (almond sandwich cookies): 6
Glacé (ice cream/gelato): 3 – 2 pistache (pistachio), 1 banane (banana)
Sorbet: 4 – 1 abricot-carotte (apricot-carrot), 1 rhubarbe (rhubarb), 1 poire (pear), 1 cactus. Yes, I said cactus. It was outstanding!
Olives: approximately 50-60
Salad Niçoise: 1, and it was one of the best damn salads I’ve ever had in my life
Bidets: 1, and no, I didn’t use it
Aperol spritz (Champagne & Aperol): 4
Rosé Champagne: 1 pichet (jug equivalent of 1/2 bottle)
Sauvignon Blanc: 3 pichets
Red wine from Médoc: 1 pichet
Dry rosé. Um. Well. I sort of lost count. So let’s play guess the number of pichets… it was over 3 but less than 10
Art museums: 6
Non-art museums/ tourist attractions: 10
Metro (subway) musicians (we call them ‘buskers’ here): 7 and 2 actually performed right on the subway car
Languages butchered: 1. Yes, despite several months of Rosetta Stone, someone got a bad case of “stage fright” when called to action. I managed without any French people hating me or being overly rude. I know my nouns. The rest is a hot mess.
Niche perfumers: 4
Perfumes purchased: 3
Teas purchased: 2
Unnecessary, expensive, classic Grace Kelly green, Monaco hooded sweatshirt purchased in 89 degree weather: 1
Hours sunning myself on the beach: 7
Topless sunbathers: 7. No, I didn’t, but I almost lost my bottom in the Mediterranean.
Epiphanies: 1, very major epiphany and several non-literal slaps in the face.
Number of times lost while wandering around: 8
Cemeteries and dead people: Over six million
Yes, I saw dead people. I’ll discuss Les Catacombes de Paris at a later date. In the meantime, you should have an Aperol Spritz to take the edge off before I show you the pics from the crypt. This drink makes a lovely beachside or poolside accompaniment. We won’t discuss how much these cost on the Ruhl Plage beach. Just know that they were worth every penny, whoops, I mean Euro. Aperol is actually an Italian liqueur, but Nice, France is in close proximity and once belonged to Italy (Savoy and also Sardinia). So you will find a lot of Italian inspiration in the cuisine and architecture. If you cannot find Aperol, you can use Campari, since they are both types of bitters but they do have differences in flavor, which you can learn more about here.
Lady Sensory’s No You Can’t See My Ta-Tas Ruhl Plage Aperol Spritz
2 oz. Brut Champagne (French), Prosecco (Italian) or Cava (Spain), and you can use a Brut Rosé version if you like.
1.5 oz. Aperol
Dash of sparkling water or seltzer
Garnish with a thinly sliced orange wheel
Combine ingredients in flutes, coupes, or you can even serve fancy glasses over ice if you like.
Now remember: bottoms up, and don’t lose your bottoms at the beach!