We’re always for the Saint John weekend feast ! You get into your thirties, and life gets in the way... We don’t get many chances to catch up, so this is our regular reunion. It’s where we spent our first holidays without our parents. Since then, we have been meeting in my best friend’s house every year. I catch a very early flight on Saturday morning, and another one back to Paris just as early on Monday morning. The first thing we do when we get there ? Go for a coffee on Place Louis XIV and stock up on supplies : Macaroons from Maison Adam, Gâteau basque from Pariès.
It’s so relaxing...
We go as far as the Spanish border to buy ham. La Maison du Jambon is a one-stop-shop: bread and cake, tobacco, and cooked meat. In front of the shop, there is always a queue of cars waiting to pick up their truie de montagne ham ! We don’t have much of a plan but there’s nothing wrong with that ! We spend a lot of time at friend's house, looking out over the bay, and enjoying doing nothing at all. It’s so relaxing. We head to the beach just before lunch – not the city centre beach, but the one at the foot of Sainte-Barbe hill. It’s a tiny strip of sand, and there’s not much room !
Time stands still...
Come evening, we head to the beach bar to watch the sunset over a few drinks. The bar is in an old train station in an amazing location overlooking the ocean at the end of a dead-end street. I’ve never been anywhere like it. It’s always a really emotional experience. Time stands still and nobody gives a thought to posting a picture on Instagram. We have baby squid for dinner there : slightly fatty but oh so delicious ! And of course, later on, we head to the Saint John festivities. We’re locals ! Feria is part of our culture. We have a great excuse ... Sunday night, we go for dinner at Guéthary, which is part of our routine. As we watch the sunset, we think of those who came here before us and thank the stars that we’re still there...
Places to go:
Stocking up when you arrive:
- Maison Adam for their macaroons (savour on the spot or take away, maybe you’ll need to go here twice).
- Pariès for gâteau basque with cream or black cherries (or both).
- Maison du Jambon in the Basque Country for truie de montagne ham, Béhobie, in Spain (one side of the river is France, the other Spain... a real border!)
For the views:
- (And the baby squid...) La Guinguette d’Erromardie
- Sainte-Barbe Hill: Nice in the morning, out of this world at sunset.