From Lauterbrunnen we had another drive day through Switzerland, the north east corner of Italy and then back into France to the French Riviera. Getting in late afternoon, we had a bit of free time to visit a nearby supermarket and stock up on the essentials: cheap alcohol, cold & flu medications, and whatever else we needed. That evening, dinner was at a little restaurant down the road from our hotel, which wasn’t anything particularly special.
The next day we headed into Nice itself to explore. Being back in France, we started our day with a visit to Patisserie Lac to sample their macarons and chocolates. Thankfully this sugar boost gave us the energy to walk up to the top of Castle Hill and take in the gorgeous views of the city and the water. Lunch was a sandwich bought from a deli in Old Town which we ate as we wandered the markets admiring the fresh produce. That evening we took a bus trip along the coast to Monaco where we tried our luck in the casino and, despite the fact that we were heading to Italy tomorrow, had pizza for dinner at a little Italian restaurant.My Food
As I didn’t really get the opportunity to try any traditional French food while in Nice, I had to do some searching to come up with my French Riviera inspired main. In my search, I was surprised to learn that one of my favourite French dishes, ratatouille, originated in Nice so it ended up being a rather simple decision. What could be better than a bunch of fresh, nutritious vegetables cooked down into a stew and served with fresh bread.
After my macarons I’d made for Paris weren’t as perfect as I had hoped for, my “return” to France gave me a chance to try making them again. This time as I was more familiar with how my oven treats macarons, they worked out much better that the last time. The batter could have been mixed a few more times to take a little bit more air out and make them less puffy but texture wise they were spot on. As I only had small amount of salted caramel left, I whipped up a buttercream and mixed the caramel through for the filling.
One of the other good things about being in France twice was of course the croissants. Every morning in the hotel, there would be a big pile of croissants to choose from to have with breakfast. While they’re not exactly the healthiest breakfast food, they are up there as one of the most delicious so it wouldn’t have been right to “return” to France without making them. Unfortunately when downsizing the recipe, I forgot to reduce the butter for the laminating process and used about double of what was required. While the texture inside is not quite right, they still tasted great and I’ll know to be more careful with my recipes in future.