Just in

a la Colthard

A topic that came up for discussion which has be come relevant in post-Brexit UK is could one live abroad? My own view is that if I did I would not choose France.

There is an attitude of unhelpfulness  bordering on the rude.

There were two examples yesterday when  Bob and I had our morning stroll on the Promenade des Anglais and stopping at La Petite Maison as Bob had to retrieve something left he asked if he could use their facilities.

The answer was no.

Later we asked at the Meriden Hotel if  the swimming  pool was open to all. The concierge gave Bob a  quick up and down  said absolutely not only guests of the hotel. We are out of season, Bob would expect to pay and no doubt there would be drinks and a meal so – like Le Grand Balcon – they are missing out of custom.

My point is that they enjoyed exercising what little power they had and being unhelpful and knowing Bob I doubt if he will ever set foot in this hotel and  if I reviewed it I would start negatively.

It was moving day yesterday. Valerie was off to Cannes to stay with a friend and Grania and Polly were arriving on late afternoon flights.

We all went to La Petite Maison.

It was chaotic there but even I recognised  Arsène Wenger when he entered. Bob texted a close Arsenal supporting mate who responded “Can you persuade him to stay there?”

The terrace was like that Marx brothers scene as  it had to accommodate a 4-piece strolling band of musicians as the waiters weaved around them. La Petite Maison combines great food with a lively party atmosphere. I am not sure the various international franchises will work as it’s very much a Nicois restaurant but I am sure that in a sector that is suffering if you can offer these ingredients you will have a successful operation.

Supervising lady and mistress of all she surveys is la formidable Nicole who seems only to sit with the  stars but you still need her attention to detail to pull it all together.

The waiters have to work hard, long hours, provide a constant service, but according to the dishy Frank it’s a wonderful training. A few years ago Mario and Franco started as waiters and went on to launch a successful operation. I strongly suspect that if we return in 10 years time there will be a ‘Chez Frank’

I know some readers might think me a silly sausage obsessed with sex but in my reviews I try to show that there is a restaurant experience.

In our two dinners at La Petite Maison we have seen French film stars, a well-known football figure and had live music and bacchanalian revelry whilst well looked and amused by Frank.

I have seen famous people and had good times at the Ivy and at Langans but the food was nowhere as good. You pay well over the top for a fashionable night club so I’m happy to pay more for a good time with with great food.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts