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A la Colthard /La Petite Maison

In many ways La Petite Maison runs counter to so many of my theories. It’s the most fashionable restaurant in Nice with a branch in Brooks Mews Mayfair but it is not up itself. The welcome was offhand with a refusal to sit out outside but the service very good with a cheeky waiter. It’s expensive but worth it as the food can only be described as sensational.

Bob Tickler was the pathfinder, invited by a friend of his who is a big connection in property and sports agency. They gave it 8 out of 10. A girlfriend from Paris came down to visit and I invited her last night. She can be picky and when we arrived at 7 only to be informed they were not yet open and sent away she was less than impressed. Most restaurants would have suggested a drink and look at menus. However she soon thawed as did I when the food arrived. At Bob’s suggestion we had snails. I have never eaten better, tender, plump and in a delicious garlicky sauce. My friend had a avocado crab and gave me a generous portion. For mains I had a lobster linguine. This is the signature dish of Signor Sassi but this was better with a slab of lobster and divine  sauce.

There was a preponderance of couples who had a first date air. I always enjoy watching hands surreptitiously in each other’s as food is the music  of love or something like that!!! . Bob said a woman was making eyes at   him in a suggestive  manner though some antenna told him to be careful. It’s that type of place where things happen. My friend said she would be happy to eat there every night but mind you she was not paying!!!

Over the years I have been to restaurants with vibrant atmospheres where things happen and naughtiness follows!!! I’m thinking of Langans in the eighties and The Ivy in the nineties but the food was never memorable. As often as not I would meet larger than life ex footballer and boulevardier Bobby Keetch. He passed on far too young in 1996. How he would have loved La Petite Maison. As he would have said “Daffers darling, we had a blinder .” As I did last night.

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