Thanksgiving: Part III

I believe I may have mentioned in a previous post that this was our maiden Thanksgiving. But, luckily for me, the hotel’s Thanksgiving offering was a splendid buffet – you know how I love a good buffet! We’d prepared dilligently with a light breakfast, a walk along the beach, a session in the gym and I was wearing my elasticated waist trousers – de rigeur for any buffet.

I started with half a dozen oysters and then moved onto the lobster and smoked salmon. My departure from the East Coast was no doubt good news for its lobster population but, while I was there, I made the most of them. My beloved decided to have one of the local craft IPAs so I drank a glass of Prosecco with my Thanksgiving lunch.

I like to take a bit of a breather between courses. We were seated at a window table with a beautiful view of the beach and sea, plus I had a good view of the rest of the restaurant which was rapidly filling up with both hotel residents and visitors.

I’m always fascinated by how some people tackle buffets. Many seem to love to pile a little bit of everything on their plates, despite there being no restriction on the number of times they can go to the buffet, returning to the table each time with veritable feats of engineering. One family dilligently worked their way through the buffet and then, after dessert, returned to the oyster bar! What was that all about?

After the delicious shellfish and seafood, I tackled a variety of healthy looking salads, a veritable manna for any vegan or vegetarian. Understandably I swerved the turkey and pigs in blankets to try small amounts of the side dishes but found most of them far too sweet for my liking, particularly the marshmallow with sweet potato. I guess it’s all a question of taste. I do not have a sweet tooth.

My hopes had been raised by the prospect of vegan ice cream or sorbet for dessert but they only had chocolate sorbet which I don’t like. I know I’m one of those rare creatures that doesn’t like chocolate ice cream or sorbet. Instead I happily returned to the breakfast part of the buffet and filled my bowl with some delicious red fruit and blue berries, before concluding with an espresso.

When we finally left the table, the light was starting to fade – cue brilliant sunset. We’d much enjoyed our first Thanksgiving which might well turn out to be our one and only!

 

 

Lunchtime date: Sunday brunch

My beloved and I enjoy going out for Sunday brunch, particularly during the winter months. We’d spotted that the weather this past week-end was going to be wet and chilly, so had decided to go out for brunch in nearby Cannes. We’ve tried brunch at the Marriott and Martinez, but our favourite is the Carlton. It’s one of those over the top, fin de siècle, overblown wedding-type buildings and quite iconic on the Croisette.

In the summer, we like to dally in the Carlton’s terrace gardens over a pot of tea or a cocktail but in the hotel’s low season we can be found, from time to time, enjoying Sunday brunch or its Friday night lobster and champagne menu.

Of course, while my beloved can and will eat anything and everything on offer, I have to be more cautious. There’s lots that I can’t eat, but equally there’s plenty that I can. Of course, tackling any buffet requires pacing. We’ve found the trick is to book a table, arrive early at 12:30 and tarry for at least three hours.

I like to start with the oysters and a selection of other seafood, typically smoked salmon, octopus salad, sushi, marinated salmon and prawns. Then I’ll eat some of the various salads which don’t contain meat before tackling a bowl of vegetable soup. I like to take a bit of a rest between each course and I find elasticated or loose-waisted attire essential.

For my main course, I’ll have a plate of cooked mixed vegetables with some potatoes, or maybe the pasta. There’s always a large selection of hot dishes, most of which I have to ignore. I’ll naturally skip the cheese course before moving swiftly to a conclusion with a fresh fruit salad. The dessert buffet is a refined form of torture, groaning with small servings of delicious hot and cold desserts – the French like to have a bit of everything.

We’ve found the brunch clientele to be largely French. Lots of tiny French people with huge appetites and hollow legs. We’ve always done the buffet justice but we never manage to eat as much as the French who eat loads of small plates of food. I’m tempted to ask whether they’ve starved themselves all week? But I know the answer will be a surprised no!

Aside from the Carlton in Cannes we can highly recommend Terre Blanche (in Tourrettes, Cannois hinterland) and Four Seasons Grand Hotel du Cap, Cap Ferrat. The latter is a favoured spot once the weather improves allowing us to dine out on the terrace.

Indulgence necessitates a long leisurely walk, despite the weather, before returning home for a relaxing evening, no dinner!

Images of the Carlton Hotel courtesy of their website