Our trip to the Cote d'Azur: Part 2: Saint-Raphael

Where were we?

Oh yes…we had just left the town of Eze, our first stop during a brief trip to the Cote d’Azur for a wedding last month.

After leaving Eze in the early evening, we hopped into our Citroen Picasso (aside: If you are over 6ft. tall my husband highly advises against renting a Picasso) and headed south west toward Saint-Raphael. The trip took a little over an hour, but after a few wrong turns we made it to our hotel, and found that a bunch of our college friends had already arrived.

Saint-Raphael France

The town of Saint-Raphael is located right on the water, and if you can't you tell from the photo above, the weather here is almost consistently perfect. Not too hot and zero  humidity!

Unfortunately, once we had checked in to our hotel and unpacked our bags it was close to 8:15pm, and we realized that we would never make it to our 8:30pm dinner reservation in Antibes, about 45 minutes away. After a brief meltdown, during which time I berated both Delta airlines (for our late arrival to Nice) and my husband (for no good reason) I collected myself and we asked a hotel in town for recommendations.

Thankfully, we were directed to a charming little bistro on a side street in Saint-Raphael called Le Bishop, where we were finally able to sit back and relax thanks to a good dinner and a large bottle of Rosé wine. Much to our delight, we were also able to enjoy a large bowl of soupe de poisson, a specialty of the region---an intense fish broth that is accompanied by toasted slices of baguette, rouille (a garlicky, saffron-based mayonnaise), and shredded gruyere cheese. It’s difficult to find soupe de poisson, even in New York, so we both ordered it at every opportunity that we could during the trip. 

Fish Soup Le Bishop in Saint Raphael

For our main course, neither of us could resist the temptation of sole meuniere. While the fish itself could have benefited from a bit of parsley and a touch more lemon, it was incredibly fresh. And when our waiter inquired about dessert, we didn’t hesitate to order a very large Dame Blanche (the French term for an ice cream sundae with homemade chocolate sauce and fresh whipped cream) and a tarte tatin (an upside down apple tart), which we successfully disposed of in a few short minutes.   Needless to say, our waiter must have been impressed by our gustatory fortitude, because she offered us complimentary espressos.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and took a long walk along the boardwalk in Saint-Raphael, stopping only to take a few photos and buy some beach towels. And after working up an appetite we came back to our hotel and gobbled down croissants and a few slices of baguette with jam and butter before spending a lazy morning on the beach.

Pippa in Saint-Raphael
saint-raphael port

Next post… the wedding!

Happy Cooking,
Pippa