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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Dorade roti and the lusty French Romeo and Juliet.

Imagine this. It is a balmy Tuesday evening in Bordeaux. I am sitting on the far reaches of the tables zone. Here are the metal chairs and the sun shielding umbrellas of the Italian restaurant Simeone Del'Arte at 10 place Camille Jullian. They specialise in Mediterranean cuisine. I have a cold 1664 beer in front of me. Je suis heureux and I have been practising my French tout la journée. I feel almost effluent. Love is in the air as well as a few zappy wasps it seems. I have to mind the guêpe. I don't want to get stung. Some small group of young teenage girls find their mobiles uproariously funny not a few tables away. One bats away a wasp and her colourful bracelet flies into the air and catches on the lower branches of a flowery tree. The girls collapse laughing and light up their cigarettes. People smoke a lot here I notice. At least it keeps the wasps away.

From the two truncated Roman columns standing historically on the square - to the distinct aromas of thyme dotted 'hot from the oven' pizzas, and buttery parmesan pasta dishes I could almost be in Italy. Time to think about some food myself but, also to people watch for a short while. There is no rush.

Terrace at Cinema Café Utopia

On the opposite side of the square lies the Cinema Café Utopia. Other folk look casually across in my direction. Pretty sun kissed women on bikes head off in the direction of rue de la merci their long skirts floating in their wake. Ici, all is conviviality, pleasant times envisaged as being a thing sat on an olive oil blessed crunchy toasted slice of bruschetta. Hark at me getting all romantic.  Suddenly, all my focus is on one single person out of over a hundred or so. She looks like she should be ecstatically dancing in a fountain so incredibly happy is she. “She may be the face I can't forget. A trace of pleasure or regret. May be my treasure or the price I have to pay. She may be the song that summer sings...” Yes thank you Charles Aznavour.

This slender tousle haired rather pretty woman flings her arms in the air, flashes a smile so brilliant for a moment the very sun is subdued and her rose scented self is swept up into the adoring arms of he. “He may be the face I can't forget...” Charles!! Arret! Stop now!

For the next fifteen minutes they sit on a hard wooden bench totally unaware of anything in the world (and I mean anything). Nothing exists except their uncompromising love and lust for each other. They embrace and enfold, tease and please, touch and stroke each other's limbs; each one eager as rampant bunnies to kiss the other with a collusion of blistering smackers and soft tender kisses. Oh to be so loved. Oh my life, Romeo and Juliet never had it so good. Oh, to ask the waiter for another very cold 1664 beer and a fan. Here they are bless 'em.

After all that mouth activity it is time for some food, I think. Having gone a bit meat crazy on this long weekend break I deliberately look out for an alternative.

I move over to the dining tables side of the actual restaurant and eventually choose to have a whole fish with accompaniments. The fish is a roast dorade – latin name Pagellus bogaraevo and it comes with a white asparagus, egg and rice mash, some salad, fresh lemon and rings of colourful peppers. In English it is a red sea bream. It is rare that I get to eat a whole fish like this and it was very tasty. I even photographed the remaining skeleton. When I looked up from eating the lovers had gone off to find a room or a back alley. Or a balcony.

The restaurant has become very busy and a rather noisy mixed sex group of French friends in their twenties have just arrived with the intention of partying and laughing clamorously. Think footballers wives françaises and bearded Romain Duris wannabees with plenty of Euros for bottles of champagne. As they say in journalistic circles I had my dessert, paid up and left them to it. The dessert was called a Financier. It is a dome shaped French teacake that traditionally tastes of almonds and caramelised butter. They have a soft and springy texture. Mine came with crème anglaises but didn't taste of much really. Nice evening though. Goodnight lovers. Wherever you are. xx

#Bordeaux #BordeauxFrance

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