Friday 11 July | 2014
There is really only one decent reason to leave the comforts of my sunlounger today: hunger. I have avoided it for as long as possible, distracting myself with a mid morning snooze, taking my sandy feet for a little dip in the cool water, even sipping on a fresh fruit and muesli smoothie made by the saints at Google Beach. But I can’t take the unbearable lightness of being hungry any longer (also the name of a brilliant Sydney food blog by the way).
To be honest, I am not a big fan of French food after 3pm. This helpful little trait has saved me a number of kilos, being an unstoppable gourmand however when it comes to French breakfast, boulangerie and patisserie. And for these indulgences I have a clear favourite in Cannes: Le Palais des Pains.
A few movie stars grace the walls here, but otherwise it is mostly a place for locals, who stream in to Le Palais des Pains to take away filled baguettes, salads with couscous, loaves of bread and boxes of petit tarts and gateaux. For those with less to do there is a small dining area, and bench seating across the window where you can watch the motorcycles, tourists and little dogs on leashes go by.
The selection of baked delights here is amazing, and none of them last long long. Behind the counter, ovens churn out fresh quiches and trays of pastries, refilling the basket lined shelves and welcoming anyone outside with the irresistible smell of freshly baked bread.
On this hot summer’s day, my choice is the simple chicken salad (€5.00 including bread) and a bottle of sparkling water. So often, this is exactly what I want for lunch – fresh, light, flavourful and filling, but almost impossible to find anywhere. The matching olive bread is gorgeous, flaking apart in actual layers of sourdough goodness, with a crust that has just enough crunch and just enough chew.
Très frais, très local, très délicieux.