The hotel Palazzo Parigi is clearly a brand new renovation project with little expense spared. ‘Haute Cuisine is the rule here’ states the blurb on the hotel home page but with unfavourable breakfast reports coming in from several band members yesterday, it was with trepidation I ordered this morning’s room service. I decided hot food was just too risky. They clearly mean well but requesting an order of Granola with Yoghurt AND an order of Bircher Muesli has apparently short-circuited the breakfast staff. It turns out they have run out of Bircher Muesli and an attempt to appease with a Granola and dry Muesli mix has just confused everyone, including me.
In the land where food is king, and gourmet roots stretch as far back as antiquity, it seems foolish to get upset by such trivialities.
Did you know that during the 12th century, a Norman king surveyed Sicily and saw people making long strings made from flour and water called atriya, which eventually became trii, a term still used for spaghetti in southern Italy.
Today’s day trip started as usual with the band assembling in the opulent hotel lobby and our German VW driving team winding its way through Milan traffic to Linate airport where the waiting Magic Carpet was ready to fly us into the Provence-Alpes-Côté d’Azur and its largest city, Nice. The venue being the Palais Nikaia, a very clever double-sided concert venue. In a unique arrangement, it is located next to the outdoor Stade Charles-Ehrmann, with sliding glass doors to operate between them, and the two in combination can be used to host very large concerts with up to 50,000 or more in attendance. Our show tonight was indoors and sold out, a capacity crowd of around 6,000 and a very warm 6,000 they were too. Making the band feel at home from the word go, the usual ‘pin-drop’ moments in the set were extraordinary and the audience silent. The roar and standing ovation was the perfect end to a great show and we headed back to Nice airport and were onboard the jet in about 5 minutes flat. Along with a host of new friends (Tom, Carolyn, Margriet and Claude) made on recent golfing trips to Provence, my good friends Alex and Mel Ignatieff and kids came to the show tonight and just as last time, Alex gifted me a beautiful Magnum of Provence Rosé. This time a stunning bottle from the Miraval Vineyard, now owned by Bradd Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who were married in the château’s chapel in August, 2014. Alex is a highly regarded wine merchant and is the creator of L’Emporium du Vin in Mandelieu. He has brought a world of experience in the wine trade to enliven the palates of the South of France.
The Rosé will be enjoyed on tomorrow’s day off.
Captain Ian Crosan whisked us in to Nice airport and we set off in yet more Volkswagens to the venue where we paused at the backstage gate for Mark to sign a few things.
An all-conquering army marches on its stomach and today in Nice, Dave, Chris and Steve weren’t holding back at all.
Assiette de Charcuteries
On the plate – Home made Pheasant, Truffle & Pistachio Terrene, Ibérico Jamon, Foie Gras de Canard, Ibérico Saucisson. Served with Grilled Goat’s Cheese and Curly Endive Salad with a Walnut Dressing.
Thai Green Coconut Curry
Prosciutto Wrapped Roast Monkfish with Langoustines & Lemon and Thyme Broth