Food, beach, food, sun, food, swim, & more food...

Dawn’s raid sends slithers of light that kiss the window pane as they pass though bouncing reflective sparkles onto our bedroom wall. The golden flickering fragments dance their magic as my head stirs from it’s drowsy state sunk deep into the soft feather pillow.

Yesterday’s weather forecast for Royan proved as precise as it was predicted, so we have been rewarded by leaving the curtains of our hotel room slightly ajar, in anticipation of this early morning wondrous sunrise.

I’ve slept so well in this big compfy bed with freshly laundered pillows yielding the delicate scent of a summer meadow with a whispered hint of lavender. These big squishy pillows are french shaped of course with an Egyptian cotton thread count of at least 600, all courtesy of Hôtel Courdoun where we have the pleasure of staying for the next two nights in a room with a sea view overlooking the tranquil turquoise water of a very inviting infinity pool.

And I can’t believe I nearly cancelled this! The work ‘pull’ back to Moutardon after visiting Adrian at Chez les Bons for a couple of days was so very strong.

I lean against the balcony looking out towards the calm sea beyond feeling extremely relieved that I didn’t.

We’ve had a relaxed stay in Épargnes, spoiling ourselves the first evening by dining out at quite an opulent venue, a restaurant Adrian had recommended called Le Presbytère. The intriguing row of Russian dolls on the grand mantle surrounding the fireplace as we walked in caught my attention as my eyes fixated for a while reminiscing back to when I was a little girl.

Oh how I’d marvelled at the Christmas present I’d opened, from it’s beautifully wrapped box with a splodge of sparkling silver tinsel that my mother had carefully stuck on top. My squeal of delight on discovering the wooden painted doll inside and my father laughing when I learned there was another inside that one, and then another!

With each wooden body that got smaller and smaller as I opened each doll by twisting her waist, it amazed me how they would all fit into one another so neatly. Mine was a set of 8, and I cherished those dolls for many years, yet in this masterpiece artisan construction of a set displayed before me, there were 27! I couldn’t even fit them all into any decent shot on my iPhone.

So if you happen to be in the area, do pay a visit here and you won’t be disappointed with the menu either!

The following day’s lunchtime cuisine to satisfy our hungry belly’s consisted of more modest yet by no means less exquisite temptations. With Adrian, we met David at his new beach restaurant venture,La Crique in Suzac and I couldn’t resist choosing the black beach burger for my greedy lunchtime indulgence. David’s new business is already flourishing and the restaurant bared no available tables. It’s tasteful interior and simple, yet interesting menu is attracting diners like bee’s to honey and David and his chef’s reputation have already gained him a spread in one's of the summer month's edition of french ELLE magazine.

During our stay at Chez les Bons we also managed to capture some new cycle footage for, not only our own website but for Adrian’s too, with some super smooth flying on a wind free day from Sparky.

But it’s not until now, we are sat here in this little quiet cove somewhere along the Atlantic coastline in Royan that we both appreciate how much in need of this rest we are.

I’m here early after a short leisurely walk from the back entrance of the hotel along a coastal path. I stand here watching the life guards finish their ball game, where the sand is just a smooth blanket bearing their scattering of footprints shared with light imprints of ‘V’ shapes, where seagulls have stepped in search of any food they can scavenge washed up on the shore. A patchwork pattern of cris-cross tractor lines diminish beneath my feet as I walk across the cool sparkling dust smudging them in my path before laying my beach towel down and settling into my own little oasis.

Roddy had taken the dogs out earlier this morning to this same little cove but the tractor has repeatedly combed and prepared the soft sand and there are no paw prints to be seen.

The blanket of pale gold is now ready to become messed up again, to be kicked and scattered in the air, squashed into plastic bucket shaped castles, shaken from beach towels and dug deep until damp sea moisture emerges from its well’s, seemingly endless metres from the waves lapping at the shore.

I sit here taking in the smell of moist salty air from the sea and it feels like heaven. I stare at my feet covered in zillions, trillions of years of broken down rock and mineral dust glistening in the sun. My toes curl and scoop scrunching the coastline’s golden treasure between them flicking the tiny particles in the air.

Roddy arrives some time later on the E-bike at the hill above my now, pocket little paradise cove and shouts down to me. “I have a present for you!”

A beach pic-nic of nibbles and best of all ice cold beer. He secures 'Jackie Brown' to a railing and ventures down to this rapturous area of heaven I have claimed.

He settles behind me beneath the rocks in the shade and I bum shuffle back next to where he’s laid his towel. After a few moments of joint contemplation, the idea of renting cushioned sun beds with shaded canopies for the day are dismissed. When you think about it, sand this soft can be moulded to fit snuggly around the body so if you lie on a lumpy bit, you merely have to squidge around rolling your body from side to side until you’ve dug a hole comfy enough to wrap around you.

It’s 32 degrees with a gentle breeze. C’est parfait. Roddy seems chilled - a rare thing, ears i-plugged and listening to music. I get my paperback out but lack of craving to lose myself in it’s story justifies my people watching instead. As I do, glancing up and around between pages of text I take in the growing seaside atmosphere, spotting things that make me feel happy. I smile as I notice adorable toddlers with tiny pot belly’s and bright sun hats, playing on the beach buck naked.

As the beach slowly gains more sun seekers and fun seekers a guy passed by extremely sun tanned, or maybe of African origin I can’t rightly tell as I only glanced the back of his head under his cap. He has a magnificent physique with broad muscular shoulders sprouting from the fittest ‘six-pack’ and wearing titian red briefs... which are seriously small.

The fabric resembles that of the disposable surgical gloves I use to apply permanent tint to a scalp. He must have to literally peel them off at the end of a hot sweaty day on the beach, or perhaps his partner helps him out. As he settles by his partner of noticeably senior years with more than his fair share of body hair, Monsieur ‘rouge’ hot pants lies out beside him, stretching his long limbs as he shuffles into comfort and closes his eyes.

There’s an exquisite assortment of bodies on the beach today, equal quantities of lithe to lumpy, young to elder. A lady of around seventy plus struts proudly, bearing her little peanut shaped nipples which stand to attention as she walks along with her more modest elder friend wearing a navy all-in-one.

The sound of crashing waves over youngsters excited squeals splashing around in the shallow sea, take my attention back to the horizon where my thoughts drift into a haze of reverie until I lay back to soak up the warmth of the sun. My eyelids flicker with heaviness as I drift off for a moment.