A Disappointment

The damn Belgian dog was quiet overnight, mercifully. It fixed that in the morning which was otherwise sunny and pleasant.

Gruissan is a resort on the Mediterranean coast about an hour away by car from Fanjeaux. It has a super al fresco seafood restaurant that overlooks a series of salt pans where, if the timing is right, the water turns a fabulous shade of pink. It’s quite spectacular the first time you see it. We have been there a few times and enjoyed a wonderful plateau de fruits de mer, a seafood platter with all manner of crustaceans.

One of the main events we were looking forward to on this trip was a birthday lunch for Francine and, of course, what we really wanted was a reprise; another chance to pig out on seafood. We departed Fanjeaux at about 10:00 to give us an hour to wander around the town before descending upon the restaurant.

Monday turned out to be market day in Gruissan and it was busier than we’ve ever seen it. We restricted ourselves to buying a plait of Lautrec garlic – Lautrec garlic is supposedly very good garlic – before heading round to the restaurant.

Disaster! The car park was heaving and the restaurant was fully booked. We have never experienced that before. Other changes had been made in that the dining area was no longer particularly al fresco but had been glassed in (there had always been a roof). Even the salt pans weren’t particularly pink. I can’t resist reusing this shot from 2018 when the water really was stunningly pink. It’s quite a sight.

We returned to the town where the market was now being cleared up and found a small restaurant facing the square which was advertising a plateau on it’s chalk board. It was good but not quite the slap-up feast we envisioned for Francine’s birthday; it was slightly less varied and about half the price. Still seafood it was and it went down well with a bottle of white wine.

In the evening back on the campsite at Fanjeaux, Luc and Nadine turned up at our pitch bearing gifts for Francine in the form of a little hamper of local goodies: olive oil, tomato and basil pasta and a grinder with a mix of Gruissan seasalt and rainbow peppercorns. That went some way to softening the blow.

Posted in 2022-09 France

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