Cycling for Seafood

In 2017 we had visited Francine’s brother who lives in Australia. Whilst there we met another couple who had a wonderful house in the same settlement of Stanley in Victoria. I was stunned to discover that they also owned a holiday home … wait for it … in southern France, in Marseillan, to be precise. Just imagine having a a holiday home 12,000 miles away on the opposite side of the planet giving you more or less 24hrs flying both ways. That’s some commitment.

Anyway, in 2018 our caravan trip to France with good ol’ Guillaume, and this couple’s trip to France coincided and we arranged to meet them in Marseillan, which happens to be one of our favourite haunts, too. We all love seafood and they introduced us to a local establishment called Chez Titin.

Marseillan harbourFast forward five years to 2023 and here we are again, this time armed with Frodo and bicycles. We had had positioned ourselves midway between Mèze and Marseillan and had originally intended to visit both but, given the prevailing wind and the hills that we knew about, we chose to skip Mèze and cycled twice into Marseillan instead. It’s about 8 kms each way and our out of practice legs (and bums) were still getting accustomed to cycling again.

Chez Titin menuTo sate our seafood craving, I managed to make a lunch reservation at Chez Titin and we duly pitched up to claim our table. Madame had been at pains to point out that we’d have to eat inside, the veranda being already fully booked. That’s fine, I thought, there’d be no need to keep my sun hat on. We perused the menu. This is not somewhere for those who dislike coquillages, it’s oysters and/or mussels and that’s it, though you can have them either raw or cooked depending on your preference. Neither can you “adjust” the menu. Excellent, live with it.

Wood-fired MusselsIt is rare that I come across a dish with which I’m unfamiliar but here was one: Brazucade. One of my menu rules is to pick something new, so this looked interesting. We would certainly share a dozen raw oysters as an appetizer but this looked as if it might be a good option to round things off. It turns out that Brazucade is a pot of mussels (1.5kg, in this case) cooked over a wood fire, a bit like a pizza oven. That’ll definitely do for us. There were three optional sauces to choose from and we chose the saffron and cream to go over the mussels. This was all washed down with a very respectable bottle of Picpoul.

There is a decent VTT [Vélo Tout Terrain = all terrain bike, a much more appropriate phrase IMHO than our Mountain Bike] route running between Marseillan and Mèze, though as it approaches Mèze you do end up on roads, which is rather a shame. After our feast we embarked upon our return 8km journey half way along the VTT route back to Frodo. Happily the stomachs didn’t seem to be too full to make it any less comfortable than the outbound journey.

In checking my entry of our 2018 meeting with the Aussies, I discover that my memory is playing me false and that we apparently tried Brazucade with them. It must’ve been too many bottles of Picpoul ago. 😀

Posted in 2023-06 France

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