Dining in Antibes - How the French Riviera Captured my Heart

July 8, 2018

                            Saumon grillé - La Voûte restaurant Antibes. Served steaming hot and was oh so delicious! 

 

I had never noticed the difference in dinner times across the globe until Edu and I started dating. Where I’m from, dinner can be served as early as 6.30 pm and goes to 7.30 pm. 8 pm would be pushing it. Where he’s from dinner starts at 9 pm and goes as late as midnight. The compromise between a Zimbabwean and a Spaniard became 8 pm. We met in Bangkok where this is a good time to arrive at a restaurant. In Antibes however 8 pm is when some restaurants start closing.

 

One night we found ourselves searching for a place to have dinner, but we’d lost track of time and most places were shutting down. By luck, we spotted La Voûte. There were two other couples, and a pianist. La Voûte exudes a wine cellar transformed into a cosy space for diners seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of terraces. My Salmon on a bed of roast potatoes came steaming hot, just the way I like my food. We dined to soft piano tunes, taking in the romantic atmosphere. The perfect place to dine at the end of a busy day.

 

                                       Calamars Grillés for just 12 Euro at La Voûte restaurant Antibes. Great value for money according to Edu who ate it.

 

The silence disappeared when a lady with a beautiful black fro atop her head walked in. She lit up the room and completely changed the atmosphere. A curious excitement rang in her voice. She and her partner had a glass of wine each, while conversing with one of the staffers. We were taken by her presence and wondered if she even realised its impact. She was just a bubble of joy. On their way out, she spotted us and walked over. She said something to her partner which I didn’t understand, and then turned back to us and almost in a scream of excitement said, *‘’chocolate y coco!’’, pointing at myself, then at Edu. She said the same words, this time pointing to herself then her partner. They were an interracial couple, and so were we. Edu responded in Spanish, which heightened Josefina’s eagerness. She was from Cuba. This party had to be taken outside or the other diners would hate us, if they didn’t already do given the noise coming from our table.

 

Out on the street, most of the conversation was in Spanish, which I’m still trying to learn, so Peter took on the role of translator.  Josefina, and her German partner had been married several years, and living in Antibes. More excitement came as we revealed we had met in Bangkok. They had traveled to Thailand on vacation when they were engaged, and ended up buying her wedding dress, and his tux in Bangkok. It was so cheap they bought the bridal party’s attire too and felt lucky for it. They were delighted to meet a couple like themselves. To Peter, shared love between people of different races meant something deeper; hope that one day, racism might be a thing of the past. The Cuban gave the Spaniard her number, shared a running joke between the nationalities and disappeared into the night.

 

                            Peter and Josefina

 

Edu and I still talk about *“chocolate con leche”, and every time I see an interracial couple, I’m reminded of Josefina Sanchez Bazan and Peter Schmitting. Josefina’s energy left a lasting impression on me. People like her add to the beauty of travel. She and Peter were in Venice last week and I don’t doubt that she made a lasting impression on someone there as well.

 

 

                           Edu and I

 

 

 

 

In addition to La Voûte, I would also recommend Le Square Sud, located in Place Général de Gaulle, and The Blue Lady where you can also find South African Biltong. If you lose track of time, you can take a short drive to Nice where several restaurants close much later than those in Antibes.

 

 

*The term Josefina used is chocolate y coco which means chocolate and coconut. In this context, a brown girl and a white guy.

Edu and I use chocolate con leche, which translates to milk chocolate, used more widely to refer to the offspring of a mixed race couple.

 

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