Local Heart, Global Soul

April 23, 2014

The Restaurant In The Famous Location Doesn’t Necessarily Have The Best Food…

Filed under: FRANCE,Paris,PHOTOGRAPHY,Restaurant and Cafe,Reviews — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I suppose there are pros and cons of taking an organised tour.

If you don’t speak the language of the country then obviously it might be rather daunting to organise your own accommodation, plan your own transportation and schedule your own visits and excursions.

If your holiday days are few then maybe it’s more efficient to be whisked from one place to another by a chartered bus company and through the “fast lanes” that are made for big groups at some attractions.

It’s a well known fact the for example at Tour Eiffel, there is a fast track queue and separate entrance for the bus tour tourists, everyone else visiting on their own has to be prepared to queue sometimes for several hours in the  slow lane that snakes out at the foot of the tower.

Since I couldn’t join my friends tour group for Tour Eiffel, this is one of the reasons I didn’t go, the other bigger reason was that I have been up the tower with Himself on an earlier visit and it’s a special, very romantic and personal experience.

I certainly had no wish to play gooseberry to my friend and her husband, especially considering that this trip came about because it was a celebration of a special wedding anniversary. There is a time and a place to share with your friends, Tour Eiffel wasn’t one of them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I was though, invited to join them and their bus tour for a group dinner on the banks of the Seine. I took at taxi there because insurance rules from the tour bus company prohibited me from going on the bus with them (as a non member of the group I was not covered in the unlikely  event of an accident.)  Luckily we arrived at the restaurant at roughly the same time and being an extra at one of the groups tables wasn’t a problem.

I actually had an an advantage, the tour group could only choose from a set menu designed for larger groups, I had free range of the “usual” menu.

Whilst the company was excellent I have to admit that the food was less than inspiring. I think this is a classic case of a restaurant  taking a few liberties because they know these guests are “one off” diners, their tour passes by for one night and the restaurant knows they will probably won’t returning. The menu is also far from true French… there are accents and nods to it of course but I for one would not be returning here again.

Since I ate here back in 2009 and I had already talked about this place to several Parisian friends, who in later years remarked that they thought that this establishment has had a change of management, I won’t put the name of this restaurant here on my blog.  The reason to write about it anyway is that all of my French friends said that most of the places that line the Seine are tourist places, and they don’t consider the food good enough in the majority of them to ever eat in them themselves.

It’s a lesson to us all, the location in any famous tourist location (anywhere in the  world) isn’t necessary the place the locals want to eat and if you want amazing food: follow the locals if you can.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

April 10, 2014

Au Vieux Comptoir: A Recommendation Brings Us To Lunch…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m lucky to have French friends, some of who also originally hail from Paris.

More than one of these is a fellow Foodie and they were happy to list their favourite cafés and restaurants in their native city.

It goes without saying that when my American Foodie friend and her husband asked for advice on where to head to for lunch, the recommendation that I had been given went down really well.

Usually it’s essential to reserve to get a seat here but luckily we arrive outside the main lunchtime rush hour and there is space for the three of us.

“Au Vieux Comptoir”  is fairly well known and has a regular clientèle and many excellent reviews.

For me personally the food was good but I wouldn’t got so far as to say it’s the best I’ve ever eaten, but maybe I’ve been been totally spoiled by having experienced some amazing home cooking from some of our  French friends with their home grown produce and seven course meals.

I opt for a fillet of salmon and my friends for a smoked salmon and salad and sardine dish respectively. The food is good and the service is friendly and we were pleased we came here for lunch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The closest Metro station…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Au Vieux Comptoir
17 rue des Lavandières-Sainte-Opportune
75001 Paris
France
Tel: +33 1 45 08 53 08

http://www.au-vieux-comptoir.com/

March 15, 2014

Not Quite The Tradtional Coffee And Appletaart, But Just As Good…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are numberous cafés and restaurants around the  “old town”of central Delft.

There are a constant stream of tourists who visit the town and congregate in the central square after visiting some of the many local attractions, or locals out shopping who often love to stop for a morning or afternoon cup of good coffee and apple tart, or something traditional like a pannenkoeken (pancakes) for lunch.

Coffee is a Dutch institution:  compared to many countries with anglox-saxen heritages, here in The Netherlands they like their coffee strong and establishments that serve bad coffee rarely procure repeat customers.

Appeltaart (apple cake) may be the most popular Dutch treat to accompany this coffee, but it’s by no means the only cake on offer.

My visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and I have been walking around and taking photographs, it’s slow going for me on crutches but we are not in a rush, but that said there comes a moment when I get desperate to sit down and take a break from standing up. This moment comes just after we have been spying out the delights of the local central market food stalls and since our stomachs are rumbling we indulge in some cake of our own. Mine is a decadent chocolate number, Velvetines is a strawberry mousse sort of confection. Nether of us are coffee drinkers, and anyway it’s a warm day so cold drinks all round.

The café / restaurant we are at is called “the ABC Café Restaurant”, service is good, the cake is delicious and judging by the number of  Dutch locals I hear chatting all around us, the coffee apparently is too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 27, 2014

Getting Out Of The Rain And Refortified…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When our family of four and visiting Singaporean friend “Velevtine” exited the tour boat at Zaanse Schans we found that the  tour had taken longer than we first thought and, lacking lunch at our stomachs are now rumbling very loudly indeed.

Several of the Zaanse Schans buildings are working businesses and one of these is the café /  restaurant “De Hoop Op d’Swarte Walvis”.

The  heavy rain has mostly abated, but  we seem to have timed it well because whilst we are eating there are a few smaller passing squalls pass by, but by the time we left the  restaurant sunshine was more or less taking control again.

The building has character and many nice touches, for example old tiles in the foyer,  wooden alcoves and wood panelling, a relaxing looking outside patio area that’s too damp for use on the day we were there. (I also have a  photograph of the restaurant patio taken from the boat). One interesting thing I saw though made me took twice: there was a wooden box with a glass front mounted on the wall of the other part of the building  that was at the end of the patio area, it contains a magnum sized bottle of Moet… the bottle is imposing, that’s some celebration that it would be used for!

We settle for a milder  round of brews: tea’s and hot chocolates… and I order a ham and salad sandwich, the kids opt for fries and a croquet and Velvetine and Himself go for various pasta dishes. The verdict is that the food is good but both Velvetine and Himself mentioned that their portions were rather smaller then they would have liked.  We indulge in some Dutch apple taart  (apple pie) for dessert.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now we are fortified and ready to get out and about exploring again…

November 6, 2013

Captivated By the Decoration…

In this travel post of our last summer’s adventures, we are dining in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant in  Bruges, Belgium. The restaurant is laden with decorative ornaments and quirky details so even a trip upstairs to the Ladies reveals  decoration galore, which luckily had a calming effect  of restoring my sense of peace and tranquillity after a steep staircase  that was a nightmare to negotiate on crutches. The detail was hard to catch due to the low light available, but Velveteen and I definitely tried…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 5, 2013

When Ordering a Steak Gets You Supplied With A Small Beast!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post,  Family Kiwidutch and Singaporean friend “Velveteen”  continue with their topsy-turvy meal in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant  in Bruges, Belgium.

We started dinner with waffle desserts and now it’s time to order our main course.

Velveteen orders a steak from the grill,  which happens by chance to be situated right next to our table so we get to watch and photograph it being cooked.

Both Himself and I are well used to Dutch portions of meat, the quantity of which can be summed up in a word: Tiny.

Therefore we were both wide eyed when Velveteen’s steak was added to the grill, the size of this steak was humongous in size  and most unexpected !

It was a great slab of meat, more like an entire small beast than just a steak, and as big a single piece of meat as I have ever seen served in a restaurant in all my time in Europe.

The steak is flame grilled on the cast iron stove, with is beautifully decorated with Delft’s blue and white tiles,  and when it’s almost done, it is carved off the bone (one that Bruge’s famous  doggy Fidel would have envied) and then returned to the grill for the last minute or so before being carved into thick slices which were practically mini-steaks themselves. The plate it was served on was so large, it was really hard to show just how much meat was sitting there…   Himself and I joked that it was just as well Velveteen had had her long awaited waffle first, because there might not have been space left after eating this!

I’m not personally a fan of meat cooked as rare as this, but Himself had a piece and both he and Velveteen declared it to be delicious. I have to admit that steak isn’t something that he and I indulge in at home, since in the Netherlands you get so little meat for such a ridiculous price and the few times Himself has tried, the chefs have generally massacred it. I think it comes down to the logical deduction that you should always try and eat something that is a speciality of the region you are in, and which the chefs are experienced in cooking, otherwise the results tend to be less than wonderful. Here at least the steak was edible and enjoyed, and seeing the process of it being cooked added it’s own flavour to the meal.

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

November 4, 2013

Drastic Thinking Is Needed In Order To Achieve The Taste Of Success…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This page of my travel diary finds Family Kiwidutch and our Singaporean friend “Velveteen” (her Internet nickname to protect her privacy) in Bruges, Belgium.  Velveteen and I have just left the canal tourist boat trip, and gone to meet up with Himself and the children for dinner.

We arrive at the Church Of Our Lady meeting point at ten minutes to six in the evening and since it’s still raining hard, decide not to mess about looking for a restaurant too far away, which is how we ended up at  the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant  just around the corner.

We are handed menu’s at five minutes to six and after greeting the older lady who comes to serve us I happen to mention in Dutch that I’m delighted to see Belgium Waffles on the menu and how  very much we will be looking forward to dessert later on.

Imagine our shock when she replies with a stony face in Vlaams “No, there are no waffles after six o’clock”.

We look at her in amazement, and I ask her if it’s ok then if we please order both our main menu and  our dessert right now, before  six p.m.   …we will have ordered before six, so surely that would be acceptable? My request is met with a flat “No’ and a look that tells me she is rather surprised that despite her spelling it out, that we are obviously rather slow to realise that no waffles after six, emphatically means no waffles after six.

Himself and I explain the difficulty to a disappointed Velveteen, who by now is seriously starting to wonder if her waffle wish is cursed after three failed attempts.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Suddenly as the waitress lady turns to leave I have a brainwave and call her back with a question… “Since it’s still a few minutes before six is it still possible to have a waffle right now please?” She looks surprised, but says, “Yes”. I instantly order five waffles and tell the kids they are ten seconds to order a topping or they will be too late making the order.

They are so delighted at the prospect of eating dessert before the main course that they uncharacteristically manage to make a selection in a nano second  (I think they were probably more afraid of me changing my mind than running out of time).

So this is how Family Kiwidutch and friend Velveteen manage to eat an evening meal in reverse: dessert followed by the main course.  Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr. of course can not believe their luck and can’t wipe the smiles off their faces.

Once Velveteen gets over the incredulously  unyielding manner of the “rules” surrounding obtaining a waffle in Belgium, she is delighted that we found a way to still enjoy one. So what we act like crazy tourists and eat our meal back to front?

We eat our waffles with an extra large dose of satisfaction that we managed to “beat the system” albeit in an unconventional way…  Now we can waffle on about the Belgium Waffle Saga with a grin on our faces and the taste of success in our stomachs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here are the links to our previous Waffle dramas…

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=waffles

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/new-1248/

December 23, 2012

Himself and I… Just the Two of Us and …Catootje!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

About a month ago, Himself picked me up after my physiotherapy session and said that since he’d just completed a large work project for a client and no new work had arrived in yet, how about we go somewhere for an early lunch?

We drove around and had a look at several places we knew’,  but walked into one to discover it was only open for a private function (and no, we didn’t belong to the Company they were expecting) and two were not open yet for lunchtime so we made a detour into a different neighbourhood.

In the Reinkenstraat we spied a little café called Catootje and Himself went inside to find out if they had a lunch menu just after 11.00 a.m. and they did.

It may look from my photo’s here that there are few customers but that’s not a true picture at all.

A lot of people were still dropping in for coffee and a chat with friends and many of these had young children with them.

Where possible I try and avoid putting photos of other people’s kids on the internet, since I value the privacy of my own children and try and extend that to other children as well.

Therefore I tried to take photos of table areas as soon as they emptied and before they filled up again, which they did very swiftly.

At this stage of the day it’s a constant stream of customers and once we are served we realise why this place is so popular. The food is excellent and the service is friendly too.

I forgot the names of what we had for our lunch main course, but  Himself had the pasta and salad in the first two food photo and I had the  chicken salad sandwich in the third one.  For dessert  I convinced Himself  to have a slice of the  Bailey’s Cheesecake because I wanted to try it but fancied  the Chocolate Brownie too.  Himself had coffee and I enjoyed a tea.

Our lunch date was relaxed and  the food was delicious,  so our summary of our visit was that we would be happy to recommend this place to friends and even happier to return here whenever an opportunity arises.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 27, 2012

Chopsticks en Guarde, Hotels Duel for The Most Stars…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These are the photos that a Foodie cannot resist taking… not only is much of it new to me, but the colours the tastes and smells… heaven!

An instant clue that I’m a long way from Kansas The Hague is that where I hoped to find knives and forks there are instead chopsticks and spoons.

Actually that’s not a problem because I’m quite proficient with chopsticks but Kiwi Daughter has a small look of panic on her face. She needn’t have feared, we found knives and forks on the tables and Little Mr would have been totally happy to use this fingers so was actually rather disappointed by this discovery.

Velvetine is delighted to find what she called “porridge” but it’s certainly not “porridge” as I know it, no rolled oats in this, instead it’s a rice porridge and whilst she’s keen that I try it, to be honest it doesn’t look enticing enough when were are on a time limit and there are other goodies I’d like to try.

There were some things I couldn’t identify, and most things I didn’t know the name of but what I picked out turned out to be tasty.

The kids stuck to plain fare in the savoury section and did well considering how picky they usually are. That said,  a large part of their consumption turned out to be in the dessert section where the discovery of a selection of ice creams suddenly made all that sitting still in the coach completely worthwhile.

Himself isn’t totally sure of his stomach today so settled for a lunch that consisted of a  cup of tea instead.

This hotel is touted as the local five-star establishment so Velvetine and I set about seeing how it compares to the Rasa in Singapore.

The verdict is quick and clear… full marks for effort but from what we’ve seen in the entrance area so far (and the Ladies, where there was a very small but hazardous step outside the disabled toilet) and the fact that if you looked in corners or at the periphery of the rooms the decor looks a little tired so we both have the impression that this was a place trying hard to make a grand impression on a less than grand budget and that it certainly doesn’t even come close to the Rasa. That said however, this is a place that’s making an effort and whilst they are not there yet, we are sure they will get there in the end.

Now I get to tempt you with the delicacies on offer… it may not be quite five star but I’m sure you will manage to drool anyway.

First, this is “porridge”… (with additional condiments added) What do you think?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Condiments for in the soup or to put with the noodles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fish cakes… particularly good.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ice-cream,  the kid favourite…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter and I loooove fresh tropical fruits…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 18, 2012

The Best Laid Schemes o’ Mice an’ Men…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are leafing through the pages of my travel diary of earlier this year. We are in Singapore and had grand plans for today,  but as Robert Burns well knew,  the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley    (often go awry)**.

We should have been going off to Indonesia later today on an extended side trip, and  to this end our Singaporean friend “Velvetine” had been busy finding out about all the best possible places to see, what to do, where to stay etc.

All was well until she was confronted with the problem of visas. Indonesia is a ex-Dutch colony and it’s made fairly easy for most nationalities to visit, but apparently not if you are Dutch.

They are perfectly free to enter the country of course but first they are made to jump through hoops, their visa process is longer, costlier and more complicated.

There’s no problem for me or the kids because our dual nationality means we can park our Dutch passports in our pockets and switch to our  New Zealand Passports to enter Indonesia  and Velvetine has of course a Singaporean passport, but Himself has the Dutch nationality only and getting him into Indonesia today looks neigh on impossible.

Of course this is supposed to be totally unrelated to the fact that Indonesia is an ex-Dutch colony and of course there is no bias  “officially”. We try to make some phone calls and see what’s possible, and everything is possible, just not very easily in the time frame we need.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are fully prepared though to do a little running around when Kiwi Daughter comes back from  a walk outside complaining of a stomach ache.

This is a common complaint for her and usually means she’s overtired and hasn’t been drinking enough water.

My foot swelled up rather dramatically on the flight (simply because I couldn’t elevate whilst we were in transit) and the swelling hasn’t reduced much yet so I’m laying on the bed with the phone,  trying to sort things with my foot in the air via almost every pillow available.

We take stock of the situation and decide that trying to rush around getting Himself’s visa in order  is only going to get stressful and we can’t ignore the physical signs that we probably haven’t done enough to shake off the jet-lag.

We are on the phone to Velvetine and jointly decide that a change of plan is needed.  No far flung adventures today. Instead, more rest is required and we can look for something different for tomorrow. Indonesia is better planned for another time when Himself can come fully prepared for the visa drama and when I’m back walking normally again.

Instead, Kiwi Daughter drinks a lot of water and then curls up next to me and we both sleep soundly for a few hours whilst the boys go swim in the  pool and play sandcastles further down the beach.  Kiwi Daughter wakes up later feeling totally refreshed and  the swelling in my foot is even a bit less.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We spend the day lazing around and the whole family feels better for it.

We voted earlier in the day to return to our favourite restaurant  “Trapizza”just down the beach and Velvetine will join us after she finishes work.

The kids start a small argument about who gets to sit on my knee  if we get to take the beach wheelchair again… they both plead exhaustion and say they really can’t walk there. The beach wheelchair was brilliant within the grounds of the hotel, but the car park at the bottom of the hill has some tall curbs which are difficult to negotiate so  I have a better idea.

There’s a large golf-cart like vehicle parked outside the hotel, I ask at reception if  it’s possible to be given a lift to the restaurant and back, no problem at all… our carriage awaits. After our meal all we need to do is to give an indication when we need transport back and they will send someone down again to collect us.

I order Pizza to share with the kids, Velvetine orders the Ravioli al Salsa di Noci (mushroom ravioli and sage tossed with walnut butter sauce) and Himself goes for the Spaghetti (I think it was “Aglio Olio”, a spaghetti with garlic, basil, olive oil, chilli and parmesan cheese).

For both the verdict was the same, very tasty but miniscule portions. Even in this heat Himself wants more than the tiny amount of pasts that barely cover the bottom of the plate. Oh well… it’s a definite “yes” for dessert then.

After dinner our “taxi” comes to  retrieve us and once the kids are in bed and sleeping, with the assistance of some helpful staff at Reception and some telephone calls we plot revised adventures for tomorrow.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

** From Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, 1786. It tells of how he, while ploughing a field, upturned a mouse’s nest. The resulting poem is an apology to the mouse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_a_Mouse. The saying has now come to mean that even the most carefully prepared plans can go wrong.

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