We started the morning with a lovely breakfast on our private terrasse at Vignette Haute. All of the plants and flora are simply stunning here...love all the different colors. The medieval touches on the Inn are really charming—or at least this is our initial impressions, well mine anyway.
Vignette Haute is a small inn outside the medieval Auribeau Sur Siagne which dates back to the 15th century. The name literally means "air and wellbeing above the Siagne river". After being in the city, the clean air is refreshing. Listening to the melody of the Siagne River—very relaxing. This and watching the sun set over the valley are major bonuses of being on the west side of the inn.
Vignette Haute means "a small vineyard cultivated on the part above". Former inhabitants of the area grew vineyards here, but I don't think that happens anymore. However, from our terrasse we see what we think are olive groves.
After breakfast, we took off for Cannes...of course with all the twists and turns, we took a pretty convoluted route through Grasse (to the north) then the suburb of La Bocca (to the west, v. cute area) and finally to the parking garage under the Cannes port. Oddly, the whole parking garage had flooring like you find in a large store like a Target—seemed excessive to me.
We walked up and down La Croisette, the main drag there. I think every other block had a Mercedes dealership, not to mention the port filled with humongous yachts and sailboats. This is definitely a swank town.
We walked through the food market...all the veggies looked sooo good! Why don't we have these kind of markets in the US??? I would definitely eat more veggies if they looked and smelled this good. Not to mention all the cheeses and meats. I am definitely jealous of this aspect of French life.
As we usually do when we travel in Europe, we forgot to pay attention to the lunch time hours. We popped into one place at about 2:05pm only to hear "dejuener fini". Luckily there was another place across the street that did not stick to the lunch hours, and we soon found out why. It was also a gambling hall....OTB has nothing on this place. The Horse Croisette looked like an upscale brasserie in the front, but when you went back to the toilets, the degenerates were getting their fix on the tracks. Nonetheless, the food was amazing and I would probably become a degenerate gambler if I could eat like that and gamble at the same time.
After lunch, the humidity finally broke and it was just sunny and beautiful. So, we decided to rush back to the Inn to get a swim in before dinner. No such luck. By the time we got back it was over cast and looked like it was going to rain. We decided not to let us deter us from a swim in the Roman Baths. We donned our swimsuits and joined the others who were determined to get their money's worth out of the Vignette Haute. Robert lasted all of about 10 seconds...it was cold!!! Me, about 5 minutes... no fair such a cool pool and we could not use it!!!
We went back to our room and got ready for dinner. We had such high expectations for this meal! But, once again, we were to be frustrated. The medieval kitsch was taken to extremes at the meal. At one end of the hall was a manger, albeit behind glass. But we were supposed to feel like we were eating with the animals...ummm, no thank you!
The meal started out promising. First, the staff opened a bottle champagne, gratuit, for us since they knew we were celebrating. The menus were brought out as scrolls...OK, a little fun, right? Then, in Provencal tradition, we were served a basket, and I do mean a basket, of fresh vegetables...cucumbers, tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, etc. The basket was served with this dip made up of anchovies and butter...crack anyone? I was ready to bath in that yummy stuff. It was downhill from there...how does one mess up steak in truffles?? I didn't know that was possible.
Then, the staff came over with an organ grinder from 1945 and played "The Entertainer" on it in our honor....ummm, awwwkward. I saw the staff deliver the check to another table in one of those singing fish things... only this was a lobster and it sang "don't rock the boat"....how is that medieval? I found it entirely humorous that the staff seemed to be genuinely enjoying these antics. They thought it was all really fun and entertaining. I won't say a bad word about them because they were so nice and helpful, but it did really make wonder about the French sense of humor.
So, with our palate frustrated, we went back to our room. Suddenly, the medieval décor felt like a cave—cold, damp and uncomfortable. Why was there no light in this room??? I know the effect was supposed to mimic candlelight....but c'mon. Neither of us slept well and I think it was all because we had a bad meal. I may love the middle ages, but one thing is for certain now, I am really glad I don't have to live in a medieval house! Quel dommage!!! The place was beautiful and had such promise, but alas, unfulfilled promise.