Les Roches Blanches, Cassis

July 7, 2015

The fishing village of Cassis inspired many painters in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. Derain: “Une pinède à Cassis-1907”, Vlaminck, Matisse, Dufy and Signac: “Baie de Cassis, Cap Canaille-1889” were among the most famous. The Cap Canaille headland, which dominates the view to the east, was their favorite subject. On the corniche to the west of the village is the hotel Les Roches Blanches. Linda and I spent the night of June 3, 2015.

We arrived at midday; our room was not yet ready so we had lunch on the terrace.

This was the view from my seat towards the town of Cassis.
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This was the view at the start of our meal from my seat at right angles to the one above. The west face of Cap Canaille is still in dark shadow.
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This was the same view when we left our table, with the sun making shadows in the rocks.
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This was the view in the late afternoon from our hotel room upstairs.
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You can see why artists have long been fascinated by Cap Canaille with its changing light and colors.

Thirsty from our drive from Aix, we skipped the readily available apéritifs and ordered a bottle of the local white wine, Domaine Saint Louis Jayne. Very nice.
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We looked at the menu with its artistic cover.
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The genial maître d’hôtel showed us the catch of the day, which included Saint Pierre, rouget and daurade.
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He suggested, and we accepted, a loup de mer grillée.
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The appetizer was a bisque de crevettes which had nicely captured the flavor of the shrimp and its shells.
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We then had
Le saumon mariné façon « Gravlax »,
fenouils, artichauts et petit salade du moment

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The marinated salmon and its garnishes were just right.

While we enjoyed our starters, our sea bass had been prepared and grilled. The maître d’hôtel and his assistant boned and plated it for us.
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It was served with a sauce of beurre blanc.
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The elegant flavor of the fresh fish was brought out by the well-timed cooking. The crisp skin underneath retained the crisp smokiness from the grilling. The sauce and garnishes provided variety. Excellent.

We finished with a Pavé Croustillant
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The rich, dark chocolate was a good highlight of this otherwise light, summer dessert.

On leaving the terrace for our room after lunch we could look west down the coast over the hotel’s swimming pool towards the famous calanques, or picturesque inlets in the cliffs.
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We dined that evening at La Villa Madie.
In the morning we enjoyed the buffet breakfast on another small terrace at
Les Roches Blanches.
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I had a visitor to our table after Linda had finished and I was still quietly finishing my coffee.
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Our stay was relaxing and lovely.  Our lunch was very good; the hotel was very nice;  the staff very helpful and the location unbeatable for terrific views and proximity to the port without being in it. 


4 Responses to “Les Roches Blanches, Cassis”

  1. Raymond KROMMENACKER Says:

    Dear Linda and Michael, As usual I love your analysis. In this review, I appreciated most the pics of the Cap Canaille. I myself am a painter: http://mikkeyangello.wordpress.com

  2. What a lunch. Heather and I would gladly have joined you. Now we’re both retired as of end of August, hope to see you some day.

  3. Ronald Shelp Says:

    Mike, as you may remember, Raymond and Priscilla were visiting our house with their very little kids and we hid Easter eggs for them. Raymond said you and Linda were there. My memory does not go back that far but anyway that’s the story.


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