The Fit Blonde Foodies reveal that there's more to Cannes than just a film festival...
Hanna from Sweden, and Mel from Scotland are both permanently based on the French Riviera. A friendship built on a love of food and yachting has now become a journey of fitness, as they train together for their first marathon later this year.
Cannes, aside from being an extravagant summer destination for the jet-set, actually has a great deal to offer year round. As a local I love the off-season. Restaurants are less frantic and more friendly, beaches are quiet, and running routes are clear from swarms of tourists.
Originally a small fishing village, since the International Film Festival was founded in 1946 Cannes has evolved into one of the most prestigous destinations in not only Europe, but the world. So where better to head to soak up some of the glittering atmosphere and celebrate another week of marathon training, than the JW Marriott Hotel, which was the original Palais du Festival, and is situated slap-bang in the middle of ‘La Croisette’.
THE ‘HEALTHY’ BRUNCH
The idea of a ‘Bottomless Brunch’ is something I can completely get onboard with – what’s not to love? A vast selection of options to suit every palate, drinks included, and with a set price – no nasty aftertaste.
When the first words spoken are ‘Can I offer you both Champagne?’ you know your day has markedly improved . In truth, this Sunday Brunch exceeded all expectations. The dishes on offer were fresh, vibrant and enticing. Chef Sebastien Klinholff is clearly in touch with what the modern day clientele are after as the majority of foods, whilst having the health conscious in mind, were big on flavour and a visual delight to boot. Hanna and I immediately made a beeline for the freshly shucked free flowing oysters, and I dare say we had a dozen each before embarking on the rest of our feast.
WHERE TO START
Brunch to me is an affair to dress for but enjoy at leisure, and that we certainly did. Some highlights included smoked duck with celeriac slaw and a crab and pomelo salad. The Beef Wellington on the Carvery was quite the indulgence – but well worth the extra calories for that melt in the mouth sensation.
And then came the desserts. In addition to the Chef’s speciality Spéculoos baked Cheesecake with raspberry coulis, we then tackled the display of sweet treats which as you can see are heavenly.
Having been so well looked after (Michael Kottig and the team were brilliant) other brunch experiences will now struggle to compete. Exemplary in every way – we will be back!
THE COASTAL RUN
As usual after indulging, clearly we need to get in plenty of training. The Croisette is a popular run but is very often crowded. One of our favourites in the area takes you 10km from Mandelieu la Napoule all the way over to Cannes. The entire route is along the coast with beautiful views of the Esterel mountains and out over the Bay of Cannes to the Iles des Lerins.
This month we have been concentrating on running longer and picking up pace. Hanna has now completed her first 13km and set several new personal records, so I’m now feeling the pressure to up my game! With the school holidays I had less opportunity to get out as often so concentrated on another big focus – improving strength and flexibility. A strong core and better posture can aid with stride and speed as well as preventing injury. I was unsure about trying the back bend to bridge manoeuvre after a six year lapse and two children but what they say about muscle memory must be true!
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
Situated between the Vieux Port and the Marché Forville, Salsamenteria di Parma has become a firm favourite with us for several reasons. Firstly, this place serves you wine in a ceramic bowl which absolutely appeals to my quirky side. Since we began training we have ended up here several times. After completing our first ever 10km run from Mandelieu along the coast to Cannes we celebrated with bowls of Prosecco and the tasting ‘assiette’.
Now almost every time we are in Cannes together we somehow end up here. The staff are fun and friendly, the vibe is relaxed and just sometimes, someone will end up on the piano singing!
So here we are eleven weeks into training with another twenty-six to go. It’s very much starting to feel like summer so I foresee plenty of beach (party?) activity coming up!
Words: Mel SINCLAIR
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Sunday Brunch at the JW Grill is €59pp drinks included 12-3pm. JW Marriott Cannes, 50 La Croisette, Cannes 06400. For reservations call +33 492997092 or see full details on the website www.marriott.com
Bowl of Prosecco & Charcuterie Assiette €7pp, Bottle of Prosecco €19. Salsamenteria di Parma, 86 Rue Meynadier, Cannes 06400 http://www.salsamenteriadiparma.com