Lunch at Chez Francois, Sete

I’ve fallen in love with Sete and I have absolutely no idea why.
I don’t know what it was about it. The place itself wasn’t full of top clubs or streets roaming with male models. It was just… lovely. Can I say that? I sound like I’m describing my cousins new baby or my grandma’s flower arrangement. Anyway, I was ready to pack my bags off the cruise and unload it here. Don’t ask me why. Love is blind. I was two-strapping and full of energy and ready to hit the streets of Sete!

The first thing we did was hit the pharmacy since Ming was feeling ill. If anyone has tried to buy something from a foreign pharmacy, you’ll know exactly what was going on in this photo. A picture is a thousand words, and these short words were followed by many dramatic charade hand gestures.

Once that was sorted, it was time for my daily foreign cappuccino. We (Dad) had found a nice little coffee shop in a square outside, suspiciously the only coffee shop that was playing the world cup inside. Dad disappeared for a good 15 minutes to ‘order’.

I didn’t mind as long as he told me the score. I was preoccupied.

Since Ming was feeling poorly, she chose to stay back with Mum and Grandma to leisurely stroll around the shops in town. Little did I know this biatch had left me to die with these two. These next few moments was what separated the boys from men, and I my friend, am neither, which I quickly learnt.

Now I’m not one to complain from a good hike. The struggle usually means my legs are being toned and I’ll probably spend a good 5 minutes the next day straining my neck in the mirror, convincing myself that my butt has been worked wonders. But when I say ‘uphill’, I mean uphill. I when I say ‘long walk’, I mean it was NEVER-ENDING. IT KEPT GOING UP AND UP. FOREVER. WHERE WAS THE TOP?

Every time we turned a corner, any little glimmer of hope was smashed by the sights of yet another infinite road. WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING? WILL THIS CRUEL TORTURE EVER END?

Clearly I was right, there was no end. ‘Stairway To Heaven’ you may say, but it was pretty much ‘Highway To Hell’.

After an embarrassing amount of “TIME-OUT PLEASE” demands and weeping on the inside when I realised I’d forgotten my hair-tie, we made it. The cross was probably there for the amount of people who collapsed once they reached the top (okay that was a horrible joke I’m sorry I take it back but seriously).

WE WERE VICTORIOUS!

To reward myself with my all my hard efforts, I insisted everyone take as many ‘candid’ shots of myself as I could persuade them to. It was only fair. Looking through the binoculars (which I’m not sure actually even worked).

Staring wondrously at the giant cross.

Deeply looking into the distance contemplating life.

I don’t want to tell you how many more of these there were. Let’s pretend they stopped there.

Once we skipped down (‘That ol’ hill? Pshhh don’t worry about it’) we stumbled across Sophie Cianni & Co., a store that sold these savoury pies that Dad read about in his Sete brochure (I told you he likes to be prepared). They were stuffed with squid, octopus and this tomato sauce, which sounded a bit weird, but coming from the chick who dips chips into milkshakes, I’m really not one to talk.

These pies were famous in Sete, and you know how game I am for a local delicacy.

Dad and I were the first to take a bite, and like father like daughter, we both instantly knew we were going to have to fight for the rest of this pie. The others were lucky if they managed to get a slither of it.  It’s a must-have if you get the chance!

Dad was pretty chuffed with himself for the find, and picked up a store card. After the incident, I’ll never again scold him for taking down shop details.

And now for the best restaurant in Sete. It wasn’t number one on Tripadvisor or anything (in was in the top 20), but it should have been. Now I’m not being biased because it’s the only restaurant I’ve been to in Sete, even though I definitely am. I couldn’t have picked a better meal here. I’m a genius for choosing this place, and not because it was the only restaurant on the list that I could find.

Say BONJOUR to fresh seafood!

It was jam-packed as all good restaurants are, and I had to fight my way to get a table outside. My family should be lucky they have me. I took no prisoners.

There was no need for a menu, really. On Tripadvisor (okay, I’m a little obsessed) there was a picture of the most gorgeous seafood platter, so the only question was which one we were going to order. Dad’s brochure (what a cutie) also said monkfish in Sete was incredible, so of course we had to have some.

Bread was also compulsory after trekking up Mount Everest. The garlic butter was also pretty persuasive.

The monkfish was amazing. It was smothered in this sauce with potatoes and mussels. Nom nom nom.

The table behind us ordered some whitebait, and we had to have it too. Good call, Team Bridges, good call.

And then this arrived. It was a thing of beauty (extremely Instagram-worthy, as my followers may already know) and of course I got extremely overexcited. Prawns, mussels, crab, oyster – heaven?

It was so fresh. As I demolished the oysters, I could taste the salt water. I felt like a mermaid. I may have gotten a little too into it and cut my lip on the shell.

After maybe (definitely) having a little too much of my share of the food, we strolled around further, purposely diving into every single patisserie we saw. The place was crawling with them, so it was inevitable we were going to end up in one. Our destiny, some may say.

Le Cookie!

I was stuffed, but since when has that stopped me, eh? I left with only a little raspberry and almond friand, which is one of my favourites, especially at breakfast with a cappuccino (just a hint to anyone who’s thinking of surprising me with breakfast, ahem Boy).

Mum got a chocolate thing which reminded her of a Kit Kat, which was then shared with/stolen by everyone else.

I’m sold. Can the boat just leave me here?

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