'I’m not sure I can leave you up here unsupervised,’ says The Man early on Monday morning, as he goes downstairs to make breakfast. He has given me half an hour to get up, get ready, pack an overnight bag and answer my emails.
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘Minx, I know you too well. If I leave you up here alone, you will just stay in bed for another half an hour,’ he says.
But I don’t. The sun is shining, I have no urgent pieces about handbags to write, and we have decided to pay an overnight visit to my favourite place on the Atlantic coast, via Les Sables d’Olonne, which I have never visited.
So I meet the half hour deadline he has imposed. And thanks to some spirited driving on his part, we arrive at Les Sables d’Olonne just in time for lunch. All the restaurants have moules frites scrawled under their menu of the day (despite mussels being out of season). When we try to order it, we are told that they are sorry....but mussels are out of season. Yet mysteriously, every single restaurant is offering it on their menu of the day.
We visit the magnificent cathedral in Lucon and arrive at My Favourite Place In The Whole of France, late afternoon. I am dismayed to find that despite it being a Monday in April, it is seriously overrun by holidaymakers - even if they are the very chic French variety. The queue at the Italian ice cream stand overlooking the port for example, is six people deep, all the way along. ‘The season is starting earlier and earlier,’ the manager of a posh hotel overlooking the port tells me as I make a mental note never to return in August.
Still, we manage to find a room, in the first hotel we try. It is not the most chi-chi hotel but it definitely has the best view [right.] And we don’t have far to walk to dinner.