St Raphael is a French Riviera resort, complete with palm trees, a promenade, golden-limbed goddesses on the beach and a marina (the Old Port) to die for. Boats. Yachts. Cruisers. Schooners. Catamarans. Powerboats. Convertibles. Bowriders. Trimarans. Even jet dinghies for God’s sake.
I am passionately in love with boats of all types. It’s a completely chaste, platonic and unrequited love as I never stand a chance of a serious boating experience (Thames from Marlow to Henley notwithstanding); let alone owning a seaworthy vessel (lilos and inflatables, ditto). The latter, obvs, as not expecting sudden inheritance windfalls and the former due to being in a relationship with a landlubbing waterphobe. He swims, but not through choice. He’ll go on water; did I mention Thames to Henley? I did. But he tends to find his sea feet, rather than sea legs, and misplaces even those more often than not.
So unless we split up (unlikely) or become so loaded I’ll go off sailing my Lazzara while he skis in Whistler (a bit less unlikely but still), I’m basically landlocked and left to wandering in a lovelorn daze around marinas and harbours.
Except the boats are not my most indelible memory of St Raphael. It’s the ice cream I had there: a cone with two boules de glace au yaourt aka simply frozen yoghurt. That, in fact, was to die for. And yes, you can make very good one at home. Here’s how.