Les Roches Rouges

During a recent holiday in Corsica we decided to drive along the coast to an area called Les Calanche which is famous for its rock formations. My wife remembered visiting a while back and stopping for a drink on the terrace of a hotel with a view across the bay, so we figured we’d head there for lunch. The day started overcast and thickly foggy, meaning that we could see little or nothing of the supposedly spectacular coastline. To make matters worse driving along the tortuously winding road was making us all feel a little queasy.

After a couple of stops for fresh air we pulled into the driveway of Les Roches Rouges, a charmingly faded hotel where, with the exception of a couple of bored teenage guests in the lobby, we were the only customers around.

We had the dining room to ourselves, and the quietness combined with the all-enveloping mist created a rather eerie atmosphere. We ordered and I followed our two year old son as he wandered around the dining room, inspecting everything. I liked these padded doorstops. My son picked up one and let it fall back to the floor, whereupon it released a thick cloud of dust.

I also liked this oversized r√©frigerateur electrique, although I hope this wasn’t where they stored the ingredients for our meal.

The wall was decorated with a painting of the town of Calvi, which is where we were staying.

Amuse-bouches arrived. I ate this meal almost a month ago, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t recall all the details.

First course. I don’t remember anything about this one, but it looks nice, doesn’t it?

The cheese course. There’s lots of great goat’s cheese in Corsica, and this little arrangement with fig preserve and ham went down very nicely.

My wife’s fish. Fairly self-explanatory.

My meat. The presentation of the vegetables was a nice touch.

And after all those perfectly executed yet relatively conventional dishes, along came what was without doubt one of the weirdest desserts I’ve ever eaten. A disconcertingly large bowl filled with cold, brown, vaguely coffee-flavoured watery ice cream/mousse with raspberries, space dust and various unidentifiable crunchy lumps floating around inside. Not unpleasant, just puzzling.

By the end of the meal the vapours had finally dispersed and we spent the rest of the day admiring the phantasmagorical sculptures of the coastline.