Only in a place like the French Rivvie can you see your boyfriend’s fifty-nine year old mother walking around topless. Priscilla, that’s her name, would whip off her bikini top on the beach, by the pool, or lounging on the bow of the sailboat reading an art magazine.  She’d go topless in front her son, her son’s friends, and even her own father.  They all seemed perfect nonchalant about it, but I was in shock.


Sure she was in great shape, very sexy in fact, and I admired both her body and her bravery. Feeling prudish, I dared myself to whisk off my bikini top at least once before the end of my stay but I just couldn’t get my head, or my chest, around it.


Just as memorable as Priscilla’s melons were the actual melons. In France the melons are different than the ones in Canada. Also known as “Charentais,” they’re sort of like cantaloupes, but more fragrant and sweet, with a unique green-viened outer skin.  They were plentiful in all the markets we visited.  We ate them as a snack, sidedish, for dessert, in picnics on the sailboat, and even as an elegant dinner party appetizer. 





Priscilla reads art magazine on boat, melons concealed by hat.   Jerome lounges nearby, completed unfazed (but he was there a long time..?)

Priscilla reads art magazine on boat, melons concealed by hat. Jerome lounges nearby, completed unfazed (but he was there a long time..?)

Check Out Those Melons Appetizer

The melons looks divine on the FC's grandparent's dinner table. The perfect appetizer for a warm summer night dinner on the terrace in the the Cote d' Azur.

Melons were the perfect appetizer for a summer dinner on the terrace in the Cote d' Azur.



Here’s a recipe I enjoyed at a dinner party on the terrace of my boyfriend’s grandparents villa in the French Rivvie.  It was served as an opener for a Chicken Tajine. Simple, sexy and impressive. This is also great for large parties because portioning is so simple.




2 Charentais or Cantaloupe melon, halved, and seeded with a spoon.

8 tablespoons of Port




Place on serving plate and fill each with 2 tablespoons of Port.  Serves 4.

2 Responses to “Nice melons!”

  1. Mao Says:

    In England they call these melons “Cavaillon” which refers to the region where we produce this kind of melons in France (in french we call it “Melon de Cavaillon” as well) but in England we also have the cantaloupe (which are usually produced in Spain) which are quite similar except the skin and I think they are a bit less tasty. (

    Usually, we like preparing a carpacio of melon with good jamon serano (the best one is the pata negra from spain… and porto or very good crushed pepper… (this is the best starter or aperitif for the summer…with champagne for instance or MOJITO !!!!!)
    or we just add some pieces in a salad (with young spinash leaves or watercress)

    You can also cook it, my grandma makes some jam “confiture de melons”… She knows it is one of my favourite so she always saves some for me :o)

    You can also prepare it as a side dish, for example poached in some porto or caramelized to go with some grilled tiger prawns or tuna steak or even lamb; it is just delicious…

    For a very fresh desert but a bit more elaborated than a simple fruit salad you can cut very small pieces of melons with very small pieces of watermelon and add some coconut milk, a bit of very flavoured honey and some vanilla… is is just divine :o)

    In south of France they also prepare it as sorbet… and I have been thinking about preparing a tarte tatin of melon with rosemary but haven’t tried yet… I think it could also be nice with hot goat cheese… :o)

  2. laura Says:

    Thanks Marie-Anne. (Marie-Anne, another close friend of the FC, was vacationing with us in the south of France. She currently lives in London with her boyfriend. She says her stay there isn’t permanent and eventually she wants to return to France. Is it because she misses the amazing food?)
    Please send your grandma’s jam recipe when you can. It sounds yummy.
    London food stories also welcome.

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