28 February 2007

Across the bay...

Taken from Cap Martin, you see part of Menton on the other side of the bay with Italy in the distance off to the right. Menton is the border town to Italy, so good coffee either side!

27 February 2007


Yesterday you saw the lemon-flavoured olive oil of Menton - sold at the Fête du Citron. Today, you see something a little more potent - liqueurs of Menton. The south of France and Liguria in Italy, is famous for its Lemoncello or Lemoncino - a delicious and 'more-ish' after-dinner drink. Many of the Menton restaurants offer a free glass of this after a meal. Menton makes a type of Lemoncello and Lemoncino but it's really an Italian drink.

26 February 2007


Menton, which is famous for the lemons and oranges which grow in our wonderful micro-climate, produces many different products using this fruit: preserves, soaps, liqueurs for starters. Here you see Citrolive, which is olive oil, also grown and pressed locally, mixed with Mentonnais lemon juice.

25 February 2007

A day off school!

Last Tuesday, there was a Children's Parade through the town as part of the Fête du Citron.

24 February 2007

Mary had a little lamb...

Well I don't know that this lady is called Mary - but if she were, then it would be Marie. Gorbio is a medieval village just above Menton - in fact it's my village. I live in the commune of Gorbio but two kilometres below the old village. Menton is a further 5 kilometres below. I had to go the Mairie (town hall) in the village a couple of days ago and was amazed to see this lady walking across the main square to the village shop, with her one month old lamb, Tilly, following her. She has reared it from birth - it sleeps in her bedroom and is clean in the house. It even sleeps in her bed. And it goes everywhere with her.

Later, on chatting with another villager, I learned that this is the third lamb she has reared in such a way. When they get older they are turned out into a field and later, when ready, are slaughtered for the table.

23 February 2007

Lunch by the Mediterranean

The sky suddenly filled with gulls - perhaps it was the wind? Perhaps they were hoping from crumbs from the visitors eating lunch by the edge of the sea.

22 February 2007

Oranges and lemons...tra la la

Following on from yesterday's posting about the Fête du Citron, this photograph shows you how the fruit is fixed in place with rubber bands. (click to enlarge) This by the way is one corner of the Taj Mahal.

During the 16 years I've lived near to Menton, I have never before visited the Fête du Citron. It was very interesting to see what can be created with lemons and oranges and it's a very popular festival, but it's perhaps true to say that personally I prefer the more natural fêtes we see in the hilltop villages round Menton: the Fête du Lavande, the Fête du Blé (wheat) - and so on. You can read about one of those fêtes, the Fête de la Branda (distilled alcohol, folks!) at this link.

21 February 2007

India in Menton!

La Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) is the biggest fête of the year in Menton. It celebrates the symbol of Menton which is the lemon. Each year there is a different theme and this year, the 74th year, the theme is Carnivals of the World, featuring India. Last year it was Brazil. Prior to the Carnivals theme, we've had fables, nursery rhymes and one year, the World of Tintin, a favourite of mine, probably because I love Tintin's dog, Milou.

There are dozens of statues, all made, as you can see of lemons and oranges and each fixed individually to a wire frame with a rubber band. Word has it that the lemons and oranges used in the displays don't actually come from Menton but from Spain, where they are cheaper. A team of men walks around all day replacing any fruit that is beginning to rot. These statues, which include the Taj Mahal and a gorgeous elephant, are in the Jardin Bioves but as well as this, there are parades through the town with floats and music and dancing girls. La Fête du Citron draws thousands and thousands of visitors to Menton every year.

You can read more here (in French) and here (in English). The festival runs from the 17th February to the 7th March.

This particularly statue is the height of a block of apartments but the shots I took yesterday indicating the size, were a little dark as the sun was beginning to go down. This was the best despite cutting off the top of his hat!

20 February 2007

Slumbering vine

A simple gateway to an apartment on the walking street of Menton. I liked the autumnal/winter feel of it with the grape vine and its fallen leaves. One of the things I loved when I lived in a colder climate was autumn and walking with the dogs through the fall of leaves. Not that I'm complaining...

19 February 2007

A mimosa for Mimmu

Mimmu from Joensuu (Finland) DP requested a photograph of a mimosa in bloom. Wattle in Australia, of course. This one's for you, Mimmu! I took this a few days ago but wasn't too happy with the capture and intended having a go on another tree, but then it rained which has ruined all the mimosas in bloom. In fact the slightly darker patches you see on this tree are probably where it got rained on earlier. There are many varieties of mimosa, some yet to bloom, so if I get the chance I'll try again another day. Unless I get waylaid by beautiful doorways, that is.

18 February 2007


Another image from the garden La Serre de la Madone - featured yesterday. Almost covered with ficus repens and with no water gushing from his mouth to the basin below, he looks thirsty, doesn't he?

17 February 2007

'La Serre de la Madone'

Menton is famous for its gardens and this double pool is a tiny part of perhaps the most beautiful of them all. La Serre de la Madone was created in the 1920s by Lawrence Johnston, an American by nationality, born in Paris to an American father and an English mother. Better known as the creator of the famous Hidcote gardens in the Cotswolds in England, he was an avid plantsman of independent means travelling the world collecting rare plants. He wanted a garden for his sub-tropical plants, eventually settling on 6 hectares of overgrown hillside planted with ancient olive trees and in the wondrous micro-climate that is Menton.

16 February 2007


The foire (fair) is in town! Here you see the trailers cheek by jowl - the fair itself is off to the right. In the background you see the bay of Garavan and in the distance, Italy. Menton is the border town that adjoins Italy - the Italians call it Mentone, pronouncing the 'e' of course. Many Italians work in Menton and in Monaco, which is just a little further along the coast.

15 February 2007

Derelict house for sale!

This house, with its outbuilding, is for sale in the hills above Menton. There is no vehicle access and as you can see, you'd need strong thighs and a good constitution to lug the groceries home. When I took this photograph, we'd already been walking for over twenty minutes. Not for the faint-hearted...

14 February 2007

Door in the Old Town

I love old doorways - don't you? This one I found in a tiny street in the vieille ville.

13 February 2007

Market seller

Saturday is the biggest day at the market when not only is the main building open and packed with every good thing to eat, but there are dozens of outside stalls too and usually manned by women who sell their own home grown produce. Here you see a lady selling vegetables, home made jams and fresh eggs. Yummy. And note the mimosa in a jar - this is mimosa season here.

12 February 2007

Menton old town

Taken from the port, here you see the beautiful facade of the vieille ville with the church rising above it.

11 February 2007

Le Balico

My favourite Menton restaurant. Great food, not expensive, bliss sitting under the plane trees.

Note: Since posting this, sadly Le Balico has been sold and is now under new management.

10 February 2007

Washing in the old town

A colourful corner in the vieille ville of Menton

09 February 2007

Hôtel des Ambassadeurs

This hotel has recently had a massive face lift and is now Menton's first 4-star hotel (France doesn't go up to a 5-star grading although there is 4-star plus)

08 February 2007

Doorway near to Place des Herbes

This doorway is in rue des Marins, near to Place des Herbes, not far from the marché.

07 February 2007

Menton market building

Open every morning, the marché is crammed with every type of fruit and vegetable you could ever want. There are meats, charcuterie, cheeses, fish, olives, honey, wondrous breads and desserts, marinated goodies and that's just for starters.

Corner details of the beautiful Moorish building

Related Posts with Thumbnails