*Heads up – this is a very photo heavy post so you might wanna hunker down with a nice cuppa tea, leave it a couple of minutes to load (no longer!) and serve yourself some cake (no euphemism 🙂 ) before you proceed! 😉 😀
When it comes to food, it’s always a good idea to stray a little further from the main tourist attractions as you tend to find that you get much better food at much better prices (the ones near the tourist sites don’t need really need to try as hard as they are more likely to get inundated with one-off hungry customers who, even if they have terrible meals, won’t matter as much to the business as they’ll be replaces by brand new hungry ones the next day… also, I imagine the rent is much higher here so you’re kinda paying for that too).
Despite my knowledge of the above, we decided to eat at the restaurant right next to the Arena de Nimes… in huge part out of laziness but also partly because the last time we visited Nimes, we ate here and the food was absolutely brilliant!
Nimes was a lot less known back then so I imagine they just carried about business like any restaurant would and did quite well at it however this time, we had more leathery steaks than you can shake a stick at and fries that were kind of reminiscent of the kind you made back at Uni when the most cooking you did was turn the knob of an over on, followed by popping something in an out in as little time as you could possibly muster.
Bad as these spots are for food, they’re pretty great for drinks – especially cold refreshing ones in the sunshine while taking in the view so I guess there that…
Anyway, food over, we carried on through Nimes on food. Stopping for the odd ice cream (which Lloyd managed to get all over his shirt (it’s his fault for wearing white really…).
We stumbled upon a wedding party at the cathedral…
…and even found the hotel we stayed in last time we were here. (It was like £30 per night last time we were here – prices have more than quadrupled since then!)
Eventually, we all headed back to our Airbnb, to cool off in the pool, armed with lots of bottles of bubbly, beers and a vast array of little treats to nibble on.
That night, by the way, ended with dinner a few streets away from our apartment (we were in the city centre to be fair), followed by drinks and before you knew it, we were dancing the night away (and by night away, I only mean to like 3am) in some French club whose names I couldn’t even tell you as I paid absolutely 0 attention to it by this point. It’s one of those fun nights where you remember the most random little details (like the songs played or the German shepherd – dog, not person, a street away from the club) and don’t remember the bigger details (like where the club actually is – all I know is that we didn’t have to walk too far to get back home).
The next morning, the least hungover of us all decided to head out to get breakfast in at the boulangerie over which we decided we would head over to the Les Jardins de la Fontaine – the Roman Garden in Nimes.
By the way, I totally under-estimated how huge and impressive these gardens would be. See, the last time, somehow, we managed to miss this entirely and this time, friends-in-tow, we decided to see as much of it as possible.
The gardens are truly a throw-back to rather decadent Roman times and are such a stunning and somewhat unexpected sight to see in France.
Intricate layers of statues, moats, little rivers and stairs which hint at the promise of delightful views all welcome you on arrival.
Needless to say, this was a day for slow ambling through the gardens and soaking up as much of the view as possible.
Eventually, we made our way through the scorching heat (stopping off a couple of times for a drink and to cool off our feet) to La Tour Magne – the tower at the top of the gardens.
You have to scale a few stairs to get to the top of the tower here but from up here, you’re rewarded with a fantastic view over all of Nimes. Totally worth the schlep up here.
Eventually, we made our way slowly back down again, thoroughly hungry at this point and even more in love with Nimes than we’d been the first time around!
The rest of the afternoon pretty much consisted of slowly making our way back to house, stopping off to grab food and drinks and relaxing for the rest of the day…
‘Walk’ hard… play hard! 😉 i.e. Drink as much champagne by the pool as you possibly can – we were on holidays after all… 🙂