June 8, 2014
A lazy day before the start of the GR20 tomorrow. After a leisurely breakfast at the Hotel Santa Teresa in Bonafacio we dropped the car at the Hertz rental office at the airport, as the office in Porto Vecchio wasn’t open on Sunday nor the following Monday as June 9 was a French holiday. We took a taxi to our hotel in Porto Vecchio – expensive at 80€ for about a 20 minute ride, and that’s using the meter!
Our hotel for the night was a resort splurge, Le Goeland, located along the harbor front road. The back of the hotel opens on to a lovely shaded lawn overlooking the harbor. In early June the temperature was perfect for lounging with a good book and cold drink.
For lunch we walked up the hill to the old town and ate at one of the many restaurants at the edge of the Haute Ville with panoramic views of the harbor and sea beyond.
A Tanna has heavy dark wood tables and chairs on a covered terrace. The mussels were small but tasty and the Nepolitana Pizza (sans fromage) was salty with a great wood fire baked crust.
Billed in Lonely Planet as the St Tropez of Corsica, I was a little disappointed with the charm factor of the narrow streets lined with restaurants and shops. Maybe it was the harsh noon sun or having just come from Bonifacio, but if you have to choose between the two port towns, choose Bonifacio.
After an afternoon of lazing in the garden of Le Goeland we continued the indulgence with dinner on their terrace, just in front of the garden. Again a perfect setting as the evening light on the water softens with the setting sun.
Started with the summer plate of beautifully grilled vegetables and the squid ink risotto. Squid ink is one of my favorite sauces and is a rarity outside of certain regions of Spain and Italy, therefore, when I see it, I generally order it. I should, however, remember that the French generally over cheese their risotto for my tastes. So while the risotto was a rich inky black, that distinctive minerally sea flavor was overpowered by cheese.
For mains we ordered the dorade – as beautifully done as the grilled vegies, but curiously served over more of the squid ink risotto instead of the requested white rice.
Sadly my lamp chops were another disappointment – gristly with one of the three chops way undercooked. The lamb was served with the greens I had ordered and on a bed of more squid ink risotto. If I had known we were going to get this much risotto with the mains I wouldn’t have ordered it as a starter.
For dessert a type of layered cake of local flavors, broccui cheese with a layer of fig jam on a thin dense cake served with chestnut ice cream and garnished with dried lemon slices. Not too sweet and refreshingly original.
Our deluxe room, simply decorated, spacious and clean with a comfy bed dressed with crisp linens, opened on to a small terrace with harbor views.
The equally spacious bathroom included a sort of waterfall shower as the water tumbled off a high placed rock. You could alternatively use the traditional hand held wand.