"Le Mans Monday" 2011 dawned to drab skies and overnight rain, but
that wholly failed to dampen my enthusiasm - I'd been looking forward to Le Mans 2011
and a break from an incredibly hard work routine for far too long to let a
little bit of drizzle put me off in any way! Even the
incessant talk on the forum about dismal rainy forecasts for the whole week
failed to persuade me that this year's events would be spoiled by too much of
unpleasant wet stuff.
I'd packed my camera gear and all the associated
batteries, leads and other gizmos the day before, so all that remained was to
pack the clothes
I'd be taking. I said goodbye to my perennially suffering
wife Jayne, who despite having the "hate" half of our love/hate relationship with
my annual pilgrimage, bore it all with remarkably good humour. As she and I both
know, I am very lucky to be married to such a wonderful person.
My brother-in-law Mervyn had kindly agreed to deliver me to
Portsmouth and he arrived bang on time and we were soon well on our way,
arriving with no traffic hold-ups at the ferry terminal at 11.45.
Once again, My buddy for
the week was to be James, Ten Tenths own Bentley03, with whom I had shared
such a fantastic Le Mans in 2010. Despite one or two traffic hiccups, James was
with me by 12.20 and we were soon in line waiting to board the 3 pm crossing by
Brittany Ferries to Cherbourg.
We were travelling over on the fast three hour crossing, on this
occasion on a mill pond-like sea and at 7 pm French time, we duly arrived,
disembarked in 10 minutes or so and drove the mile or thereabouts into the
centre of Cherbourg to park up at the rear of the
Ambassadeur Hotel just across
the road from one of the quays. The room was small but perfectly OK, but
by now we were both in considerable need of food, the effects of the sandwich on board
the ferry having definitely worn off, so it was off into the Cherbourg streets
in search of sustenance....
True to form, James had done his homework well, and after 15 min
or so walking around the largely deserted Cherbourg streets, we found the
2 restaurant, which was said to be one of the best restaurants in
The menu was unusual, with some seemingly strange flavour combinations on offer,
including the "freebie" cappuccino and smoked salmon foam! Unusual, but
surprisingly good. After a beer to slake our first, I started with the now
mandatory foie gras, accompanied by nougatine
pieces and a delicious cappuccino (again) and honey mousse. The foie
gras itself was top drawer - the perfect way to start a Le Mans week! We both
had the steak brochette to follow although with a degree of trepidation as it was
accompanied by a licorice and pepper sauce! But it was delicious. Even with the beers and the tip, the meal
was very good value considering the quality - Many times I've paid more for a
lot worse! So if you're ever in Cherbourg, I suggest you check it out.
It doesn't seem to have it's own website but you'll find a lot of general
references on a Google search.
After that, we spent 20 minutes taking the air down on the key
before heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.