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Le Mans 2011 - Ayse's Story - Page 1 - Monday

Le Mans #26

"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 the 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.

So, the first shot in my 2011 story is of my bags sitting waiting with me for James at the ferry terminal - exciting stuff!       My initial intention this year was to take as many pictures as possible to document the trip - even if they were as dull as this one!

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 Le Plouc 2 restaurant, which was said to be one of the best restaurants in Cherbourg.  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.

The Ambassadeur Hotel at night.....