Atempted Romance in La Rochelle

Romance, sand storms and thunder bugs


After a wonderful day spend wandering around the winding cobbled streets of Mont St Michel we headed towards la Rochelle on the west coast of France, just under 4 hours drive.


We decided on a brief stop at a gorgeously quaint French Delicatessen, to collect supplies for my planned romantic picnic on the beach. heading back to the car with bags brimming with all the slightly cliche romantic picnic ingredients. Fresh crusty still slightly warm baguettes, locally made Camembert, pate, and of course a couple of bottles of chilled champagne.

Arriving at la Rochelle in the early evening,  day dreaming of our romantic picnic on the beach you know just like in the movies. The cooling evening breeze, carrying the salty sent of the ocean. laying our blankets on the sand still warm from the now setting suns lasting caress. Sipping our nicely chilled champagne, as we watch the sun set over the Atlantic ocean. Well at least that’s what i had in mind…


Earlier on my husband had rolled his eyes slightly as i had explained my plan to him on the drive down. But he had decided to humor me, if i wanted a sunset on the beach then we were going to have one, we did have all the yummy food after all.

We found a nice spot down by the beach just as the sun was starting to set. Grabbing the bags we headed over towards the beach, the breeze was cooling and did carry the faint tang of the salty ocean. The sand was warm and the sunset was beautiful, it was quite a still evening with what looked like thunder clouds building on the horizon promising a storm later.


We had just set everything up and about to enjoy our first glass of champagne, when we were descended upon by a plague of thunder bugs. I have no idea what they are actually called they are small and black. When we were kids they always came out when there was a thunderstorm coming, and kids being very creative named them thunder bugs and it has stuck to this day. They don’t bite thankfully unlike most of the bugs here in Australia, but they can be really annoying when they keep landing on and sticking to whatever you are trying to eat. But we persisted flicking the little guys off just before we got the food to our mouths. I could see by now that my husband was starting to find my attempts at romance very entertaining. So when out of nowhere the wind picked up, and a huge gust out of nowhere came racing up the beach, collecting loads of sand and depositing onto us and of course our dinner…

Deciding that sand encrusted Pate wasn’t the best we begrudgingly decided that nature had won this round. Scraping as much sand off as we could and managing to save most of our dinner we packed up and headed back up the beach to our car. Driving slightly out of town we were able to find a nice little hotel, with a balcony looking back out towards the sea. Settling down for round two, enjoying our champagne, and digging into our baguettes, Camembert and pate, which was delicious if a little crunchy at times. With a knowing smile my husband just looked at me, yes i had learnt my lesson, that not all the romantic movie moments are realistically possible.