Cannes is smothered by the show - next year in Barcelona, is the cry - with traffic jams all along the promenade (on the pavement as well as on the road). The yachts are crammed in along one side of hall 1 (it goes up to 6 rather than 11, though it feels like it) but for insurance reasons they don’t sail anywhere. The food varies from fantastic to rubber chicken to non-existent if you end up with too many meetings; the final night we ate in the hotel restaurant. Gourmet Provencal; stuffed cockles, scampi with lentils, sea bass on shredded vegetables and a 'milk chocolate peanut shortcake tart'. And a 1976 armagnac that went 'woof'.
I skipped the crack-of-dawn flight home and took the train to Lilles (6 hours 45) which is a scenic route up the coast, through vineyards, past the snow-covered massif central and over wide rivers where the concrete bridges are adorned with regular scarlet dots and the pylons are painted gay blue and yellow. Simon took slightly less time to drive over from London (courtesy of vile traffic in Kent and vile one-way rounds in Lilles) and we met at the station. Eventually we found the art deco Art Deco Romarin and enjoyed dinner on the battlements of the old town wall; quite a contrast with the funky office blocks of Eurolille and the copper-wrapped Crowne Plaza perched over the railway station.