Dom Joly: One hit-and-run incident with Michael Winner and it'll be for ever summer

Related Topics

As promised last week, I've moved to the South of France and taken up residence in a large house just outside Grasse. By day I cruise the corniches in an unmarked stolen Rolls-Royce looking to have an unfortunate hit-and-run incident with Michael Winner. By night I drive up the coast to Monte Carlo where I do my best to break the bank. I've sadly had no luck with either project so far. My funds are going to last me another week and then I'll have to sell the Rolls and bin the fantasies for another year.

I spent a lot of time on the Côte D'Azur as a kid and I have a real love for the area despite the onslaught of building that has left the coastline almost devoid of nature. It has got so bad that it is almost pointless to try and determine where one town ends and another starts. Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Golfe Juan, Mandelieu have all blurred into one enormous conurbation.

I flew here from Bristol airport, a first for me. I took an easyJet flight, just about the most unglamorous way of arriving but the flights are always packed with interesting people on their way to their holiday homes.

I got lost on my way to Bristol airport and will undoubtedly be featuring in a big way on the next episode of "World's Daftest/Scariest/Wildest Drivers". I made the big mistake of following the Sat-Nav in my car. It decided that it would be much more interesting to take me right through the centre of Bristol in rush hour rather than the leisurely drive round the city on a motorway that most normal people would take. By the time I realised what this evil machine was up to I was stuck in traffic and it was laughing at me. "In 100 yards, you will still be stuck in solid traffic and your blood pressure will have shot up once again," jeered the anodyne voice. I was terrified as I didn't want to arrive one minute late at the easyJet check-in to find that 14-year-old idiot who appears in their TV documentary series, leering at me over the desk as he waved a "Flight closed" sign in my face. I apologise to the people of Bristol whose gardens, drives and parks I roared through in order to make it with five minutes to spare.

It was all worth it. Once we landed at Nice we went straight out to supper at one of my all-time favourite restaurants, Le Tétou. It's a glorified beach shack in Golfe Juan that just does bouillabaisse and has a Michelin star for its efforts. I've been going there since I was in nappies and it remains a constant oasis of calm in an increasingly concrete desert. This sense of calm is considerably augmented if you are a multimillionaire, as the prices are astronomical. One has to just plonk a credit card down when the bill arrives and not even look at the total if you want to drive home safely. As a boy I used to love going there with my parents because, quite apart from the exceptional food and wine, it had a world-class topless beach right beneath the windows.

As a hormonal adolescent I would wolf down large bowls of soup laden with lobster, saffron potatoes and rouille while discreetly admiring the spectacular floor-show on the beach. Things, I'm glad to report, are no different nowadays except that I'm forced to hide my gawping from my wife rather than from my father who, I now realise, is another keen admirer of the view.

Unlike the old days, one cannot weave one's way home in a car after three or four wonderful bottles of local rosé. The coast now resembles a police state with fierce-looking riot policemen lining the roads, machine-guns at the ready pulling one in two drivers in for breath tests. Sadly, the test is not for the reek of garlic; if it were then the air quality would be much improved down here.

On Thursday I went scuba diving off the Iles de Lerin, the little islands off the coast of Cannes. Afterwards, as I wandered into Eddie's, a gorgeous little restaurant in the old harbour where they cook my catch, I was told that Henman had lost. I raised my glass to him as the first whiff of grilled fish hit my nostrils.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A woman runs down the street  

Should wolf-whistling be reported to the Police? If you're Poppy Smart, then yes

Jane Merrick

Voices in Danger: How can we prevent journalists from being sexually assaulted in conflict zones?

Heather Blake
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?