The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine
Actor and writer Celia Imrie on the joys of the South of France
I don’t like curtains, so wake early. I’ve been living in Nice during lockdown and it’s idyllic – I can just lie and listen to the sea and birds. I live in a fifth-floor apartment, which I’ve had for about 10 years, looking out to the bright, turquoise Mediterranean.
I have a hot bath with Algoplus Roscoff sea crystals made from algae, which has many marvellous properties.
I have three cups of rich black Illy coffee then whizz around the corner to the bakery for a warm baguette. I have it with Albert Ménès Willamette raspberry jam. 9am The lifeguards come on duty and put up the flags. If it’s green I have a swim – there’s nothing like being in seawater.
10.30am I cycle along the front to the Cours Saleya market. Everything tastes and smells superb. I’ll wear a jacket and trousers by Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff, whose clothes are crumplefree.
I say hello to my pals laying out for lunch at my favourite restaurant, Le Safari, and might have a quick meal of bread and cheese.
I’ve been taking French classes but you have to keep it going, so when I’m in London [Celia also has a home in Notting Hill] I listen to French radio. My son [actor Angus Imrie, 27 ] lives in Oxford and I’ve managed to see him and my grandson [Jude, three], which is wonderful.
If there’s a football match, I get the bus to the Allianz Riviera, where my team OGC Nice plays. It’s a new passion of mine. I was researching a football hero for one of my books and got hooked. My latest book, Orphans of the Storm, is set on the Titanic – I’m quite obsessed with it, then found a photograph of these two little boys, The Titanic Orphans, and thought how sad and frightening for them. Next I’m making season five of Better Things [the US comedy where she plays foul-mouthed gran Phyllis].
I go for supper at Le Safari. I have fish of the day with salad, artichoke or Niçoise salad. I love Provençal rosé, the paler the better.
I watch television. More and more I love reality television like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Some people might raise an eyebrow but it’s addictive.
I fall asleep because I’m up so early.
(Orphans £14.99) of the Storm is out on Thursday; Bloomsbury,