4 months ago

This Wonderful Little Place … La Tagliatelle, Menton, France


It’s a busy summer with the Forever Young tour taking me from Bali to Bognor. The annual Forever Young 1980s festival started in 2001 and allows me to catch up with friends every summer. We really know each other and our families by this stage. [Bonnie Tyler, Kim Wilde, Holly Johnson, Jimmy Somerville, Katrina and the Waves are some of the acts who played Forever Young at Palmerstown House in Co Kildare at the beginning of July]. The 1980s are still such a phenomenon, and for me that’s because musically New Wave and New Romantic were taking over the dance floor. Song lyrics were story-based and it was a very visual era. The videos, resonating with peoples’ lives, were complemented by the accessibility of the songs, which accounts for their ongoing success. I structure the tour like many other artists – I only sing four days per week on which I won’t compromise as I want to keep my vocal chords healthy.

In my free time, I escape to one of my homes. My husband [guitarist, composer and producer Robert Fripp] and I have a property portfolio and I’ve had a home in Menton, France since 2004. Known for its temperate climate, on the very edge of the Maritime Alps with views over the Côte D’Azur and the mountains, it is renowned for its produce. It was a favourite spot of Queen Victoria who decamped in the winter to Chalet de Rosier and her patronage is reflected in the naming of the Victorian Fruit Market which is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Menton has a predominantly elderly community and many Italians and French retire there so quite often I end up speaking a mix of both languages. While I am not fluent I get by.

I go to my apartment in Menton to write and recharge. I shut myself off from technology and I explore internally. For me writing doesn’t come naturally and it’s a sacred experience. My new album, In The Court of The Crimson Queen, explores the theme of youthfulness. I write about who I am and what I have experienced. At 61, I think I have value and my incredible life experience is reflected in my songs – the ability to love as well as the importance of grief. I don’t believe in the end of consciousness after death. Pain is part of life’s process and is inevitable and needs to be confronted.

When I’m in Menton I walk everywhere – it’s ten miles to Monte Carlo and Italy is minutes away. A daily walk along the so-called Promenade of the Sun often leads to my favourite place – Le Tagliatelle restaurant owned by a Venezuelan family, on the seafront. They cook Italian food and are the most extraordinary family – they go home in the winter and return for the summer season. The menu features the most delicious salads – I’ve tried them all – from Niçoise and Caesar to the classic Parma ham and melon and so on. It’s good, clean food which resonates with my lifestyle as a whole.

I believe good health starts in your teen years with exercise, sensible eating, no smoking and everything in moderation. My failsafe recipe is to drink five litres of water per day, never go over 2,000 calories, exercise moderately and eat clean, fresh food. I guarantee you’re going to feel forever young. I also love dancing and the only way I can get my husband to join in is to put on some Roxy Music, The Rolling Stones or Madonna. This is a happy time for me. I’m in a good place.

Le Tagliatelle, Promenade du Soleil, Menton.

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