Bond: How do you take it? Xena Onatop: Straight up, with a twist. – Goldeneye.
‘God damn it.’
‘Whats wrong baby?‘
It’s 7.30am, outside it sounds like a massacre, high shrieks screams and whistles.
‘There’s a god damn nursery outside.’
There’s a couple of things you need to know before booking into the Hotel Capitole in Monaco. 1. The safe is so god damn safe you can’t get in it. 2. You need a god damn phd in blinds to open the fuckers. 3. It’s facing a nursery.
‘Oh,‘ my Annie says, ‘you talking about the screaming rich kids of Monaco?’
I will say this about the hotel, we asked for Soya milk. The waitress said they didn’t have any but went out across the street, bought some soya milk and even heated it up. That’s service.
After Brekkie, Annie gets on a call, work related. I take my camera and head down to the Monte Carlo Casino. (Bond location, ticked). You can go up the stairs and even get 3 steps into the lobby of the casino before getting told to hit the bricks by security. No citizens are allowed in the casino, hence why the hustle of tourists cram for a symmetrical shot on the street opposite. I got my ‘I was there’ shot, and spent sometime inspecting a beautiful black Ferrari 458 Italia Black Carbon Edition that was parked out front, being dutifully guarded by the concierge. I turned to double-back to the Hotel and then..
Oh God, an American, with a camera. 50-ish male, neatly dressed however in a crisp white cotton shirt, squeezed into a pair of loose fit camel chinos. Rakish, his face whiter than his shirt and course red hair, bleeding sweat down his cheeks.
“Now I want you, to take a picture of me standing front and centre in front of this here casino, now how do you feel about that?”
“I feel good.”
“I thought you would, you look like you can deliver a good shot.” He points to my camera. My ego is suitable catered for and I’m already seduced by his Texan charm. He hands me his smart phone and framing the screen around the steps, clock and turrets. “Now I want you, to get a shot of me. Upside, or turn it ninety.” He flops the camera to the side. “Do you think you could do that for me son?”
“Do my best.”
“I figured you got this, now I’m going over there, (points to the casino across the street) and you just start shootin’ when you’re ready. Take a whole bunch.”
He turns on his heel, steps out onto the road towards the casino, straight into the path of an oncoming beautiful black Ferrari 458 Italia Black Carbon Edition that lets out a minute screech as it stalls in front of him.
“You god damn asshole,” barks the yank, slamming his hand on the hood of the car, having to squat to reach. “Why don’t you look where the fuck you’s going?”
We walked a long way to get to Restaurant La Montgolfiere, but it was worth the hike. The menu is streamlined with a choice of 3 or 4 course dishes that alternates every 5-6 weeks. Try the local regional wine and if you’re dining for two expect to pay about 150 sheets. Service was spot on, the food delicious and the environment incredibly intimate.