ABout Franco’s Osteria
Yesterday morning, after running overdue errands around Hove, I sat on the beach with lunch from Franco’s Osteria. Since moving down to Hove years ago, I’ve visited often. My old flat was closer but I’m still willing to make the walk along the coast, as they sell the best focaccia and fennel salami that I’ve eaten outside of Italy.
Between catching Covid and starting a new job, the world of late has felt upside down of late. I’m experiencing a period of adjustment, as I grow accustomed to the demands of a new role and the quirks of new colleagues. The weeks pass in a blur and when the weekends arrive, I feel relieved, determined to relax. The country feels in a strange place right now, as we await news of latest budget. Winter is coming, everything is getting more expensive and the only respite has been the unseasonably warm weather. The many flats below mine in the building have meant I’ve yet to put the heating on but rising bills are a source of anxiety.
All of that worry felt distant yesterday and as I sat on the beach at lunchtime. After stopping by Franco’s Osteria, I took the short walk to the coast and watched other young families drinking coffee and eating chips. For once, the birds stayed away and waves crashed against the pebbles, glimmering in the bright sun. Sitting there, it could easily have been March or early September and my son was calm in his pram, happy to watch the world that must seem so massive.
When visiting Franco’s, I usually buy the small round focaccias but instead bought a sandwich. There’s a lot of decent sandwiches around Hove, none more so than at Fika but what I had yesterday was sensational. The focaccia came filled with breaded chicken, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise and as ever, the bread was spongy with a nice crust and a chewy texture. The olive oil and the salt atop the bread added delicious flavour and reminded me of the first holiday that I took with my wife.
The arancini had a wonderfully crisp outside and came filled with buttery rice and Mozzarella. Eating that and trying to catch the rice as it spilled, reminded me of the tiny little places that I’d hunt out in Sicily and how for a week a few years ago, I lived mostly on rice and pizza.
Colder, bleaker times lie ahead but yesterday on the beach was one of those perfect moments where time seems to stretch and worries feel far away. I’ll think of that when I’m back at my desk tomorrow morning or when the extent of the Government’s spending cuts get announced.