Welcome to Porquerolles! The pink oleander blossoms tangle with palm fronds on the dockside. It's hot - very hot. And it's crowded in high summer, but many of the throngs of people in the lane are making their way back to the mainland after a day on the island. There are only a certain number of hotel beds, and if you're not staying in one of them, or in a private house or apartment, then it's back on the ferry for you.
We made our way to the far corner of the Place d'Armes, where the Auberge des Glycines (The Wisteria Inn, isn't that lovely?) sits in a quiet shade-dappled spot. It's an old-fashioned hotel in the very best sense: three-star, not grand luxe but country stylish and atmospheric. The kind of place I remember as a child, on long car journeys down through France. To get to our room we went through the courtyard, set for dinner that evening.
We definitely struck lucky with our room: cool and very spacious, with lovely touches of Provencal style.
We headed out, the temptation round every corner before we even got out of the Auberge. Who wouldn't want to take a seat here in the shade and try a Kir à la Figue?