April 30: miles for tiles

Joel and I went to Imperia Ceramiche this morning to pick up the six square metres of tiles that we ordered for our new restaurant last week. The shop is about an hour from Nice, which makes the area it’s in far enough into Italy to stop feeling like a border region, the way the closest Italian  towns do, especially on weekends when they’re full of French cars. When we first went to the shop last week, I was so excited to find such a massive choice of beautiful, interesting, unusual tiles that Joel said I was like a kid in a candy store. I was also fascinated by the store’s owner: a tall, slim, smiley, bohemian-looking woman called Tea, with long, elegantly greying hair. She’s owned Imperia Ceramiche since 1993, so I doubt there’s a tile supplier in Italy that she hasn’t unearthed. The fact that the shop and its cavernous stockroom is located right underneath what looks like an old stone quarry makes it all the more exotic. We went on into the town of Imperia just for a look, and found that there was a Saturday market going on. A good day.

Here’s Tea and Joel, the market at Imperia, the tiles, the Imperia Ceramiche store, loading up the car, and the outdoor fitting room at the market!


The restaurant is taking shape, filling our heads and emptying our pockets almost every day. Here’s a random selection of photographs, with shots of the architect, the kitchen guy, the mason, his brother the plumber, the electrician, the flooring guy and the door guy (who happens to be the architect’s brother)…


There have been lots of other good things happening, too: visits from Penny and her mum Shirley, both of whom I’ve known for more than 50 years (ouch!), and from Heather, who feels like family for Joel and for me. We also both finished the Nice Half-Marathon – Joel admirably in 2 hours and 19 seconds, and me… much more slowly.

Ted is fine too. That’s the most important thing of all:



About Suellen Grealy

In 2011, a series of coincidences led my husband Joel, our cat Ted and me away from London, where we lived quite happily for 30 years, to Nice, where Joel grew up. While he and his sister ran their restaurant, I wrote a novel. Family being family, Joel and his sister no longer work together. Writing being writing, the novel lingers on... Meanwhile, we've found ways of living a completely different life from the one we had in London, including running our own restaurant together, 7 Villermont. The only constants are our Ted, our now-battered Peugeot, and each other. Everything else is a complete surprise
This entry was posted in Nice, Restaurant in Nice, France, Shops in Nice and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to April 30: miles for tiles

  1. Adam Speed says:

    Hello Joel hope you are well just wanted to say hi and a massive well done was just reading up on your blogs a massive well done so glad things are going well for you. I now live in Australia and its a great place to live and work is so much better than a certain club house. looking forward to seeing more from your new journey, you know what i like about you everything.

    kind regards Adam Speed

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