Bar de la Marine – Marseille, France

For those familiar with the film Love Actually, which I’m sure most of the English speaking community is, this bar is the one when Colin Firth races back to France to tell Aurelia that he loves her and wants to marry her in his exceptionally fast learned Portuguese. She stands at the top of the fairy light encrusted staircase (the lights are actually there in real life) and replies in her exceptionally fast learned English that That will be nice. Yes, is being my answer’. Unbeatable.

The band at the top of the staircase that dramatically stops upon Jamie’s entrance actually does play weekly, the actual bar is long and old fashioned with old men leaning on it having their pastis and the staff are friendly, fun and have a great selection of headwear accessories. It attracts locals of all ages, as well as tourists, making for a great atmosphere that is especially lively on the weekends. It is placed right on the waterfront in the Old Port and despite its obviously hallowed reputation it isn’t in your face about it. When Harry was in Marseille with the yacht a few years previous, he went there for a drink and recognised it but couldn’t realise why. It was only when I said that that scene was shot in Marseille that it clicked, god knows how I knew that, but I quite like how it doesn’t flash its moment of fame all over the walls.

In the film scene the restaurant is packed, likewise in reality. I went with my family when they came to visit me and the outside tent and inside were full for lunch. We all had the Aioli because it was what everyone else seemed to be having and it did not disappoint. This is a local dish of cod and I guess whatever crustaceans and shellfish they have that day, served with vegetables and the iconic garlic mayo. Delicious.

From living in Italy for nearly a year I find France quite expensive but this place doesn’t seem to be overpriced. Our Aioli’s were €12, a coffee is €2 and Caipirinhas are €9.  For our last night in Marseille we even came here for our last drink/last 5 caipirinhas with the crew so I guess it’s our favourite. I hope Jamie and Aurelia spent many a date night in there after the proposal too.


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