SHOPPING in Nice:
Oh la la! You won't believe what you can do with fruits, blossoms and spices: At Sirop't you get the best in a highly concentrated form. Creative, traditional, surprising, try it out! Unfortunately you are spoilt for choice here, because at Sirop't there are some 100 different flavours. From fruity to nutty up to sweet-sour, out of fruit, nuts, blossoms, herbs, vegetables, tea and coffee.Ludovic Simon and Hervé Vincent have realized a dream with the Sirop't, and aside from the flag store in Nice they also have a branch in Antibes and an online store. Here you can get a foretaste of the exceptional range of products as well as many recipe ideas. Syrup is not only great for preparing drinks but also for refining salad dressings, fish, meat, sauces and desserts.
La Maison de l´Ol
Pickled olives in all the variations possible, the rarest kinds of pepper, elaborate salts, finest dried vegetables, hand-made soaps, exquisite oils: In the Maison de l'Olive all senses are caressed.Above all, of course, the sense of taste, because Marie Louise Guignard and her husband Bruno do everything they can to excite it. Of course, you can also buy the best olive oil here and take it as a small present. The spices from the Provence are another great gift, since they represent the essence of Nice: Great taste!
French women are known for their seductiveness. An essential part of their secret is for sale: At Etam you find beach wear and lingerie that will drive up your sexy factor into unprecedented heights. When you think of Brigitte Bardot, or the Hollywood goddesses of the 60s, of Cannes and Saint Tropez, you think of Etam beach fashion.You'll find the most elegant bikinis and bathing suits in the small boutique of this luxury lingerie brand in Nice. And of course, there are also many fine laces for the goddesses of the night! Our tip: Leave your Bikini at home and just get a new beach outfit at Etam. You can be sure that you find something there that will turn you into a beach siren that will draw all the attention!
EAT in Nice:
What used to be the odd dull soup has turned into a fad: The starter. Whether it's called mezze in Arab or tapas in Spanish, who wants to be trendy these days skips the main dish. Why? Because it relieves the bad conscience, since, so goes the fatally flawed thinking, they are just small portions anyhow - until the scale tells you a different story. The other advantage is uncontested: You don't have to pick with your fork in your neighbour's food, because it looks so much better than what you have ordered. The starter plate offers all the tastes that the restaurant has on offer; you'll just have to find something that you like. The L'Ybane is the mezze Mecca of Nice: You can plough through taboule, hummus, falafel and flat breads, most of them also suitable for vegetarians. The modern interior comes along in muted colours and with big chandeliers for an extra helping of sophistication. Another L'Ybane has opened in New York, but no matter if here or there, the audience is similarly trendy and stays on for a while, in order to enjoy the cocktails or a good, French wine at the bar. If you have it on you, you might as well reward yourself with a champagne for classy 395,- euros.
Stéphane Viano is dabbling in the food today, yet the founder was a certain Camille, which explains the name of the restaurant. The small eatery only has nine tables, yet the food is this much greater: Authentic fare from the Provence.If you don't know what that is: Risotto and vegetables, but not any vegetable, but fresh from the seller around the corner. The saddle of lamb is also served, of course with herbs from Provence and zucchini sugared with Parmesan. If there's seafood, it's jumbo shrimp.The chef and the season decide what exactly will be on offer. And along with all this delicious food there is a lot artwork on the walls, in order to shorten the waiting period. If you like it, you can pack it in along with the doggie bag. It remains doubtful, however, whether the dog understands much about art.
Some time ago, it smelled like roasted peanuts here, today there is a scent of Charolais beef in pepper fleur de sel crackling with crushed garlic and mashed potatoes in the air. We are in the heart of Nice, in the restaurant L'Aromate, by chef de cuisine Mickaël Gracieux. Already in 2008, he settled down in the former peanut roasting house. L'Aromate means herb, and accordingly the colour green stretches across the little restaurant - along the walls to the table runners. In the big hall there are seats for 20 guests. Gracieux loves to experiment with fresh products from the region. His creativity and passion for cooking paid off: since 2010, Monsieur Gracieux has his first Michelin star. Two menus are at choice - one for 55, another for 77 euro. At lunch time, you eat cheaper: a main course costs 17 euro. How convenient: the shopping street Rue de Lépante is right around the corner.
STAY in Nice:
This is a real change in style: The Hotel Massena is all Mediterranean, only the top floor is suddenly Philippe Starck. In the lobby everything is still quite normal: The guests check in within a forceful yellow. A look into the salon confirms the trend: An opulent red dominates the room; cuddly sofas invite you to sink in.In the rooms on the lower floors it merrily continues in the Mediterranean way: Mellow orange with dark parquet floor and silk curtains on the bed-heads. Yet if you want a complete change just press the highest button in the lift: Instead of southern flair you will be bombarded with a masculine black and white and an ultramodern design a la Philippe Starck, including rain shower and sun deck with a view over Nice.If you don't want to spend you holiday budget on this room, you can also enjoy the view and the sounds from the other rooms. From the nice square in front of the rooms you can hear the bubbling fountain. Doubles starting at 159,- euros per night.
The Ellington is one of the hotels that wants to be it all at once, but conceals it so well that it achieves harmony, after all. Here a little art deco, there a little modernism, and a lot of 50s in between: What might be confusing elsewhere is hardly worth noticing in the Ellington. The lobby: Heavy chandeliers, playful staircases, glass ornaments. The rooms: Everything different, once trendy, other times African, then Scandinavian or Louis XVI, some with, some without balcony.The breakfast: Classic croissants, but also ham, cheese and orange juice. During Happy Hour at night they serve Duke Ellington and Ray Charles, in line with the atmosphere of the 50s and the old leather sofas, the images of jazz stars on the walls, the piano at one end and the fireplace at the other end of the rooms.Finally, in the courtyard: Southern Spain, cast iron chairs and beige cushioning. Too much? Not for world and time travellers. If you prefer to travel linearly, you should sleep somewhere else. Doubles start at 180,- euros per night.
A stylish manor for everyone who can afford it: The mixed guests not only come for shopping and meeting, but also for splashing around. In fact, the pool might be the main attraction. The indoor/outdoor pool has Greek mosaics in the water, a Buddhist bar and an Asian restaurant right near the water - it doesn't get more international than that. And the view onto the sea tops it all.If you also want to enjoy that from your rooms, you should absolutely book one in the upper floors: The massive columns of the Art Deco facade often inhibit the view to the blue. Still, it doesn't really matter, since the furnishing of the rooms make up for a lot: Saffron, ochre, and blue make you feel like cosy. The room service is great, and you have W-Lan and beauty products from Annick Goutal. Doubles starting at 290,- euros a night.
SIGHTS in Nice:
Saint Paul de Vence is two attractions in one and thus clearly worth a day trip: The medieval mountain village is located only 25 km away from Nice. Today it counts about 3000 inhabitants, of whom many continue to earn their living with arts and handicrafts.Attraction no.1: The location, architecture, ambiance and food. Romantic mountains, fantastic view, medieval alleys and buildings, wonderful small restaurants (Tip: La Colombes d´Or, hotel, gourmet temple and Picasso museum in one), everything in the category absolutely worth seeing and experiencing.Attraction no. 2: The Fondation Maeght, one of the most unusual museums of contemporary art in the world. The treasures on exhibit exist thanks to Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, gallery owners from Paris. Their idea: Optically amalgamate the works of the artists with the building and the garden. The result is an architecturally intoxicating building, which, aside from the exhibition spaces, includes a cinema and concert hall, studios, a documentation centre and a library. All of it is surrounded by a sculpture garden. The collection with more over 12,000 pieces of art attracts more than 200,000 visitors from all over the world each year.
He is the only representative of the Modernist Period that Pablo Picasso considered to be his equal: Henri Matisse lived in Nice from 1918 until his death in 1954. This is why his most beautiful works are on display here.As with all the museums in Nice the building itself is a real attraction: On the hill of Cimiez, near other sights like the Franciscan monastery with its opulent garden, it has a magnificent view. Henri Matisse himself had lived in the neighbourhood in a 17th century villa. The museum accommodates about 500 pictures, drawings, book illustrations, etchings and sculptures from all the different creative period of the artist.Entrance fee: Adults 5,- Euro, reduced fee 2,50 Euro.
The Nice Carnival
It's the event in winter along the French Riviera, the Carnival of Nice. Every year round about 1,3 million visitors participate in this event. The festivities go back to a long tradition. Already in 1294 Charles d'Anjou, Count of the Provence, spent some enjoyable days in Nice. In 1830 the first parade through the city took place and in 1873 the festive committee was established. The Nice Carnival cannot be compared to other carnivals, for example the one in Cologne. Nobody dresses up in costumes here. It's not a carnival to participate in but to watch - and there's far enough to watch. Twenty wagons adorned with flowers roll over the Promenade des Anglais. The decoration of the wagons is taken care of by florists from Nice exclusively, since they have to apply for participation. Apart from the flower corso the paying audience is also offered a show with bizarre figures, much music and dance. You can buy tickets from the 26th of January onwards at the Office du Tourisme. A seat on the tribune for the parade costs 20 euros, a standing place is 10 euros.