SHOPPING in Nice:
Jean-Christophe Serra is 25 years old. When working as a designer and DJ he feels the urge to start a new store in Nice. To his mind, Nice needs a place with an international offer of women's and men's clothing as well as design. He has little experience in the business. However, he founds the Antic Boutik in the historic part of the French coastal city - that was 16 years ago. The store still exists. Both men and women from Nice love to come to Jean-Christophe's boutique. In former times especially because of limited editions of Nike sneakers, today mostly for the selected designer pieces that Jean-Christophe constantly collects during his trips to Paris, New York and Tokyo. But he also finds new goods through friends from the fashion business with whom he talks a lot about aspiring new brands. Quite generally, friends are an important component of Jean-Christoph Serra's life philosophy and the design of his store comes from his buddy Davide Mosconi from Turin.
Florian du Vieux
Attention sweet tooth: Here is where you can find handmade chocolates, jelly beans and candied fruits. Free tours of the production area included! The many delicacies are made following recipes from the 19th century.The ingredients include fruits and flowers from Provence, and most of them organically produced. By the way, the shop provides the perfect explanation for why many small presents never reach their intended destination - they are just too seductive not to be eaten immediately!
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!
SIGHTS in Nice:
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.
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.
At the Ironman in Nice the athletes sweat and rave: The location is so beautiful that that it's almost a shame they have to hurry through it. At 6.30 a.m. it starts with the 3.8 km swimming contest in the turquoise coloured waters of the Côte d'Azur. 50 minutes later: Get on bikes and peddle 180 kilometres (in words: one hundred and eighty) up and down the Maritime Alps. If they are still able to move their legs they have to get onto the streets and run 42 kilometres. The first one to reach the Promenade des Anglais after these trials has made it, winning one of the most difficult contests of all, in one of the most beautiful settings. The best athletes reach the magical finishing line around 3 p.m., while the last iron men and women arrive around 10.30 p.m. You can't begrudge them some time to party! At the Place Masséna the Ironman Village awaits spectators and athletes with a gigantic firework display and many events for all the senses.
EAT in Nice:
There we go again, the good old art nouveau, which is just as recurrent a theme in Nice as the bouillabaisse on the menus. In this stylish ambiance, only one thing can be served: traditional cuisine à la Nicoise.The floral elements and curvy lines of the building may appear a little dusty, yet the food is not: Only fresh ingredients from the market are used. The fish is still shaking its fins, the ravioli are melting on your tongue. Many stay a little longer: At the bar next door they serve the perfect one for the road after an excellent meal.It is a little bit more expensive than usual - à la carte you eat for about 30 euros, but you get an extra helping of nostalgia for free. Tip: Reservations required. If you show up without, you will put out to pasture with a mild smile.
Some enthuse about the traditional coffee house atmosphere, others love the location at the Cours Saleya - and still others love the clientele. The brasserie L'F has reached a cult status long ago. One sits in the first row next to the rich and beautiful people sipping a café au lait and watching the sea. In the brasserie L'F, seeing and being seen is as important as the good food on the plate. The clientele is young, the ambience modern. You should hurry if you want a table at lunch time. Here, it's more than crowded. It almost seems as if all locals are trying to snatch a seat on the terrace or the winter garden. The home-cooked bruschetta is an insider tip! The prices are steady: an espresso costs two, a beer three euro. Another tip: Tuesdays to Sundays, there is a flower, fruit and vegetable market right in front of the door - and on Mondays, during the the summer months, you can buy antiquities on the art market.
Nice Garden Hotel
In the middle of the busy city, in the middle of boutiques, pedestrian zone and 200 meters away from the beach, in the middle of the old town. What can you expect? We take a look behind the heavy iron gates of the townhouse from the 19th century and marvel: Absolute peace! A wild garden with plants that are climbing up the facade. Flowers that can compete with any English garden. An orange tree that branches out to the breakfast table and makes you want to grab your fruit plate.And nine rooms with a view onto the green oasis. Some even have elegant swing doors leading outside. Never come in the winter here, or you would certainly miss something! For example a few idle hours on the wooden benches with a good book in the hand. If you don't care about green stuff, you can stare at the high ceilings, admire the stucco at the walls or just fall asleep with the gentle colours around you. Doubles starting at 65 euros a night.
STAY in Nice:
HI says Hi! and that's it. If you look for the stiff concierge with the lifted eyebrow, you are definitely at the wrong address. If you need help, you are as well. In the HI hotel the young but inexperienced personnel welcomes you in the pink light of the design hotel.The advantage: You are at eye level and don't need to deal with odd arrogant glances so common in other luxury hotels. The disadvantage: It doesn't go much beyond the casual Hi! You are expected to develop a lot of your own initiative. The champagne dispenser is self service, and you can decide between whole food and whole food breakfast buffet. You may take your food to your room or into the garden, which, with its coconut palm trees and bamboo, makes a very nice impression. Matali Crasset, a student of the unavoidable master Philippe Starck, is responsible for this design wonder and she thought up quite a storm for her first project: For example the stand-alone bathtubs, that are separated from the bed only with a screen, which simultaneously works as a video beamer. Doubles starting at 269,- euros per night.
Nice Garden Hotel
In the middle of the busy city, in the middle of boutiques, pedestrian zone and 200 meters away from the beach, in the middle of the old town. What can you expect? We take a look behind the heavy iron gates of the townhouse from the 19th century and marvel: Absolute peace! A wild garden with plants that are climbing up the facade. Flowers that can compete with any English garden. An orange tree that branches out to the breakfast table and makes you want to grab your fruit plate. And nine rooms with a view onto the green oasis. Some even have elegant swing doors leading outside. Never come in the winter here, or you would certainly miss something! For example a few idle hours on the wooden benches with a good book in the hand. If you don't care about green stuff, you can stare at the high ceilings, admire the stucco at the walls or just fall asleep with the gentle colours around you. Doubles starting at 65,- euros a night.
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.