STAY in Nice:
In the past they wanted to get out, today you want to get in: The former prison has exchanged the metal bars for antique furniture. No one wants to break out, any more, since the view onto the sea has it all: Farsightedness, keen insight and outlook on the future all inclusive. We urge you to get a room with sea view!The interior is entirely dedicated to the French countryside, with gentle colours and marble baths. The restaurant, too, follows the excellent tradition of French cuisine: In the lemon cake you will search for the file in vain, however, you might be sitting in the garden near a cliff, surrounded by lemon treas or even on the terrace, where you can enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner. Moreover there are pool, fitness center and Jacuzzi, but should you still feel imprisoned, you may explore the beach, which is only a quick dash away. Doubles starting at 200,- euros a night.
Le Saint Paul
And once again Saint-Paul-de-Vence, because it was so beautiful: The medieval town has quite a few things to offer, especially galleries for the numerous artists that have settled in the tight alleys.The Le Saint Paul is located in one of those alleys with the old cobblestone and the flowerpots, in a house from the 16th century that is just as romantic inside as it is outside: Small rooms full of French country house style par excellence, plus an open fireplace, silk fabrics and canopy beds. Here life is not art, but pure luxury.On the cosy terrace they serve Provencal cuisine in a personal atmosphere, the tea is served in front of the crackling fire, and you can read a good book or have an interesting conversation. If you still prefer to go out, you can go to the small art galleries in the perhaps most beautiful place in Provence. Doubles starting at 250,- 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.
EAT in Nice:
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.
A key experience: Keisuke Matsushima's restaurant is not very Japanese, but more Italian. Yet nothing should ever be too simple, so the chef mixes the Italian base with surprising ingredients, thus creating an extraordinary taste experience.The shrimp from Liguria are combined with baby artichokes and Parma ham. The Gorgonzola risotto is accompanied by white truffles. And the tomato gazpacho with almond sorbet pretty much gets out of line. The tiramisu remains tiramisu, yet it's the best in town. The interior design is equally simple: It's small and cosy but always packed. The waiters adore their boss and are happy to explain the philosophy behind each culinary experiment to the guests, and even Matsushima himself appears sometimes in the dining area. Naturally, Kei's Passion received Michelin star just one year after opening.
Michel Devillers is utterly inflexible, at least when it comes to the quality of his ingredients. That's why the chef de cuisine of L'ane Rouge in Nice only works with seasonal products and selected suppliers. You have Gilbert, for example, who bets on real handicraft when it comes to fishing - making him one of the final few of his kind. Or Serge who breeds his chicken in traditional ways. The olive oil comes from Cantaron and Michel loves it for its unique flavour. Being the son of a butcher, grandson of a vegetable farmer and cousin of a restaurant owner he was confronted with gourmet sophistry early on. When he was 13 he was gravely fascinated by the salmon served at his own First Communion which let to his decision to become a cook. Every day after school he ran into the Hotel du Nord in Roye and glimpsed over the experts' shoulders. Today he's being watched in the restaurant by young boys in turn.
SIGHTS in Nice:
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.
To experience Nice by car is a challenge in itself. It's more than certain that there will be major traffic jams on the main connections. Thus it's best to leave the city every now and then: for example for the beach in Cagnes sur Mer which is only a few kilometres away. What you'll find there is a turquoise blue sea and hip venues along the Promenade de la Plage. Ideally you spend the whole day at Le Cigalon and begin with a giant tuna salad for lunch - try to avoid the Beef Tartar in extreme heat! Afterwards you make yourself comfortable for a couple of hours on the restaurant's beach chairs and enjoy the infrastructural advantages that's missing in the hidden beach bays. Good souls will come and bring you refreshing drinks while an oversized buddha head watches over the goings-on. Then it's time to get back on the wooden veranda again where you'll be served exotic specialities - which matches the lounge music and the Asian sculpture.
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.
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.
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!
Sephora products are regulars in international fashion magazines and prominent among the beauty weapons of make-up artists and stars. In German-speaking countries they are not available, in Nice they are. If you want to buy Sephora products in Austria or Germany you have to arm world travelling girl friends with shopping lists or deal with the international shipping conditions of online shops.Blessed be thus the Sephora shop in Nice: Here you can get all the smart beauty helpers and make-up products that make sure that the stars on the covers of fashion magazines always look so incredibly perfect and au naturel. Of course the shop also carries all the miracle crèmes and scents that everybody raves about who has experienced them personally.