SIGHTS in Nice:
Directly by the beach promenade in Nice, the Promenade des Anglais, you find the hip High Club with club boutique. It's the party hub for those who demand for exclusiveness! The motto: to see and to be seen. Directly in the High Club there's also the shrouded Club 47. Here the jet set of Nice throw their parties. From the turntables you hear electronic music by the hottest DJs like the French Martin Solveig who is currently celebrated by the scene. Other known DJs who have been standing behind the turntables include Benny Benassi, Bob Sinclar or Dennis Ferrer.
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.
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:
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.
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.
It's small, it's tight, and sometimes you have to push the tables around to even get a spot. There is no telephone, so you will have to come twice - once for reserving a seat and once for eating. There are only stools without backrests.The million-dollar-question is: What are you doing here? The fact of the matter is: It's worth it. Dominique le Stanc already saw two Michelin stars at Le Chantecler, now he defected to try an entirely new concept: You don't need golden spoons in order to eat well. It works, because the chef is such a wonderful cook that it is impossible to get into his restaurant without a reservation during the season. The food: Authentic, Mediterranean fare, with ingredients fresh from the market and a short, permanently changing menu. The lamb is so tender that it falls from the bone, the onion pizza is divine, and the filled sardines and green pasta with pesto to drop to your knees. The tripe and the stockfish aren't to everyone's taste, but if you've always wanted to try it you should do it here. In line with the moderate ambiance you can leave your platinum credit card at home, since the place is cash-only.
STAY in Nice:
Art Deco is never out. And if it is, it will come back. The Hotel Le Maurice keeps to the law that one always meets twice in life, thereby saving on the costs for remodeling: The hotel is 30s through and through, and it's always been like that. It's this true and authentic charm that makes the Maurice unique next to all the trendy designer hotels: The creaking parquet floor in the lobby, the open lift, the red carpet in the rooms, and the stucco on the walls - the only things missing for a perfect time warp would be a topper and mustache.Yet you don't need to live without modern amenities: Instead of a telephone cabin in wood there is W-Lan, and instead of servants with fans there's air-conditioning and satellite TV instead of theater. And if you pull away the heavy curtains you see cars instead of horse-drawn carriages. It's still easy to take the Art Deco feeling out with you: The old town is only a walking stick away, as well as the elegant parks in which you can saunter wonderfully. Doubles starting at 115,- euros a night.
Did you ever want to spend a night in the Schönbrunn castle? Then you should come to the Côte D'Azur: The Negresco offers classy bedrooms to all the Sissis and Franzls out there. Even Salvador Dali once said: "In the heart of the lights and pomp of the Bay of Angels, a star-palace: the Negresco". Since then not much has changed in the museum hotel, which, because of its inestimable artwork, was classified a historic landmark in 2003. It covers five decades of history and a few hundred decades of art history: Here a wall-sized king's portrait, there contemporary pictures by Dali, Moretti and Gruau.Golden sinks and canopy beds in the rooms, like at the times of the Sun King. On top of that an award-winning menu in the Chantecler, one of the best and - with 130,- euros per menu - most expensive restaurants in Nice. It's obvious that the guests pay for the centuries. After all you can admire art from the Renaissance up until today, finest Belle-Époque, glass domes, Baccarat chandeliers and a lot of charm from the time of formal curtsies and scrapes. Doubles starting at 257,- euros a night.
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.
SHOPPING in Nice:
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!
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.