EAT in Nice:
A smart restaurant may make you think: Big plate, nothing on it, and a hefty bill. Not in the 11e Art, because here everything is smart, even the presentation: Modern interior, with bar stools made of steel outside and sofas inside, this restaurant is a refreshing newcomer to the trendy, young scene of Nice. And then the food: For a menu with six courses you pay 36 euros, and they are well worth it. The duck breast with polenta may look small, but it fills the stomach and is absolutely divine. Just as the fois gras, the sorbet and just about anything that you order here.Despite the stylish ambiance, the 11e Art has maintained its relaxed ways and convinces with its magnificent food and incredible service: If you are a vegetarian, the waiters fiddle with their menu until it's suitable for you. And if you don't know what things mean, they take your hand and explain everything. Finally, if you like Japanese food, you can get that, too, because one of the chefs happens to come from Japan. The tourist trap Promenade des Anglais is close by, but the restaurant is situated in a calm side street. Instead of the common French fries, it only serves French best.
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.
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.
STAY in Nice:
Hotel Le Meurice
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.
The road to success is often bumpy, thought designer Michel Wilmotte and made the stone his main topic at the Beau Rivage. The result is anything but rough, with its round forms and the perfect combination between modern comfort and selected natural materials. Gentle earthen colours in the rooms, a lot of wood: All in all the hotel makes a cosy, close to nature impression, which is only topped by the airy sun beds at the private beach.No wonder that the guest list reads like the who-is-who of the arts: Matisse, Fitzgerald and Nietzsche took a drink at the bar and a stroll on the world famous Promenade des Anglais, which is only a stroke of the brush away. The guests then got even more inspired by the nearby flower market, and today the Acropolis Convention Centre gives businessmen good ideas. Doubles starting at 250,- euros a night.
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.
SHOPPING in Nice:
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!
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.
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.
The Russian Cathedral, which became a listed monument in 1987, is one of the most beautiful orthodox churches in Western Europe and the most frequently visited historical building in the city.The members of the Tsarist family spent their winters in Nice since the middle of the 19th century. Its prestige was so far-reaching that the Russian government spent three years to sue for the right of ownership. It was granted ownership in 2010, because the Cathedral stands on a piece of land that Tsar Nicolas II. had provided.