SHOPPING in Nice:
When you step into this shop, you will leave it full and hungry at the same time: The scent of more than 120 cheese varieties, the samples which you get before buying, and the spectacle of so much cheese fills you up, while the unique selection makes you hungry for more.More cheese, more indulgence? Voilà: Tuesday to Saturday, Jean-Paul and Jérôme Perrin turn their shop into a gourmet cheese restaurant. Now you can enjoy the cheese with its best friend, French wine, and indulge in traditional cheese dishes such as fondue or raclette.
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.
EAT in Nice:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
STAY in Nice:
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.
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.
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.