SHOPPING in Nice:
Oh la la! You won't believe what you can do with fruits, blossoms and spices: At Sirop't you get the best in a highly concentrated form. Creative, traditional, surprising, try it out! Unfortunately you are spoilt for choice here, because at Sirop't there are some 100 different flavours. From fruity to nutty up to sweet-sour, out of fruit, nuts, blossoms, herbs, vegetables, tea and coffee.Ludovic Simon and Hervé Vincent have realized a dream with the Sirop't, and aside from the flag store in Nice they also have a branch in Antibes and an online store. Here you can get a foretaste of the exceptional range of products as well as many recipe ideas. Syrup is not only great for preparing drinks but also for refining salad dressings, fish, meat, sauces and desserts.
La Ferme Formagèr
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.
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!
STAY in Nice:
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.
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 Ellington is one of the hotels that wants to be it all at once, but conceals it so well that it achieves harmony, after all. Here a little art deco, there a little modernism, and a lot of 50s in between: What might be confusing elsewhere is hardly worth noticing in the Ellington. The lobby: Heavy chandeliers, playful staircases, glass ornaments. The rooms: Everything different, once trendy, other times African, then Scandinavian or Louis XVI, some with, some without balcony.The breakfast: Classic croissants, but also ham, cheese and orange juice. During Happy Hour at night they serve Duke Ellington and Ray Charles, in line with the atmosphere of the 50s and the old leather sofas, the images of jazz stars on the walls, the piano at one end and the fireplace at the other end of the rooms.Finally, in the courtyard: Southern Spain, cast iron chairs and beige cushioning. Too much? Not for world and time travellers. If you prefer to travel linearly, you should sleep somewhere else. Doubles start at 180,- euros per night.
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.
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.
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.
EAT in Nice:
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.
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.