Enchanting South of France
After a disappointing British summer, my husband and I decided to leave the baby at home and head to the South of France for a few days to enjoy some sunshine, warm sea, good food and a bit of sightseeing. We hopped on a 2 hour Easy Jet flight from Liverpool to Nice where we were greeted by a September heat wave and were at our apartment in Antibes after a 15 minute drive.
The town and port of Antibes are great for marvelling at the mega-yachts, people watching and dining in some great restaurants. I can recommend Le Vieux Mur set on the old walls of Antibes, looking straight out to sea. There is also a small public beach. The Hotel du Cap Eden Roc in Cap D'Antibes is the most exclusive hotel in this part of the Riviera with its celebrated fine dining restaurant and well publicised waiting list.
If shopping is your thing, then head to Cannes, just 20 minutes drive away where a sun lounger on the Carlton's private beach will set you back 45 Euros per day and the designer shops lining La Croisette could cause some serious damage to your wallet! The only places to stay in Cannes are the Carlton or the Martinez with their imposing frontages and sumptuous rooms which overlook La Croisette and offer excellent beachfront dining.
For those who like to dip in and out of the celebrity lifestyle, there are some hidden gems in the hills overlooking Cannes, such as Le Mas Candille. Originally an 18th Century Olive Farm, converted into a hotel with the addition of some very smart suites, a Michelin star restaurant and Shiseido spa, plus you don't have to venture far to enjoy some fantastic food outside of the property. The gorgeous little town of Mougins is on the doorstep and full of boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. We enjoyed a delicious meal at La Pergola, the poolside restaurant at Le Mas Candille, where the service was so attentive and the steak cooked to perfection.
A holiday in the South of France isn't complete without a trip to Monte Carlo to see the palace, casino and people watch from the terrace of the Café de Paris, but you don't have to stay in Monaco to explore the area. There are a number of hotels within a short drive of Monaco, along the coast on the way back towards Nice, which afford equally luxurious accommodation and facilities as the Metropole or Fairmont in Monaco. The Cap Estel is the closest, in Eze Bord de Mer, with its tranquil infinity edged pool and panoramic sea views; you can forget the outside world and enjoy the cool, fresh and contemporary interiors. The Royal Riviera in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is historically a grand, traditional hotel perched on the rocks, but most of the rooms and suites have had a facelift in recent years so you can soak up the history in more modern surroundings.
There is so much to see and do in this part of France from bronzing on the beach to rubbing shoulders with the stars in Cannes, and there is a hotel to suit everyone's tastes.