THE FRANCE TRIPTYCH
SECTION I: 6 DAYS THE FRENCH RIVERIA
There are fewer ways to make your friends hate you than oversharing about a good week in the French Riveria in summer- "oh Nice beaches" this, "Monte Carlo casinos" that and "did I mention about the promenades in Cannes?". This region maketh a holiday that will invariably be filled with superlatives of glamour, hyperboles of beauty, both in nature and people and grandiosity of culture and history. And bathed in the average 14 hours of sunshine the region gets in summer, you will leave with memories of a holiday beyond your imagination. Here we share an itinerary to give you a sneak peak into this mesmerizing region.
Getting around: the biggest airport in this region is Nice International Airport and being the second largest airport in France, you can be assured of good air links from major European cities. There are also good train links into Nice and Cannes. Bespokcracy rented a car for the whole time here which proved to be utterly convenient instead of relying on the local buses which can run on funny schedules.
Cannes / Grasse / Monaco
Coming to the French Riveria without coming to Grasse, the world capital of perfume, would be a travesty. Not only does it smell good, it looks good. Make an effort to visit one of the parfumeries whilst you are there since that's the best way to know how perfumes are made (and it is some process). And Bespokcracy managed to make 2, so no excuses no your part.
60 Blvd Victor Hugo | + 33 4 92 42 33 08 | website
23 Blvd Fragonard | +33 4 93 40 32 64 | website
Where to stay: Hotel Cavendish
A charming property with a belle-epoque façade and rotanda just 5 minutes from the beach are not the best features of this boutique hotel with only 34 rooms, it is the open bar at the lounge for guests every evening. You read right.
11 Boulevard Carnot | + 33 4 97 06 26 00 | website | 115€ for a standard room
Must-see: Palais des Festivals et des Congrès
Cannes's glam and fame is intrinsically linked to this landmark, which plays host to the annual Cannes Film Festival, naturally. Designed by Hubert Bennett and François Druet, It sits on an enviable spot along the famous boulevard de la Croisette facing the ever-blue Med. Walk down Croisette for the Allée des Stars, adorned with handprints of various movie stars.
1 boulevard de la Croisette | +33 4 9339 0101 | website
Must-eat: Le Mesclun
Perfectly blending warmth and exquisitivity in a relaxed yet sophisticated setting, the seasonal French-Mediterranean food prepared here is simply one of the best gastronomic experiences one can get in Cannes.
16 Rue St Antoine | +33 4 93 99 45 19 | website
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
The glamorous principality of Monaco, a mere two square kil0metres stretch of land just by the French Riveria does live up to its famed ostentatiousness and over-the-top cars and wealth decked out in most ridiculous forms all around. Unless you are big on gambling and over-priced shopping, we suggest just taking a day trip here. And it will be a packed day. Perhaps start with heart of it all, the Place du Casino, with the Casino de Monte Carlo, made famous by the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again. and the other beautiful Charles Garnier creation, the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (Salle Garnier). Then pamper yourself (and for convenience sake) at the best restaurant in town, the 3-Michelin starred Le Louis XV at Hôtel de Paris just next to the famed Casino (lunch only available during weekends).
Move on to the main attraction in town, the Palais Princier with les grands appartements (Place du Palais | website) perched dramatically right above at Le Rocher. This is home to the oldest monarchy in the world and renovated from the 13th century to become the Louis-XIV styled palace that you see today. It is open to the public when the royal family is not in residence and it is well worth a tour. And if time permits, catch the ancient tradition of the Changing of the Guard every day at 11.55am in front of the Palace.
End your day of glamour by walking down the hill to take a nice stroll around Port Hercule- one of the world's most photographed ports, made famous by the Formula One races that zooms past here in the spring. The area has your shopping and various dining opportunities.
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