When I moved to Nice on the Côte d’Azur eight years ago I could not have imagined that I would still be in love with its beauty and blend of France with a touch of Italy. Nice has a way of getting under the skin; but then who is not enthralled by the turquoise sweep of the Baie des Anges or the charm of the Old Town with its cobblestone streets? I run a property consultancy and search business for international buyers (Côte Abode). While walking around Nice – which I do a lot – I can’t help but notice it’s also a modern and vibrant place. Every corner has a new shop or restaurant opening up. That’s why I love it: it’s a city of history yet it keeps moving forward. Here are some of my favourite things…
This iconic Nice landmark – a set of white diving boards perched on the rocks in the Port area – is now the setting for a chic bar-restaurant. Lunch under a blue sky with the water lapping below is like being on a boat. The menu is simple and fresh; the ambiance out of this world. Lunch with wine starts at around €50 per person.
Cabane in the Old Town is a design and interior decor shop that sells elegant household furnishings and other fripperies such as candles, hats and bags. The straw basket ‘Beach’ is a stylish choice for Nice à la plage. €65.
Cabane, 15 rue de la Préfecture, Nice
The brunch place du jour, Déli Bo is at the heart of Nice’s trendy Port area. As well as a delicious New York-style brunch-lunch menu, including bagels and salads, it’s known for its decadent cakes that can be taken away. Lunch is approximately €20 per person.
Déli Bo, 5 rue Bonaparte, Nice
A perfumery house established in Grasse in 1926, Fragonard’s Nice shop (appropriately on the flower market street of the Cours Saleya) is a onestop destination for all things beautiful and scented. Specialising in artisanal perfumes, soaps and lotions, it also has a range of linen, chic beach clothes and other gift ideas. This refreshing travel set ‘En Avion’ is a must for jet-setters. €22.50.
Describing itself as ‘bijoux vintage’, this hole-in-the-wall jewellery shop is a treasure of pretty hand-crafted necklaces, rings and bracelets. Owner Candice Petit transforms older pieces of jewellery, giving them a modern twist. These brass and crystal ‘Gala Emeraude’ earrings match the sparkle of the South of France sea. €40.
Nice’s premier Ice cream shop isn’t hard to find in the heart of the Old Town – just look for the queue of people waiting to choose from its 94 ice cream flavours. Local specialities include lavender, and tomato and basil flavour. A double-scoop ice cream costs €5.
An eyeglass shop with a difference, this Nice boutique takes vintage frames and updates them for the optically-challenged cool crowd. Its owner, Charles Mosa, has also designed a range of sunglasses in the vintage style – and you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses on the Côte d’Azur. Sunglasses from €250-€300.
A little off the beaten track, but still central, Nice’s photography museum and gallery showcases local and international photographers. It’s never too crowded and always has something interesting on. €10 or a 48-hour ticket allows entry to all of Nice’s municipal museums.
The fashionable five-star hotel Boscolo Exedra Nice has a luxury spa at its heart with a space-age cocoon-like subterranean pool. The Spa Deep Nature is situated in the shopping area of Nice and is the place to unwind after a long day or flight. Spa Jet-lag program €185.
A stylish modern hotel lies behind a 19th-century façade on the edge of Nice’s Old Town. In a city with surprisingly few good boutique hotels, this is a great place to stay, plus it has its own private beach across the road. ‘Beach package’ €270 per night plus access to the private beach and a sun lounger.
From France Today magazine
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