Monday, May 09, 2016

Nice | France

The South of France holds a certain allure of luxury travel, partly because the coast is filled to the brim with grand yachts, and also because the only things to occupy your time while there is food, wine and Lous Vuitton. Now I’m not much of a shopper but I definitely have the eating and drinking part perfectly refined.

We stayed in Nice, a few minutes’ walk from the beach, in a local studio apartment with a balcony that hosted an abundance of glorious morning sunshine. We were also blessed with a supermarket on the corner and a patisserie down the street, I highly doubt the location could have been better (minus being on a yacht).

The constant sunshine made the city glow, although the locals were in autumn jackets, it was warm enough for us Londoners to have a beach day.

Despite the lack of sand, the promenade was the hotspot of the city, perfect for people watching and afternoon tanning. Filled with joggers, roller skaters and kids braving the ocean, it was by far my favourite part of Nice.

Wandering through the streets, you can’t help but notice the ever-present Italian vibe (which of course made my heart pang). Small side streets, old quaint houses with windows full of flowers and ice cream parlours on every corner. My only complaint is that you have to watch your step; residents of Nice love to have dogs, much to my delight there were puppies everywhere… but they tend not to pick up after them so you have to constantly be mindful of where you put your feet.
It wasn’t long before we stumbled upon the ‘Oxford Street’ of Nice, at least that’s what the owner of our apartment called it. I’d prefer to call it a pretty decent high street, perfect for last minute jumper shopping when you’re out and it suddenly gets cold. It’s also host to the most incredible ice cream parlour I’ve ever visited (and I’ve travelled Italy). The place goes by the name of Cesar Gelato, it's located opposite H&M on Avenue Jean Medecin, and it's now the proud owner of my highest recommendation (I could spend the rest of my days eating scoops of their house special... pistachio and chocolate!)

Another recommendation would be Restaurant Tchitchou, situated on Avenue Georges Clemenceau. They serve the best Italian food outside of Italy, for a reasonable price, not to mention a decent bottle of Chardonnay and the nicest staff on the planet. We must have asked for the bill three times, and each time we got given another drink instead. Shots on the house will always get a restaurant five stars in my book. You’ll need to book a table in advance, the place is TINY and we grabbed the only unreserved seats at 7pm. It’s also right next to the train station, which makes it the perfect stop if you’re on your way out of town for the evening.
In fact, moving around the city on the whole is simple. As well as moving to and from neighbouring cities. One bus picked us up from outside the airport and dropped us off outside our apartment. Most of Nice is in walking distance and the multiple train stations mean you could pretty much go anywhere in Europe. Not to mention, there is Uber. We made use of the easily accessible transport links during our stay, and checked out as much of southern France as we could in five days…. details to follow. Until then, here’s Nice in photo format:


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