Côte d’Azur: Nice is not just a place in France.

October 4, 2017

 

Here you can read my notes straight from old school pen + paper 

as I documented my journey through Nice & Cannes.

Disclaimer lots of rosé was involved in the

creation of these events. I hope you enjoy!

Day 1: Nice

 

Forget everything you thought you knew about life. Question everything. Because I have discovered what it truly means to live-- and it involves a warm baguette and a grey pebble beach along the French Riviera.

Quick review: Nice, capital of the Alpes-Maritimes on the French Riviera, sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. Founded by the Greeks, later a retreat for 19th-century European elite, the city has also long attracted artists like Matisse.

 

cue visualization* I awaken from my hazy eight-hour Delta flight this morning, unaware that I was about to step foot in THE most enchanting city on earth.

I decide to flee to the south of France on a whim (I know, annoying, right?) but seriously. I didn’t have any huge expectations for this small town, did little to no research and even booked my hotel while 10,000 ft. in the air via Hotel Tonight app—definitely worth downloading if you love great deals for last minute hotels.

 

So, if you know me then this impulse is no surprise considering I fled to the Amalfi Coast last summer under the same circumstances. Short story long I fell in love with Positano last year and vowed for it to forever be my one true love. Fast forward to present-day now I look back at myself and laugh. You naive sweet child.

 

I smile and take another sip of the rosé I bought at a shop down the boulevard. Maybe my new-found love for Nice has something to do with my room at the remarkable Hôtel Suisse? The Hotel hangs on the side of the Ascenseur du Château with awe-inspiring views of Old Town Nice, Vieille Ville and Castle Hill. Or maybe it’s the artists wearing berets as they try to recreate the charm of the Marché aux Fleurs, Cours Saleya—the local flower market.

 

While I enjoy my vino, and take another look out on to the Cote d’Azur which glistens from the gleam of the lit-up palaces. There is something in the air in Nice. Amongst the smell of lavender mixed with the saltwater breeze, tangled with the harmonious sound of street musicians and racing cars—The French Riviera is but a dream. My new one true love.

Day 2: Nice

 

With my stolen Hôtel Suisse pen I’m writing from a restaurant with rave reviews for vegetarian dishes- La Femme du Boulanger, so far so great—I ordered a delicious Bordeaux and just finished my veggie on bread situation. As I was enjoying my meal the whole time I kept thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get Amorino Gelato after this. So naturally I’m only getting one glass of wine at dinner tonight- it’s called balance.

 

As you can imagine I’m getting very sad about saying “Au Revoir” to Nice tomorrow, I truly never want to leave. The weather, the people, the charm, the views... it’s all so surreal.

 

Fun fact about Nice, they are way ahead of us on the plant-based diet train, no surprise but there are a ton of plant-based restaurants here to try. I’ve eaten at to two on my list so far—Paper Plane & Vegan Gorilla, let’s just say I’m going to Paper Plane again for breakfast… it’s THAT good. To be honest, I don’t even know what vegetables I’m consuming here half of the time, what I do know is they all taste good- so I go with it.

 

The waitress at La Femme is so inspiring, she’s from Chile and learned English when she traveled through Australia then decided to learn French and move to Nice because she fell in love with the south of France. I could definitely be down for that but unfortunately, I don’t think I would be able to afford the studio apartment in the Le Negresco Palace on that salary.     

 

It’s hard to write when all I can think about is getting my Gelato- Lime Basil and Dark Chocolate (Surprise, it’s also vegan!) yum. Before I go we have to talk about this macaron place I accidently stumbled upon this morning. And Yes ok, I cracked, macarons are not plant-based lol. But it was this sweet little shop called Angea and the Saint Tropez flavor was to die for, let’s just say I will never step foot in a Ladurée again.

 

Cannes Here I come!

Day 3: Cannes

 

Update, I have arrived in Cannes courtesy of a very interesting Uber driver. To begin my journey, I started with breakfast at Paper Plane as promised. Basically, I wake up at the crack of dawn every morning and this was no exception. I was the first person there and the owner or French Ryan Gosling as I call him in my head was there and probably so confused seeing as I was there 12hrs prior. The avocado toast was amateur but the cappuccino was good. Did I mention I was the only one there? Lol.

 

After my amateur toast, I packed up and ordered my very expensive and completely unnecessary Uber en route to Cannes. Goodbye quaint town and hello home of the famous film festival!

 

Quick review: Cannes, a resort town on the French Riviera, is famed for its international film festival. Its Boulevard de la Croisette, curving along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, glamorous boutiques and lavish hotels.

 

Upon arrival, I checked into the Hôtel Barrière Le Gray d'Albion and decided to take advantage of their private beach situation which, mind you, you still have to pay an arm and a leg for—but I am one for the experiences so I decided to splurge and get a front row ocean view chair. I laid out for about four hours and not a tan line in sight, the sun here is weird.

 

After my really tough day at the beach I obviously had to see if there was an Amorino in Cannes. There is. Color me thrilled. The gelato was amazing as per usual.

 

Fast forward to now I am sitting near the Musée de la Castre, a castle on the coastline, waiting to order my final glass of rosé at Tredici. Tredici is where I spent my last meal in France. And it was the best meal of the trip! Homemade bread with avocado, tomatoes, ribbon zucchini, dried rose petals and a pinch of magical fairy dust I’m sure. Positively delicious. This restaurant specializes in fresh tartines- which translates to fancy bread entrees. Side note I obviously showed up right when they opened because everyone in Europe doesn’t eat until 9pm and I need to be snoozing by then.

 

 

Tomorrow I head back to the Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport where my journey started, via another overpriced Uber (next time I’ll master the transportation system, I swear.)

 

Short story long, I love Nice. 

 

 

 

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