French Riviera, Part Deux.

After mixing with the rich and not so famous in Cannes and Monaco, we turned to the more casual side of the French Riviera. We were blessed with more glorious weather which seems to be the norm in the south of France.

We stayed with V’s aunt in her lovely, art-filled home in the hills above the Golfe Juan and Cap Antibes. What a remarkable view to wake up to:


And what a beautiful pool to relax at!


We were treated to a delicious lunch at the restaurant of V’s cousin, Lou Pistou, located in downtown Nice close to the famous flower market. Guillaume worked for his father’s restaurant for years until opening his own place. It’s a family steeped in the traditions of hospitality and good food.


The restaurant offers a creative take on the local cuisine. V’s sister got these zucchini flower beignets which were gorgeous and delicious.


(Later in the day we had dinner at Nounou and had a remarkable bouillabaisse. Did I mention that we ate well on this trip?)


While in Nice, we took in the view from the terrace of Guillaume’s apartment. In one direction we saw this:


…while in the other direction we saw this. Not bad.


Can you imagine having your morning coffee and your evening rosé on that terrace? I would spend all day out there! (V actually turned down a job that would have taken us to Nice. As I stare outside my window in Brittany, at the grey and rainy skies, and imagine that view from Guillaume’s terrace, I rue V’s decision just a bit…)

We strolled through the city and along the promenade. Nice boasts wide open spaces and colorful buildings.


And plenty of beach umbrellas.


The next day I had a few hours to explore on my own before catching a train to Paris. I chose to go to Antibes, a bustling small town that is known best for its harbor filled with enormous yachts. I took a stroll along the harbor and through the old town.

I was impressed by these huge yachts:


But then I saw these REALLY huge yachts, some larger than the house I grew up in:


(Please note that I was not allowed to get close enough to the huge yachts to get a picture that allows you to fully appreciate their size.) After my trip I read a memoir, Mediterranean Summer, by a chef who worked on one of these enormous yachts. It was really interesting to read about how a boat like that is managed, and how a chef stocks his food in the markets of Antibes! I got to see the Antibes market up close and personal. The market was open air, with a roof that ostensibly keeps out rain, although I’m not convinced it ever rains upon the Riviera. So many vegetables, spices, olives, fromage, and other local treats. I would love to shop at this market every week. I purchased some decadent olive tapenade to share with our friends in Paris.


Our trip to the French Riviera was quick and I was not able to visit the museums I would have liked to see. On my next trip I’ll take the time to visit the Picasso Museum in Antibes, the Musée Matisse in Nice, and La Malmaison gallery in Cannes. Overall though it was a lovely trip and great to get to know another region of France.

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