10 ways to begin an immersive journey to the French Riviera. Laurie Matthews enjoys Monaco before travelling into the South of France discovering that this is a once in a lifetime adventure to be shared.
“A visit to Nice, the market, the Caves Bianchi with lunch at Chez Pipo brought me in touch with the passion and heart felt pride of the local people”
- Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice
I stayed at the boutique Negresco Hotel on the waterfront. A member of the leading hotels of the world, the Negresco first opened its doors in January 18th 1913. Today, Jeanne Augier owner since `1957 has devoted her life to the preservation and development of this unique heritage.
Staying here and drinking at the Bar Le Relais is a sublime occasion and not to be rushed.
- Chez Pipo in the Old Town of Nice
There are plenty of places where you can sample socca in the Old Town, but if you want to understand why so much fuss is made in Nice over this chickpea pancake, this out-of-the-way café behind the Port is the place to go. View it here.
- Cave Bianchi in the Old Town of Nice
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the current owner of the Cave Bianchi.
At the centre of old Nice since 1860, in the old cellars of the St – Dominique cloister the Cave Bianchi offers the faithful a carefully selected range of the best wines from Provence as well as introductions to wines. In 1860, when the compte de nice was once again made part of France by Napoleon III, the love of good wine established itself in the Cave Bianchi. This is a celebrity haven and they come here in droves for a private tasting with the owner. Learn more about the Cave Bianchi.
- The Royal Riviera Hotel in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat
A virtuoso member, This luxurious 1904 seafront hotel is 10 km from Nice and 12 km from Monaco.
The Royal Riviera Hotel commands centre-stage in this exclusive resort of Saint Jean cap Ferrat. A modern classic, this luxurious hotel provides all the intimacy of a private Mediterranean villa with the luxury and glamour of a palace. The hotel boasts a total of 94 rooms and suites, 78 of which are in the main building. Designed to reflect the landscape of the south of France, the majority of the rooms overlook the sea and gardens. The private villa l’Orangerie features 16 additional rooms and Suites decorated in the purest Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat style.
- Visit the markets
Visit the markets A visit to the market is a totally immersive activity, the French are so proud of their vegetables, cheese and cured meats it was a pleasure to spend time in this magnificent place and before we leave the lovely town we took time for an Absinthe tasting at the Absinthe Museum in Antibes. The tastings arranged in the only remaining traditional tasting room in the South of France celebrates Absinthe famous participant Van Gogh.
- Picasso Museum in Antibes
It would not be a visit to the French Riviera without travelling to the Picasso museum.
From 1925 the chateau was known as the Grimaldi Museum. From 1946 it became the home of Pablo Picasso and it is here that he created his finest works. Picasso himself said that if you would want to see the Picassos from Antibe you would need to do so in Antibe itself, and so here they are. It’s an impressive building with views way out to the Mediterrenean.
Eze is a medieval village perched like an eagle’s nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean. It is home to exclusive hotels, restaurants and shops and is only a 20min drive from Monaco.
- The local Fragonard Factory in Eze is a must visit.
- St Paul De Vence
One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Rivera and home to many artists.
- Villa Rothschild
Built on the narrowest part of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, this palazzo is one of the finest listed buildings on the French Riviera with views over Ville Franche, the villa has 9 magnificent gardens.
Contact Indigo to tailor make your immersive experience in France.