One thing I love about cities, is that you can find something surprising around every corner and on every side street. I had planned on having lunch with a friend at a Vietnamese restaurant in Nice, but it was closed for some reason. So, due to this twist of events, we ended up walking down rue Dalpozzo and came across “La Milanesina,” a family run, Italian Restaurant (2, rue Dalpozzo). The lovely, interior decoration and friendly ambiance immediately pulled me in.
It soon became quite obvious that this place was family run, as the chef is the mother of the waiter, speaking Italian together. I ordered one of the “plat du jour”: a ham & cheese omelette, but asked to have it without the ham. What shocked me next was the waiter asked if I wanted something in its place – huh? In all my years in France, when I have ordered something without an ingredient in a French restaurant, no one has offered a substitution. I asked what he had in mind, to which he then asked the chef, and responded “courgettes” (zucchini) – delicious. The service was polite, friendly, and accommodating — yes, you read correctly — accommodating to the client!
I personally thanked the chef and asked how long they had been open (2 years); she understood, but did not speak a lot of French. Their appreciation for our patronage was indeed heartfelt and conveyed – in the end, I was happy the other restaurant had been closed.
The beach in Nice, France in the summer. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
By Margo Lestz
If you visit the French Riviera in July or August, you might have trouble finding an open space on the beach to put your towel. It’s hard to imagine that up until the 1920s there were no summer tourists here, no hotels were open, and there was certainly no one swimming in the sea.
The French Riviera was “discovered” in the 1800s by the European nobility who spent their winters here. But when springtime rolled around these wealthy holiday-makers went home and left the summer heat to the locals. Then in the 1920s, an American couple played a big part in the Riviera’s “rediscovery”.
With earlier-than-usual hot, sunny weather in the area, I started feeling the need for sand between my toes. So it was that I decided to have lunch at a beach restaurant, where some of the tables and chairs were actually on the sand, about 30 feet from the sea.
As I wiggled my toes in the sand, I also enjoyed the delicious lunch, sea views, surrounding ambiance, and after lunch stroll along the shore – a delightful place for a Sunday lunch!
(Photo gallery below)
Juan-les-Pins, a commune of Antibes, is well-known for its jazz festival (July 2014 schedule), nightlife, and its casino, just to name a few.
Must-see suggestions (as listed on Tourism Office site):
Port Gallice overlooking the bay of Juan-les-Pins
the château of Juan-les-Pins (Rudolf Valentino’s former villa)
the Belles Rives hotel with its original furniture dating from the 1930s.
the villa “La Vigie”
the Juana hotel. Designed in 1931, its façade is a listed historic building.
the Gould pine grove, where Ray Charles and Miles Davis made their European debuts and where you can see stars’ handprints set in the ground…
the many “art deco” buildings.
the legendaray fine sandy beaches where waterskiing was born.
the Exflora park offering all the freshness of 330 plant essences
“The annual Nice Jazz Festival has enjoyed great success in recent years, even after the controversial move from its spiritual home in the hills of Cimiez, down to the lowlands of Place Masséna. The 2014 edition looks to be as interesting as ever, with quite an eclectic lineup of artists and acts — where else will you find Deep Purple, Har Mar Superstar and De La Soul on the same bill? This is a jazz showcase, right?”
Running from July 8-12th, there will be great performances by The Gypsy Kings, Ed Motta & the Nice Orchestra Horns, Electro Deluxe and Richard Galliano and the Nice Jazz Orchestra, Dr John & the Nite Trippers featuring Sarah Morrow and Keziah Jones. The festival will take place on two stages in the center of Nice, one in the Theatre de Verdure and the other on Scene Massena where you can conveniently walk from one performance to another. (Source/credit: Riviera Buzz)
This year, Nice Mayor Christian Estrossi organized the largest human saxophone in Place Massena on June 21st, setting a new Guinness Book world record, with 1660 locals, and marking the first day of summer and la Fête de la Musique.
Cours Saleya is the heart of Old Town Nice and it’s always pulsating with life. Striped awnings cover its centre and shelter the products on offer in the daily market. Crowds of locals and tourists come here to do their shopping or sometimes just to look and snap photos of the colourful displays. The scents of fresh produce and flowers seem to put everyone in a good mood and the atmosphere is friendly.
Cours Saleya hosts four different markets. The most well known is the Marché aux Fleurs, or Flower Market, held Tuesday through Sunday. It’s actually a combination of the flower market and the fruit and vegetable market but the name, Marché aux Fleurs is commonly applied to the whole thing. The fruit and vegetable stands pack up by 1.30 in the afternoon but the flower stalls stay open until about 5.30.
While waiting for nightfall and the candle lit gardens and chateau evening, we had dinner reservations at the beautifully tented (actually draped describes it better) restaurant on the grounds of Vaux-le-Vicomte. Service was efficient and the food was as majestueux as the surroundings. Reservations are on a one-hour timeframe, but we didn’t feel rushed and service was polite and efficient. A great place to people fashion watch, as the restaurant filled up with international tourists, and looks ranged from very casual to French-style elegance. A grand place to souper comme un roi!
As a former equestrian (hunter/jumper and fox-hunting), it was truly a Proust-like moment for me: the sweet smell of the hay in the air, the soft feel of petting a pony and a horse, and the ingrained muscle memory of riding – the pleasant odors and familiar sights lingered all around me.
Champagne, horses, and dancing were the highlights of the day and evening – et bien sûr, mingling with friends and new acquaintances.
A great day and an enjoyable event – I just wish now that I had kept my custom riding boots!