Moroccan Restaurant in Cannes

While visiting family in Cannes, we all went to lunch to the restaurant, Fleur d’Oranger, located just off the port.   Exterior

We have eaten there several times, and I always order the same dish that I enjoy so much:  Tajine poulet citron confit (chicken with lemon and olives and potatoes, served with couscous).  The Moroccan red wine is full-bodied and rich in flavor, which matches the deliciously authentic food – un delice from start to finish. The service is friendly and efficient, with customer satisfaction in mind. I’ll definitely be going back!

Tajine Poulet Citron Confit

Tajine Poulet Citron Confit

Moroccan wine

Brochette couscous

Brochette couscous

Pastry dessert

Pastry dessert

Mint tea

The a la menthe (mint tea)

Entrance Interior

 

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Christmas on the Côte d’Azur

REBLOGGED from blog at http://www.loumessugo.com

Christmas on the Côte d’Azur is full of fun, often full of good weather and probably a great deal more festive than you might think.

Christmas on Côte dAzur

Christmas Markets

Most towns in the area will have some form of Christmas market, perhaps with a theme, usually only for a day or two and nearly always in the month of December, not before (though there are some exceptions).  Here are some of my favourites

Aix-en-Provence:  the earliest market in the area.  It runs from 19 November – 27 December in the Cours Mirabeau consisting of regular chalet-style stalls selling everything and anything (gift based). There is also a separate market for the traditional 13 desserts of Provence on the 18-24 December in Place François Villon – Les Allées Provençales.

Christmas market Aix en Provence

Le Rouret:  another November market, this time just for one day on Sunday 29 November.  Le Rouret Christmas market is billed as “pure tradition” in the sense of past times/olden days and differs from many others in that it focuses on traditional artisanal crafts with displays of past trades and people dressed up in period costumes.  You won’t see much plastic tat here but you will find a lot of lovely produce and live farm animals for children to pet.  I’ve written about it in detail here.  My advice is to go early, it gets very crowded and parking can be a problem.

Christmas market Le Rouret

Valbonne:  one of my favourites, Valbonne Christmas market isn’t a “chalet” market, rather the streets of the old village are filled with market stalls just like every Friday morning but more of them, more christmassy and longer lasting.   To get into the Christmas spirit there’s nothing like a wander around this market followed by a drink in the square and a mosey around the seasonal show by the church, town hall and river.  Over the last couple of years this has been an incredible display of fire and lights.  This year’s programme is not out yet, but it’s sure to be good.  The market stays open in the evenings while the shows take place.  This year the festivities are from 20-24 December.

Valbonne Christmas market vin chaud

Nice:  the Christmas market is a classic affair of wooden chalets selling Christmas trinkets, jewellery, food, crafts, clothing and other gifts.  It is normally held in Place Massena where you’ll also find the Big Wheel, a children’s area of trampolines and bouncy castles, usually a merry-go-round shaped like a Christmas tree, oyster and champagne bars, vin chaud and a skating rink. (However this year due to the current security issues it will be within the gated section of the Jardin Albert 1er and I’m not sure about the children’s area, best to check online before going and I’ll update when I know).  The views from the giant ferris wheel are lovely and the atmosphere is always very festive here.  The theme this year is “traditions and folklore” and it runs from 5 December – 4 January.

Nice Christmas market

Monaco:  the Christmas market on the port usually has a food theme with plenty of chalets serving delicious seasonal and festive food from around the world.  There’s also a big wheel here along with a small fair for children and the wonderful skating rink.  The market is open from 4 December – 3 January.

Christmas market Monaco

Roquefort les Pins:  my town of Roquefort has its own festive celebration showcasing Christmas around the world at its annual “Noëls du Monde”.   A quarter of the population of the town is foreign and to honour this countryfolk from places as diverse as Poland, Peru, Holland, Haiti, Australia, Italy, Sweden, UK, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa and more come together to share their Christmas traditions with food, crafts and other specialities.  This year it takes place on 12 December.

Noels du Monde

Decorations & Illuminations

Lucéram:  one of the highlights of Christmas on the Riviera has got to be visiting the lovely perched village of Lucéram to see the display of hundreds of Nativity scenes (creches/cribs).  It’s so very different from regular town Christmas decorations, unique and wonderfully festive.  This year the village is decorated from 1 December – 6 January.

Lucéram Christmas village

Nice:  Nice’s Christmas illuminations are always pretty good centering on Place Massena and the water mirror/fountains in the Promenade du Paillon, the streets around Massena, Ave Jean Medecin, Place Garibaldi, the Promenade des Anglais and around Cours Saleya.  There’s always a giant Santa opposite Lenval (the children’s hospital) on the Prom for the poor kids in hospital over the festive season to look out at and several large postboxes dotted around town to send Christmas wish lists to Father Christmas.

Christmas lights in Nice Promenade du Paillon

Shows, pantomimes and carols

The Nutcracker (Casse Noisette) by l’Opéra National de Russie at l’Acropolis Nice, 10 Dec, 8pm

The Nutcracker by The Royal Ballet live cinema screening at CIV cinema 16 Dec, 8.15pm (to find out more about live CINEMA screening and to be in with a chance of winning tiickets click here). Primary school children FREE.

Troïka sur Glace, ice skating show with a Russian theme, Monaco Port, 20 Dec, 5.30pm.  FREE.

Valbonne Christmas fireworks and light show – I’m just guessing here and will update as soon as the information becomes available but usually there’s a great spectacle on the lawn between the Mairie and church every evening that the market is on.

Valbonne Christmas fire spectacle

Sleeping Beauty panto in English 1st performance 15 Dec Chateauneuf-Grasse then many more shows through December.

Carol Concert by Riviera International Singers, Antibes Cathedral  4 Dec,  7.30pm in aid of the Antibes Lifeboat, and  at Valbonne church 10 Dec 8pm + 12 Dec 6pm (Valbonne church has heated pews, this is a luxury I’d never come across before living on the Côte d’Azur!)

Big Blaze Chorus Winter Concert, Holy Trinity Church Cannes 3 Dec, 7pm

Christmas Concert by Sweet Seven, Valbonne church 6 Dec, 5pm.

carol concert in Valbonne

 Skating

Skating at outdoor pop-up rinks has become an integral part of Christmas fun in many places around the world and the Côte d’Azur is no exception.  My family love the rink at Monaco (the pool on the port is transformed into a rink for 3 months every winter). Skating to the backdrop of sailing boats and super yachts under a bright blue sky in mid-winter is an unbeatable experience!  (It’s also rarely crowded, you aren’t limited in time and you don’t have to book.)

Christmas skating rink Monaco

Patinoire à ciel ouvert Monaco Port, open every day from 4 Dec – 28 Feb except 20 Dec.

If you want to have a mountain experience, hopefully surrounded by some snow, the pop-up rink in Auronis rather lovely.  Open every day from December to the end of March (weather permitting).

Nice Place Massena, 5 Dec – 4 Jan every day from 11am – 8pm (sessions of 90 mins).

Christmas skating in Nice

 Santons

If you’re after something typically local to Provence and traditional at Christmas then do take a look at Santons.  These are clay figurines that come in many different shapes and sizes from standard Nativity scenes to more original characters from village life.  They are used to decorate houses at Christmas time and are available at most Christmas markets and at special fairs “Foire aux Santons” in a number of places.  They are highly collectable and make great gifts too.

santons of Provence foire aux santons

Here are the dates and locations of some Foires aux Santons on the Côte d’Azur and nearby.  The biggest and best is further afield in Marseille.

Mouans-Sartoux 13 Nov – 24 Dec, Mediathèque La Strada

Aix-en-Provence 29 Nov – 30 Dec, Espace Cézanne, Allées Provençales

Valbonne 13 Nov – 24 Dec, Salle paroissiale (church hall) next to St Blaise

For a very thorough programme of festivities in the Alpes-Maritimes check & pay attention to the dates as some information hasn’t been updated for 2015!

Christmas market stall

 

Cannes Film Festival: A Special Visit

Le Palais des Festivals et des Congres is better known as the site of the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, and it is only open to the public for attending events (400 per year).  I had the chance to be part of a private guided tour of the building and a chance to sit in the theater where the stars sit for the film festival & walk on the stage – oh, la la!

Some interesting facts:

  • the triangular building consists of 9 floors, two of which are underground with 950 parking spaces; each triangular floor is 1400 m2
  • the total space size is 80,000 m2 & was inagurated in 1982
  • the original casino (see photo gallery) was too small and torn down in 1978 to build a site more modern and harmonious to help highlight the city
  • the building is 20% privately owned and 80% by the city
  • In the smaller Theatre Debussy, with 1068 seats, the wood panels on the walls are made of “bois de poirier” (wood from pear trees) which provides such special acoustics that no microphone is needed on stage
  • the “tapis rouge” (red carpet) that the stars walk up on consists of 24 steps and during the festival is changed (560 m2 middle section only) two times per day
  • otherwise, there are red LED lights in the steps, creating a faux red carpet
  • the film festival is the 3rd largest media event worldwide, behind the Olympics and World Cup
  • there was no film festival in 1948 and 1958 due to lack of sponsor funds and it was stopped mid-way in 1968 out of respect for the demonstrations taking place in Paris
  • there are 8-12 people on the film festival jury, who must view each film at least once and sign as proof – there are around 90 films entered in the competition
  • the goal of the film festival is to help promote unknown films that have not yet been seen by the public
  • there is a special row of seats in the main theater for the actors who are in the film being shown to sit
  • the flat screen is 18 x 10m and is the largest in Europe
  • the sound comes from behind the screen which is perforated to allow sound to pass through – there are “grandes oreilles” who are sound specialists to test the sound in case of needing any adjustments (like “les nez” perfume specialists but for sound)
  • films are sub-titled in French and English only
  • it costs 9,000 Euros to rent the film theater

Who is the largest sponsor for the Cannes Film Festival?  (guess in comments box)

Do you know these stars ?

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PHOTOS: (some photos courtesy of Jean Mellinger)

 

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The view on the ride home on the train was splendid as well!

sunset from the train

sunset from the train

JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE

Affiche JEP-2014logo-ministere-de-la-culture-et-de-la-communication

 

 

 

 

 

 SEPTEMBER 20-21, 2014

Le week-end du 20 et 21 septembre 2014, les Journées du Patrimoine reviennent avec pour thème “Patrimoine culturel, patrimoine naturel”. Comme chaque année environ 16 000 sites publics ou privés seront ouverts au public.

This annual event is a unique opportunity to discover local heritage in all its splendour and variety by visiting sites and architectural features. A wide range of activities is organised throughout the department.

2014 Schedule:

Program in NICE 

Search in other Regions

France 3 Video HERE

 

Journees-europeennes-du-patrimoine-affiche

Sun, Sea, & Green

SUN:

“In an open-topped tour bus, a collector’s car, by Segway, by tram, on foot by boat or by bicycle, there are so many ways to discover Nice and its attractions! Are you having trouble choosing between a classical tour or a chance to get off the beaten tracks, an instructive treasure hunt to discover the history of Nice, a photographic trail accompanied by a professional photographer, a guided tour through some of the city’s most attractive districts with the Heritage Centre, a culinary tour featuring the theme of Niçois cuisine or a custom tour designed especially for you, supervised by a guide?

SEA:

Just imagine… 7 km of beaches bordering the famous Promenade des Anglais! 15 private beaches and 20 public ones in the very heart of the town! Beach restaurants where you can enjoy fish-based dishes, salads or other summertime cuisine with the sound of the waves in the background. Disabled access beaches, children’s games, organised features and entertainment and nautical activities, crystal clear water at just the right temperature …and an amazing view out to sea!   A number of private beaches organize music evenings where you can dance through the night under the stars, with your feet in the water!

GREEN:

As the “green city” of the Mediterranean, Nice is home to more than 100 gardens and some 20 parks with a surface area exceeding 10,000 m2 including the 7-hectare Parc Phoenix, a holder of the “Jardin remarquable” (Remarkable Garden) label. Genuine oases of greenery in the heart of the city, these parks and gardens have been designed to bring man into contact with nature, which can be discovered and admired at any time of year. Already ahead of target in terms of the national ECOPHYTO 2018 Plan, Nice is continuing its efforts to promote sustainable development and has opted for “zero pesticides” to protect biodiversity and the health of its citizens and visitors. Waterfalls, water fun areas and varied tree and shrub varieties await… Enjoy a lungful of fresh air… You’re in Nice!”

See major SUMMER EVENTS HEREKD paperback cover

Source: Nice Convention and Visitors Bureau

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French Riviera Fireworks

070811_1913~01Summer 2014

JULY

Wed 9:  Cannes *

Fri 11:  Le Lavandou

Sat 12:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome) & Roquebrune Cap Martin

Sun 13:  Agay, Antibes, Bormes-les-Mimosas, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Golfe Juan, La Figueirette

Mon 14:  Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cannes, Cavalaire, Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou, Menton, Nice, Port Grimaud, St. Laurent du Var, Ste. Maxime, St. Raphael, St. Tropez, Théoule

Tues 15:  La Napoule (Château)

Sat. 19:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Monaco

Mon 21:  Cannes *

Fri 25:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Le Lavandou

Sun 27:  Monaco

Tues 29:  Cannes *

Wed 30:  La Napoule

AUGUST

Fri 1:  Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou

Sun 3:  St. Raphael

Thurs 7:  Cannes *

Fri 8:  Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou

Sat 9:  Monaco, St. Jean Cap Ferrat

Tues 12:  La Napoule

Thurs 14:  Agay, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Roquebrune Cap Martin, San Remo

Fri 15:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Cannes, Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou, Menton, Nice, Port Grimaud, Ste. Maxime, St. Raphael, St. Tropez, Théoule

Sat 16:  Monaco

Sun 17:  Bormes les Mimosas

Fri 22:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Le Lavandou

Sat 23:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), la Napoule

Sun 24:  Antibes, Cannes *

Fri 29:  Le lavandou

* Check out the annual International Firework Festival in Cannes
(Festival d’art pyrotéchnique de Cannes)

(Schedule not all inclusive – check local Tourist Office sites for more information)

Source:  Riviera Reporter

Grace of Monaco

grace photoGrace of Monaco To Open Cannes Film Fest.

 

I am anxiously awaiting the public release of this film and can’t wait to see it, especially since Princess Grace’s family does not approve of/wasn’t happy with the film.

Read more HERE