Cote d’Azure – The beautiful blue coast….

IMG_2711

 

This trip was all about ‘me time’ and some serious ‘timeout’. The general thing to do when you go on holiday is to take friends or a partner with you, which don’t get me wrong is usually what I would normally do BUT I have to tell you, it really does have its plus’s going abroad on your own.

 

IMG_2701 

 

I couldn’t think of a more fitting place for this than the charismatic South of France.

IMG_20140926_084856_resized

 

Photo Collage Maker_gem2Ej

 

Staying in Nice on the popular stretch of ocean front, filled with palm trees galore is the Promenade Des Anglais which was just the right spot for me to access just about everything I needed to by foot. I really miss walking along the beach everyday and something I now realise I took for granted. Regardless to the fact that it was full of pebbles rather than the golden sands I am used to, there is just something about the calming effect that the water has on you.

 

IMG_2724

 

IMG_2726

 

When I touched down, the outside temperature was impressively warm, baby blue skies were all around me and I had a very short journey before I was at my apartment for the next 5 days. I decided on this trip to go with the idea of an apartment so I had the option of having a kitchen if I felt up to cooking. Lunch was the first thing on my mind and the closest private beach was Miami so I headed over there for my first french experience for the day. Nice is full of loads of beach bars with their own secluded area, most serve food and you can hire a deck chair and umbrella if you are wanting to catch some rays.  I spent the rest of the  afternoon and into the evening walking along the Promenade, while grabbing a glass of fine french wine, a sneaky bit of people watching at a local bar and watching the gorgeous back drop of the sun setting.

Starting to feel chilled already….

 

IMG_2764

                                                     *Cute polka dot Bandeau by Appleby Ave* 

 

 

IMG_2707

IMG_2775 

 

Saturday I had no desire to rise out of bed early. Certainly was not on any time commitments that’s for sure but as I pulled the blinds back and opened the glass doors to be graced by the magnificent sun, I had a quick change of heart and scooted to the shower to get ready for the day.

 

IMG_2782

 

IMG_2790 

 

I had been recommended by a friend to visit a Villa about 15 minutes by train from the main station called Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild located at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The villa was designed by a French architect called Aaron Messiah, and constructed between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild. When i first arrived at the Villa my first thoughts were how extraordinary the colour of the facade was – flamingo pink which inspires from her love of the animal. I really couldn’t wait to explore the 9 gardens surrounding it and my gosh every inch of the property really took my breath away.  The beauty was mind-blowing and such peaceful settings that I almost started to feel myself get somewhat emotional! There is no way of describing just how beautiful it really is unless you are there so allow yourself at least three hours to take it all in because there is nothing quite like this place if im completely honest.

 

 

IMG_2802

IMG_2807

 

IMG_2809

IMG_2813

IMG_2817

 

IMG_2823

IMG_2832

IMG_2847

IMG_2848

 

I had brief food stop for some lunch in the on site restaurant which offered a two course deal with a glass of red wine and an amazing view of the bay from my window. The property itself is tastefully decorated with gorgeous pieces of furniture which would have been a mint back in those days I imagine.  The balcony upstairs looking out to the breathtaking views of the fountains and the two bays is just something else. There is also a ‘water’ show about every 20 minutes which is also fascinating to watch with some classical music being played in the background. If I had to choose a place to get married, this would be it hands down.

IMG_2857

IMG_2864

IMG_2865

IMG_2867

IMG_2879

IMG_2896

IMG_2898

IMG_2912

IMG_2792

Since ive gone on about this place way too much already I decided to put up a short video just so you can get a rough idea on what I am yammering on about.  Trust me it is just beyond stunning!!

 Link below via You Tube – 

 

IMG_2916 

After such a wonderful day I grabbed a loaf of fresh bread and headed en route to the apartment for a decent wine & cheese session. Well deserved I feel.

 

IMG_2923

 IMG_2929

IMG_2931

Sunday morning I decided to play proper tourist and booked in a full day tour with Viator. I have used this company in the past while travelling and have never been disappointed with the service they provide. The groups are also very small (up to 8) and today was my lucky day as there was only me and two other people. Pretty much my own privately guided tour right? The tour is called the Provence countryside small day tour and starts at 9am with a hotel pick up. Sue was our lovely guide for the day and I loved her friendly natured personality and outstanding knowledge of the Riviera. Our first stop was Cannes which we all probably familiar with this and the film festival in which it hosts once a year.  A very small once fishing village is now lined with glitzy hotels, fashion houses and plenty of foreigners. Of course I had to take a picture on the red carpet outside the auditorium. It was simply be rude not too.

IMG_2935

IMG_2940

IMG_2947

IMG_2941

IMG_2956

10704120_796794507044380_9093569866252609068_n

 

Following this was the picturesque scenic drive through windy roads and secluded villages. The occasional photo stops along the way to enjoy natures beauty at its best. Look I even met a friend (below)

IMG_3058

IMG_2988

IMG_2982

 

We visited Grasse – better known as the worlds capital for perfume and home to some of the most delicate flowers.  Lined with 17th & 18th century buildings, I had the pleasure of checking out the Fragonard factory and learning about how it all began in the perfume industry and what it takes to be a ‘nose’ which I hear there are only about 50 in the world at present. Just quietly, I don’t think I will be quitting my day job….

 

IMG_3007

IMG_3020

IMG_3033

IMG_20140928_171607_resized

IMG_3043

IMG_3037

While taking in some of the best views of the Mediterranean coastline, we ended up at medieval town of Gourdon, perched high in the Alps-Maritimes it only has a population of about 500. With only an hour to kill I had a quick-lunch at Les Grands Hommes which ended up as a scoffing fest and me nearly running off without my favourite scarf (disaster).  

 

IMG_3070

IMG_3075

 

IMG_3087

IMG_3096

IMG_3104

 

IMG_3153

IMG_3078

IMG_3179

 

The next and last stop was a delightful village called Saint Paul de Vence. I was in absolutely awe of the narrow cobbled maze of streets, ancient fountains and gateways. I allowed myself to get lost and explore everything it had to offer.  Truly an inspiring place if you have the creative touch. Its bursting with funky art galleries and is known for attracting famous artists, painters, writers, poets who I believe some now take residency here.  The village really captured my heart and I would be more than willing to come back here again to try some of the local cuisine at the multiple number of restaurants they have.

 

IMG_3189

IMG_3203 

Mondays agenda had Monte Carlo written all over it. Ever since my early 20’s this has been the city I have wanted visit the most in Europe. You could also say that I am a mad car racing fan and Formula 1 may have a small part to play in this regard.

IMG_3223

IMG_20140929_195200

IMG_3232

 IMG_3235

IMG_3229

IMG_3242

 

I put on my glad rags and caught the trusty train which is only about 25 minutes + a 10 minute walk from the station. The base of all the action is located seaside front and centre of the world famous Place du Casino and surrounding that is the Cafe de paris hotel and the ‘be seen’ cafe on adjacent sides.  Luxurious sports cars lined the streets with locals dolled up in their best attire.  There is certainly no shortage of money in this town and flashing your cash seems to be the way to go around here. I did have to try out Cafe de Paris just to see what all the fuss was about and after waiting 20 minutes to be served I had the chance to people watch while enjoying a glass of over the top expensive champagne and cake. Probably not the best idea I had before lunch time but hey when your on holiday it simply has to be done.

 

IMG_3240

IMG_3297

IMG_3293

IMG_3304

IMG_3251

IMG_3253

IMG_3257

IMG_3261

IMG_3263

IMG_3245

IMG_3272

IMG_3278

IMG_3285

IMG_3287

 

I had been researching a few weeks before the trip of where I could go for lunch and my word there is no shortage of Michelin star restaurants so take your pick. After much thinking I had to go with Le Vistamar at the prestigious Hermitage Hotel. Talk about posh nosh! The biggest pull was the outside terrace and with the weather being so incredible I knew I had picked the perfect place with some of the best views of the harbour and more importantly the F1 track. This hotel reminds me of the elegant Claridges in London. Pure opulence, class and service with that 5 star quality.

I had the best seat in the house (well I believe I did). Out in the sunshine, crisp white table clothes lined the terrace, with only the finest of cutlery & china. I was totally out of my league here; but I really didn’t care. I ordered a glass of Laurent Perrier bubbles along with a starter & main course of mushroom cream soup and roasted hake fish. French food at its finest.  Dessert had to be replaced with a nice cup of tea and delicate sized pastries as I couldn’t stomach any more food for the day. I forget how rich their food actually can be and literally couldn’t move from my chair for a good half an hour.  Time to watch the world go by and appreciate the fact that I am blessed to have such a wonderful life 🙂

 

IMG_3307

 IMG_3318

IMG_3328

 

 

On my last day I only had until midday to kill some time and with the clouds coming over for the first time in 4 days, I took one last walk along the promenade, soaking up the last bit of warmth and a view which I would no longer be seeing for at least the next 6 months. Sadface. 

IMG_3213

IMG_3335

 

IMG_2718

 

So there you go, a little vacation on your own is actually worth it. Without meaning to be as selfish as it sounds, I had the option of doing whatever I wanted and on my terms.  For the first time in months I feel relaxed and managed to get a good amount of sleep, plenty of vigorous exercise while enjoying the fantastic food, plenty of carbs, sunshine and most importantly my own company. What more could a girl possibly ask for!? I would certainly come back to the French Rivera. Maybe on one of those ridiculously amazing yachts…. or I could just keep dreaming. #Oneday 🙂 

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Speak Your Mind

*