Bonjour, Nice!

Adam is already on a self imposed cheese ban and said “bonjour!” no less than 12 times upon exiting our hotel this morning (to people, dogs, parking meters). We are both slightly sunburned, enjoying 30 degree days and our big purchase yesterday was a giant inflatable yellow tube.

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We flew in on Monday following our flying visit to London over the weekend. Our pied-à-terre is the Nice Garden Hotel. I have so many good things to say about this boutique hotel, especially with regard to the staff, who were particularly friendly and attentive.

The Hotel is conveniently located a quick stroll down Rue de Congres to the sea and an easy and flat walk to Nice Ville station. Our spacious room was very reasonable at 125 euro/night, but the best physical feature of the hotel is it’s charming and secluded garden.

We opted out of the 8.50 euro/day breakfast until our last day (I’ve had one too many dodgy continental breakfasts in my time) however the variety of food and of course the lovely garden setting were well worth the price.

The French take their annual holidays during August, so Nice was predictably crowded. Despite the influx of visitors, the atmosphere is surprisingly laidback. Nice is certainly a pretty town, and we spent a lot of time just meandering through the laneways of Vieux Nice (the old town) and along the Promenade des Anglais.

If you walk right to the east end of the Promenade, where it becomes Quai des Etas-Unis, you’ll find yourself at the foot of a series of steps up to the Colline du Chateau. The steps are definitely worth the climb, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of Nice at the top.

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The waterfront is lined with restaurants, which also charge exorbitant prices for the rental of beach chairs, towels and parasols. We tried out the rocky beach (perhaps we are too spoilt with the golden sands of Bondi!) and later decide to fork out 38 euros for the privilege of deck chairs and parasols at thePlage di Beau Rivage.

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Monaco is within easy reach of Nice, just twenty minutes on the train. We made a day of it, starting with croissants for breakfast by the marina, a walk around the monumental Casino de Monte Carlo, lunch in the lovely shaded Jardin Exotique and a visit to the
Musée Océanographique de Monaco
an impressive maritime museum and aquarium, in the afternoon.

les petites Nemo?

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Feasting wise, lunch is usually a thrown together meal of cheese and cured meats on a fresh baguette from the local Spar. Adam and I missed a few dinner opportunities due to jet lag, however we had an excellent 11pm pizza at La Tapenade, and our standout meal was at a lovely restaurant called La Maison de Marie. I’ll post more about that soon.

I hope life is good where you are! Tell
me, friends, have you ever visited Nice?

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