Friday, 28 July 2017

10 days in the South of France (Part 1) Nice

Back from a lovely relaxing trip to the South of France.


We flew into Nice for 4 nights with Jet 2 - great flight time as we arrived @ 10.30am so had the full day ahead of us.

I had pre booked a transfer again with https://www.jamtransfer.com/.  Have used these 3 times this year at various destinations and they are first class.

We stayed in an apartment right in the city centre about a 5 min walk from the old town. http://www.ajoupa.fr/en/

Currently rated 2 out of 204 hotels to stay in Nice https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187234-d265986-Reviews-Ajoupa_Apart_hotel_Nice-Nice_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alpes_Cote_d_Azur.html.

The apartment was spotless, a bit smaller then I had anticipated but was fine for what we needed as we were out most of the time during our stay.  The location was great right on the main Rue Massena so plenty of places to grab breakfast on a morning.

Once we had dropped our bags off we headed out to explore.  We wandered through Massena square such a pretty square surrounded by lovely buildings.



After my visit in March I wanted to show Gary the Promenade du Paillon and the fountain park.  It was a whole new world now the sunshine was out compared to back in March.  Full of children having a great time running around the fountains.



We decided to get a piece of the action.



Even the dogs were loving it.



Then we headed into the old town to find somewhere for lunch.  I would normally get a bit more off the tourist trail but we fancied doing some people watching so opted for a nice bisto right on the main street into the market.  http://www.bistrot-opera-nice.fr/restaurant-nice.  We both had a lovely chicken caesar salad.




The local Cotes de Provence rose wine was very nice. #thisisthelife

After lunch we wandered down onto the seafront and the promenade des anglais.




After soaking in the atmosphere for a while and the gorgeous sunshine we headed for a walk round to the harbour. The views are amazing the sea looked so inviting.





There are some lovely bars and restaurants around near the harbour.
(see my last Nice blog for some tips).



We had a lovely stroll round back to the town and stopped for a coffee.  Before heading back to the apartment for a siesta.

On our first evening I had pre booked a table at in Italian I had read about before my last trip to Nice but it was closed for the season back in March.

https://www.facebook.com/ristorantebenvenuto.

The reviews were really good so we decided to give it a go and we were not disappointed.

You can see the reviews here https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187234-d7347546-Reviews-Benvenuto-Nice_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alpes_Cote_d_Azur.html

The service, food and wine were spot on.


The waiter recommended a traditional Italian starter called Vitello Tonnato.  Which is a dish of cold veal covered with a creamy mayonnaise like sauce flavoured with tuna.  It was delicious and we will be recreating for sure.


A nice glass of limoncello to finish off.

After our meal we had a stroll along the seafront again.  It comes alive on a night with families having picnics on the beach and people fishing and generally just having fun.


Can just see Gary in the distance wearing the white shirt, dipping his toe in the sea.



We had a great first day and night.

The next morning I popped down to the cafe below and got some lovely criossants for breakfast.


Today was all about relaxing so we headed to the beach for the day.

Check out this building we spotted on the way to the beach it is all painted but at first glance it looks like a normal building. All the windows, shutters and balconies are painted on with a 3D effect.




The beach is all stones and there are public sections that you can go on for free with your towel but we decided to go onto one of the private sections.  We opted for http://www.operaplage-nice.fr/en/ it was 16 euros each for the day, but for this there was a waiter service, toilets and showers and a nice comfy bed.



We soon got ourselves settled and the view was amazing.



You need beach shoes for getting in and out of the sea comfortably.



We had a great day just relaxing and swimming in the sea.


For our second nights meal we decided to just grab a takeaway pizza and soak up the atmosphere on the seafront.  I had read about a great pizza takeaway place in the old town called Pizza Pili.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187234-d2248843-Reviews-Pizza_Pili-Nice_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alpes_Cote_d_Azur.html

It was very busy but we soon got served and got two mini bottles of wine to wash it down. Was so nice just sat people watching on the seafront.

 


The next day we had a wander round the antique markets before heading up Castle Hill.


The views while climbing the steps up Castle Hill are fantastic.




It is well worth the walk up to the top for the views.




We had a light lunch at the top before heading back down.




Then a stroll along beach.



Tonight we decided to just wander through the old town and find somewhere that took our fancy to eat. We stopped for a drink at a lovely bar called Glacier Brasserie and did some more people watching.



There are lots of lovely bars in the old town.




We stumbled across a really nice looking Indian restaurant for our meal called India Lounge. 


The food was gorgeous and the service was spot on.





Would go back here for sure.

We wandered back through the old town and along the beach most nights.


We were in Nice during the Jazz festival so on a night we had to walk past one of the open air stages so we just sat and listened to some great live music whilst passing by.


On our last full day in Nice we jumped on a train to Antibes.  The boats in the harbour were out of this world.






Anitbes is a very pretty town with a lovely food market and little streets.





We had a nice lunch here.


We relaxed on the beach for a few hours before heading back to Nice.


For our last night I had booked a table at Chez Palmyre which was recommended by where we were staying.  You need to book at least 2 months in advance as it is only small.  Check out the reviews here https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187234-d1105100-Reviews-Chez_Palmyre-Nice_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alpes_Cote_d_Azur.html

The menu is small 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts for 18 euro per person.



We got sat next to a lovely couple from Denmark and had a nice night chatting with them and enjoying lovely food and wine.

A final stroll through the old town on our last night in Nice before hiring a car and heading inland towards Avignon.





However couldn't leave before another ice cream from Fenocchio in the old town the best ice cream I have ever tasted.  Whenever you went past it was so busy.



#coconut #coffee mmmmmmmmmm !

This was the end of our adventure in Nice - see my next blog post for the next part of our adventure.


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