Monday, 15 July 2013


Before we caught the train along the stunning Côte d'Azur coast line with spectacular views of Antibes and Cannes just casually sailing past our window, we took advantage of flying into Nice by spending two nights there. Nice isn't fashionable in the way that big cities like Paris are but it has an understated charm with a little bit of everything you need. I first visited Nice on a post exams jaunt with some of my girlfriends. As expected the old part of Nice still reigns with its cobbled streets lined with tourist eateries, souvenirs and delicacies but a few boutique interior shops have unexpectedly emerged since my first visit. If you are in the city be sure to drop into lifestyle shop Cabane for it's simple enamel dinnerware, corregated cardboard tiered pots and these wooden angle poise lamps in a variety of different cord colours that I had my eye on...
Cabane 15 rue de la perfecture, 06300 Nice

Just round the corner is interiors shop Baobab - despite being open for now ten years the owner's edit of raffia Morrocan inspired baskets, chalky textiles (throws / blankets) and recycled grey cardboard lights are the height of  Côte d'Azur reclaimed chic...
Baobab: 10 Rue du Marché  06300 Nice, France

Peg's Nice Tips...
1. Climb to the top of Parc du Chateau at twilight for stunning panoramic views of the bay.
This view from the climb down reminded me of a scene from The Talented Mr Ripley
Giant cactus framing the view up on Parc du Chateau
Oh and the view! No instagram filter needed.

2. As my friend Tamara advised me, don't pay more than 5 euros for a bottle of wine in France. There are mini supermarkets called Monoprix scattered throughout the city that sell good bottles of Alsace wine (my favourite) for 4 euros. 
3. Regrettably we missed looking around the Matisse Museum but with Matisse having lived in Nice I'm sure it is pretty special.
4. Eat at Côte Marais. We stumbled across this romantic cosy little restaurant in the old town by chance and the set menu is french perfection (expect fresh organic ingredients).

I can't finish this post without mentioning this was our first Airbnb experince and I'm sold. Hotels in Nice aren't cheap so this is a sure way of experiencing the city by staying in an authentic local appartment. We stayed at French lecturer Pascal's pied a terre housed within a French school (random but brilliantly convenient) with a simple french bachelor-esque feel. The walls were adorned with french maps new and old (a clue to his well traveled past perhaps?) and his epic collection of jazz records were mounted above his old fashioned vinyl player. White walls, books, some 60's crockery, a few old sports photos, a graphic festival print and some potted aloe vera and cactus made for a simple french man's fuss free abode. A few Pelforth beers chilling in the fridge and what else could a guy want? Or us for that matter!
Pascal's appartment in Nice from Air Bnb
Cactus and aloe vera in Pascal's apartment

Situated just North of the old town and a stones throw away from the Modern Art Museum (you could see from his balcony) Pascal's airy flat was just the ticket to enjoy Nice. I'm sure Airbnb vary hugely depending on the host but there are definitely some gems out there. Pascal for example left us some handy tips of his favourite places in the city (along with an annotated map) and was even there to greet us upon our arrival post 11pm at night (our flight was delayed be couldn't have been any more patient). A string of good reviews clearly speaks volumes (Pascal had pages of great feedback) so my advice is to play safe and go with the positive comments. Have you stayed in any great Airbnb's? I'm all ears! 

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