The Cote d’Azur

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

Sunshine and sheer luxury… Must‐see sights, perfect places for two – plus love bites and love potions, for the most romantic wining and dining.

Sunshine and sheer luxury

In a nutshell…

The French Riviera has long been a byword for glamour, and there’s still plenty of sparkle along this stretch of casino‐ed coastline with its high concentration of Ferraris and Maseratis. Antibes has been “a summer resort of notable and fashionable people” since F Scott Fitzgerald stayed at the Hotel du Cap in its 1920s heyday. Today the area draws the likes of Tom Cruise, George Michael, Elton John and Geri Halliwell. Couples can drive down hairpin bends to the coast with the finesse of Stirling Moss in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.

Magnetic attractions

  • St Tropez The most famous village in the world, where Brigitte Bardot modelled the first bikini. Kate Moss prefers to go topless now, as did Fergie when caught toe‐sucking on camera…
  • Cannes Famous for its International Film Festival, Cannes is also worth visiting for its beaches, the glamorous promenade ‐‐ and the smell of money.

Romantic rendezvous

  • St Paul de Vence This pretty Provencal village is perched high up on rocks and the perfect viewing point to survey the sweeping Cote d’Azur vista. This is also where Yves Montand played boules and married Simone Signoret in 1951.
  • Monaco casino You’re on holiday, so why not push the boat out and pay the steep entrance fee to this superbly ornate casino? Head for the Salon Privés where the real games of roulette, baccarat and blackjack take place. Just make sure you look the part…
  • Boulevard de la Croissette Take a romantic stroll with the big spenders along this pine‐ and palm‐fringed beachside Cannes boulevard ‐‐ probably the most beautiful stretch of the whole Riviera.
  • Sur le plage… What could be more romantic than flinging a towel down on the sand and basking in the sun with all the other beautiful people? Try the Plage de Tahiti in St Tropez, or Le Zenith in Cannes.

Love bites and love potions

Head to Le Relais American bar at the Hotel Negresco in Nice, and relax to the sound of the piano in an intimate setting. For a real splurge go to the Pavillion Eden Roc at the Hotel du Cap, set at the end of a garden on a cliff overlooking the sea. In St Paul de Vence, eat at the 16th‐century La Colombe d’Or and admire the Miro and Picassos on the wall. Caves du Roy at the Le Byblos hotel is one of the most famous nightclubs in France and is frequented by models and celebs. Don’t even think about the cost of the drinks!

To get you in the mood

The height of Riviera glam is captured in F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. And for Cote d’Azur chic on film, look no further than the elegant style of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.

Language of love

Joyeux anniversaire = Happy anniversary

Je t’aime = I love you

Felicitations! = Congratulations!

Veux tu me marier? = Will you marry me?

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