A Short Break in Nice: Embracing the Enchantment of the Côte d’Azur

The Côte d’Azur, immortalised by the likes of Brigitte Bardot, continues to captivate with its glittering cerulean waters, majestic palm trees, pastel pink buildings, and endless sunshine. Nice, your likely gateway to this paradise via its airport, is a sun-washed city by the sea, famed for its dazzling promenade and enchanting Old Town. Perfect for a quick getaway from London, with an impressive 300 days of sunshine annually, here are our recommendations for a weekend in this spellbinding part of the French Riviera.

Where to Stay

Hôtel Negresco

A century-old landmark, Hôtel Negresco graces the Promenade des Anglais – Nice’s iconic seaside walkway. This historic hotel, with its striking facade, has welcomed illustrious guests such as Salvador Dalí, Elton John, and Princess Grace. Recently renovated, its spacious sea-view suites offer lavish décor and sweeping views across the water. Ideal for families, these suites provide ample space for a comfortable stay.

Hôtel Amour

For a more intimate experience, especially for couples, Hôtel Amour is just around the corner. This stylish boutique hotel, an extension of its Parisian original, is the epitome of cool in Nice. Each room is individually decorated with giant marble soaking tubs, vintage and antique furniture, and unique objects. The beautiful staff and vibrant bar scene make it a fantastic place to stay and socialise.

Where to relax

If Hôtel Amour is your base, head to its bustling beach club, one of the busiest on the water. Similar to Negresco’s beach club, it offers full service with a tempting menu of food and drink options. Don’t miss a few scoops of Berthillon ice cream, renowned as some of the world’s best. Spend the entire day luxuriating by the azure waters, but remember your water shoes for the rocky beaches and layer on the SPF – the sun here is intense.

For a more tranquil beach experience, venture to the public beach at Villefranche-sur-Mer. En route, grab lunch from Panivore, serving delectable sandwiches like Le Bastien and the local speciality Pan Bagnat, made with bread from the beloved Mama Baker boulangerie. Pair with a side salad, crisps, and a chilled bottle of Provençal rosé for a perfect seaside picnic.

Vieux Nice

Step back in time in Nice’s beautifully preserved Old Town. Wander through narrow cobbled streets and alleyways lined with historic buildings. Most days, the vibrant flower market offers stunning blooms alongside local specialities like soap and fresh bread. The best day to visit is Monday, when the antique market, Marché à la Brocante, unveils decades-old treasures from linens to artwork.

Discover the extraordinary Trésors Publics down a tiny street. This unique shop redefines the concept of a souvenir store, curating goods sourced throughout France. From soap and children’s toys to linen tote bags and espadrilles, each hard-to-find item is a gem. Be sure to pick up some locally made salted caramels and a bottle of rosewater spray from nearby Grasse.


Where to eat

Nice boasts an incredible culinary scene, featuring a delightful mix of French, North African, Provençal, and Italian cuisine. For a classic experience, visit La Petite Maison. Request a table on the patio, which becomes increasingly lively as the night progresses. Indulge in the best sole meunière and explore their fantastic wine list.

At the edge of the Old Town, Babel Babel offers excellent views and a perfect menu for light, warm-weather dining. Enjoy fresh fish, snacks, and delicious cocktails while soaking in the ambiance.

For something off the beaten track, Epiro is a relatively new Italian restaurant where every dish is a masterpiece. The warm and welcoming service complements the fresh pasta, excellent bread, and superb wine. Ask the server for pairing suggestions to enhance your dining experience.

Enjoy Your Stay

Nice, with its blend of tradition and modernity, promises an unforgettable escape. Embrace the charm, savour the flavours, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the French Riviera.

My holiday perfume, Osmanthus, cuts through the day time sun and as the sun sets, I opt for a very attractive Levant. My husband and children adores both perfumes.