One of my favorite places to visit is Cannes in the South of France. Even though this is a destination for the rich and famous it is possible to experience the best it has to offer on most of our budgets. We just need to choose carefully where we stay, where we dine and where we shop.
First off let’s get to know the area. Cannes is close to all the hot spots in the south of France. Nice is only 20 minutes away, Moujan 15 minutes away and Monaco only an hour. Yep mythical Monaco is close by and worth the trip.
Cannes is an easy city to move around as it all centers around he Promenade de la Croisette, a 2km boulevard that stretches along the Mediterranean and is filled with designer shops, fabulous restaurants and world class hotels. In a city of icons, the most iconic hotel is the Carlton. Run by Intercontinental, it is possible to get deals out of season. With a little flexibilty and planning you can stay here for a fairly reasonable rate. My advice though is to avoid November through March as the weather will not be as favorable then.
If you don’t have a budget for the Carlton, there is a fantastic hotel just around the corner called 3.14. They have a swimming pool, trendy rooms at great prices. Having a pool is key as even the venerable Carlton does not have one. In Cannes if you use the beach, you pay for the day, even if you are a guest at the hotel that has a beach front. It’s the French way. However I have always found it’s a little luxury that’s worth paying for.
There are other great hotels like the Hilton and the Martinez and loads of nice boutique properties and Villas. Our TV Producers often rent a villa for the big TV Festivals here. There are a lot of options.
It’s difficult to get a bad meal in France. Yes that sounds cliche but in general it is very true.
Even the touristy beachfront restaurants are fantastic and have great cuisine. Having a wonderful meal is a little indulgence that is definitely worth it. My advice is to seek out the little places in town. A good example is Mashou.
Mashou is a brilliant little restaurant tucked up the hill in the old part of town. This destination is a cobbled street full of restaurants that are all pretty much fantastic. Mashou does not have a menu per see as they serve the same the same set menu every night. First you get a huge basket filled with vegetables and olive tapenade. Next is simple Parma ham and melon and then you choose between steak or chicken cooked on a real old stone oven. Dessert is a pear tart. It’s a must try but you have to book early.
The south of France is also all about people watching. Have a glass of wine or a coffee and a little cafe on the beachfront and just watch all the fabulously dressed French ladies walk up and down the promenade with a little dogs in expensive designer handbags. There is nothing like it in the world
For shopping make sure you pick up some wonderful herbs of Provence. You can use them in all your cooking as they last forever and they’re a great reminder of your trip. Every time you cook you’ll have a wonderful aroma of the rosemary and thyme that grows freely in the hills along the Côte d’Azur. After all one of the nicest things about traveling are the great memories that will last a lifetime.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.