July 8-10, 2022
One of the downsides of living abroad is that we have inevitably had to miss lots of big moments for our friends and family back home, including several weddings that we would have normally attended. On the flip side, it is much easier for us to go to destination weddings in places like the French Riveria, which is how we ended up spending the first weekend in July in the Côte d’Azur celebrating the wedding of one of my favorite colleagues. It truly couldn’t have been a more idyllic experience.
We planned our trip with another one of my friends from work and her husband and the four of us also spent most of the weekend with a few other colleagues who had made the trip. We spent a lovely Saturday morning wandering around the markets and shops in Vieux Nice and had a wonderful lunch before going back to our hotel to get ready for the wedding. The venue was actually located ~45 minutes outside of Nice at the 19th-century Château Saint Georges in Grasse, a charming hillside town in southern Provence that is known for its world-renowned perfumeries. Everything about the venue and the wedding itself was absolutely stunning, especially on such a beautiful summer day while the iconic Provençal lavender was blooming around us.
Although the weekend was way too short and we didn’t spend a ton of time in Nice itself, we had a wonderful time and we can’t wait to go back to the Côte d’Azur and Provence to explore both areas properly. If you’re planning a trip to Nice or Provence, click here to access and download my Google Maps list of saved locations in France. Bon voyage!
Food & Drink
- Fine Gueule: We had lunch with several friends at this excellent restaurant in Nice’s old town on Saturday and had a wonderful table outdoors that had plenty of shade but still allowed us to enjoy the ambiance of the city. The décor was quite modern, but the menu was very traditional—and as a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the price point was perfect.
- Comptoir Central Électrique: Once an electrical-supply store, this buzzy bistro on Rue Bonaparte is located in an area referred to as the “Petit Marais Niçois”, which is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city. It was also exactly what we needed for a late dinner on Friday that allowed us to enjoy great food and cocktails as well as get a feel for the city. The servers were really friendly (especially for France) and I had truffle-honey camembert with a side salad for dinner…I’m not sure that it gets much better than that.
- Le Negresco: The pink-domed Hôtel Negresco located on the Promenade des Anglais on the Baie des Anges is one of the most iconic buildings in Nice—it was prominently featured on literally every souvenir depicting a cityscape. This magnificent belle-époque building has operated as an independently owned hotel for more than 100 years and is the definition of luxury, complete with a two-Michelin-starred restaurant and a private beach. However, the walnut-paneled hotel bar is a bit more approachable/affordable and is a wonderful option for a fancy nightcap.
Activities & Attractions
- Marché Aux Fleurs Cours Saleya: One of the most beautiful markets in France is located at the heart of Cours Saleya in Vieux Nice. In addition to offering a stunning variety of fresh-cut flowers, the market also had plenty of souvenirs, produce, local artists and artisans, and gourmet specialty stalls. The atmosphere was phenomenal, and wandering through the stalls was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.
- Promenade des Anglais: This paved promenade running for the entire four-mile stretch of the Baie des Anges is one of the most iconic stretches of seafront France, and is particularly famous for the blue-and-white beach chairs dotting its beaches. We walked down to the Plage Publique des Ponchettes at the Quai des États-Unis end of “La Prom” and it was really tough to leave such a beautiful beach, especially on such a lovely summer day.
- Marché de la Libération: It’s not quite as famous as the market on Cours Saleya, but this open-air produce market and its surrounding shops were another fun area to explore on Saturday morning as we made our way around town.
- Trésors Publics: We happened to walk by this charming little boutique in Vieux Nice on our way to lunch and I’m so glad we went inside. The selection of wares was somewhat eclectic but everything for sale was 100% made in France, including stationary, kitchen goods, perfumes, toys, and gourmet foods.