Cannes - The French Riviera

Cannes... the French Riviera, glamour, sun, culture, food and more glamour. So when my partner John asked if I wanted to be his plus one for a TV event in the city I was packed before he had finished asking. It was the early days of our relationship so there were no kids to consider, just wether or not I had a frock that would fit the occasion. 

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Where to stay

There is a conference or festival in the city of Cannes almost every week of the year, from the legendary Cannes Film Festival to the world Yacht festival so accommodation can be pricy and difficult to find if you leave it to the last minute and find yourself slap bang in the middle of the International conference on Nuclear plant chemistry check this calendar ( https://10times.com/cannes-fr ) and book ahead. 

Luckily there are numerous options, from staying at the world famous Carlton Hotel on the croisette, (which varies in price but is rarely less than €350 per night rising to €650 at the weekends) to staying in a boat on the marina via Airbnb from around €250 (such as the one here) per night rising to anything you can imagine. There is also the option of venturing a little outside of the main strip to any of the smaller, accessible seaside towns such as Juan les Pain which is a €10-15 taxi fare from the centre of Cannes and where accommodation is much cheaper.

Where to stay and eat...

We chose to stay in a lovely Airbnb a 20 min walk from the croisette along the seafront. I always enjoy feeling more like a local and doing a bit of grocery shopping in either a farmers market if available or just the local supermarket. Luckily we found both which helps when it comes to budgeting as Cannes can be expensive and the food can be very average for the French. But if you have to have that moment of people watching on the crosiette then  happily it’s not just the grand hotels and beachfront restaurants that will give you a memorable dining experience (the bill in itself will be memorable). For between the Michelin starred elegance and the overpriced tourist traps, there is also some brilliant, authentic and reasonably priced food to be found. You just need to know where to look.

La Potiniere, just opposite La Palais de Festivals is one of the best restaurants to be found in Cannes, specialising in Mediterranean cuisine at reasonable prices. Seafood is a speciality - try the tender, juicy roast cod - or just sit back and allow the chef to deliver the best fresh produce of the day with the plat du jour- you can get this for around 15, or a two course meal for less than €20. Brilliant service, nice décor; it's no wonder this place is popular and has been since 1948, with Pablo Picasso having considered it a favourite haunt.

Happily it’s not just the grand hotels and beachfront restaurants that will give you a memorable dining experience (the bill in itself will be memorable). For between the Michelin starred elegance and the overpriced tourist traps, there is also some brilliant, authentic and reasonably priced food to be found. You just need to know where to look.

La Potiniere, just opposite La Palais de Festivals is one of the best restaurants to be found in Cannes, specialising in Mediterranean cuisine at reasonable prices. Seafood is a speciality - try the tender, juicy roast cod - or just sit back and allow the chef to deliver the best fresh produce of the day with the plat du jour- you can get this for around 15, or a two course meal for less than €20. Brilliant service, nice décor; it's no wonder this place is popular and has been since 1948, with Pablo Picasso having considered it a favourite haunt.

One of my favourites though was Gavroche. Situated in old town Cannes at the Marina end of the crosiette this winding street is packed with restaurants and atmosphere. Its a definite must when walking around the city to visit. There are a couple of bars too if you can't get a reservation as the restaurants are always busy.

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Day and night life

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Cannes is certainly a city for walking and talking, day or night.

There are numerous beach restaurants that are great to stop off at and have a coffee or a glass of rose. You can even bring your swimsuit for a dip in the Mediterranean. 

Secondly, this city has many charming cultural attractions. And thirdly, your local guide will make everything for you to see the chic of this city and to feel yourself a movie star!

Your guide will meet you at the cruise port or at the reception of your hotel and will take you to the private walking tour of Cannes city.

The guide will take you through the old city, the promenade of Cannes, La Croisette, fancy hotels and restaurants. You will see all the main sights of the city and listen to the Red Carpet stories.

At the end of the tour your guide will offer you to finish your tour in one of the restaurants of your taste or will take you back to your ship or your hotel.

At night the city maintains its vibrancy with diners and revellers driniking and eating along most streets but none more so that the croisette. A stroll around the marina is also worth a half hour just to see the mega yachts and realize that they only ever bring you two days of happiness aparently... the day you buy one and the day you sell it! 

The riviera wouldn't be complete without the decadence of the casino with the most famous being located at the Carlton Hotel, but one must be a member if you want to throw your money away apparently however if its something that floats your boat then try Casino Barrière Le Croisette. Facing the Big Blue, the legendary Palais des Festivals and Congress houses the 3,000 m² of the largest casino in the French Riviera. From the entrance, the impressive aquarium will take you to the games room where you will find no less than 220 slot machines, permanently renewed, from traditional one-armed bandits to the latest generation machines with 3D effects and curved HD screens.

The strange thing about Cannes at night is that is turns deathly quiet by 2am so its a loud reminder that its time to go 'home'