Spoiled by the Pleasures
It’s been a hilarious ‘hen party’ for the last few days on the Blue Coast with non-stop laughter and the once-an-hour question, “Are you having fun yet?” Hen parties made up of women our age can be either disastrous or ‘amazing’ (the other word that was uttered just about every two seconds), and in this case, amazing.
Amazing, too, is that there are so many fascinating middle-aged single women out there who are smart, fun-loving, accomplished and experienced with whom one can get to know and enjoy that they outnumber the men with the same qualities. Fortunately, it seems I am surrounded by these women making single life a whole lot more palatable. (This is not to say that men cannot be an important part of one’s feminine life, but it’s getting to be a simple choice between choosing to make more women friends or seeking out new lovers!)
This weekend, an old Paris friend traveled with me down to Nice to do a bit of business mixed with a lot of pleasure. The first order of business was pure pleasure — dinner with Daniele Easton, Director of France-Philadelphie and past Consul of France in Philadelphia who is now spending almost half a year in Nice with her adoring American husband. Daniele is one of those beautiful French women we all want to be, admire to the point of jealousy and am enamored with for all her class and charm.
She recommended we try the new Les Brasseries Georges behind the Galeries Lafayette. While the restaurant is stunning with it’s glass-walled kitchen perched high as if it is on the stage of a theater, and the food and service on a par with the sophisticated decor, conversation with Daniele is like dancing the tango with a professional…liquid and thrilling. When she was asked to smile for the camera, she joked that her French born-and-bred face wouldn’t allow such frivolity, even though inside she was smiling. We chuckled while she wouldn’t pose for the lens, but a photo showing off her strong character was achieved nonetheless.
Friday was all business, confused by the pleasure doing business seems to become when doing it in Nice. We met with our new Living and Investing in France Conference coordinator, Millie Brown and one of our conference’s speakers who is the area’s most formidable ‘mover and shaker’ (even after only 20 months of living in Nice), Beverley Holt. Later that afternoon, Millie and I visited the Ellington Hotel and confirmed the meeting room and hotel accommodations for the conference — it’s gorgeous! The meeting room is set up perfectly with large windows overlooking the terrace on which we will have cocktails at the end of the day of presentations, plus the rooms are beautifully decorated, yet simple and very clean.
We were fortunately able to negotiate a special rate for conference attendees at such a busy time of year. With conference details shaping up well (by end of the week, we hope you’ll be able to register!), we were able to set aside time to visit three properties for sale with our best agent, who will also be presenting at the conference and hosting a property tour the second day. Two of the apartments were in Vieux Nice, the third literally a stone’s throw from Le Matisse. One was worth a serious consideration, so don’t be surprised if it becomes another Parler Nice Apartment sometime in the not-so-distant future! (Yes, I am considering personally adding another apartment to our Niçois ‘bouquet’ of vacation rentals.)
Before sunset Friday, friends from Ansouis arrived by bus from Aix-en-Provnce to spend the rest of the holiday weekend with us. This is when all Easter weekend hell broke loose — with four women, credit cards in hand, shop-till-you-drop stamina and a hunger for an adventure. Over the course of the next 48 hours, we took advantage of much of what Nice has to offer. Here are some highlights in which anyone wanting to experience the true flavor of Nice should indulge:
* Lunch at Brasserie La Rotunde at the Negresco Hotel — The colors of the carrousel decor are the epitome of Nice and the Côte d’Azur!
* Dinner at Le Bistrot Antoine (27, rue de la Préfecture, 06300 Nice, phone
04.93.85.29.57) — my favorite bistrot of all time — I never leave Nice without at least one dinner at Antoine.
* Sunday Brunch on the Cours Saleya, then perusing the flower market and the food market — The sun could not have been brighter, the sky could not have been bluer and the market more jammed packed with Easter Sunday strollers.
* Drinks and dinner at L’Ane Rouge with Seattle/Niçois friends at their Vieux Port terraced apartment — Parler Paris/Nice readers who enjoy their sumptuous port-side apartment about half a year.
* Shopping along avenue Jean-Médecin, perusing the Nice Etoile shopping center, shopping on the chic boutique-filled back streets of the Carre d’Or and along rue de France (don’t miss the “Depot-Vente de Luxe” named Mademoiselle at 41, rue de France for gorgeous designer clothing from the past worth wearing forever!).
* Visiting the Musée Masséna in the Villa Masséna — a magnificent palace now home to the Museum of Art and History of Nice with a formidable collection of art and an architectural wonder. The original poster of the signature image for the upcoming Living and Investing in France Conference is displayed here!
* Gelati on a home-made cone at Fenocchio on Place Rossetti — forget your diet and don’t miss choosing from dozens of flavors!
Teary-eyed we hugged and said our good-byes to our Provençal friends when they boarded the bus to Aix-en-Provence (that conveniently stops at “Albert 1er” just around the corner from Le Matisse), then headed to the water’s edge to take in the fresh sea breeze and the sight of the aqua blue waters of the Mediterranean. The enormous crispy red peppers purchased at the Cours Saleya market made their way into a fresh salad for dinner, then we took in a movie at the Cinema Pathé on avenue Jean-Médecin before ending what we would call a weekend of “perfect pleasure.”
By the time you read this, we’ll be back in Paris where life is just as pleasurable — but of course, in a very different way. Paris is Paris. Nice is nice and oh, to have the pleasure of having them both!
Are we spoiled or what!?
A la prochaine…
(Easter Sunday in Nice)
P.S. If you’re considering investing in the Riviera like I have, the Adrian Leeds Group can help you find your perfect apartment or home…for rent or purchase! My team of rental professionals can assist you in finding an apartment or home in Nice and environs based on your specific preferences, budgets and needs. For details or to book our services, visit French Property Consultation or email [email protected].