Today we’re going to break down one of my favorite places that I’ve traveled to this year – SOUTH OF FRANCE, darling! Doesn’t it just exude elegance and grace? Trust me, the actual place does too.
I met up with one of my closest friends, Yasmine, who actually lives in London (file under: the main reason I’m always running onto a plane to get to this city). South of France was perfect for our extended weekend girls trip – incredible food, crisp rosé, amazing sights, charming little towns just a short train ride away, and a wild night out in Monaco (oh man, Monaco gets its own whole post for being so damn extra).
Our main hub was in Nice, France, just two blocks from the waterfront in the cutest airbnb. Let me start by talking about this water – dear lord, I’ve never seen anything so incredibly blue. South of France is also called Cote d’Azure (Blue Coast in French) because I mean… lets just say I was beyond blown away by this water’s color. It did not look real, but so is!
We both landed on a Friday morning in late April, me straight off a red-eye that was probably the most comfortable red eye in coach experience I’ve had because I got the whole row to myself! Yaaas. Also, Delta’s food service on flights to Europe are like, actually the best I’ve ever had. I think they served about 5 times throughout the flight – from snacks and drinks to full meals (with vegetarian options! THANK YOU Delta!) so I’m a huge Delta fan now and also already a card carry-er. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with credit cards. I mean that only in the sense that I love getting all the perks and points, not that I rack up debt 😉 But the Delta card is definitely one of my favorites, and I fly with them whenever I can now!
Since I actually got rest on my flight, I was totally down for a full day of exploring upon landing in France. After we settled into our airbnb, we took off on a walk along the coast to get to Nice’s old town. Ugh, I have such an affinity for old town city centers, I just can’t get enough. The tiny winding streets, the shops and cafes, the merchants displaying their beautiful goods… I probably feel most myself when exploring a little old town part of a big city. It’s definitely a version of time travel, one of my favorites.
There’s this place, this hill, in Nice, called Colline du Chateau overlooking everything and just generally stunning. We climbed it and took it all in. The rooftops of the city looked just like Kings Landing to me (Game of Thrones), and there was this lovely waterfall at the top. Just so, so peaceful.
Because it was Friday night, we were pretty hard pressed for luck on finding a place for dinner that was open. Our first couple choices were completely booked up, but we managed to snag a barside spot at Olive et Artichaut, which turned out to be amazing. I often still think about the (first of the trip) bottle of rosé we shared there and so wish I had gotten a pic of the label, I liked it so much. The food was incredible too!
We also tried crashing a party on the beach but to no avail. I honestly was SO disappointed in myself because I’m usually able to charm my way into pretty much anything/anywhere (I guess I had to save my magic for Monaco, now that I think of it), but these French security guards were completely oblivious to my usual tricks! It was funny seeing 12 year olds running around the beach at night with glasses of wine, though. I mean, the party wasn’t all 12 year olds, haha. It was adults, but def a couple stray kiddos clutching their red wine. I loved it. So Europe.
On Saturday morning we hit the streets to get some power shopping done and then got some fabulous veggie burgers, frites, and more rosé (obvs) for lunch. Shopping in France is just such a mood. I love it, and when I go to Paris in October (whee, it’s happening!) I can’t wait to spend a morning strolling the shops there too.
In the afternoon we took our big day/night trip to Monaco. If you followed my wild adventures on snapchat… you know what’s up! What started as a relatively tame day (besides getting lost as can be in the tiny opulent country) turned into such an I N S A N E night and I can’t wait to write about it in my next travel post. It is going to be a girls guide to surviving Monaco, because as much as I searched, I didn’t really find that the internet had any tips.
Well. Let me tell ya, I’ve got some freaking tips for ladies doing Monaco now – “We have procured a yacht!” being our triumphant midnight text in our group chat with our London girls, haha. Oh man, this crazy story coming soon.
Thankfully we weren’t hungover on Sunday (miracle, considering the vast amounts of excellent champagne that was poured down our throats), but we did sleep in and then get some beach time in Nice. The beach is all rock/pebble, so we rented some day beds for the day and sunned, napped, ate nicoise salads, read our books, dipped our toes, chatted, and just took the time to fully relax. In the evening we took a nice long stroll along the whole marina (le port) of Nice until we found le Marlin. We sat street cafe style and enjoyed mussels and more rosé wine; so French, so spring, so lovely.
Monday was our day to take the train to a couple more towns on the coast – Antibes, and Cannes, of course!
Antibes was a little dreamland. Tiny streets are just my JAM. We absolutely loved getting lost wandering through town, and their beach area was perfect for an hour of laying out to get some more sunshine. Also, although we didn’t get to go this time, Antibes is the home of the Picasso Museum, which I’d love to explore another time.
We spent the second part of the day in beautiful Cannes. We did as you do in such a fancy city and got rosé on the beach, explored all the seaside fancy hotels (where they serve spinach for 24euros, as per my snapchat that I just looked back on and got reminded, lol) and got dinner (and got toasty with even more rosé) at le Vestuvio. Seriously looooved getting dinner there because of the total #retirementhomevibes – we were the youngest there by far but it was perfect. Also, seafood pizza?! Cannes was definitely worth my occasional seafood indulgence as a plant based lady.
We headed home to Nice from there, rosy (literally) cheeked from all our wine, fully francophiled out after all our adventures. Our flights back to New York and London were early the next morning, so that was the end of our time in South of France! What we missed out on – Saint Tropez would have been an amaaaazing addition to our trip if we had an extra day, but its a bit of a trek (ie a very expensive 2 hour Uber) so maybe next time 🙂
Coming up next – MONACO!