Friday, July 29, 2011


(does not include Aix-en-Provence, Cannes, Marseille, Nice, or St. Tropez; includes the region known as Provence-Alpes-Cotes-d’Azur, which includes such places as Antibes, Arles, Avignon, Îles d'Hyères, Provence, St. Paul de Vence, & St. Remy de Provence)

ANTIBES (includes Juan-les-Pins)
Hotel Belles Rives – 33 Boulevard Edouard Baudoin (Juan-les-Pins Cap d’Antibes); 011-33-04-9361-0279;
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc – 29 Boulevard JF Kennedy; 011-33-04-9361-3901;; 19th Century villa with manicured lawns & winding paths; paradisal location.

La Passagere – 33 Boulevard Edmond Baudouin (Juan-les-Pins); 011-33-04-9361-0279;; for perfect lunch, especially in spring, on terrace; F. Scott Fitzgerald loved this hotel (when it was one).
Patisserie Cottard – 49 Rue de la République; 011-33-04-9334-0992;

Ceramiques du Chateau – 2 Rue du Bateau; 011-33-04-9333-1111;; small, certified Picasso pieces.

Sights & Sites
Musée Picasso – Chateau Grimaldi; 011-33-04-9290-5426;
Le Sentier du Littoral – among world’s most spectacular footpaths; also known as Sentier Tire-poil, which means “wind so strong it ruffles hair”); circuit runs around gardens at Eilen Roc over to l’Anse de l’Argent Faux; stretches about 3 miles along peninsula’s outermost tip; begins gently at Plage de la Garoupe (where Cole Porter & Gerald Murphy used to hang), with paved walkway & dazzling views over Baie de la Garoupe & Alps; round cap’s far end, however, paved promenade gives way to boulder-studded pathway that picks its way along 50' cliffs, dizzying switchbacks & thundering breakers; continue along new portion to cove l’Anse de l’Argent Faux, where can stop & catch breath before heading up to entrance of Eilen Roc; then follow Avenue Beaumont impasse tangent until touch Cap’s main road (RD 2559); walk is long & takes about 2 hours to complete, but may be 2 of your life’s more unforgettable hours, especially if you tackle it at sunset; if you come across locked gates blocking your route, it’s because storm warnings have issued & you are not to enter; from bus station in town take #2 bus to Fontaine stop; to return, follow Plage de la Garoupe until Boulevard de la Garoupe, where you’ll make left to reconnect with bus.

Bar le Tamobourin – 1 Rue du Palais; 011-33-04-9096-4839; popular with locals; bull-fighting motif.

Hotel d’Arlatan – 26 Rue du Sauvage; 011-33-04-9093-5666;; in 15th Century building that houses ancient baths’ ruins.
Hotel Jules Cesar – 9 Boulevard des Lices; 011-33-04-9052-5252;; 4-star hotel; 58-rooms & 3 suites; gardens & outside pool; 17th Century Carmelite convent; elegant Provençal décor; situated in town center, but very calm.
Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus – Place du Forum; 011-33-04-9093-4444;; former guests include Cocteau, Picasso & numerous bullfighters; ask for Room #10 (bullfighter’s room).

Bar le Tamobourin – 1 Rue du Palais; 011-33-04-9096-4839; popular with locals; bull-fighting motif.
La Chassagnette – Le Sambuc; 011-33-04-9097-2696;; open Thursday through Monday; organic garden vegetables.
Le Galoubet – 18 Rue du Docteur Fanton; 011-33-04-9093-1811; bistro renowned for fois gras, once frequented by Van Gogh.
Restaurant Lou Marques – 9 Boulevard des Lices (at Hotel Jules Cesar); 011-33-04-9052-5252;; elegant but simple Provencal cuisine.

Sights & Sites
Fondation Van Gogh – 35 Rue du Docteur Fanton and 5 Place Honoré Clair; 011-33-04-9093-0808;; Van Gogh’s 15-month stay in Arles represents climax in his career; Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, originally conceived in mid-80s in response to 100th anniversary of his arrival in Arles, pays homage, at 5 Place Honoré Clair, to Van Gogh’s legacy & monumental influence via impressive range of artworks contributed by 90 contemporary artists; in beautifully restored 15th Century Hôtel Léautaud de Donines; at 35 Rue du Docteur Fanton, handful Van Gogh works.
Luma Arles aux Ateliers SNCF – Parc des Ateliers;; in conjunction with Foundation Van Gogh (see above).
Musée Lapidaire – 27 Rue de la République; 011-33-04-9085-7538;
Museon Arlaten – 29 Rue de la République; 011-33-04-9093-5811;; specializes in Provencal history.
Musée Departemental de l’Arles Antique – Presqu’ile du Cirque Romain; 011-33-04-9018-8888;; Arles Rhone 3 is 2K year-old Roman cargo boat discovered in Rhone River in 2011, just beside center of Arles (probably built in 1st Century, with oak planking); Arles Antiques Museum has own workshop for restoring ancient mosaics & several excellent collections are displayed; garden area is located outside museum & open to all for free; large, open area is pretty & relaxing; picnic tables.
Musée Reattu – 10 Rue du Grand-Prieure Arles; 011-33-04-9049-3758;; in former 15th Century priory; splendid museum with 2 Picasso paintings, 57 of his sketches from early 1970s, as well as works by 18th-19th Century Provençal artists; best known for cutting-edge photographic displays.
Roman Villa – Trinquetaille District (along Arles River’s right bank); ongoing archaeological site with some of best preserved Roman frescoes in France.

AVIGNON (includes Montfavet)
Hostellerie Les Frenes – 645 Avenue Les Vertes Rives (Montfavet); 011-33-04-9031-1793;; fabulous.
Hotel d’Europe – 14 Place Crillon; 011-33-04-9014-7676;; 2 minutes from Pope’s Palace; dates to 1580; Dickens stayed here; beautiful rooms & great food; famous for madeleines.
La Mirande – 4 Place de l’Amirande; 011-33-04-9014-2020;; 18th Century mansion; elegant but comfortable.
Le Prieure – 7 Place du Chapitre (Villeneuve-les-Avignon); 011-33-04-9015-9015.

Sights & Sites
Musée Calvet (Fondation Calvet) – 65 Rue Joseph Vernet; 011-33-04-9086-3384;; Hôtel de Villeneuve-Martignan, in which part of Calvet Museum, installed, among most prestigious buildings in Avignon; magnificent 18th Century mansion in Franco-Italian style, with courtyard & garden; built by Jean-Baptiste Franque, assisted by his son François; added to & adjoining it is beautiful private mansion purchased by city from Montlaur family in early 20th Century; houses works of art from 16th-20th Centuries; holds innumerable collections donated or bequeathed by patrons, art lovers & collectors, such as Baron de Montfaucon, Esprit Requien, Noël Biret, Montlaur family & recently Marcel Puech; 10Ks of items, belonging to fields as diverse as archaeology, fine arts (paintings, sculptures, drawings), decorative arts (gold & silverware, earthenware & porcelain, tapestry, ironware) & ethnology (Asia, Oceania, Africa); modern art has not been forgotten & room devoted to it; Egyptian Collection.
Palais des Papes – Place Palais; 011-33-04-9027-5000 or 011-33-04-3274-3274;; UNESCO World Heritage Site; former Papal Court headquarters (14th Century); adorned with medieval frescoes.

LE BAUX-DE-PROVENCE (includes Maussane-les-Alpilles, Montelimar & Paradou)
La Cabro d’Or – Carita, Route D’Arles (Les Baux); 011-33-04-9054-3321;
L’Oustau de Baumaniere – Grand’Rue Frederic Mistral (Les Baux); 011-33-04-9054-3307 or 011-33-04-7080-7160;; converted farmhouse offering easy access to local Roman ruins, with breathtaking grounds & rooms; excellent restaurant.
La Riboto de Taven – Vallon de la Fontaine; 011-33-04-9054-3423;; much less expensive than L’Oustau; some rooms built in cliffs.

Balthazar Jeroboam – Espace St.-Martin (Montelimar); 011-33-04-7500-0900; traditional brasserie.
Le Bistrot du Paradou – 57 Avenue de la Vallée des Baux; 011-33-04-9054-3270; among France’s best bistros.
La Cabro d’Or – Carita, Route D’Arles (Les Baux); 011-33-04-9054-3321;
La Place – 65 Avenue de la Vallee des Baux (Maussane-les-Alpilles); 011-33-04-9054-2331.
La Riboto de Taven – Vallon de la Fontaine (Les Baux); 011-33-04-9054-3423;; perfect provencal food.

Spa Baumaniere – Mas de Carita (Les Baux); 011-33-04-9054-2467.

L’Aube Safran – 450 Chemin du Patifiage; 011-33-04-9062-6691; bed & breakfast where saffron produced; beautiful; stunning pool.

Les Doctrinaires – Quai du General-de-Gaulle (corner of Rue Rabelais); 011-33-04-6659-2370;

La Reserve de Beaulieu – 5 Boulevard du Marechal Leclerc (Beaulieu Sur Mer); 011-33-04-9301-0001;; Florentine villa with trompe l’oeil wall paintings; near harbor; beautiful.

Sights & Sites
Villa Kerylos – Rue Gustave Eiffel; 011-33-04-9301-0144;; Hellenist Theodore Reinach entrusted design of this, his homage to Delos, to Emmanuel Pontremoli; built in 1902-1908; decor & furnishings remarkably faithful to excavated classical models from Herculaneum & Pompeii; no guards or labels; minimal barricades; delicately beautiful.

Cave des Vignerons – 228 Route de Carpentras (Balma Venitia, Quartier Ravel); 011-33-04-9012-4100 or 011-33-04-9062-9445;; for excellent vin doux naturel or fortified, sweet white Beaumes-de-Venise.

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe – 3 Route de Chateauneuf-du-Pape; 011-33-04-9039-0119;; for Henri Brunier’s solid, well-made Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Sights & Sites
Musée National Fernand Leger – Chemin du Val de Pome; 011-33-04-9291-5030;; sculpture garden by Henri Fish.

Auberge de L’Aiguebrun – Domaine de la Tour; 011-33-04-9004-4700;; tucked away in valley, under road; old-fashioned Auberge; 1st-rate food.
Hotel Cesar – Place de la Liberte; 011-33-04-9075-9635;; lovely view from dining room.
Le Domaine de Capelongue – Les Claparedes; 011-33-04-9075-9852;; beautiful setting but rooms slightly “high concept.”

Andre Michel – Rue du Puits Communal; 011-33-04-7528-0330; excellent anchoiade (anchovies pounded with garlic & oil), olives, tapenade (anchovies & black olives spread), and virgin olive oil.

Le Bistrot de la Marine – 96 Boulevard de la Plage; 011-33-04-9326-4346;; chef used to be with Roger Verge at Moulin de Mougins; won 2 Michelin stars at Le Chantecler (Nice); Ferran Adria’s protege; restaurant occupies 1869 seafront fisherman’s house painted jaunty yellow; 25 Euro, 2-course, prix fixe meals are among Riviera’s best deals.

Sights & Sites
Musée Renoir – Chemin des Collettes; 011-33-04-9320-6107; Les Collettes restored to appear as did when Renoir lived here (1908-1919); explore dining & drawing room before going up to artist’s bedroom; in his atelier, his brushes, easel & wheelchair; Madame Renoir’s bedroom terrace has stunning Cap d’Antibes & Haut-de-Cagnes view; largest collection Renoir sculpture collection in world.

La Petite Cuisine – Avenue Revestel (Anse de Corton); 011-33-04-9618-0000;; casual alternative to Villa Madie; lovely sea setting; baked cherry clafoutis for dessert.
La Villa Madie – Avenue Revestel (Anse de Corton); 011-33-04-9618-0000;; lovely sea setting.

Restaurant Prevot – 353 Avenue de Verdun; 011-33-04-9071-3243;

Ferrier Fromages – 8 Place du Clos; 011-33-04-9078-0522; clean, spacious shop offering carefully chosen cheese assortment; notable for chevre (goat cheese), as well as popular regional Banon, nutty, mild cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves & tied with raffia; try chabichou chevre (“smooth as foie gras,” boasts shopkeeper) & persille, clean, firm & flavorful variety sold in thick, broad cakes.

Hotel Alain Llorca – 75 Rue Yves Klein (Colle sur Loup); 011-33-9-6148-3844;; great restaurant.
Le Clos des Arts – 350 Route de St.-Paul; 011-33-04-9332-0293;; unpretentious & tranquil, 9-room hideaway.

Café Llorca – 350 Route de St.-Paul (at Le Clos des Arts); 011-33-04-9332-0293;; Mediterranean cuisine.

Le Mas dou Pastre – Quartier St.-Sixte; 011-33-04-9095-9261;; shepherd’s house; stone; lovely pool.

GIGONDAS (includes Carpentras, Crestet, Crillon le Brave, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Luberon, Mont Ventoux, Roaix & Vaison-la-Romaine)
Domaine de la Verriere – Chermain de la Verriere (Crestet); 011-33-04-9010-0630, 011-33-6-2203-3115, or 011-44-7775-682-090; former medieval priory-winery, now private estate; surrounded by working vineyard & private woodlands; fully restored to highest standards; 4 suites & 3 double guestrooms; additional off-site housing available locally; Provencal decor; en suite bathrooms have powerful showers; 5 separate outdoor areas available to guests; can sample La Verriere’s handpicked vintages in restored cellar, complete with ancient wine press; within 20 minutes are medieval towns (Crestet, Sablet, or Seguret); staff can assist in planning day trips.
Hotel Crillon le Brave – Place de l’Eglise (Crillon le Brave); 011-33-04-8640-8343;; dramatic Relais & Chateaux property with gardens, grand views & terraces.
Maison Trevier – 36 Place du Docteur Cavaillon (Carpentras); 011-33-04-9051-9998;; great value; beautiful & simple; great homemade breakfasts.

Carre Gourmand – Rue du Corps de Garde (Gigondas); 011-33-04-9037-1128; tea house; great lunches.
Le Grand Pre – Route de Vaison-la-Romaine (Roaix); 011-33-04-9046-1812;; must have squab.
Le Moulin a Huile – Quai Marechal Foch, Route de Malaucene (Vaison-la-Romaine); 011-33-04-9036-2067;; Frank Sinatra’s former private chef; tried omelet with foie gras.
L’Oustalet – Place du Village (Gigondas); 011-33-04-9065-8530;; simple, country French fare; indoor-outdoor seating on main square.

Carre Boutique – Place de la Fontaine (Gigondas); 011-33-04-9062-3142; gourmet foods.
Domaine de Cayron – Rue de la Fontaine (Gigondas); 011-33-04-9065-8671; vineyard.

Sights & Sites
Roman Ruins – Vaison-la-Romaine; forum-amphitheater; tour Papal Palace in Avignon & Jewish landmarks in Carpentras; castle ruins in Les Baux, Route de la Lavande, antiques dealers of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue & deco destination Luberon; visit UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Mont Ventoux.

Bastide de Gordes – Le Village; 011-33-04-9072-1212;; magnificent, 5-star hotel; stands out for vast, 3-level spa by Daniel Jouvance & 2 swimming pools (indoor-outdoor); rather old-fashioned rooms have all comforts; in addition to restaurant with panoramic area view, there is cellar & wine shop; village-view rooms are cheaper.
Ferme de la Huppe – R.D. 156 (Les Pourquiers); 011-33-04-9072-1225;; farmhouse-restaurant.
Le Mas Des Herbes Blanches – Lieu Dit Toron (Joucas); 011-33-04-9005-7979;; Relais & Chateaux hotel; incomparable setting; pool.
Hotel Mayanelle – Rue de la Combe 6; 011-33-04-4220-4734; comfortable inn with restaurant & terrace; spectacular valley view.

Bastide de Gordes – Le Village; 011-33-04-9072-1212;
Les Bories – Route de Senanque (1.2 miles north of Gordes on D177); 011-33-04-9072-0051; open for lunch only; closed Wednesdays & December-January 1; no credit cards; takes name from conical bories (cave-like, single-story, white-stone huts scattered along Vaucluse region landscape); tiny stone auberge with crisp, intimate dining room and, for fine-weather dining, spacious terrace shaded by fig & olive trees; make sure to order carafe Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc, seldom found outside region; from October through February, try wild game dishes; other dishes worth sampling include salade folle (crayfish platter, along with beans, paper-thin slices cured duck breast & fresh greens) & turbot aux poivrons rouges (poached turbot in creamy sauce, topped with thick slices roasted red pepper); for dessert, finest tarte tatins in France (upside-down apple tart, piled with thick slices of apples & set on thin pastry base, prepared fresh & to order, with bowl of thick, white creme fraiche alongside.
Ferme de la Huppe – R.D. 156 (Les Pourquiers); 011-33-04-9072-1225;; restaurant closed from mid-November to mid-March.
Le Mas Des Herbes Blanches – Lieu Dit Toron (Joucas); 011-33-04-9005-7979;; Relais & Chateaux property.

GRASSE (Gourdon)
Hilerie Ste.-Anne – 138 Route de Draguignan; 011-33-04-9370-2142;; 1 of last traditional olive mills; sells oils & other, related treats.

Sights & Sites
Musée des Arts Decoratifs et de l’Art Moderne – Chateau de Gourdon; 011-33-04-9309-6802;; 1 of France’s most impressive collections of 1920s-1930s Art Deco & Nouveau furniture.
Musée International de la Parfumerie – 2 Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon; 011-33-04-9705-5800;; Grasse considered (at least by French) birthplace of perfumery; 1st museum opened in 1918, as private museum; since 1921, section dedicated to perfume in all its forms has reflected donors such as Chiris, Pinaud & Piver; in 1931, Viscountess Savigny of Moncorps donated large collection cosmetics & perfumery labels dating back to early 19th Century & from old Seillans perfumery; in 2006, doubled museum surface area; entrance pavilion is ancient Hugues-Aîné perfumery built in 19th Century on remains of former 14th Century Dominican monastery; also includes former hotel Pontevès & its main courtyard, former Pélissier building, and gardens & terraces of different levels.

ÎLES D’HYÈRES (includes Île de Porquerolles)
Sights & Sites
Fondation Carmignac – Île de Porquerolles (15 minute ferry ride from Hyères); 011-33-01-7092-3465;; works by Warhol, Basquiat & Lichtenstein on protected Mediterranean island off Hyères coast; Ile de Porquerolles, less than five square miles & 200 inhabitants; 2nd home of Fondation Carmignac, Paris-based corporate collection established by billionaire financier Édouard Carmignac in 2000; unable to build on this island, French national park, foundation converted former farmhouse into 2K sq. m exhibition space by digging underground; galleries are surrounded by 15-hectare sculpture park, created by the landscape designer Louis Benech; built on estatewhere Jean-Luc Godard filmed Pierrot le Fou; island also known for its beaches, cycling & hiking trails; call ahead to make sure open; cafe with rose made on site.

Mas de Cure Bourse – 120 Chemin de la Serre (Carrefour de Velorgues); 011-33-04-9038-1658;; former post office; close to France’s “Little Venice,” home to antique dealers; in vast, shaded park, by large pool bordered with greenery, near fountain on terrace, under imposing plane trees or oaks 100s of years-old; fireplace in winter.

Vincent Mit l’Ane – Route d’Apt; 011-33-04-9038-0737; antique china, furniture, glassware, china & silver.

Sights & Sites
Lourmarin Cemetery – see Albert Camus’ grave.

La Bastide de Marie – Route de Bonnieux, Quartier de la Verrerie; 011-33-04-9072-3020;; idyllic; pool.
Le Domaine de Marie – Quartier la Verrerie; 011-33-04-9072-5423;
Villa Grenache – Route de Bonnieux, Quartier de la Verrerie; 011-33-04-9072-3020;; luxury private villa.

Hotel Napoleon – 29 Porte de France; 011-33-04-4933-8950;; fully remodeled; wonderful seafront setting; pool.

Mirazur – 30 Avenue Aristide Briand; 011-33-04-9241-8686;; French modern by Argentine chef.

Sights & Sites
Musée Jean Cocteau – Bastion du Vieux Port; 011-33-04-9357-7230; 17th Century stone bastion at water’s edge.
Salle des Mariages – Place Ardoino; 011-33-04-9210-5000; John Cocteau’s 1957 frescoes.

MOUGINS (includes Le Cannet)
Bars, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
La Cave de Mougins – 50 Avenue Jean-Charles Mallet; 011-33-04-9228-06 11;; cellar of this fabulous wine bar is worth detour, and not just for its 100s of vintages, but also for its stunning vaulted ceiling, events-packed calendar (tastings, meet-the-winemakers evenings, little concerts) & atmospheric terrace; uring the day, it doubles up as deli so can nibble on cheese & pâté platters with glass of wine.

Moulins de Mougins – 1028 Avenue Notre-Dame de Vie; 011-33-04-9375-7824;

La Cave de Mougins – 50 Avenue Jean-Charles Mallet; 011-33-04-9228-06 11;; cellar of this fabulous wine bar is worth detour, and not just for its 100s of vintages, but also for its stunning vaulted ceiling, events-packed calendar (tastings, meet-the-winemakers evenings, little concerts) & atmospheric terrace; uring the day, it doubles up as deli so can nibble on cheese & pâté platters with glass of wine.
Moulins de Mougins – 1028 Avenue Notre-Dame de Vie; 011-33-04-9375-7824;; menu at this old 16th Century mill is Riviera institution; guests dine facing beautiful garden, dotted with artworks.
Au Rendez-Vous de Mougins – Place du Commandant Lamy; 011-33-04-9375-8747;; at heart of old village, guarded by mighty plane tree, among best-value restaurants; cuisine is fresh, generous & mostly sourced at Marché Forville; reservations essential.

La Cave de Mougins – 50 Avenue Jean-Charles Mallet; 011-33-04-9228-06 11;; cellar of this fabulous wine bar is worth detour, and not just for its 100s of vintages, but also for its stunning vaulted ceiling, events-packed calendar (tastings, meet-the-winemakers evenings, little concerts) & atmospheric terrace; uring the day, it doubles up as deli so can nibble on cheese & pâté platters with glass of wine.

Sights & Sites
Musée Bonnard – 16 Boulevard Sadi Carnot (Le Cannet); 011-33-04-9394-0606;; opened in 2011 to honor Cannet artist, Pierre Bonnard.
Museum of Classical Art – 5 Rue des Mûriers; 011-33-04-9375-1835;; although majority of objects on display are antiquities, displays ancient, neo-classical, modern & contemporary art side-by-side to demonstrate lasting & pervasive ancient world influence; Peter Paul Rubens, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Damien Hirst & others; spread over 4 floors, chronologically from crypt to 2nd floor as follows: “Egyptian Gallery,” in crypt, depicts afterlife themes, punctuated with works from Calder, Chagall & Cocteau; “People & Personalities Gallery” on ground floor presents historical figure busts & statues from ancient Greece & Rome, their influence highlighted by sculptures of Arman, Hirst, Quinn & Sosno; “Gods & Goddesses Gallery,” on 1st floor displays Greek & Roman, bronze & marble busts, heads & statues, as well as pottery, glass & silverware; also, extensive antique jewelry & coin display; modern & neo-classical artists such as Braque, Dali, Klein, Modigliani, Picasso, Rodin, Rubens & Warhol integrated throughout; “Armoury,” on 2nd floor displays largest private collection of Greek & Roman arms & armor in world.

La Bastide de Moustiers – Chemin de Quinson; 011-33-04-9270-4747;; owned by Alain Ducasse; beautiful with excellent restaurant.
La Bouscatiere – Chemin Marcel Provence; 011-33-04-9274-6767;; Chemin Marcel Provence; luxury bed & breakfast converted from old olive oil mill; great food; hike in lavender fields; canoe & swim in Ste. Croix Lake.

Cooperative Agricole du Nyonais – Place Olivier de Serres; 011-33-04-7526-0344; olive oil & olives.

Sights & Sites
Theatre Antique d’Orange – Roman theater that has annual concerts & operas in summer.

Domaine de la Gautiere – 011-33-04-7528-0958; Paul Tardieu’s biodynamic or organically-raised farm products, excellent Nyons-region olives & fine, fragrant apricot & honey preserves.

Sights & Sites
Chateau le Coste – 2750 Route Cride; 011-33-04-4261-8998;; winery with architecture by Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry & Jean Nouvel and sculpture by Louise Bourgeois & Richard Serra.

ROQUEBRUNE-CAP-MARTIN (includes Cap d’Ail & Eze-Bord-du-Mer)
Golfe Bleu.
Plage du Buse.
Plage de la Mala – Cap d’Ail; best beach; tiny, cliff-ringed cove with clear water & good snorkeling.

Villa La Vigie – Avenue Princesse Grace (Monaco Beach); 011-33-044-9328-6666 & 377-98-06-8684;; only place to stay.

A’trego – Port du Cap d’Ail (Cap d’Ail); 011-33-04-9328-5822;; spacious lounge-restaurant designed by Philippe Starck.
Anjuna Plage & Restaurant – 28 Avenue de la Liberté (Eze-Bord-du-Mer); 011-33-04-9301-5821;; simple French cuisine right on beach; beach club.
Au Grand Inquisiteur – 18 Rue de Chateau; 011-33-04-9335-0537;; cave-like restaurant carved into city’s fortress walls.
Le Cabanon – Pointe des Douaniers (Cap d’Ail); 011-33-04-9378-0194;; modest, informal, mostly outdoor restaurant that may have best food in area; tremendous views over bay.
Eden Plage – Allée de la Mala (Cap d’Ail); 011-33-04-9378-1706;; hippy-chic restaurant done in wood & red.
La Reserve de la Mala – Allée de la Mala (Cap d’Ail); 011-33-04-9378-2156;; chic oasis; fronts beach.

Sights & Sites
Le Cabanon Le Corbusier – Sentier Massolin (above Plage du Buse); 011-33-04-9335-6287;; by appointment only; tiny (144 square feet); colorful wall paintings.
Chemin des Douaniers – Cap d’Ail to Menton; part of Sentier du Littoral, coastal footpath.
La Pausa – Avenue de la Torraca (La Toracca); 011-33-04-9383-5120; detached villa designed & built by French fashion designer Coco Chanel; name refers to legend that Mary Magdalene “paused” near here on her journey from Jerusalem following Jesus’ crucifixion; on 5-acres, plot that formerly had been part of Monaco ruling family’s olive & orange groves; guests at La Pausa included Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí & Luchino Visconti; La Pausa architect, Robert Streitz, was French Resistance member during German occupation & hid in La Pausa’s cellars from where transmitted covert messages; Jewish refugees used gardens as staging post in their escape to Italian border; during German occupation, Chanel made several visits to La Pausa with her lover, German spy Baron von Dincklage; Chanel sold La Pausa in 1953 to Hungarian émigré publisher Emery Reves; guests hosted by Reves (with with Winston Churchill) included Noël Coward, Somerset Maugham & Edward Molyneux, as well as Prince Rainier & Princess Grace, Duke & Duchess of Windsor, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn & Clark Gable.
Villa Casa del Mare – Sentier Massolin (above Plage du Buse); former villa of Dino de Laurentiis & Silvana Mangano.
Villa E1027 – Sentier Massolin (above Plage du Buse); 011-33-04-9335-6287;; by appointment only; tiny – 144 square feet; colorful (lewd) wall paintings by Le Corbusier.
Les Zoraïdes – Avenue Centrale; 011-33-04-9241-0477; Daisy Fellowes, Singer Sewing Machine heiress, mansion.

Les Arondes – Avenue Louis Laurens; 011-33-06-6207-1960; small but striking balance between glamor & simplicity.

Brise Marine – 58 Avenue Jean Mermoz; 011-33-04-9376-0436; in one of loveliest locations; built in 1878 as private villa right above corner of port; below neat rooms, which have air of 3-star Paris hotel, there is plain bar for breakfast & sitting room worthy of kitsch hotel in Brighton; kind of modest inn seen at stylish vacation places where consciously low-key & savvy share geography with rich; offers among best views of all: Bay of Monte-Carlo slightly below with lush southern garden in foreground; many upper floor rooms overlook sea; enjoys almost immediate access to nearby beaches that are less than 50m away; irresistible garden stairs with countless flowers, palm trees, fountains, terracotta lions & balustrades; 200 meters from Paloma beach & its waterfront restaurant.
Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat – 71 Boulevard du General de Gaulle; 011-33-04-9376-5050;
La Voile d’Or – 7 Avenue Jean Mermoz; 011-33-04-9301-1313;; 4-star rating misleads; this is maybe “the” place to stay; unprepossessing exterior should not deter.
La Voile d’Or – 7 Avenue Jean Mermoz; 011-33-04-9301-1313;; 1 Michelin star; grilled fish, meats, pasta & risotto; good ingredients, in particular sourced from local catch; view from terrace is superb, inviting you to linger; restaurant is only open in evening during summer season.

Sights & Sites
Les Cedres – Villa des Cedres;; gardens owned by Marnier-Lapostolle family; features 1 of Europe’s largest tropical plant collections; must write for reservation to tour to
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa & Gardens – 1 Avenue Ephrussi de Rothschild; 011-33-04-9301-3309;; built by Alphonse de Rothschild’s daughter, Beatrice, between 1907-1912; overlooks Villa Kerylos; over top but worth seeing; gardens alone are rapturous.
Villa Fiorentina (Fiorentina) – 13 Fiorentina Impasse (at Pointe Saint-Hospice);; private property built in 1917 by Countess Therese de Beauchamp on vast piece of land occupying extreme end Saint Hospice point; architects Aaron & Gaston Messiah designed villa in conjunction with Harold Peto who designed grounds (including large staircase leading down to water); she later replaced men with Ferdinand Bac who completed work before it was sold to Sir Edmund Davis & then later to Lady Kenmare in 1939; from 1950-60, resort home to celebrities like Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor & Somerset Maugham.
Villa La Mauresque – 52 Boulevard du Général-de-Gaulle (at “Le Sémaphore”);; around 1900, former missionary & chaplain to Belgium King Leopold II, Félix Charmettant (1844-1921), purchased 9.9 acres on newly subdivided Cap Ferrat peninsula; had villa constructed in Moorish style by unknown architect; in 1927, author Somerset Maugham purchased property & commissioned young American architect Barry Dierks to eliminate villa’s original neo-oriental elements, to classicize façades & patio, and to modernize layout by creating staircase; became Maugham’s main residence until his death in 1965; near-obligatory stop for literary & Riviera society, La Mauresque, from point of Maugham’s acquisition, received most celebrities who visited Riviera: Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lord Beaverbrook and the Aga Khan mingled with such literary figures as T.S. Eliot, H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Ian Fleming, Noël Coward & even Virginia Woolf; Maugham & partner Gerald Haxton – followed by other partners after Haxton’s death in 1944 – received as well numerous artists & men from gay community; Maugham’s last partner, Allan Searle, inherited Maugham’s estate & villa; in 1967, villa purchased by American, Lynn Wyatt, prominent figure in international society; façades & interior layout modified while retaining classic style by French architect Marcel Guilt.

Zazpi Hotel – 21 Boulevard Thiers; 011-33-5-5926-0777;; high design; 7 rooms; hidden roof-top pool.

Buvette de la Halle – 18 bis, Boulevard Victor Hugo; 011-33-5-5926-7359; bar restaurant operated for 3 generations; reasonable.
La Cantina D’Amona – 19 Rue Loquin; 011-33-6-3008-5052; light, perfect salads; reasonable & good for lunch.
Cremerie Lohitzun – 3 Rue Loquin; 011-3-5-5916-3583;; take-away picnic-ready meals; operated for 75 years.

La Colombe d’Or – Place du General de Gaulle; 011-33-04-9332-8002;; medieval hilltop artists’ village location; Matisse’s & Picasso’s on display; surrounded by cypress trees & stone passages; seems like old French farmhouse; excellent restaurant.
Le Hammeau – 528 Route de la Colle; 011-33-04-9332-8024;; slow-paced & pretty but extremely cheap, with no restaurant.

La Terrasse – 20 Chemin des Trioux (outside village walls); 011-33-04-9332-8560; outdoor view; easy bistro & pizzeria.

Sights & Sites
Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence – 466 Avenue Henri Matisse; 011-33-04-9358-0326;; often referred to as Matisse Chapel or Vence Chapel; small chapel for Dominican sisters built & decorated between 1949-51 under plan devised by Henri Matisse; houses numerous Matisse originals & was regarded by Matisse as his “masterpiece”; simple white exterior conceals great religious 20th Century structure.
Fondation Marguerite et Aime Maeght – 623 Chemin des Gardettes; 011-33-04-9332-8163;; forested hilltop museum & sculpture garden filled with sculptures by Chagall, Giacometti & Miro.

Domaine de Valmouriane – Petite Route des Baux; 011-33-04-9092-4462;; lovely country hotel; swimming pool.

Bistrot Decouverte – 19 Boulevard Victor Hugo (St. Remy de Provence); 011-33-04-9092-3449;; Van Gogh ate here.
Le Restaurant de la Reine Jeanne – 12 Boulevard Mirabeau; 011-33-04-9092-1533;; closed November through January; try roasted lamb with glass of Tavel, local rose.

Sights & Sites
St. Paul de Mausole – Route des Baux; 011-33-04-9092-7700;; hospital where Van Gogh went after ear incident; can look out window & see scenes he wrote about to Theo & painted.

Hotel Comtat – Chemin de l’Autaret (just after Place de l’Eglise, 4 miles southwest of Vaisonla-Romaine); 011-33-04-9046-9149;; panoramic view over Dentelles de Montmirail, sharp-crested pine & oak-covered peaks that make up Ventoux foothills, overlooking Rhone Valley.

La Table du Comtat – Chemin de l’Autaret (just after Place de l’Eglise, 4 miles southwest of Vaisonla-Romaine); 011-33-04-9046-9149;; closed Tuesday evening & Wednesday (except July, August & September), holidays & mid-January to February’s end; ambitious but correct food; worth visit; house specialties include supreme de caneton poele (thin strips sauteed duck with onion confit) & roast lamb seasoned with garlic & herbs; re chevres, if included on cheese tray, try remarkable Picodon.

Las Castelas – go through Sivergues on D114, till road ends, then follow gravel road to end; 011-33-04-9074-3081 (c) or 011-33-6-9930-7957.

Las Castelas – go through Sivergues on D114, till road ends, then follow gravel road to end; 011-33-04-9074-3081 (c) or 011-33-6-9930-7957; they will absolutely not serve you without reservations, regardless of how many people are present.

L’Auberge de Tavel – Voie Romaine; 011-33-04-6650-0341;; closed Mondays (except in July, August & September) & February 1st-March 15th.

Domaine de la Baume – 1606 Route d’Aups; 011-33-04-5774-7474;; luxurious 15 room villa, formerly owned by Pierre Berge (Yves Saint Laurent’s partner) & his former partner, painter Bernard Buffet; individually decorated rooms furnished with antiques & painted wooded furniture; apiary, fruit orchard & gardens (worthy of special trip); gourmet restaurant; open air spa.

Café de la Fontaine – 4 Avenue General de Gaulle; 011-33-04-9328-5279; on winding Grande Corniche (To Catch a Thief), heading to Italy; where French chefs go to eat lunch.
Hostéllerie Jerome – 20 Rue Comte de Cessole; 011-33-04-9241-5151;; authentic, 1st-rate, relaxed Mediterranean cuisine; fittingly served in frescoed, vaulted dining room.

Chateau de Montmirail – town center; 011-33-04-9065-8672; award-winning Cotes-du-Rhone Vacqueyras St. Papes.

VAUCLUSE (includes Vaison-la-Romaine)
Le Beffroi – Rue de l’Eveche (Vaison-la-Romaine); 011-33-04-9036-0471;; charming, tranquil 17th Century hostelerie in old town above modern Vaison.

Ceramique Terre a Feu – Place Montfort (Vaison-la-Romaine); inexpensive, traditional clay pots & pottery; nest of 5 large casseroles sells for $30, daubiere (stew pot for cooking & braising), $12.
Galerie du Vieux Marche – Haute Ville (Vaison-la-Romaine); 011-33-04-9036-1605; fine, contemporary handmade clothing, furniture, glassware & pottery.
Place de Montfort – Vaison-la-Romaine; Tuesday morning market provides colorful, rare village life glimpse.

Sights & Sites
Vaison-la-Romaine – Place du Chanoine Sautel (Vaison-la-Romaine, main tourist office for entire ancient village); 011-33-04-9036-0211;; ancient history trove; Gallo-Roman city dating to 1st Century CE.

Atelier de Faience – Place de la Fontaine; 011-33-04-9066-0792; contemporary, exquisite blue-white patterned porcelain bowls, cups & vases.

Sights & Sites
Pont du Gard Aqueduct & Museum – 400, Route du Pont du Gard; 011-33-8-2090-3330;

Cave Cooperative la Vinsobraise – RD 94; 011-33-04-7527-6422; for fruity, powerful Cotes-du-Rhone Vinsobres.

No comments:

Post a Comment