As much as I love London life, sometimes a break is well and truly needed. With just a short flight away, beautiful sunshine and a hint of glamour, where better to go than to one of the best loved towns along the Côte d’Azur - Cannes?
Where we stayed:
I was fortunate enough to stay at a beautiful villa in the residential area of Cannes - Petit Juas (less than 1km from the city centre).
The quaint French village had authentic patisseries and boulangeries, a little supermarket and butcher.
Ideal if you enjoy peace and quiet but with the option of walking down to the hustle and bustle of Cannes city centre.
Where we ate:
Set in the Old Town up on Rue St-Antoine, on one of the prettiest streets in Cannes, we headed to Restaurant Mantel - known for being one of the best restaurants in town.
Restaurant manager and business owner, Demetrio Argibay greeted us kindly with one of my best experiences with customer service in France; personable yet professional. In the past few months the restaurant has doubled in size - now taking over 130 covers.
Similar to Mantel's 'Table 22' we sampled the chefs selection of the best dishes on the menu which also catered for vegetarians. Popular with the restaurant's clientele, I would highly recommend a bottle Vineyard Miranda, a fruity wine from Barcelona to accompany the seafood dishes..
The dishes we ate were incredibly fresh - from homemade salmon marinated in salt and sugar for 24 hours with fennel and olive oil to the signature lobster ravioli with leek and shellfish sauce, all exquisite. The desserts were also to die for - homemade creme brulee and panna cotta with fresh fruit and raspberry sauce.
I couldn't recommend this hidden gem highly enough - a culinary delight with excellent service, quality and location.
For a couple of after dinner drinks we then headed to my namesake - Charly's wine bar across the way. A fun little venue, we found the lively atmosphere great, and the drinks pretty strong.
Where we went:
During the day we ventured around town to Le Croisette beachfront in Cannes, a nice walk and great for people watching.
We grabbed an ice cream, walked along the seafront and browsed in and around the shops Cannes has to offer - everything from luxury brands: Prada, Chanel, Fendi along the seafront, to the backstreets in which little independent stores and high street brands such as Zara, Mac and Sephora sit. There are many restaurants, ice cream parlours and more patisseries dotted around the town-centre.
Palm Beach is another side of Cannes to see - the beaches are a lot less touristy and are popular for kite surfing because of the strong winds.
For some light lunch we headed to Le Moure Rouge on Palm Beach, it's a great little spot on the seafront, favoured by the locals. The food is fresh and reasonably priced. Their house special Rouge Seafood salad is fresh- prawns, mussels and palmer ham - a light dish high protein and low on the calories.
A luxury car festival was on whilst we were at Palm Beach so after lunch we decided to have a quick look. The show featured many retro cars and a motorbike stuntman performed.
Directly opposite Palm Beach, there is a clear view of Saint Honorat Island, home to Benedictine monks. The monks pray and create wines, lavender oil and honey. No cars, noise or smoking is allowed on the island,making it a peaceful place to visit.
My trip to Cannes was short but sweet. If you're heading out for Cannes film festival and have a bit more time I'd recommend going to the Old Port and chartering out a yacht. Check out some of my photos from my visit last summer below:
If you have an interest in art whilst in Cannes, check out James Mousley's artwork which focuses on consciousness and perception. The talented artist is usually in and around Cannes throughout the year.
To make a reservation at Restaurant Mantel click here.
Flights to Nice from London can be found through BA here.