JUMP ON BOARD THE TEXAS TRAIN THIS NOVEMBER IN MONACO

Texas est de retour avec un nouvel album et un concert à Monaco. Texas is back with a new album and a concert in Monaco.

“Life’s too short, let’s work it out”, sings Sharlene Spiteri on the first single of her band’s newest release, Jump On Board, their ninth studio album

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Just a year after celebrating three decades of hit-making, there is no doubt that Texas still has what it takes to be a force to be reckoned with on the musical scene. Showing no signs of slowing down, they have now embarked on a big global tour in support of their latest offering that will take them to Monaco at the end of November.

Taking their name from the Wim Wenders cult film “Paris, Texas” and fronted by Sharleen Spiteri, a pretty brunette regarded by many as one of the best British lead-singers, the Scottish band has survived the various music trends over the years, from the grunge wave that swept the 90’s to the electro vibe of the 2000s, as well as their lead singer’s stint as a solo artist (with 2008’s Melody and The Movie Songbook in 2010) to nonetheless release hit after hit, selling somewhere in the region of a million albums worldwide.

I Don’t Want a Lover”, “Halo”, “Summer Son”, “Black Eyed Boy”, are just a few examples of the feel-good tunes of this incredible pop/rock combo, and 2017’s Jump on Board does not disappoint. This new opus is a polished laid-back affair with a mixture of smooth soul, subdued disco and retro pop that should satisfy their long-standing fans as well as appeal to a newer generation.

We feel refreshed,” Spiteri said when the album was released in late April; “We definitely had a great time making this record. It’s time to jig it up. It’s like a new beginning. This is the next part of our story, and we’re are loving it”.

So if you want to be part of this next chapter in the life of one of the most beloved pop/rock bands, jump on board and mark the date in your calendar. Texas performs at the Salle Garnier in the Opéra de Monte-Carlo on Friday the 24th of November at 8:30pm. Tickets cost €82.50 and may be reserved online.

 

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COMEDIAN PAUL TAYLOR BRINGS BILINGUAL STAND-UP SHOW TO NICE

Cet automne à Nice, préparez vous à rire en anglais et français avec le comédien Paul Taylor. This fall in Nice, get ready to laugh in both English and French with comedian Paul Taylor.

British comedian Paul Taylor is bringing his bilingual stand-up comedy show to the Théâtre de la Cité in Nice this October.

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If you are on social media, chances are that you have come across a short sketch about the way French people greet each other that was posted last year and then reposted on every blog and Facebook page. “When meeting a girl for the first time, should you shake hands or give her a kiss?”, “How many kisses do you have to give?”,  “Which cheek do you kiss?” … there were just a few of the questions raised by bilingual Brit Paul Taylor in an hilarious YouTube video that got one million views in just one week and quickly became an internet sensation.

Riding on this success, the young man, who used to work and travel the world for Apple, is now making a new life for himself as a stand-up comedian and it is with his half English, half French show that he will be in Nice, at the Théâtre de la Cité, this coming October.

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Giving up a well-paid job and a bright future in a big company to start over and make people laugh in two languages is never an easy task, but Paul Taylor definitely has what it takes to make it work: a sharp sense of observation and humour, an undeniable ease with languages as he speaks French like a “Froggy” with just a slight a hint of an English accent, and a huge list of topics that tackle his adopted country’s particularities that, based on his own experience, might be difficult for expats. From the many public holidays and culture of strikes, to the dreaded administration and mad driving skills, no facet of life in France is safe with him.

If you do not yet know him, you can always check out the many “What the Fuck France 3 minute films he made for French channel Canal+. They are all available on YouTube.

Paul Taylor will be at the Théâtre de la Cité in Nice, on Friday, the 6th of October at 7:45 pm and 9:30 pm. Tickets cost from from €28 to €30 and can be bought at all the usual outlets or reserved online.

 

Image and video courtesy Paul Taylor Facebook page

AIX-EN-PROVENCE – AN ART LOVER’S SUMMER PARADISE

L’expo à ne pas manquer cet été à Aix. The  not-to-be missed exhibition this summer in Aix.

Each summer, the musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence invites an art gallery to present the masterpieces it has acquired throughout its existence, and this year it is turn of Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger.

Granet

After the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation and the Doris and Donald Fisher collection from the MoMa in San Francisco, this year sees the Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger being celebrated at the musée Granet with the exhibition « Passion de l’art – Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger depuis 1925 ».

As one of the oldest contemporary art dealers in Europe, this avant-gardist gallery has brought the likes of Nicolas de Staël, Pablo Picasso, André Masson, Piet Mondrian and many others to attention of the public.

It all started in 1925 when a young woman originally from Alsace, Jeanne Bucher opened her own place in Paris to display works by Cubist Surrealist, primitivist and pre-war artists, many of whom had become close friends. After her death in 1947, her great nephew, Jean-François Jaeger took over the management of the space and following along the same artistic lines, displayed post-war abstract works from Europe and the U.S., as well as pieces by the new figurative and realist painters of the 1970’s.

Today, the gallery’s spirit of discovery and adventure remains very much alive with Jaeger’s great granddaughter, Véronique, whose golden rule is to always look at “the mystery of the creative act with a fresh eye and a sense of wonderment”. “As gallery owners”, she says, “we’re necessarily the first to collect our artists and we have an intrinsic relationship with them”.

Ordered chronologically and divided into three main sections to reflect the artistic criteria of the gallery’s three successive owners, the exhibition present more than 100 priceless masterpieces that include André Bauchant’s Bataille des Eléphants, an early tapestry by Jean Lurçat, and Vassily Kandisky’s Communauté.

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The exhibition “An Art Lover’s Collection – the Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger since 1925″runs until the 24th of September.

The museum is opened every day from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 7pm. A full-price ticket costs €8 and the reduced admission is €5.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Granet
18, rue Roux-Alphéran
13100 Aix-en-Provence
Tél: +33 (0)4 42 52 88 44/43

 

All images courtesy musée Granet

WILLIAM KLEIN – TOAST OF THE FRENCH RIVIERA THIS SUMMER

Les villes de Moscou, Tokyo et Nice sont les stars de la nouvelle exposition organisée cet été par le Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre.  Moscow, Tokyo and Nice are the stars of the new exhibition organised this summer by the Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre.

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For the public at large, he may not be as famous as the likes of Cartier-Bresson or Robert Capa, yet for his peers, photographer and filmmaker William Klein is nothing short of a living legend, having revolutionized the art of modern photography.

Now, the Niçois have a chance to admire the works of an artist who has been capturing the rough and tumble of daily life for more than 60 years, thanks to the exhibit, Bises de Nice, Moscou et Tokyo, that is currently being held at the Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre until the 2nd of October.

Born in New York in 1928 to a Jewish family, Klein was introduced to Europe while doing his military service. After his demobilization, he stayed in Paris to take classes at La Sorbone and to study art with Fernand Léger. He started taking pictures of the people and street fashion around the French capital, using strong contrasts and blurred contours to produce brutally honest images that stood in direct contradiction to the aesthetical and technically perfect photographs of the times.

 

Strongly interested in social issues, this “anti-photographer” as he likes to call himself became famous in 1956 with the publication of his first book, “Life is Good and Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels which showed the Big Apple bas a booming and vibrant city, but also as a harsh and oppressive metropolis.

This was the beginning of a string of expressive portraits of cities. After Rome in 1958, he went to Moscow between 1959 and 1961 at the height of the Cold War, where he was able to go largely unnoticed to paint a picture of a lively, thriving Moscow at odds with the much greyer image the West liked to portray.

William Klein expo NiceThen it was Tokyo in the early 1960’s, where Klein managed to capture the great mutation of a city that was still teetering between tradition and modernity.

While most of his pictures are black and white prints, the artist also occasionally adds a touch of colour to celebrate life, as was the case when he photographed the Nice carnival in 1984, its centenary year.

But Klein is not just a photographer, he is also a filmmaker and the audience can watch his 2005 movie Messiah, which includes performances of Handel’s oratorio by a gay and lesbian gospel choir, as well as inmates of the Sugarland Prison in Texas, over images of contemporary life.

Throughout his career, William Klein has received many distinctions like the Prix Nadar (1957) and the rank of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres de France (1991), but he remains first and foremost an unconventional artist who likes to take risks and experiment with lots of genres. As he once said: “Sometimes, I’d take shots without aiming to see what happened. I’d rush into crowds—bang!bang!…It must be close to what a fighter feels after jabbing and circling and getting hit, when suddenly there’s an opening, and bang! Right on the button. It’s a fantastic feeling.”

The exhibition, “William Klein: Bises de Nice, Moscou et Tokyo”, runs until 2nd of October, 2017 at the Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image, from 10am – 6pm daily (closed Mondays). Admission is free for residents of Nice.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre
1, place Pierre Gautier
06300 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 97 13 42 20

FROM LOS ANGELES TO ANTIBES, MEET VEGAN CHEF IVY DAI

Entretien avec la restauratrice Ivy Dai. Interview with chef Ivy Dai.

When not writing about food, you can find chef Ivy Dai serving up her delicious plant-based cuisine at Graze Artisan Café, the restaurant she recently launched in Antibes.

To help you get to know Ivy better as well as finding out more about her restaurant and vegan cuisine in general, we had the chance to ask her a few questions.

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Hello Ivy. First of all can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I understand that you are from Los Angeles but have been traveling a lot over the last few years?

Hello! Yes I am originally from Los Angeles, born and raised. Since I was a little girl I have always had a bit of wanderlust. I first left home and travelled abroad at age 22 to China. It was a huge culture shock, but definitely an adventure and I learned Mandarin in the process. I went back to the States and worked as a food journalist then a producer for ABC News in 2008 before leaving and finally following my dream: attending the Cordon Bleu Culinary School. I completed my externship in Paris at Lenôtre and Hédiard, then headed back to California where I worked at the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton hotels as a pastry chef.

France kept calling me back, and I finally landed an opportunity to help open a gluten free Pâtisserie in Paris in 2012. That was also a big move, and it was really tough adjusting. During my time there I also worked as a French pastry instructor and helped open NeoBento, an organic café in the trendsetting 3rd arrondissement (Le Marais). I also ran my own cooking classes, Dragon Dinners, which I launched in 2008 in California, teaching home cooks how to make authentic Chinese!

My yoga instructor in LA, Sabrina Kappler, worked in yachting and convinced me to come to Antibes and try my hand at yachting. It was tough breaking in at first, despite my experience. I cooked on several yachts for a variety of owners, and found my niche in plant-based and gluten-free fare with an international twist. My clients now seek me out solely for this type of cuisine, mostly in Europe but I recently just returned from Qatar and have worked in Asia.

Essentially, the cuisine you get in my restaurant is what I make for my international clients. I created Graze because I wanted to make tasty wholesome food available to the masses. I thought to myself – how can I take what I do for one person and do that same thing for many. That’s where the concept of Graze was born.

When did you first know that you wanted to become a chef? And a vegan one at that!

I first knew I wanted to be a chef in Mrs. Hilscher’s home economics class in 7th grade. I was 13. I learned to bake. I was always forcing my family to try new weird things. I had a natural skill for it.

At 19 I wanted to be a food writer, which I achieved at the age of 25, then I took the leap and went to culinary school and haven’t looked back since.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?

love feeding people. I love seeing the excitement in people’s faces and their whole being lights up when you cook something just how ‘mom used to make it’, or someone discovers a flavor so new and stupendous, it cracks open their world. Food is a journey of emotions, and a common language that connects people of all backgrounds.

You have recently launched your own restaurant, Graze Artisan Café, in Antibes, can you tell us a little about this new adventure? How would you describe the food you offer?

Opening Graze has been so gratifying, I didn’t except I would gain so much satisfaction and create a new community. The menu and style of service Graze offers has evolved according to the needs of our customers. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Look, I am not against meat. I am not telling anyone that butter is evil and don’t ever eat a hamburger again. In fact I love butter (a huge reason why I moved to France). Being a ‘vegan’ restaurant (I prefer to call it plant-based) becomes quite a political statement. People say but I like meat and I won’t stop eating it. But…do you need to have it at EVERY single meal? What about some curry? A delicious soup? Some dessert? Or a smoothie? There is really a lot of variety to eat!

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I am not against meat, I am for fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat and eggs and dairy products are excellent for health, especially bone broth, but in the modern age it takes a lot of time and money to eat high quality animal protein. And even then eating grass-fed is actually worse for the environment…one cow then eats so much more plants than a grain-fed cow.

I tell some of my customers who say why don’t you serve meat..I tell them if you go hunt and kill an animal and bring it to me, I will cook it. Or you can eat as much as cake, cookies, and pizzas as you want – just make it yourself. Hunting and baking are time-consuming, and foods that we rarely ate before the industrialization of food. Now you can have a burger anytime – but if you are only eating meat and wheat, there’s not much room for a vegetable. When you eliminate meat, you are forced to cook, then you naturally eat better.

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But I also know it is a challenge to eat well – there’s the shopping, the cooking, the menu planning, the clean up. Here at Graze, we strive to make wholesome food readily available for all of us who are getting busier and busier – and find ourselves eating crisps and an apple for dinner.

And why did you choose Antibes?

The French Riviera is on the exact same latitude line as California. It reminds me of home – the topography, near the beach and also the mountains, the weather, the relaxed attitude. I live in Antibes and chose to open Graze here because we need it. After years of living here, I found it tough to eat well on the go. As well as finding a variety of cuisines. And eating well means feeding your taste buds as well as your body. Enjoying a gastronomic experience is synonymous with being French – and how can a country who does not eat well, be well?

How do you dispel the belief that a vegan diet is bland?

Let’s name a few things that are tasty and just so happen to have no animal products:

– Chips/fries/french fries/pomme frites
– Onion bhajis
– A lot of Indian food
– A lot of Chinese food
– Guacamole
– Hummus
– Smoothies
– Chocolate
– Granola bars

So anyways we serve all this stuff here! Even scrumptious tacos and burgers, vegan pizza, Thai food, you name it. I would say we are more about offering a variety of international cuisine (as America is a large melting pot) than putting lettuce and pasta on a plate and saying bon appetit.

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Does being vegan help in maintaining a healthy weight?

As I mentioned earlier, when you add more fruits and vegetables in your diet, you automatically cut out a lot of processed food, which is what makes you tired, pack on the pounds, and grab for more sugary drinks, candy bars and fast food. At Graze all our smoothies are only made with 100 percent fresh fruit, desserts are made with unrefined cane sugar, and our dishes are perfect for anyone trying to lose weight or get lean. For example, our Thai Burger has 5 fruits and veggies, chickpeas for protein, and spicy curry paste to burn fat, 200 calories and ZERO fat. And it’s pretty damn tasty too…it’s topped with our coriander ‘aioli’ (made with organic soymilk).

I first tried to become vegan about 10 years ago, and it has been a long and bumpy journey to move to a plant-based diet. I remember the first day I didn’t eat meat or dairy I was crawling to In-N- Out Burger by the end of the day (a popular burger chain in California).

After I experienced severe adrenal fatigue and exhaustion in 2013, my digestion and overall health was shot – and I only craved fruits and vegetables. So that is all I ate for 6 months. I also did a juice fast for 3 days that really opened my eyes in terms of my attitude with food – that I ate to curb anxiety or when I was thirsty – not when I was actually hungry.

Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are good for you. So think about ADDING some color into your diet versus focusing on ELIMINATING meat and dairy. We need those vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy and skinny!

graze-pastries

What tip would you give to someone interesting in becoming a vegan?

If you are moving towards a plant based diet, I suggest eating things you like that already have a lot of flavor – like chili, but instead of ground meat, add 3 beans (for 9 complete amino acids). Or try Indian food, or maybe a sweet and sour basil eggplant stirfry. The trick is to keep your taste buds and body satisfied – hot as well as oily food will help keep you grounded as you move to a plant-based diet.

Do you have a culinary specialty?

To the first 25 people who like us on Facebook, I will send a FREE recipe booklet of my favorite recipes from the upcoming Graze cookbook. After liking us, just email usand we will send you your free copy!

My culinary specialties? Pastry (appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcakes Wars”), Chinese, and vegan and gluten-free of course !

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And finally, what do you like so much about the French Riviera? Are there any special places you would recommend?

For a list of all my favorite places in Antibes, you can check my site.

New Antibes additions: Mamalu, an amazing family style Italian restaurant by the covered market, The 44, a gastronomic meal in an intimate setting.

Favorite places in the Riviera: Mandelieu-la Napoule, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Chèvre d’Or in Eze, La Réserve (beach) in Nice, and on my yoga mat at Samasthiti Yoga or Azure Yoga in Antibes!

Many thanks to Ivy a for taking the time to answer our question, and we wish her the very best of luck with her new adventure. To find out more about Ivy’s work, you can visit her website and, of course, check out Graze Artisan Café when you happen to be in Antibes.

CONTACT DETAILS
Graze Artisan Café
20, rue des Casemates
06600 ANTIBES

Tel: +33 (0)4 89 82 51 73

All photos courtesy Ivy Dai / Graze Café

VIA FERRATAS OR HOW TO SAFELY EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Entre randonnée et escalade! Between hiking and climbing!

Ever wanted to try outdoor climbing, but didn’t quite feel ready or brave enough to bite the bullet? Well, we might just have the perfect solution for you – Via Ferrata trails!

Italian by origin, the Via Ferrata trails were created to help infantry travel safely through the Dolomites. These “iron roads”, situated on rock faces, are equipped with cables, ladders, steps, grips and bridges, making them the ideal cross between footpath and vertical rock climb. All you will need is a helmet to protect yourself against falling rocks, a harness that clips into the cable safety system as you progress along the trail, as well as some gloves for a firm grip, and appropriate footwear for stability.

This assisted climbing activity is a great way to admire the valley from high above and to experience the wilds in complete safety, but nonetheless it does require hard work and not all the routes are for everyone. So, depending on whether you are a total novice or an experienced climber, here is a short list of the most popular Via Ferratas in the Alpes-Martimes, classified according to their level of difficulty.

Via Ferrata Balma Negra – Roubion (Easy/moderate)

Just 70 km north of Nice in the Mercantour National Park, this relatively short and straightforward Via Ferrata is ideal for beginners. Located on a 40 to 50 metre cliff, the route overlooks the Tinée valley and does not present any difficulties, aside from a 20 m high crossing towards the end.

Time required: 1.5 hours
Max altitude: 1,450 m
Height gain: + 50 m.
Route length: 300 m
Season: April – October

Via Ferrata Les Canyons de Lantosque – Lantosque (Moderate)

With its 5 monkey bridges, 5 suspension bridges, a 100 metre wall and a fun zip line to end the adventure, this Via Ferrata is an all-time favourite among climbers. Its popularity probably has a lot to do with the fact that the route is located in a beautiful canyon and gradually increases in difficulty.

 

Time required: 3 hours
Max altitude: 500 m
Height gain: + 100 m
Route length: 950 m
Season: April – October

Via Ferrata Le Baus de la Frema – La Colmiane (Difficult)

The oldest and most famous Via Ferrata in the Alpes-Maritimes is also one of the most difficult. The route, which leads to the summit of Baus de la Frema, is full of exposed ladder sections, high ropes crossings and vertical slabs, and takes nearly 5 hours to complete.

Time required: 4.5 hours
Max altitude: 2,246 m
Height gain: + 501 m
Route length: 1,600 m
Season: May – October

Via Ferrata L’Escale – Peille (Very difficult)

 

Just a few miles from Monaco and about 30 minutes from Nice, the Escale Via Ferrata is a challenging and physically demanding route that is divided into four sections, each lasting 45 minutes. It provides beautiful views over the village of Peille, but definitely requires some previous climbing experience.

Time required: 2.5 hours
Max altitude: 750 m
Height gain: + 230 m

Route length: 800 m
Season: Year round
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Via Ferrata Les Hérétiques – Tende (Very difficult)

Probably the most spectacular trail, this Via Ferrata offers a fun 120 m zip-line as well as a wonderful panorama over the Mercantour massif and the mediaeval castle of Chapelle St-Sauveur. This is the reward for overcoming this sporty 1km long route.

Time required: 3.5 hours
Max altitude: 1,338 m
Height gain: + 330 m

Route length: 1,000 m
Season: April – October

5 OF THE BEST – ROOFTOP ESCAPES IN NICE

Les 5 meilleures bars sur les toits à Nice! The 5 best rooftops in Nice!

While you are hard at work or busy basking in the sun during the day, come sunset, there is definitely no better place to spend your evening than a nice rooftop terrace!

The rooftop season is most surely upon us, so why not treat yourself to some jaw-dropping views while sipping a cocktail, sharing a bite with friends and listening to some music.

To help you make up the most of your summer evenings in Nice, here is our pick of our 5 favourite rooftops in the city.

Hôtel Aston La Scala : the Best View in Town

Located just 5 minutes away from the beach and the promenade des Anglais, this four-star hotel is nothing short of an institution in Nice, which its amazing 360 degree panoramic view of the city, from the Colline du Château and its illuminated waterfall to the Old Town and Promenade du Paillon.

Its rooftop is open from June to September, allowing you to enjoy poolside cocktails during the warm summer days, while its swanky terrace bar is open all year round.

aston-terrasse

For a romantic evening at sunset or a lazy afternoon by the pool, this is definitely the place to be! And if you love music, you will enjoy the live music on Thursdays and the DJ nights on Saturdays.

For a similar experience, minus the pool, the nearby Boscolo hotel is also always a safe bet, thanks to its great atmosphere, its incredible views over the Jardins Albert Ier and the Baie des Anges, and its delicious tapas platters and cocktails.

Hôtel Aston La Scala
12, avenue Felix Faure
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 92 17 53 00

Boscolo Hotel, B4 Park Nice
12, avenue de Verdun
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 93 16 75 92

Le Méridien : Fun under the stars!

As if its location right on the Promenade des Anglais, its beautiful swimming pool and its signature cocktails were not enough, the Méridien Nice is putting on a show this summer with the screening of four iconic movies every Wednesday evening: Goldeneye, Mamma Mia!, Et Dieu créa la femme, and Plein Soleil, which were all shot in the Mediterranean region.

A good excuse to relax under the stars and sip a Lady in Red (a mixture of cranberry juice, jasmin syrup, lemonade, and fresh mint leaves) or an Indigo Splash (a mixture of Bacardi Gold Rum, Blue Curaçao, vanilla liqueur, lime juice, cane sugar syrup).

Le Méridien Nice
1, Promenade des Anglais
06046 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 97 03 44 44

Le Radisson Blu : Chill out by the sea

Looking for a sundowner after a day on the beach? Look no further than the Radisson Blu on the Promenade des Anglais. Aside from a magical view over both the blue waters and the nearby mountains, the huge 700 square metre roof terrace, open all year round, boasts a swimming pool and comfortable lounge furniture.

The dining area is not bad either, with a restaurant/bar that offers a Mediterranean cuisine of the highest quality and mouthwatering cocktails.

Away from all the hustle and bustle of the Old Town, there is no better spot to have a pre-dinner aperitif and soak up the late sun in a chilled atmosphere.

Le Radisson Blu
223, Promenade des Anglais
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 97 17 71 77

Splendid Hotel & Spa : A lounge over the roofs

With its Fitness Centre, sauna, solar-heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi and bar with panoramic views of the city, the 8th floor of the Splendid Hotel is a little paradise unto itself.

First opened in 1883 for the winter season to target British tourists, the hotel counted among its first clients the King of Wurtemberg whose coat of arms has been transformed into the Splendid’s present logo.

splendid-rooftop

Ideally located on Boulevard Victor Hugo, it is a peaceful location that also knows how to have fun, transforming itself into an outdoor lounge overlooking the roofs of the city, with great food, delicious drinks, and music throughout the summer.

Splendid Hotel & Spa
50, boulevard Victor Hugo
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 93 87 02 46

The Monsigny Hotel: The New Kid in Town

For the last few years, the Libération district has been getting trendier by the minute, so it is no surprise it now also has its own rooftop terrace that will give the most famous ones on the Promenade des Anglais a run for their money.

Located on the 7th floor of the hotel, the Monsigny rooftop is probably still one of Nice’s best-kept secrets. Overlooking the Malaussena pedestrian area and the roofs of the city, it offers everything you need to spend a perfect afternoon in the sun, or a relaxed evening with friends. The Jacuzzi is available to all (for just 5€ for hotel clients and 10€ for guests) and the deckchairs are welcoming. With unobtrusive music playing in the background, the selection of tapas and cocktails is as delicious as it is affordable.

monsigny-rooftop

Less touristy maybe, the Monsigny has nonetheless a more authentic feel that most of its counterparts.

The Hotel Monsigny
17, avenue Malaussena, 
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 93 88 27 35

All photos courtesy each hotel

 

PUSHING BOUNDARIES WITH PHILIPPE PASQUA IN MONACO

Dernier article en date pour Riviera buzz. Latest article to date for Riviera Buzz.

Local artist and sculptor Philippe Pasqua takes centre-stage in the Musée Océanographique in Monaco this summer with a monumental exhibition.

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For the past few years, the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco has been inviting numerous renowned contemporary creators, from Damien Hirst and Huang Yong Ping to Mark Dion and Marc Quinn, to establish a welcome dialogue between poetry and environmental commitment.

This summer is proving to be no different with the display of 12 gigantic custom-made works and sculptures by Grasse-born artist, Philippe Pasqua.

Entitled “Borderline”, this truly monumental exhibition consists of 12 monographic pieces, 7 of which have never been shown in public before, standing alongside the museum’s permanent collection on the square in front of the building and the panoramic terrace perched on the cliff.

Inspired by artists such as Francis Bacon as well as voodoo and fetishes, Pasqua thrives on provoking emotions rather than producing aesthetically pleasing pieces. His images are violent and powerful, always flirting with the notion of limits. They are made with materials that symbolize solidity and strength, such as bronze and onyx, but also eternity and purity, such as marble and silver, to create an œuvre as disturbing as it is fascinating.

Pasqua questions, raises concerns and unsettles his audience, but never leaves them unmoved”, explains Robert Calcagno, the Museum’s director, noting that the artist’s “work provides the ideal trigger for raising awareness about marine and terrestrial life”.

This philosophy is probably best summarized in the work ‘Wheel of Time’, which impresses not only with its dimensions (weighing in at 7 tons, with a diameter of 7 metres and a height of 6 metres), but also by its multiple components (Tyrannosaurus Rex carcasses, rats, an electric chair, a parasol…), representing a time that seems to have stopped.

 

My commitment to protecting the environment is partly tied to my personal journey. As a father of three, I am forced to think of my children and of their future and to be proactive through my art,” Pasqua says of his work. “It seems that we now have reached a breaking point and this fear of rupture was a source of inspiration for the title of the exhibition, Borderline”.

The exhibition, Borderline, runs until the 30th of September; 2017 at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 8 pm until the end of August and from 10 am to 7 pm in September. Tickets cost 11 € for adults, 7 € for teenagers aged 13 to 18 and for students with an ID card, and 5 € for children aged 4 to 12.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Océanographique
ave. St-Martin
MC 98000 Monaco

Tel : + 377 93 15 36 00

 

Image courtesy Musée Océanographique

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Bons baisers de Russie! From Russia with love!

When it comes to must-see destinations, one name that always comes to mind is that of beautiful Saint Petersburg.

SB-winter-palace

Nicknamed the Venice of the North or the Paris of the East (depending on your preference), the city, established by Peter the Great in 1703 to replace Moscow as the Tsarist capital, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, if not the most beautiful.

With its baroque and classical palaces, its numerous canals and bridges, its world-class museums and colourful churches, it is a spellbinding spot worth visiting any time of year. One reason alone to discover the city is the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors and now home to The Hermitage. Famous for its green facade, grandiose staircases and gilded state rooms,  it is well worth the detour. Its collection of more than 3 million works of art and artefact, including gems such as Leonard da Vinci’s Madonna, Caravaggio’s The Lute Player, Claude Monet’s Woman in a Garden, Pablo Picasso’s Absinthe Drinker, and Henri Matisse’s The Dance, could keep you busy for days, maybe even weeks.

The Hermitage is just one among many recommended stops. The nearby Russian Museum, for instance, pays tribute to local artists past and present, while the new Fabergé Museum in the Stuvalov Palace displays more than 4,000 pieces of art, including a dozen or so of the famous Easter Eggs made for the imperial family by legendary Carl Fabergé. They are each individually designed with diamonds, gold, rhinestones and silver, and open up to reveal a surprise within.

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Across the Neva, the Peter and Paul Fortress with its imposing bell tower, is one of the main symbols of the city. A former prison for high-ranking or political opponents, it is now the burial vault of the Romanovs. However, the most impressive religious landmarks may just be the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood that dominates Saint Petersburg with its whimsical onion domes. Built on the very spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, it is decorated with incredibly detailed mosaics created by the most important Russian artists of the time.

Cruising the city’s canals is always a pleasant experience, except maybe when the temperatures drop below zero, which can happen even in May, but strolling down Nevsky Prospekt, Saint Petersburg’s main avenue, is probably the best way to appreciate the sumptuous architecture. And if one wants to venture out into the countryside, Peterhof, the Romanov’s answer to Versailles, proves to be a fascinating place with its palace, Grand Cascade, dozens of water-spouting gilded statues, and royal gardens.

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Centuries after Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy, Saint Petersburg definitely remains Russia’s most progressive metropolis and a cultural hub with a European vibe. Meanwhile, just four hours away by train, Moscow is by contrast as Russian as can be.

Welcome to Москва́

Full of contradictions, the political and economic capital is a huge city filled with historical landmarks standing alongside modern architecture, marked both by the Tsarist regime and its many decades under communist rule, at the same time unruly and business-driven. It certainly will not leave you feeling indifferent!

Moscou-red-square

Any visit should of course start with the (in)famous Red Square. Located right in the heart of the city on the site of the old market place, it has been the focal point over the years for military parades, concerts, or just hanging out with friends. Originally meaning beautiful in old Russian, the place is now only referred as the Red Square, despite not being a square…or red!

Its most notable site is, without doubt, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the ultimate architectural symbol of Russia which, with its colourful cupolas, domes and towers, seems straight out of a fairy tale.

Moscou-basils

Another church on the square, that of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan is worth a visit, just for the golden icon above the door. Not far from there, the State Historical Museum built during the 19th century, holds interesting exhibitions year-round, while the ceiling of its parade hall has the family tree of Russian tsars painted on it.

History buffs will probably want to stop by the Mausoleum where Lenin is frozen for eternity, but shopping addicts may just prefer to spend some time in the impressive GUM Department store to check some of the 200 upscale boutiques and have lunch at the Soviet-style cantine Stolovaya N10.

Another not-to-be-missed landmark is, of course, the Kremlin, the grandiose fortress that over its 800 year history has successively been the residence of the tsars, the communist leaders, and now the President. A self-contained village within the city, it includes the Presidential Palace along with many beautiful cathedrals, the Tsar Bell (the Broken Bell), the Tsar Cannon, a spacious garden, as well as the wonderful Kremlin’s Armoury museum and its vast collection of State Regalia, coronation dresses, carriages, Russian gold and silver artwork, Fabergé eggs, and ambassadorial gifts from all over the world.

moscow-metro

There is a wealth of fascinating buildings in Moscow, from the Bolshoi Theatre to the old headquarters of the KGB, but it may be underground that the city is at its most beautiful. Opened in May, the city’s metro is indeed a real art museum with its chandeliers, marble, mosaics and statutes that will blow you away.

Aeroflot offers direct flights from Nice to Moscow on a daily basis, and every day but Tuesday to Saint Petersburg.

SIMONE VEIL PASSES AGED 89

«Puisse son exemple inspirer longtemps nos compatriotes, qui y trouveront le meilleur de la France» – Emmanuel Macron . “ May her example inspire our fellow citizens, as the best of what France can achieve” – Emmanuel Macron.

Simone Weil

Nice-born political icon and Auschwitz survivor, Simone Veil, most definitely represented “the best of France” throughout her life.

Very few politicians can command support and admiration across the political spectrum. This, however, was the case with Simone Veil, France’s universally loved and respected former health minister who has just passed away at age 89.

Expressing his condolences, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “May her example inspire our fellow citizens, as the best of what France can achieve”, while his predecessor Francois Hollande said she “embodied dignity, courage and moral rectitude.”

Veil’s life and political career were admirable in many ways. In her autobiography, A Life, which was released in France in 2008 and the following year in the UK, she recounted all aspects of this extraordinary destiny that saw her successively become a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, a mother of three boys, a health minister, an abortion pioneer, the first president of the directly elected European Parliament, and a member of France’s Constitutional Council, before being enthroned in 2010 as one of the French immortals, becoming only the sixth woman in 375 years to join the Académie Française (the French Academy).

Simone weil-2

Veil’s nomination to the prestigious French Academy which is the organization that regulates the French language and whose members are nicknamed “eternals” after the inscription on the seal of the academy “to immortality”, was a beautiful conclusion to a remarkable life.

Born Simone Jacob in Nice, she was arrested in the streets of her hometown on 29th March 1944, the day after taking her baccalaureat examinations and nearly two months before D-Day, and was sent to Auschwitz with most of her family. She and a sister survived, but her father, mother and brother never came back from the death camps.

Upon her return to France, Veil married another secular French Jew, Antoine Veil, a diplomat, civil servant and senior aviation executive, and went on to become a judge. In 1974, she became Minister for Health (1974 – 1979) under President Giscard d’Estaing, where she successively fought to legalize abortion.

She later served as the first President of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1982 before returning to domestic government as Minister for Social Affairs, in Jacques Chirac’s government from 1993 to 1995. Three years later, Simone Veil was appointed to the Constitutional Council, an institution principally tasked with ensuring the constitutionality of French law. She also presided over the Foundation for the Memory of Shoah and provided multiple patronages all throughout the country.

simone-veil

No less than three French presidents, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, all political allies, attended her induction ceremony to the Académie Française, which was broadcast live on French television.

Wearing a green uniform designed by Karl Lagerfeld and a sword engraved with her Auschwitz camp number, 78651, which was still tattooed on her wrist, Weil declared in her inaugural speech: ” I think of my mother every day, two-thirds of a century after she died in the hell of the Bergen-Belsen camp,” (…) “And it is also my father, who was deported and died in the Baltic countries, who is with me here.”