I quite often travel out of season; a September getaway – just as all the parents and children have gone back to work and school – has been my go-to for three years in a row now. In the meantime, in England, we accept that we’re basically never in or out of season – and we’re well trained to squeeze everything we can into the slightest bit of struggling sunshine.
The south of France in early March was definitely chancing it. But we left London in the drizzle and arrived to sun – well, the kind of weather that has the Brits in vest tops while the locals shuffle around in layers and boots; the kind which, soon enough, turned into an eight-hour downpour that forced us into a cellar for wine-tasting (worse ways to spend a day). But still. Sun.
Here’s what struck me about the pretty (little) city; it’s really a place you can enjoy with very little.
I loved the buildings – the balconies and their painted shutters – and the clocks which never ran to time.
The market stalls; with fruits and sweets on one day, and antiques on another.
Spending a few hours in the gardens – just people watching, and laughing as little ones dashed in and out of the water fountains.
And, of course, the coastline; we followed it from the centre all the way to the docks. The sea was Just. So. Blue.
There was also some more walking – two minutes which turned into an hour, oops – because we were in France and I was on the hunt for a coffee and the most indulgent pastry going. That was understandably less enjoyable for others. But a success for me.
After a couple of nights in Nice, we set off for Cannes where friends were waiting. It’s a really easy trip between the two – only half an hour or so – which makes it easy to squeeze two places into only a few days.
Now. I have next to no pictures of Cannes itself because it mainly consisted of wine, cheese, and catching up – which made me really happy.
But on our last day there, we headed from the city over to the island of Saint-Marguerite. And it was beautiful. I’m not usually one for landscapes, but evidently I can be swayed by the sight of a yacht; here are a few of my favourite images.
Thinking of going?
In Nice, we stayed in a private room at Hostel Meyerbeer – everything was great, the prices were low, the breakfast was included, and the staff were very friendly. If we could give you one recommendation for dinner, it would be the very unassuming but utterly five-star Les Garçons.
In Cannes, we split an Air BNB as a group. We enjoyed drinking many bottles of wine from bowls at Salsamenteria di Parma (technically not a French tradition, but hey) and we mostly bought food from the market and boulangeries to eat on the go – if you like baguettes, posh bread, quiche, pastries, all of the cheese, meats, fruit, veg or any combination of the above, you’re not going to go hungry.