Sunday, March 17, 2019

South of France (avec ma mère)

I have always dreamt of vacationing in the South of France! Even when you say it out loud it sounds enticing. I was lucky enough to convince my mom to spend my Spring Break with me where we hopped around the French Riveria with our home base being Nice. 
Our favorite thing to do in Nice was to walk around the quaint little alley-like streets and see the different markets that took place every day. Most of the days it was fruit and local art, but on one of the days, it was a huge, antique market which my mom loved!
The best view of the city is from the Castle of Nice, which takes a few stairs to get up! It is so worth it and you will not believe how blue and clear the water is. I loved going up there in the morning and just taking in the view!
Gare de Nice Ville (Translation: Nice City Train Station)
We spent a lot of time at this beautiful train station because we were constantly going to new places! My advice is to buy your train tickets in advance using the app called Trainline.
First Stop: Villefranche-sur-Mer! This is a tiny beach town that is so bright and colorful. It honestly felt like a movie set! we walked around here for about an hour but otherwise did not find much to do. 
Next stop: Monte Carlo was all about shopping and showing off (to be honest). It was really cool to see all of the luxury shops and nice cars everywhere, but in the end, it was not really my cup of tea. I would highly consider going back for the beach clubs or to go on a yacht (in my dreams), but otherwise, I think it was a one time trip for me!
Cannes reminded me of Santa Monica! It had beautiful beaches with a busy city life. I really enjoyed Cannes because you can go to one of the huge restaurants on the sand, walk around and go shopping, or enjoy a drink at a local cafe. 
Antibes was more of a small, coastal town with a lot of charm. We enjoyed people watching at a local restaurant while sipping wine and took in the gorgeous view on a walk along the coast. 
La Voglia 
My mom and I landed in Nice around 8 pm and while I thought we were going to go straight to bed, she insisted on us getting a full blown meal. We just happen to run into this place and it was divine! In LA if you want truffle pasta it will cost you upwards of $100 for a tiny bite-size dish, but we found this place to be very generous & reasonable! 
Socca is a cultural dish in the South of France and so I had to try it at least once! It kind of tasted like a savory, thick crepe. I am happy I tried it, but honestly would not crave it again. 
Le Bistrot de Port
We were really nervous this place would be a tourist trap because it is directly on the port and I do not think there was one local in there. Regardless if it is considered one or not the seabass was to die for! 
La Cave a Fromage
This place was really cool because it is literally an underground cave. The only thing to note before you go is that you cannot order alcohol without each having an entree and every entree is centered around cheese! Moral of the story is that we ordered wine and then had to order a lot of cheese, so I did not even look at cheese for over a month after this meal (Lol). 
My mom is the master of finding restaurants where locals go and this is one of them! Gepetto is actually the owner and a huge flirt (hence the photo he insisted I took with him). The food here was insanely delicious and I think a trip to Nice is incomplete without stopping by this hole in the wall! TIP: You must make a reservation. 
I am not a huge fan of the Michelin Star restaurant trend because I do not love super artsy food and if I am paying a lot for food I would like more than one scallop on my plate. That's why when my mom suggested this place I wasn't too sure I would love it but was open to the idea of not eating pasta for the fifth night in a row. While Peixes does not have a Michelin Star they are on their way to one for sure! The food was unique and delicious!

Hotel Perouse 
Being abroad for so long has me on a new obsession of boutique hotels because I find the staff is way kinder and the place itself is so charming! The Hotel Perouse felt like our own villa for the week. We had breakfast downstairs every morning, which allowed me to have my daily croissant (which is a must while in France!) and coffee without having to go searching every day.  The view and location were also incredible features to this place!
All in all, I will always cherish this trip that I had the opportunity to explore these places with my mom! <3 

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