Cannes Post ILTM conference Dec 2010
After trade show, we refreshed and went to Martinez hotel to see Lilian and her collegaues where they are staying. Martinez hotel so far is the on of the best I've seen in Cannes. Carlton is also nice but rooms require renovation. I did not visit Majestic but I was told is it also very nice.
We went to restaurant Pastis. We came late and they gave away our reservation. Had to wait 30 mins. It is is small bistro and was completely filled with ILTM attendees. Otherwise it is low season in Cannes. It was very noisy. We finally got a table. Expensive wine ordered was not that good so we sent it back. The regular Bandol wine was fine and cost less. The service was awful, slow and I did not get potato au gratin I ordered with my meat. He told us they are out and offered mashed potatoes or vegetables. Opted for vegetables . Food whatever we got was very well prepared though.. Maybe it is better with other slow time and more attention but they were owherhelmed.
Friday, December 10.
Checked out from Palais Stephanie and went to our rented 1 bedroom apartment in Cannes rented through my guide and contact in Cannes, Jacques. Jacques came and drove us (fe min) to apartment . great location, just behind Martinez. Basic staff, but it is cheap and we have kitchen and washer. Jacques prepard for us welcome back basket with fruit, olive oil, tapenade, honey and some jam. Very nice of him. He also gave us admission tickets to Monaco . Then we went with Jacques for a day tour of hill villages. Visited Mougins, Gourdon, Tourette sur loop, St. Paul De Vence and Eze. Went to modern art museum Foundation Maeght in St. Paul . Had lunch at St. Paul. Beatuful villages, sunny weather. We enjoyed it thoroughly. Back to Cannes. Got some supermarket shopping. Went to neigboring sandwich shop, made contact with owner, got some drinks and got internet connection from them. Good busy day .
Saturday December 11.
We rented a car from Europcar nearby and got Puegot. We hooked it to our GPS and off to explore Riviera by car. Drove to Nice and spent a day there. It was easy with GPS while it worked but it got owherhelmed with memory (french maps?) and stopped. Nevertheless we visited Matisse Museum and Chagall Museum. Matisse was OK. Beautiful mansion . The artist lived there .Some nice sculptures. I love Chagal Museum, and always linger there more. Now they have English audio guides so it is even better. Loved it! Then we drove to see Russian Cathedral which was built by Russian nobles in last century. Then we went to Promenade Anglais to do some people watching. I tried to get to Negresco but they would not let me in! Said make an apponitment. We found with difficulty a parking space and walked to Promenade. I planned to eat at Old ity rememreing nice restaurants near Cours Saleys (sp?). But when we came there, it was all under construction. We ended up eating at small cafe - gnocchi in cream mushroom sauce. They served in small la Crusette pots. It was good. Walked back on Promenade Anglais and enjoy people watching. There was an open air market and people were buying Christmas Tree. Nice athmosphere, people and their dogs, trees. Very festive.
We wanted to get to Cannes before dark so we rushed to our parked car and drove back. The GPS stopped functioning again but we made it to Croisette and only got a bit lost around our apartment but then got GPS working again. Ate dinner at small restaurant on Rue Antibes, excellent food. So far meals in France do not dissapoint. The worse meal we had first day at Palais Stephanie (hotel food). We parked by our apartment (no fee for night) and went to sleep.
Sunday Dec 12 we drove morning to Monaco.
It is a different world. It is a small mountainside country, principality of Monaco. We found our hotel Metropole and arrived without delay. It is one of the top hotels in Monaco, together with hotel Des Paris and Hermitage. Located next to Historic Casino. I got a good rate on it, but still splurged. I needed to experience it to be able to sell to my clients. The hotel sales manager I've met on a trade show, was kind enough to give me good rate including breakfast an they upgraded us to Jr .suite. It is exquisite hotel, probably best I've ever stayed at.
We went to sightsee Monaco. We walked to the Rock and saw 10 km road foot race. Went to the port, enjoyed fair with food vendors, rides and holiday decorations. We walked up a lot's of stairs to the Palace and got a great position for watching change of the guards. They we strolled to the old town and waterside promenade to the Oceanografique Museum. It had very good waterside aquairum in a wonderful building housed in a museum. There were also artifacts from the sea and models of the Grimaldi's ships.
We took "le bus" - 1 euro per person to Jardin Exotique. Unfortunately many paths were closed but we managed to see Cactus collection and other succulants and other exotic plants along mountainside with beautiful views. Took bus back to hotel and checked into our beautiful jr suite. Internet is inlcuded! There was afternoon tea going in the parlor, but in about 20 minutes, we got sweets and water delivered to our room compliments of hotel's manager. That was very nice gesture.
December 12, dinner at Yoshi,
The dinner at Yoshi, 1* Michelin star Robuchon Japanese restaurant was terrific. The sampling menu had total 7 dishes from house appetiser to dessert. Main course blck cod fish was amazing, very much tasted like seabass and was glazed with teriyaki sauce. Interesting custards/appetizers: egg in a broth, custard with some asian flavor (soy sauce?), sushi and seviche. Desert was pannacota and small lime muffins. They also gave us a cake in a bag to go - a gift!
We enjoyed listening to the people around us. The clientele was international and their discussions on what art they bought for their chateaux... next table a elderly lady with many facelifts was demanding vegetable tempura but it was not on the menu, the staff ran around to get some vegetables. Again quite few russian speaking clientele.. This was very amusing to listen to their travels and problems LOL.
After delicious dinner we headed to main casino but unfortunately, black jack dealersd were on strikes and only one available table was min 100 euro. We passed. We stopped at beautiful lobby of hotel des Paris and took picture there. Then we went across the stree to American (plebean ) casino which only had slots. Not interesting. I usually do not play but I put 20 euro in slots and of course quickly lost it and left. People were not even dressed in American casino. Myself in evening black dress was dissapointed , I dressed up for dinner and Casino Europeen afterwards, oh well. Probably saved money this way.
We went to hotel to sleep. The suite had amazing shower with different jets spraying so I tested all sprays, this hotel is amazing , interior designed by I was told famous world designer Jacques Garcia which designed interior in form of French Palace. But modern comforts. Just beautiful. This one was the first hotel I did not have to struggle with different lights, there is a display and put in writing which lights are on and off. Internet is free by the way (not sure if in suites only).
In the morning I woke up at 7am and saw beautiful sunrise view towards Casino and further to the sea. I ran to french balcony (we had two) and took nice pictures.
On arrival they ask you what newspaper you prefer and we asked for NY Times. But it was not delivered to hotel, so we got a letter with apology.
We went downstairs to restaurant for our Robuchon breakfast (37 euro per person, included in the rate). The difference with other hotel's breakfast is that it is not buffet but they bring you buffet at the table. We got sa plate of fruit for 2, a plate of cold cuts, smoked salmon and cheese for 2, pastries and cooked to order eggs. Plus coffee or tea . Selection of juices. I opted for apricot and it was very good.
We picked British Guardian newspaper and went back to the room.
After breakfast, we walked a little around hotel and casino and got back. We checked out and got our car.. It is funny how they quickly park cheap cars (like our Peugot). The expensive cars - Ferrari, Mazerati, Bentley are parked in driveway so they keep an eye on them. Not that there is a issue with car thefts. We were told by Jacques that in Monaco there are 150 people for 1 cop and many undercover so crime is non-existent.
We drove back to Cannes. On the way we stopped at St. Jean Cap Ferrat and walked at this nice small town. Very nice views. We spent few hours ar Rotschild Villa at her garden. I always book my clients there. The gardens are beautiful.
We bought bread and pastries at Boulangerie and drove to the Paloma Beach. Had picnic there but the beach now is not mantained. The town in fact was almost deserted.
But a lot's of spaces to park!
We came back to Cannes via traffic - rush hour plus some road closing due t oaccident.
Parked by apartment, I went to our new friend sandwich shop owner and got cheap but tasty sandwiches by Cannes standard - 5 euro a piece.. In the evening we had to sort brochures and partially pack. Tomorrow is last day in Cannnes.