Provence on The French Riviera sums up the essence of France for me : spectacular seascapes, scenery, sunshine, seafood, shellfish, seaside terraces & breathtaking beaches, boats & boutiques.
My husband Brian, myself and our son Dara spent 6 outstanding days in Antibes.
We also visited Monte Carlo, Biot and Juan les Pins.
Dara lives in London and instead of travelling to London to spend time with him we meet him in different locations. Great trips, sometimes our other two sons Cian, Seán & daughter in law Megan join us too 💕💕💕😍😍😍😘😘😘
Destinations visited with Dara as an adult in London : Edinburgh, Athens, Los Angeles, Alicante, Santa Barbara, Paris, Springfield Ma, Malaga & taking up the rear, most recent Antibes, Biot, Monte Carlo and Juan les Pins. So many more blogs to write 💻
We had a great start to our “Let’s meet Dara in Provence” experience.
We got upgraded to great exit seats on The Aer Lingus Flight from Dublin to Nice 👍 Yippee on our way.
We arrive in Nice to a sign bearing the name “De Staic” – our taxi awaits.
Then the darling Dara appears and it’s show time. Let the games begin …….
The taxi driver was very interesting and gave us lots of information on Antibes.
I love Antibes, it is a resort town between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). It’s known for its old town enclosed by 16th century ramparts overlooking the Port Vauban marina. The marina is the largest in Europe for luxury private yachts.
Les Ramparts Antibes.
The city walls that surround much of Antibes France were built in the 10th century to protect the residents from invaders. Visitors to Antibes can enjoy spectacular scenic walks along these historical ramparts.
It wasn’t just the scenery that drew artists like Rénoir, Monet, Chagall, Cézanne and Picasso to Antibes : it was the light, described by Matisse as ‘soft and tender, despite its brilliance’.
Antibes in the afternoon by Claude Monet.
Along the water front and on the ramparts there are framed prints at the exact location the artists painted the scene. It’s so cool 😎
Night Fishing at Antibes, 1939 by Pablo Picasso
The Picasso Museum Antibes. We didn’t visit this time but it’s well worth seeing.
White sandy beaches, turquoise water – Antibes Álainn (beautiful)
Off to dinner 💕💕💕
We’ve dined at Restaurant Albert 1er , 46 Boulevard Albert 1er, 06600 Antibes, several times before , always a treat, so we chose this for our first night.
French traditional cuisine, home-cooked with fresh products, seafood platters, fresh oysters, shellfish, & grilled wild fish.
The spacious dining room, veranda and sea view terrace is just across the street from the beaches and the old city walls of Antibes.
Kir Royals, Saint Estèphe Château Tour Haut Vignoble and Olive Tapenade – One happy husband 🥂🥂🍷🍷
My Oysters were fresh and succulent. A little French shallot vinaigrette, a squirt of fresh lemon juice – down the hatch 😋😋😋 Merci Beaucoup
Steamed fish and vegetables with basil cream sauce – French traditional cooking at its best, full of flavors, melt in your mouth magnificence✨✨✨
Enjoying the sea view, the wine & the company. Delicious desserts to finish off a traditional French dinner.
Finished my meal with the most delicious Île Flottante I’ve ever had. One of the best version, of a “simple, really French dessert.” Île Flottante is exactly what you want after a restaurant feast, something creamy, sweet and light. The caramelised flaked almonds, the light fluffy meringue floating elegantly over the Crème Anglais (Vanilla Custard) is simple sophistication in every mouthful 💫💫💫
After dinner treats. Limoncello with meringue foam and sweets . Lovely gesture by the restaurant. 🍭🍭😘😘😘
We’re ready to explore Antibes after a lovely breakfast on the patio ☕️☕️☕️🍓🍓🍒🍒🍳🍳
We stroll through the streets of the old town until we arrive at Le Marchè Provençal , Place Nationale Cours Massena.
Le Marchè Provençal is considered to be the best market in the French Riviera.
This is out first port of call when we visit Antibes. It’s an excellent market . The stalls are colourful and beautifully laid out. The smell, the spices, the colours, the flowers epitomise Provence.
Sample some local produce : fruit, cheeses, breads, jams, & sausages. The tapenades (olive spread) using wonderful local olive oils, herbs and olives are first class.
Open daily (except Monday from 1st Sept – 31st May) from 6:00am – 1.00pm
Bocage – Brian’s favourite shoe shop. 👞 👞purchased.
Tasty samples 😋
Photo credit : Pinterest
Several small cafes, bars & bistros line the market. It’s nice to relax sipping a beverage and watch the world go by. Relaxez vous 😎
Biot is a very picturesque and very popular village that’s about 2,500 years old. It sits on a hilltop only 4 km from the Mediterranean beaches between Nice & Antibes.
Brian researched this special village and was determined to see it. You can take a train but it drops you off on the beach – a very long haul to the top of the hill 😫😫 The bus is the best & cheapest option. We arrive at the bus station just as the bus is pulling out 🚌🚌 Next bus in 40 mins. 😢 I’m not a happy camper 😜 Luckily darling Dara suggests we take a taxi. Excellent idea. The taxi driver speaks fluent English and gives us a very interesting, informative run down on Biot’s history. She also recommends a restaurant. Good job Dara 👍
Photo Credit : Pinterest
The drive from Antibes to Biot is spectacular, the scenery constantly changing, sandy beaches, Côtes D’Azur ocean views & mountain scenery. The olive trees, the scrubs & the flowers are beautiful.
We arrive in Biot, I’m totally surprised 😮 We walk down the long cobbled stone street onto the square. Biot is renowned for its pottery and glassware. It’s an open gallery, sculpture and artwork everywhere. However, Biot is a real place. We were lucky to visit in the off – season. As it was too early for lunch we enjoy a refreshing beer in the square 🍺🍺🍺
We watch the baker deliver bread, the postman on his rounds, the construction workers having coffee on their break. The residents of the village chatting over coffee. Although we feel like locals we are aware of the magnificence of this medieval mountain village overlooking the Mediterranean.
Sculpture outside pottery & ceramic museum in the center of the village.
I took this photo outside the ladies’ bathroom – Antiques everywhere in this ancient village.
Medieval passages with quaint grey cobbled stones.
Le Mas des Orangers, an interesting shop selling provençal goods.
We continue strolling through the village. Every step is steeped in history and saturated with breathtaking views. I’m checking out the cute flower-decorated brick homes, the old doors, the vaults, the stairways – I can’t stop taking photos. Totally besotted by Biot – Bravo Brian 👏 Enfin we arrive at Place des Arcades, the photos took time😁 Although the street is under construction it’s still incredible.
Les Arcades, 16 Place des Arcades, Biot. Tel +33 4 93 65 01 04
Les Arcades is the oldest restaurant in the Riviera located in the heart of the historical center. Our taxi driver recommended this restaurant. Works of art adorn the walls, the nooks & crannies. Everywhere you look there’s something else to photograph 📷
Les Arcades restaurant is a place of art and culture . We enjoy the exhibition gallery of artwork by local well – known artists.
The lady of the house is preparing artichokes on one of the tables in the bar. She’s dressed in black – the real deal.
We enjoy a traditional Provencal lunch made with a thousand flavors of the region. The waiter is funny. He takes our order and writes it on the tablecloth!
Salad Niçoise, Rabbit Stew, Vegetarian Omelette, Grilled Fish, Provencal Vegetables, Delicious Desserts 😋 and a nice bottle of Red Wine 🍷🍷🍷 As the courses arrives the tablecloth is ticked off ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Biot is like stepping back in time. It’s a truly wonderful village, a feeling of antiquity surrounds you all the time.
We visited Juan les Pins and Monte Carlo also on this trip but that’s for another day. Watch this space. That’s it for now.
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