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Summer Wanderlust: A Photo Trip Through the French Riviera

HiP Paris Blog, South of France, Sivan Askayo, Villefranche-sur-Mer

When I’m not traveling on assignment, I often choose my travel destination from a picture I see of a place, a picture that fuels my curiosity.

HiP Paris Blog, South of France, Sivan Askayo, Menton

While the pursuit of visual pleasure is a common motivator for many, I find it to be a particularly strong motivator for photographers.

HiP Paris Blog, South of France, Sivan Askayo

We see a picture of a place and the next thing we know, we are on a plane, on our way to take a better photo.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 8 Comments »

Discovering Nice & the French Riviera: One Day Trip at a Time

Sunny, sweet success! After carefully planning a Côte d’Azur getaway in 2010 and being thwarted by an angry Eyjafjallajökull, I finally managed to reach Nice on a fresh attempt nearly a year and a half later. And oh là là, was it ever worth the wait.

I’d been to the French Riviera before — Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Villefranche, Monte Carlo — but not to Nice and never for long enough to really dig in, explore, and feel at home. So this was my glorious two-week opportunity and I intended to make the most of it from a home base in the charming, tangled streets of the colorful Old Town (known locally as Vieille Ville or Vieux Nice).

Nice is nice. Really nice. Really.

Old Nice was just as lovely as all the pictures and write-ups lead you to believe, only more so. The painterly churches and architecture of all kinds, featuring shuttered windows and trompe-l’oeil surprises are more than mere eye candy — it’s guilt-free dessert for the soul! Which is pretty handy given all the ice cream, gelato, and tempting local treats on hand around every corner. And as corners go, one street was sweeter or more brilliant than the next. But after 12 days I whittled down my favorite flavors to a short stretch near the top of the Old Town where a seemingly single building melted effortlessly from lemon yellow into burnt orange, then a rusty red, and finally a pale peach with celadon shutters, door, and matching mailbox. Truly a Technicolor work of art, Vieux Nice.

When I wasn’t snacking on socca, salted caramel crêpes, Niçoise salads, Fenocchio ice cream, or the most amazing variety of vegetables and other delights seasoned to perfection à la Provençale, I was trekking up to the top of Castle Hill (Colline du Château), tucking into the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC), shopping for local art and other items you can only find in Nice, or soaking up the sun and people-watching à la plage. And beyond that, I was taking the most enchanting day trips to nearby towns, both inland and along the coast. Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 15 Comments »

Buying In Nice: Negotiating Real Estate A La Niçoise

Navigating the real estate scene in France can be tricky — even more so when you are unfamiliar with the labyrinthine bureaucracy and unusual quirks the French can be known for.  Adrian Leeds, who specializes in helping Americans negotiate the market to secure their dream pied-à-terres in France,  just recently ventured into the market in Nice. She shares a few anecdotes  from her colorful experiences here. -Geneviève

The beach in Nice: Marisa Williams

Years ago I set my eye on the goal of purchasing a “pied-à-terre” in Nice for a long list of reasons:

1. Nice is nice. Let’s face it, it’s the Riviera, the Côte d’Azur, the land of the rich and famous with the blue Mediterranean Sea, balmy weather, palm trees and Italian flavor. What could be so bad?

2. Property in Nice and its environs is increasing in value on a steady basis. With an international airport and an active port, the blue coast is France’s second hotspot after Paris. This makes Nice, and just about all of the coast, an excellent real estate investment.

Nice – Marisa Williams

3. R and R…the moment one lands at Nice’s contemporary and easy airport, and you head toward Nice down the Promenade des Anglais under the swaying palms with the sea at your side, the stress just melts away. Traveling to Nice from Paris is fast and inexpensive, making weekend getaways about as easy as it gets — a perfect antidote to the cold, gray, rainy winters in Paris.

4. Rental potential of vacation apartments, particularly for the North American market, is ripe for business. While the British and Italians are well served by their own compatriots, Americans have been overlooked. Americans want and expect a higher standard of luxury and service than their European counterparts know how to provide. From a business perspective, Nice was looking awfully nice. Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes, Travel | 12 Comments »

Rosa Jackson – Food Guru in Nice and Paris. Tour & Interview

rosahead1

Photos Courtesy of Rosa Jackson

We recently found ourselves in Nice for a night and were fortunate to be able to book a morning tour of the Nice food markets with Canadian food guru Rosa Jackson. I had heard about Rosa’s  food tours of Paris and Nice from numerous clients and was intrigued, and ready, to discover.

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Olive Photo Erica Berman

We met Rosa at the  Cafe La Civette du Cours on the edge of the central market – Cours Saleya. A cafe noisette and a brief history of Nice and the  old marketplace which started in 1861, and we were on our way.

We wandered the market admiring the mounds of  olives, basil, and sundried tomatoes, the amazing variety of herbs and spices, the heaps of  fresh produce, and the fresh seafood (although we learned that there is only one local fisherman left in Nice). We met with some organic farmers, and purchased some deep red cherries to munch on. Rosa bought us a wonderful tourte de blettes sucré to taste, which was delicate and delicious – layers of dough, cheese, raisons, rum and blette (swiss chard). I bought a thick tomato fougasse (the French idea of foccacia) to sample later.
Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Tours and Classes, Travel | 2 Comments »