When visiting th Côte d’Azur there is one sight one cannot skip to complete the experience and that is the villa and gardens Ephrussi de Rothschild. Located only a 30 minute drive from Nice, on a peninsula in the town Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, you are to discover an aristocratic piece of history. Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is in itself worth a visit either way. Its tranquillity and warm climate make it a favourite holiday destination among the European aristocracy and international millionaires. Beautiful vistas, quiet beaches and jaw-dropping villas make this part of the French Riviera a picture perfect area to explore. The pale pink villa, evocative of an Italian pallazo, transports you back to the early 1900s. It used to be the residence of Béatrice Ephrusi de Rothschild, who had great taste in art and porcelain. You can tour the many rooms and gauge at the opulence on display. However, I decided to focus this first visit (and definitely not my last) on the breathtaking gardens. The Villa is surrounded by nine magnificent gardens decorated with patios, waterfalls, ornamental ponds, flowerbeds, shady paths and rare species of trees. A few times per day there is a musical fountain show in the garden. Have a sneak peek of it via this short video+audio post on my instagram. There are dispersed benches in the shade where one can sit and take in the overwhelming beauty of it all. From different parts of the garden you can soak up the far-reaching vistas of the alpes, blue waters and quaint villages. Imagine living here… The lush gardens are boasting voluptuous roses, bougainvillea, lilies, different palm species and perfectly trimmed trees and bushes. The work that goes into these gardens must be immense. Each garden has its own theme: French, Japanese, Spanish, Florentine and so on. Expect to spend several hours in these gardens to truly experience the tranquility and beauty of it. Photos can’t capture the ambiance, sounds and smells of this extraordinary place. Admission is €13. There is limited parking available. For more information, visit their website.
I’m so coveting the latest Marlies Dekkers beach wear collection called Holi. Especially the vintage striped one-piece suit and the petrol coloured bikini got my attention. I tried on the petrol blue plunge balcony top and it fits perfectly. The line has a vintage glamourous look yet also the signature Marlies Dekkers style and a touch of burlesque sexiness.
My favourite place in the Côte d’Azur was hands down St Tropez. Why? It was exactly what I envisioned the French Riviera to be like. Although it is very touristy, its charm and French je ne sais quoi permeates the town. Let me share the 5 things that made me fall in love with this picturesque yet mondain place.
1. Stroll through the small streets and soak up the atmosphere
I loved the colorful houses with wooden shutters lining small cobbled streets that went up and down hill. And whenever you turned a corner, another small street would appear with pastel houses and flags lining the streets. Vibrant pink and red bougainvilleas and flowers hanging from balconies give the street that real French village feeling. It is by far one of the most photogenic places I’ve been to.
2. Have lunch on one of the many outdoor terraces
3. Shop at the many cute boutiques
St Tropez is boasting with small boutiques and is a real shopping heaven. From stylish beachwear, typical French homewares, artisan and art shops, to nautical apparel and international designer clothing.
4. Take a boat tour or hire a boat
I also liked to walk along the harbour where huge sleek yachts and sailing boats are lined up. Take a boat tour at sunset and view the town from another perspective with a first row seat for the breath-taking sunsets St Tropez is famed for.
5. Lounge, swim or eat at the best beaches
Saint Tropez is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches. Only a 10 minute drive from the harbour and town you find some of the coolest beach clubs at Pampelonne Bay. We hang out at the über cool Le Club 55, where you can eat, lounge, or enjoy their beach and sunbeds. (see photos below). Club 55 has been there since 1955 and is despite the hip clientele, very relaxed and laid-back, serving authentic food in a friendly atmosphere. Do try their home-made ice-tea, it’s refreshing and so good!
Saint Tropez has stolen my heart. There is so much more to do, but in only 24 hours you can enjoy and experience these 5 tips in a relaxed way without being rushed. Can’t wait to go back!
A visit to Monaco couldn’t lack on my latest trip to the French Riviera. If you’re looking for a restaurant in the capitol of glamour and glitz, but would like to go a day without French cuisine, gourmet Chinese restaurant Song Qi might spark your interest. If not for the food, certainly for the interior design and gorgeous location with a spectacular view on the lush gardens. Song Qi’s menu, prepared by Michelin starred chef Alan Yau, offers authentic Chinese dim sum and seafood dishes, that are presented in a sleek and sophisticated ambiance.
The interior is art deco with a contemporary twist. Green velvet chairs and brass elements take you back to Shanghai’s 1930s golden age. The black and white chevron tiled floor, ornate details, and eastern inspired lamps add even more glamour to the space. The restaurant is located on 7 Avenue Princesse Grace.
photography: Matthieu Salvaing
Hello! I’m back from the French Riviera! I loved it! I hope you got a glimpse of my holiday by following me on instagram? I tried to share as much pictures of my journey, while still enjoying my offline break. I would like to kick off my tips and experiences in the Côte d’Azur with the Chanel pop-up store in Saint Tropez. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take my own photos, so I’m using Chanel’s pictures.
The pop up store, that has landed in the private mansion La Mistralée for the fifth consecutive year, features a luxurious garden, and a swimming pool with Coco Chanel’s favourite carnation the camellia floating in its center. The different rooms are sleek and minimalist, all in different colours (navy, pink, burgundy), showcasing the mostly monochrome 2015 spring-summer collection. The hard wooden floors are painted the famed Chanel red, in reference to the iconic Chanel bag interiors.
Most impressive is the verriere, a glass-roofed room bathed in light and with a rotunda ceiling from where hangs a giant white and gold camellia. There you are presented with watches and the Mme Prive collection. The blue painted vestibule is where you’ll find the ‘ready-to-wear’ collection. For accessories and shoes you go to the pink salon. Don’t forget to pop in to the pool house that is entirely dedicated to skincare and beauty products and beachwear.