Snapshots of Provence & Côte D’azur

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Today there is no recipe but I have something to share. Last year when my family came to visit in London, we went to Paris and also spent a few days in Provence and Côte d’Azur. I love South of France, it looks just so different from the North and it feels more laid back and relaxed. I thought I would share some of the shots that I took during my trip there and things that we did when we were there.

I have always wanted to visit perfumery. We went to one of the famous perfumery in Grasse – Fragonard. Fragonard perfume factory is located in the heart of the old town of Grasse. It has been in operation since 1782. On a daily basis, they produce perfumes, domestics and soaps. There is free guided tour that allows you to discover how Fragonard products are produced.

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We then stopped by Saint Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns which is well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries. Built on its rocky outcrop and surrounded by its ramparts built on the orders of François I°, St Paul is certainly one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. The beauty of the surrounding area, quality of life and exceptional light has inspired numerous famous artists, painters, writers and poets, some of whom took up residence in the village. I have to say that it is one of my favourite towns that I have visited by far! We strolled around the town with breathtaking views.

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Ville Franche Sur Mer is another of my favourite place near to Nice. The bay of Villefranche is one of the deepest natural harbours of any port in the Mediterranean Sea and provides safe anchorage for large ships. The views never fail to make me dream to live there!

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As my family left for Rome, we remained in Nice. We visited Antibes. It is located between Nice and Cannes. There was a market when we visited on Saturday. I always love to visit markets whenever I visit France. Looking at fresh produces just make me happy.

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We had our lunch at Les Vieux Murs, a restaurant overlooking the sea with stunning view of the bay of Nice and Cap d’Antibes. They offer fresh and seasonal Mediterranean cuisine with Provencal influence. I highly recommend this restaurant as the food was absolutely delicious. Service was great too!

We started with 2 glasses of chilled rosé from the region. I had a squid salad for starter and it was amazingly delicious. Different fresh herbs were used in the salad and dressed with citrusy dressings. It was light and refreshing. As for the main, I had fish in white sauce (it was really light and not too creamy) served with a round courgette farci. The best lunch I had in Antibes!

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Before we left Nice, we had a very inexpensive meal in the Vieux Nice. This tiny restaurant offers an inimitable taste of Niçois home cooking. A 3-course dinner or lunch costs just €15 per person. The wine was good and inexpensive too. They change their menu every week and they have only a few table sittings. So, advance booking (up to one week) is advisable.

This restaurant has a rustic deco that I really like. A lot of the deco items are those that you could find at flea markets. It’s just the rusticity, simple honest food with generous portion, uncomplicated menu, friendly and quick service that I love about this family run restaurant that has been around since 1925, passed down from one generation to the other.

During our last visit, we had homemade pâté, salmon & avocado salad, tuna served on ratatouille, beef on mash potato, crème caramel and pear cooked in red wine.

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