Thursday, 16 October 2014

24 Hours In: Cannes

I recently spent three nights in Cannes on a work trip, and so most of what I saw was the inside of meeting rooms and sales stands. However, we did have enough down-time to amuse ourselves once or twice and so that, combined with a previous short visit, has meant I think I've just about got enough to cobble together a 24 hour guide...

10am Arrival
Depending on how you are arriving into Cannes, the best time is mid-morning when the sun is up but hasn't fully risen yet - the streets are quiet aside from joggers and dog-walkers and the roads are quiet, making it a much more peaceful place than the rest of the day. Take some time to wander along the beach-front, admiring both the waves and the huge amounts of small dogs.

12pm Lunch: Le Vesuvio*
Le Vesuvio is located on the Croisette, near the Martinez and opposite the Miramar Plage. It is an Italian-focused restaurant with a huge menu ranging from pizza and pasta to seafood and steaks, all at very reasonable (for Cannes) prices. I ate there once during my recent trip, and had veal escalope in a mushroom cream sauce, with frites and creamed spinach. Quite heavy for a lunch (!) but perfect for dinner after being on your feet all day. However, a lot of the salads and lighter options looked equally tasty so don't let this put you off a lunch visit!
*Booking Recommended for dinner reservations, not as necessary for lunch

2pm Post-lunch: Walk off those calories
You absolutely cannot go to Cannes and fail to see the ridiculous excess of it all. From ridiculous menu prices to dog-carrying designer handbags, But, that's part of the charm of Cannes - it's a very unique place and if this level of excess makes you feel a bit unwell then you probably wouldn't be there! The Croisette is lined by designer shops, so take your time wandering up and down playing the 'guess how much that costs' game. The answers will range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

4pm Afternoon / early evening: The Carlton
The Carlton is probably the most well-known hotel in Cannes, and any visit should include a little stop-off here. Eating in the majority of restaurants in Cannes is pretty bank-busting, so my recommendation would be to splash a little less cash, and just go here for a round of drinks. If the sun is out (it probably will be) you should take advantage of the outside seating area and sip your cocktails while taking in the amazing sea-view. If you time this right as well then you can have your drink whilst watching the beautiful sunset - so much of Canens is a bit gaudy you really have to make the most of the beautiful sights when you can!

7pm Dinner: Le Petit Paris*
Le Petit Paris is located just off the Croisette on the Rue des Belges, but is definitely worth the walk. The restaurant serves class French fair but is still imaginative and interesting - I had the "unmissable" cheeseburger, which was topped with foie gras, and as boring as that sounds it was absolutely delicious and I would struggle to not have it again if I went back. More expensive than Le Vesuvio but still quite reasonable (again, for Cannes!) I would wholeheartedly recommend venturing away from the main street and hunting this out out. When we visited the staff were happy to let us while away our time until late, and we never felt harassed to leave - keep the wine flowing and spend your night in a part of Cannes that actually feels quite French.
*Booking Recommended

9am Breakfast: Hunt out a Hotel
Most of the hotel restaurants in Cannes are glam, decadent and expensive. The food is all very lovely, but for the price my recommendation would be to skip eating lunch or dinner here, and instead stick with the breakfast and spend less of a fortune. If you're not staying in one of the top-quality hotels (The Carlton, The Majestic, The Grand, The Martinez etc...) then I would really recommend taking a little walk to one of the big players and experiencing one of their breakfasts. In addition to the food you will get to experience the sheer grandness of a lot of these hotels, and maybe even spot a little celeb or two.

I flew to Cannes on BA for the outward journey, and Easyjet for the inward.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September and October

September has been a bit of a holding-month. I've got a really busy October and a lot of September has been prepping / planning / preparing for that. Its been a month to get things sorted, book things in, and generally try and get myself organised.

September was definitely a month where I've spent a lot of money - but this is money from my holiday-fund so it doesn't really count as actual money... First booked in September was an all-inclusive Thomsons trip to Egypt for early November. I haven't been on an all-inclusive as an adult and I cannot wait to spend a week pretty much doing nothing. Also this month I booked in a trip to Rome with a couple of friends I used to work with, and also booked flights to New York for my birthday next year! My credit card has not been super happy with me, but it all counts towards the air-miles so hey ho!

I have actually left my house a few times this month (rather than sitting inside and booking things for the future), and have had dinners at Blackfoot, Mai Sushi, Pizza Pilgrims, Burgershack, and Clockjack Oven. I spent a good 12 hours in The Rum Kitchen, went to see Dawn French with my Ma, went on a 10-mile bike ride, had brunch club at Tom's Kitchen and the Docklands Museum of London, went to Manchester for work and celebrated my sister's birthday by seeing Speed The Plow with Lindsay Lohan, and then a night out in Beach Blanket Babylon.

At the start of the month I had a bit of a blogging spark, writing about my favourite hotels, my hotel pet peeves and how much I love a playlist. I also wrote about this month's brunch club.

Of course, I did spend a lot of time indoors as well because, well, it's me, and I finally finished reading H is For Hawk. I also read Tea with Mr Rochester by Frances Towers, Smile Please by Jean Rhys and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I've now just started In A Free State by V. S. Naipaul. We also finished watching Life on Mars and will soon move on to Ashes to Ashes. I am finally on the final season of Desperate Housewives and I have also been keeping up to date with New Girl and The Mindy Project. In preparation for the second series of The Job Lot (ITV2) I also watched all of the first series on ITV Player.

So yes, a good balance in September I think? October will be busier - I've got a hen-do this weekend and then the wedding the last weekend of the month. I am also going to Cannes for work, and already have a few drinks and dinners booked in. I am also (most excitingly) getting my hair cut - I think I'm going to go for Emma Stone's current bob'n'fringe.