Back to work

5am in France meant it was 4am in London. Time to get up and head back to the airport. Off to work. Ouch!

Despite the early start, I love being able to fly into London and go straight to work. To me it’s the ultimate commute and while there’s a certain amount of culture shock (from the beauty of Nice to the grunge of Camden) I feel I’ve milked every last drop out of the weekend.

Now it’s time to hang up the bikini (only for the next three weeks) and put on the emergency tights which are always in my handbag and head to London.

A long day ahead.

Eden

On Sunday we drove around the coast to the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc on the Cap d’Antibes and discovered a piece of paradise so far unknown to us. www.hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com

The Hotel du Cap Eden Roc is one of the grand dames of the Riviera with royalty, celebrities and the wealthy elite enjoying one of the most beautiful views of the Côte d’Azur.

One of my favourite drives winds around the bord du mer from Juan les Pins to Antibes and having seen the spectacular hotel on previous occasions, we decided it was time to have a proper look.

After avoiding valet parking (one of my pet hates on principle) we wandered through the elegant, understated foyer and down through the pristine gardens to the pool and bar. The crystal clear turquoise infinity pool clung to the rocky cliff and in the waves below, pontoons lay waiting for those inclined to swim out and bask on their own private lido.

Infinity pool

We sat facing the spectacular view and ordered our drinks. For me, a French 75, a delicious and decadent combination of champagne, gin and lemon juice (2/3 gin, 1/3 lemon juice, 1 teaspoon fine sugar and top up with brut champagne) while Letad opted for an old faithful, an excellent, refreshing gin and tonic, an ideal aperitif.

The hotel and the Med beyond

We sat drinking in the ambiance with cool, perfectly-made drinks in hand while we discussed the various patrons of the restaurant and pondered over the relationship of a very old, paunchy man and a much younger, slimmer woman. Was it love or simply an exchange of commodities?

The deck

We watched as beautiful yachts slipped silently through the waves and anchored in front of us and felt we had discovered a piece of paradise on the Riviera. Eden indeed.

An idyllic setting

Eventually we reluctantly tore ourselves away from the view and set off to drive a little further around the coast as we had packed a picnic lunch and were ready for a swim in the cool azure water.

We’d like to go back to Eden one day.

The secret cove

It was a weekend of sun, swimming and picnics as almost every meal was spent sitting on the beach absorbing the warmth and the ambiance.

We started on Friday in Antibes, wound our way round to Nice for a picnic lunch on Saturday and then, with no reason to go home, we decided to replenish supplies and drive further around the coast to VilleFranche.

It was getting late in the day, the shadows had already reached VilleFranche and so we drove a little further in search of the late sun and just before Cap Ferrat, we discovered a secret cove.

Still bathed in golden light, families played together in the shallow bay while small boys threw rocks in the water in a way that only small boys can. We sat on the beach, ate yet another picnic and chatted as the sun slowly started to set behind the cliffs beyond.

At last, with a chill in the air and skin still damp from swimming it was time to head home. The full moon illuminated our way as we drove inland to the village and the little house above the Boulangerie.

A beach to remember.

Swimming in the Med

Friday and after a 4:30am start, I arrived in Nice before lunch. It was warm and sunny and Letad had thoughtfully brought my bikini so we could go straight to the beach.

Open at last

We set off to the Royal Beach restaurant in Antibes (www.hotelroyal-antibes.com). We’d tried to go to the Royal Beach before but it had been closed for the winter. Now in June, it was open for business and well worth the wait.

We ate an early lunch and then, slathering on the sunscreen as the sun was hot and my skin was surprised, we lounged on the beach and, oh the bliss, swam in the perfect temperature of the Mediterranean.

The deck and the view beyond 
Soaking up the sun

I have found my ideal sea. After years of shivering in the cold blue Pacific in California, being stung by jellyfish in Mexico or petrified of sharks in Australia, the Med is a delicious 22 degrees, with turquoise water like nothing I’ve seen before, safe, benign waves and nothing nasty lurking beneath. Cool enough to be refreshing and warm enough to bask. And so bask we did.

Baie des Anges, NIce

Summer Equinox

June 21st, the longest day of the year and it’s officially summer!

I saw a woman in a fabulous hat heading off to Ascot and Wimbledon’s starting in a few days, it’s a fantastic time of year!

Thinking back to a year ago, it was the year of Jubilation. The Queen’s Jubilee, the London Olympics, and my first trip to Nice. Hard to believe it was only a year ago.

A lot has happened since that first auspicious weekend and I would never have thought that a year later, we’d be getting married.

This weekend we’ll be celebrating the equinox by swimming in the Mediterranean, picnicking on the beach and… buying kitchen tiles!

Well, it can’t be glamorous all the time!

4:30am

My alarm went off at 4:30am and I went back to sleep. Turning over fifteen minutes later I remembered that going back to sleep was not an option as I had a 7:30am flight to France. Time to get up.

An hour later I was on the train to Gatwick with extremely bad hair and feeling very groggy.

Passing Battersea Power Station, my favourite London monument, the early morning sky hung heavy and grey overhead.

Apparently the weather in Nice is gorgeous so it’s time to relax after a busy week and hopefully get a little bit of a wedding tan

Bonjour le soileil?

One Month to Go

A month today Letad and I will be getting hitched in the south of France!

Most things are organized although at the moment we don’t have any music and the caterer has gone AWOL. Hopefully she shows up again soon!

The mobilization of the troops is almost complete. Letad has organized wine, champagne, flowers and a fabulous honeymoon in Corsica which I’m particularly looking forward to and that’s pretty much it.

I don’t know why people find it so hard to organise a wedding!