01 Sep A temporary, personal, Brexit to France
Having spent time in Nice over the last few years, I have been fortunate to meet some great people and open business up here. This trip I decided to take a wander through the streets and explore more. I absolutely love the Socca, this is a traditional peasant snack, best described as a large chick pea pancake. Delicious straight out of the oven with oodles of pepper and washed down with a glass of local Rosé.
I was keen to learn more of Nice’s history. A trip to The Massena Museum reflects on a time of wealth and stature prior to the country being destroyed by the British. As Napolean’s first officer, Andre Massena was sent to win wars. A bit of a pirate.
After the Second World War, the Music College in Nice really helped make it famous for Jazz, Musicians came from far and wide and there were an abundance of clubs. At one time there many figures such as these, standing over 15 feet tall; sadly this is the last one outside La Negreseco on the promenade.
It is right next to one of the best restaurants in Nice called Koudou, which is run by our friend Jean Christophe Probst.
Palais de la Jetée, was the most incredible and beautiful pier that was inspired by Crystal Palace and sadly no longer exists except in postcards. paintings and a few old photographs…After rising from the first fire and being reborn in all its splendour, it was barely to survive 50 years.
The walkway built by the British in 1820, aptly titled The Promenade des Anglais is a promenade along the beautiful Mediterranean waterside. It reflects the love the British had for Nice, as we still do whether its Winter or Summer. Measuring around 7 km long and reaches from the airport on the West to the Quai des États-Unis to the East.
The only sadness is that the iconic blue seating along it, is few and far between these days. So much so they have a statue in its honour.
Here is a fine example of Trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye), the term used for this technique; you will see it located on the facade of many buildings in Nice and across France. This is a plain wall with no windows but the detail is such that it is really hard to tell its not real!
Naturally it was extremely sad to see the tributes laid to those who died in the recent attack. It’s not just Nice that is hurting. So many countries are as a result of this crazy time in which we live.
So Burkinigate was slightly unsavoury, my initial thoughts being how dare do four men armed with guns get to tell a women to undress. However having spent time here, unlike the Brits, they want action and reassurances and to feel something is being done. However, the Police carry guns here, and since the attack there is heightened security. The local Mayor created this new By-Law as people believe the beach is for freedom. I thought the Burkini was genius but makes me feel sad women are so oppressed, surely when in Rome, Nice or Syria – local rules apply.
Concerts are held here, but it is an absolutely genius play ground too. A computer generates playtime and the children delight in catching the water jets. Its a joy to listen to the laughter and often screams, as the water is cold!
The people here are colourful, maybe that’s because there is 300 days of sunshine! All the shops are abundant with stunning outfits, there is a natural sophistication they have and that we strive for.
Making suits with an English twist is kind of cool as they are used to more generous Italian cuts. Most of my clients work in Finance in Monaco but live in Nice. It’s a truly wonderful city, friendly, not too small or big and they are way more forgiving of my terrible French than Parisians. But I have suits to drop off in Paris on the way home. This time I am driving a rather gorgeous Porsche. Well it beats flying, the trip will not be do direct, but I am not in a hurry as its Bank Holiday in Grande Britain!