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Posted on June 2, 2021 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (4)

Reassuring news for the French Riviera


 

Alpes Maritimes reports lowest covid incidence rate in France - Latest local figures for covid have shown that the Alpes Maritimes has the lowest incidence rate in France. Figures from Public Health France on Monday May 31st saw the incidence rate continue to fall dropping to just under 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

 

Member of scientific council predicts “calm summer” - Meanwhile a senior member of the Institute Pasteur has said that France is on track for a “calm summer” and will avoid a fourth wave of covid if the health situation continues to improve over the next ten days. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche Professor Arnaud Fontanet, member of government’s scientific council, said he was optimistic about the months ahead and the lead up to June 9th which marks the next stage in the progressive end to lockdown.

 

Pfizer vaccine approved for 12 to 15-year olds - The Pfizer vaccine has been authorised by the European Medicines Agency for children aged 12 to 15, making it the first vaccine for this age group in the EU. In France, only 16 and 17-year olds with serious health conditions are eligible to be vaccinated against covid with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Easing of lockdown in the next few days

Posted on May 15, 2021 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

France eases its lockdown next week

Visitors to France will be happy to see the easing of lockdown starting next week with restaurants and bars opening their terraces and some normality from the strck curfew.

 

May 19: The nighttime curfew is pushed back by two hours to 9 pm; non-essential shops can reopen; outdoor drinking and dining permitted with a maximum of six people at the same table; cultural venues including museums, cinemas, and theatres can reopen with a maximum capacity of 800 indoor and 1,000 outdoor; outdoor sporting venues can reopen with capacity capped at 1,000.

 

These are conditional on the epidemiological situation with areas where the incidence rate is over 400 cases per 100,000 population not allowed to proceed.

 

June 9: The curfew is pushed back by another two hours to 11 pm; bars and restaurants are allowed to welcome customers indoors with a maximum of six people per table; capacity at cultural and sporting venues is increased to 5,000 people with health passes; gyms can reopen with physical activity, including team sports, allowed both indoors and outdoors; large exhibitions and fairs can be held and welcome up to 5,000 people with health passes; foreign tourists with health passes can enter the country.

the curfew is lifted as is the 1,000 capacity rule for large events but attendees will be required to show their health passes; nightclubs remain closed.

 

Brussels wants EU vaccine passports ready by the start of summer

 

France launches COVID health pass for travel to its overseas territories

 

Vaccination is gathering pace. More than 14.6 million people have received their first dose with 6.1 million now fully vaccinated. The country of 67 million aims to have administered 20 million first doses by mid-May and 30 million by mid-June.

 

Its COVID-19 tracking application has also since last week allowed users to store vaccination certificates and test results to allow for travel with its overseas territories. The government said that this functionality will be converted to match the European Green Certificate when it launches in late May/early June.



 

 

Visit the South of France in 2021!

Posted on January 3, 2021 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Start planning a visit to the South of France 2021!


In terms of the best time to visit the South of France, avoid late November through to January because although you still have glorious blue skies, during the evenings the temperature can drop. It is certainly not as you imagine and if the wind picks up it can feel quite cold. You do still get the odd warm day, where temperatures can hit 20°C/70°F, but the average day time temperature is around 14-15°C/60°F.

 

My favourite time is April and May and then September and October. Basically from May through to September you can usually guarantee good weather. June is usually very pleasant up in the late 70F's/mid 20C's. In July and August you can expect to get many days around 90F/30C. A peculiar thing happens in mid-August. You sometimes get some summer showers that last a few days - it is something to do with the warm air from the South and the Sea.

 

Anyway, here is a list of some great places to visit in the South of France during 2021. This should provide you with a decent idea of where to go in South France:

 

The French coastal city of Cannes is always associated with its celebrated film festival which has been running continuously for 70 years. The 2021 Cannes film festival will be held from 11-22 May 2021. You might think that once the swarm of Actors, Producers and Paparazzi have left town, that Cannes will return to normal. But there is no real 'normal' time for Cannes.

 

There is actually more going on in Cannes than just the the red carpet. The city holds 12 important events and conferences throughout the year including the International TV and media festival MIPTV, an international property show called MIDEM, various fashion and shopping events, as well as a number of major sport festivals and regattas. In fact there is not a month goes by when the City is not preparing for the next big event.

 

Although Cannes does not have it's own airport (Nice Cote d'Azur airport is only 30 kms away), it is definitely a destination I would head to in South France. Cannes has a beautiful central boulevard (Le Croisette) which bends around the Bay, it is a great centre for shopping and it has a number of good beaches.

 

Also on the coastline surrounding Cannes you will find some delightful places to stay, such as Antibes, Theoule-sur-Mer and Mandelieu La Napoule (see Cannes rentals for selection of accommodation).

 

But for me, the beauty of Cannes is to just mooch about the Old Town, waling along the beach front and just gazing out at the horizon over the wonderful bay area.

Enjoy!

 

 


Destination Antibes

Posted on June 5, 2018 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (13)



Antibes the perfect coastal destination!


Crowned by a citadel cutting an imposing figure against the backdrop of the French Alps, Antibes Juan-les-Pins is a corner of paradise, ideally located at the heart of the French Riviera between Nice and Cannes. Bright sky, azure sea, dazzling sunshine 300 days per year… The town has earned the right to fly the pavillon bleu flag for its high quality bathing water. Visitors are spoilt for choice between water skiing or parasailing, diving or fishing, sailing or bathing…


Antibes Juan-les-Pins is home to one of the longest coastlines in France, spanning 25km. As well as the many sandy beaches, hidden creeks lie in the woodland of Cap d'Antibes and the town has five harbours including Port Vauban, the biggest yachting harbour in Europe.


Open all year round, the Picasso museum is located next to the cathedral, a stone's throw from the Provencal market bursting with colour and fragrance, and a short walk from the flowery paths of the Safranier district, at the heart of Old Antibes.


Antibes Juan-les-Pins hosts a wide variety of annual events including the sailing regatta Voiles d'Antibes, the Antibes Yacht Show and of course the famous Jazz à Juan festival in mid-July, which began back in 1960 making it the longest running jazz festival in Europe.

Cannes the perfect destination!

Posted on May 15, 2018 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Quite simply because it is steeped in history dating back nearly one thousand years, Cannes has a soul. A history made from numerous fragments that it has preserved intact. In 1915, it was classified as a seaside resort by ministerial decree. Nowadays, Cannes is a trendy destination not only for its well-known red carpets and famous steps but there are much more to discover.


Cannes is a holiday location prized by the great and good of this world. But there’s something about Cannes that makes it unique. Indeed, Cannes is a first rate international destination, which after several decades of tourism has developed a strong cosmopolitan character.


Located 25 minutes from Nice international airport, it is the city for festivals and major congresses, a shopping paradise, the capital of the silver screen and a tourist city boasting exceptional host infrastructures. Cannes is the leading city in terms of business tourism after Paris, it has built its fame on the know-how and first rate facilities that make it a competitive location, preferred by the biggest international events.

The well-known Croisette, with its luxury boutiques, palace hotels and Palais des Festivals, has bestowed prosperity and international fame on Cannes. But the city has not forgotten its popular origins.

Le Suquet (Suquet district) and the Vieux Port (Old Port) continue to embody Provencal authenticity in the very heart of the most cosmopolitan of cities. A “pointu” fishing boat coming into the port, a market stall in Forville, a lane in the Suquet district, a game of pétanque on the Place de l’Etang a stone’s throw from the chic buildings on the Croisette, a walk on the Lerins islands or a climb up the steps of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. These fragments are also its small architectural treasures.

The dolce vita demands fragrances that make you salivate, flavours to tickle your taste buds. Emotions, pleasures, a sense of well-being that can be experienced at the table of numerous Cannes chefs.

The Jewels of the Cannes Film Festival - Chopard

Posted on May 9, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Cannes is once again hosting the 7st Film Festival and will be visited by many of the worlds most renowned actors, directors and producers.

Fashion and Jewels are always part of the Cannes Film Festival and Chopard is celebrating its 20-year partnership with the Cannes Film Festival by producing five new trophies for the 12-day event in the South of France. In addition, the luxury watch and jewelry brand will once again unveil its annual Red Carpet Collection of high jewelry on the Cannes red carpet.

Chopard already produces the Palme d’or each year for Cannes, which honors the best film of the festival, and smaller trophies for the Best Actor and Best Actress awards. Now it will unveil five “mini-Palms,” for the recipients of the Grand Prix, Best Director and Best Screenplay, as well as the Jury Prize and the Short Film Palme d’or. Previously, winners of these five prizes were given a diploma.

This means Chopard will now create all the Cannes Film Festival trophies. Another distinction is that all the trophies are made with Fairmined gold, which ensures that all of the gold is sourced by empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who meet certain standards for responsible practices.

The motif of the Palme d’or is a palm branch, inspired by the trees that line the famous Cannes’ Promenade de la Croisette and the Cannes coat-of-arms. The palm branch is made of 118 grams of Fairmined-certified 18k yellow gold. The base of the branch forms a small heart, which is the symbol of Chopard. The Palme d’or rests on a rock crystal cushion shaped like an emerald-cut gem. Since no two rock crystals are alike, this means that each Palme d’or is unique.

The redesign of the Palme d’or was created in 1998 by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s artistic director and co-president, and it has remained unchanged.

In addition to the trophies, each year since 2007 Scheufele designs the Chopard Red Carpet Collection of high jewels unveiled on the Cannes red carpet and worn by film industry stars and supermodels. The pieces are made at Chopard’s jewelry workshop and the number of jewels created each year reflects the number of years of the Cannes Film Festival’s existence. It is becoming a herculean task for the designer and Chopard’s artisans as Cannes turns 71 this year, so 71 high jewels need to be finished by May 8.

This year, the Red Carpet Collection is inspired by the world travels and dreams of Scheufele. She says she is inspired by “anything and everything,” including architecture, art, literature and cinema. Gems may be her biggest influence and nature remains a powerful source of her creativity.

At the Baselworld 2018 watch and jewelry trade fair, Chopard presented two of its colorful Red Carpet Collection jewels that will appear on the Cannes red carpet. The first is a bracelet composed of several rows of facetted tanzanite balls and a central motif dominated by a black opal. A subtle touch slides the opal to reveal a watch dial opening a window onto an Asian sky crafted from pink mother-of-pearl and chalcedony.


 

71st Cannes Film Festival 2018

Posted on April 20, 2018 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Cannes film Festival 2018!

The Cannes film festival has announced a 2018 selection that features big names and a truly global outlook – but also some major omissions. 

Featured in this year’s lineup are new movies from major auteurs Jean Luc-Godard, Pawel Pawlikowski, Wim Wenders and Spike Lee, as well as a genuine blockbuster in the form of Solo: A Star Wars Story, but expected works by Lars von Trier, Mike Leigh and Terry Gilliam are not present, while the official selection features a lack of women directors in its lineup.

Godard, Pawlikowski and Lee will all debut films in the official competition. Veteran French auteur Godard’s film Le Livre d’Image is a video essay in the style of many of his recent works, while Pawlikowski’s Cold War tells the story of a romance set across multiple countries in the 1950s. Lee, meanwhile, will debut BlacKkKlansman; a crime drama about an African American man who infiltrates a Ku Klux Klan chapter, it is likely to be among the most provocative films in this year’s competition. 

The trio are joined in the race for the Palme d’Or by directors from Egypt, Japan, Lebanon, South Korea and China. Also included in the official selection are films by two dissident directors who have been in conflict with the governments of their homelands: Jafar Panahi, who has been banned from leaving his native Iran, will debut Three Faces, while Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been under house arrest since 2010 over fraud charges, will debut Leto, a drama about the underground rock and roll scene in Soviet Russia. Cannes festival director Thierry Frémaux urged both Russia and Iran to let the directors attend this year’s event.

Another Iranian director, Asghar Farhardi, will open the festival with his film Everybody Knows, a thriller that stars Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. David Robert Mitchell moves from horror (It Follows) to film noir with Under the Silver Lake, which stars Andrew Garfield; while Gomorrah and Tale of Tales director Matteo Garrone will present his “urban western” Dogman.

Wim Wenders, meanwhile, will appear out of competition with Francis: A Man of His Word, a behind-the-scenes documentary about Pope Francis’s time as head of the catholic church. The Star Wars spin-off Solo will also premiere out of competition, while Christopher Nolan will present a special 70mm screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

While the lineup for this year’s festival was global in scope, there was a notable absence of female directors. Only three of the 18 films competing for this year’s Palme d’Or are directed by women, the same number as at last year’s festival, a situation criticised at the time by Cannes jury member Jessica Chastain. 

Discussing the discrepancy, Frémaux blamed wider issues in the film industry. “There are not enough women directors but we don’t have time to talk about that here. Our point of view is that the films are selected for their intrinsic qualities. There will never be a selection with a positive discrimination for women,” he said.

Ahead of what will be the first edition of Cannes since the emergence of sexual misconduct allegations against mogul Harvey Weinstein, a regular attendee at the festival in previous years, Frémaux described the current reckoning over sexual abuse as an “earthquake” moment for both the festival and the industry as a whole. He indicated that the festival would look to change some of its policies in regards to gender equality. “We will discuss equality of salary,” he said. “We want to question our own process about the parity of the juries. The festival director also noted that this year’s festival jury, which will be headed up by Cate Blanchett, would feature more women than men.

However, Melissa Silverstein, founder of activist group Women and Hollywood says that Cannes needs to do more to promote female film-makers. “The Cannes Film Festival is arguably the most important film event in the film world outside of the Oscars. When we don’t have enough women-directed films in the lineup the message received is that women are not good enough.

“If you pay attention to the film community, all around us, the conversation is shifting, and people are pushing for inclusion. It would be great if the Cannes Film Festival was a part of that,” Silverstein added. 

Notable too is the absence of several major films that had been tipped for inclusion. There is no place The House That Jack Built, the serial killer drama directed by von Trier. Von Trier had been banned from the festival in 2011 after the director describing himself as “a Nazi” and said that he “understood Hitler”, but had been widely expected to be welcomed back for this year’s event. 

Also missing is Leigh’s historical epic Peterloo, while Gilliam’s long-awaited comedy The Man Who Killed Don Quixote cannot be screened at the festival due to a legal dispute between Gilliam and one of the movie’s backers.

It is possible that one or more of those films ill be added to the lineup at a later date, with Frémaux promising more news on Von Trier’s film in “a few days”. However, one name that will definitely absent from this year’s lineup is that of Netflix, with the company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos announcing on Wednesday that none of the streaming giant’s films would be screening at the festival. The move comes in response to a ruling by Cannes that demands that all films competing for prizes at the festival receive a full theatrical release. 

Despite the impasse, Frémaux said that Netflix remains “welcome in Cannes. We have an ongoing debate. We want to tell Ted [Sarandos] to come, let’s keep talking.” 

The Cannes film festival will be held from 8 to 19 May.


French Riviera in Spring!

Posted on April 18, 2018 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

French Riviera in Spring!

Great food, fabulous beaches, a world-famous party scene and bucketloads of glamour are always de rigueur on the French Riviera but there’s also charming villages, a rich artistic heritage and some stunning scenery to be discovered around the Cote d’Azur region. What’s more, with just under two hours flying time, you can leave the office on Friday afternoon and be sipping a Cointreau Fizz on the French Riviera by sunset. What better reason than that?

Whether you want a quick autumn getaway or are looking ahead to spring, the French Riviera is glorious before or after the crazy summer months of July and August. Temperatures can reach up to 24oC at the start of October, the sea is still warm for swimming and there’s the added bonus of a lot less people to share a beach with.

Fly to Nice, and then head down the coast to glorious Cap d’Antibes. With its endless stretch of sand and nods to the Gatsby era, buzzy Juan-les-Pins is a fun place to hang out. It’s busy in summer and heaving in July, when the crowds flock to the renowned annual jazz festival (jazzajuan.com). So if you want some sunbed space visit out of high season, when the pace slows, but the nightlife is still lively. By day, hit the beach and swim in the warm, calm water; by night, take a walk along the promenade, then dine until the early hours at tables on the sand overlooking the picturesque bay. Of course, there is lots more to do here – an excursion to neighbouring Cannes or a boat trip to the enchanting Lérins islands, perhaps – but you can’t beat the little pleasures in life – sunbed, parasol and a chilled glass of rosé.

American literary legend F Scott Fitzgerald found inspiration in this rocky peninsula when he lived here in the mid-20s and you don’t have to go far to see that the legacy of Gatsby lives on through millionaire’s villas nestled in the hills, the A-listers and aristocracy who regularly check into glamorous Eden Roc and billionaire yachts moored up in Port Vauban, Europe’s largest marina.

Just behind the marina, Antibes’ medieval walled town is well worth a visit – think cobbled streets, stone buildings, busy little street cafés and stunning sea and mountain vistas. You can see why writers and artists like Monet and Picasso were drawn here. Wander up to the Picasso museum (antibesjuanlespins.com) in the impressive 16th-century Château Grimaldi – the artist’s home for two months in 1946 – and be inspired, like he was, by the view. Then, head down to the covered Provencal market, where painters and sculptors exhibit their work in the afternoon and food sellers set up in the morning. Despite the superyachts in the harbour, chic Antibes is not as flash as St Tropez, so you’re less likely to bump into Kate Moss here than you are in the Place des Lices market. But that doesn’t make it any less alluring. And when you do get that craving for a celebrity fix, St Tropez is beckoning just an hour and a half away.


You simply can’t go to the Cote d’Azur without visiting the most glamorous town in France. And the journey here through pine-tree forests and attractive seaside resorts is as Instagram-worthy as the luxury yachts moored up in the harbour. This once sleepy fishing village was transformed in the 50s into a hedonistic playground for the rich and famous and it hasn’t looked back. Thousands of people throng St Tropez’s narrow streets every day in summer, where the Ferraris are lucky to make it out of first gear, but this doesn’t seem to put anyone off. The yachts, the wild parties, the glitz and glamour make it an exhilarating place to visit. It’s a people-watching paradise and a mecca for designer-label shopping, yet at the same time charming and quaint, with old men playing boules in the shady town square flanked by plane trees, cute independent boutiques and lovely little art galleries.

When the beautiful people aren’t, well, being beautiful in St Tropez, they are looking gorgeous on glorious Pampelonne plage. It’s the longest and most popular beach in the area and everyone flocks here for the white sand, azure water and cool beach clubs. But if the super-rich flaunting their superyachts doesn’t float your boat, you can always head for laid-back L’Escalet and the wild beaches of Cap Taillat – or the hills.

You don’t have to drive far out of St Tropez before the road opens out into rolling countryside and endless vineyards. Follow the signs to Ramatuelle – you’ll see it before you arrive, perched on top of a hill, the terracotta roofs a blaze of orange against the vivid green pine forest. It was built to escape pirates and now tourists come to seek respite from the hordes. The pace is slower here. There are old stone houses, bougainvillea and honeysuckle, and café tables that spill out on to the pavement, tempting you to pull up a chair and while away the hours over lunch.

Neighbouring little Gassin, 4.4km away, is another gem. It’s been voted one of the most beautiful villages in France and has one the narrowest streets in the world, and if that isn’t enough to tempt you here, the outstanding 360-degree view across the entire peninsula and the gulf of St Tropez certainly will. Looking out across the bay, it’s hard to believe this simple village with cobbled streets and shaded square is in the same vicinity as swanky Pampelonne plage, but that’s the beauty of the Côte D’Azur – there’s something for everyone.

 





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