Friday, October 28, 2011

Nice, The Friendliest City in France?

Crusoe on the Promenade des Anglais

A slight intermission in blogging due to a spur of the moment decision for an interlude in Nice. I have driven through and round Nice many times but this was the first time I have actually visited, and yes, I think it possibly is the friendliest city in France.  The friendly, laid back attitude of the locals did not just extend to us, Crusoe has never had so much attention, he was admired and fussed over wherever we went, bar and restaurant staff could not do enough for him, his every wish was catered for, even fellow diners at the local restaurants and cafes were eager to indulge him by feeding him titbits, if like us you like to travel with a furry, K9 friend, Nice is the place to go.

The Royal Salon, The Negresco Hotel

The friendliness, laid back attitude and love of dogs is apparent even in the smartest hotel in town; The Negresco, although unfortunately we did not reside there we did pop in for a look round and an early evening coupe de Champagne.  We headed for the bar but we spied the resident cat in there, fortunately before Crusoe spotted him, now Crusoe positively loathes cats and if we had taken him in there all hell would have broken lose and I really don't think the other patrons of the bar would have appreciated an impromptu re-enactment of Tom and Jerry.  We went in search of the other bar, located in the Carousel restaurant, we were warmly greeted by Madame La Patronne; Jeanne Augier, the rather eccentric owner, she just happened to be dining in the restaurant as we arrived, she is The Negresco. Madame Augier and her hotel have a rather fascinating story; here.  I found the Carousel restaurant slightly bizarre it is just like being on a carousel, with the music and horses to match, we ordered two coupes, unfortunately, the Champagne was flat and my glass was chipped, we informed the waiter, who opened a new bottle and brought us two fresh glasses.  Needless to say without having to ask a very large bowl of water was served to Crusoe.

The rest of the time was spent exploring, with many eating and drinking stops, I especially loved the old town, the colours and the architecture are magnificent, bearing in mind that Nice was part of Italy until 1860, sometimes it's hard to figure out if you are in an Italian town or a French one.

The other highlight for me was the huge flea market in the Course Saleya, held every Monday, I could have had a field day, there were some fine antiques on offer and the vendors were perfectly happy to haggle, so there are plenty of opportunities to bag a bargain, I wondered around in my element until the market just about wrapped up.  Due to the space limitations of a two seater sports car with tiny boot space, my only purchase was a beautifully made mirrored and chrome, hexagonal Art Deco tray (something I have been after for a while) haggled down from 50 to 25 Euros, next time I am coming in a van!

Crusoe, in Nice, working his baby seal impression, he has no shame!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


  1. Crusoe is so wonderfully photogenic! I adore the last photo.

  2. who doesn't love Crusoe?...he's the man and you better get used to it....

  3. Crusoe is a delight! What a beautiful Nice is, I'd love to stroll around that market one day. x

  4. This was lovely, Dash--it made me want to hop in the car and take my apéro at the Negresco! Any town welcoming our four legged friends is a ok by me. I also really want to see the Chagall and Matisse museums.

    Wish that we had been in contact longer--I would have invited you to stop by--you probably passed right by Arles! Next time...

    Bon WE!

  5. Awesome fabulous post- I really need a holiday! Thank you so much!

  6. As you might expect, I absolutely ADORED your post, my dear Dash. Now you know why I had the time of my life in Nice last August. I really, really want to get a pied-a-terre there one day. When I go back, I would not mind having a traveling companion as cute as Crusoe. What a ham! Have a wonderful weekend, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  7. One more comment Dash--- i loved reading that article about the wonderfully eccentric Madame Augier. How cool you got to see her when you stopped by the Negresco! Veronique

  8. Hello Dash
    Your trip to Nice sounded like a lot of fun and so reat Crusoe was made feel so welcome. He is a charmer.
    We honeymooned in Nice, a long time ago.

    Wishing you a great week

  9. As usual I love all of your photos but the last photo of Caruso, giving you The Look, made me smile/cry.
    Pup used to do that too .. that big hairy head on my knee .. not a peep out of him, just giving me That Look ! :)
    Happy Weekend, besos, C

  10. Wow! Thank you Dash! I needed to see your beautiful photos of a place with such a warm feel to it. (They are predicting snow almost local here and I am not ready to even think about the possibility.) I know the pronunciation is different - but they named Nice perfectly! And yes, your charmer Crusoe steals every scene he's in. So good to see him always.

  11. I enjoyed this peek at Nice...I don't think I've ever seen photos of the town before. Love the window architecture! How lucky you are to be in France...I've been missing it alot lately.
    Thanks, Dash -

  12. I spent summers in Eze Village, and a great deal of time in Nice. For a large city, Nice kept its charm, its quaintness and its luxury, indeed the Negresco is a must stop...i love Crusoe! such a classy smart "chien". Iwill be going to my parents in Agen next week via a stop in Nice. Nice New York is a great flight without the hassles of CDG.

  13. how utterly Nice it is so pretty .......once spent a fabulous long weekend at the begining of a relationship there, ending up with a night at Saint Paul de Vence......the most fabulous hotel. The trip ended perfectly ...... the relationship in heartbreak!!

  14. I rarely paint with oil on canvas but needed to capture the pink dome of The Negresco against the azure sky, she deserved it.
    When I was there the Royal Salon was filled with cars, very nice shiny cars, very odd but so is Nice.
    I recall sunning on the stony beach next to a talkative topless woman of years who hours later sold me some aloe vera after I fried my Irish skin, I did not recognize her behind the pharmacy counter in her clothes. How I miss such moments.

  15. Crusoe knows how to work it indeed. It's so comforting hearing nice things about French people, France is my adopted home. I'm moving back to Paris permanently but I'll be sure to take a tour of Nice. Great blog!

  16. I will check it out in 2014 or 2015 and compare that to my experience in friendly, respectful, and humble Lyon, France. And the so-so friendly in Casis, France.

    I was so super surprised by Lyon, France - Friendly, and they were Respectful, Humble, and for the most part Honest, and Down to Earth - thats a lot! No wonder I am tired of the USA and NYC!!! and They have culture too :)


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