Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A New Love for Antibes, French Riviera.

Maybe it was the welcome drink of Cote de Palais champagne, the beach within walking distance of the hotel or the charming, scenic old town that I ventured down to twice just to get more pictures of the multi-million euro yauchts, but I have truly fallen in love with the French Riviera coastal town of Antibes. At a measly 7 minute train journey from Cannes, or 20 minute chauffeur drive if you're a typical South of France holiday maker this town has it all; Authentic European cobbled streets, a really good vegan cafe and stretches of beaches on every corner, you definitely need to put Antibes/Juan Les Pins on your French Riviera to-do list. 

A lot of you know that I have been lucky enough to travel all across the globe with my job as a dancer. (It's legit the best job in the world) I legit also would not be able to afford these places we get flown out to either so an absolute win on that side, too. We work our asses off in rehearsals, auditions, classes so when we get the chance to have some free time while we're on a job, we need to make the most of it. In the home of Cannes Film Festival, we were treated as you'd expect. Muthafukin film stars. 

 After taking the hour and a half British Airways flight from London Heathrow to the nearest airport, Nice Côte d'Azur, we were greeted with a suited and booted chauffeur (for real) who whisked us away in his Mercedes to the AS Hotel by Marriott Ambassadeur Antibes Juan Les Pins while we ate macaroons. (Well, Liv ate the macaroons as I'm too vegan!) 
The hotel was like something from a dream. A dream in which I'm a millionaire because the check-in slip had a nice 2 night €324 bill confirmed on it. Thank God I have expenses paid! In true Marriott style, the interior was fabulous and we had balconies overlooking the pool. 

I'm Wearing

Vintage Shirt (Alternative)

 We had a whole day & a half to ourself, lucky us. We changed into our bikinis without even unpacking and took ourselves to the nearby beach which boasted clear blue waters before exploring the old town; a 20 minute walk away from the hotel where I got a Lebanese falafel wrap and checked out the yachts that were docked for the night in the harbour. Also, you mustn't miss out on their Italian style gelateries. Even as a vegan, you can choose from a great selections of fruity sorbets. I had a cone of coconut & passion fruit sorbet that was the tropical treat to die for so don't let your diet get in the way of getting that perfect instagrammable picture! 

I'm Wearing

Our show was a private performance in a posh hotel in the centre of Cannes for the people at the top. CEOs of American Apparel, the record label, managers and owners of MTV. Bebe, as ever, kept us on our toes during the show, and decided to take the performance off the stage and instead we performed in the middle of the audience on the grass surrounded by the rich and important snap chatting us as we danced in their faces. What a riot.

The following day, I got up early and had breakfast in the hotel and then retraced my steps back to the old town and harbour. We went when it was dark last time and my camera ran out of battery but I knew there was so much photograph potential lying between those cobbled streets. And I was right. Do not. I repeat, do not forget your camera/allow your camera to run out of battery!

I used Google Maps to locate the only vegan restaurant in the whole town that I found by searching Instagram tags. HASHTAG VEGANINANTIBES. A half hour walk away, but a beautiful one. I was able to get so many snaps on the way. Hidden behind the main hustle and bustle of the main street was the little cafe that is Graze Artisan Cafe. After all, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting in the sun outside a cafe in an unexplored city armed with a camera. I settled down on the seats outside the front door under the sun and sipped on a refreshing Strawberry & Basil Limeade which hit all the feels and a mocha cupcake topped with buttercream & a fresh strawberry. I paid just €9 for this euphoric experience. 

On the way back, I stumbled across yet another sandy beach, next to a cluster of rock pools where you can sit and watch the crabs... from a safe distance of course. After spending a few minutes relaxing and watching the waves crash against the rocks, I followed the winding streets back to the hotel, enjoying the view of wild succulents, the sea and lizards racing along the streets. It was just perfect. 

I could have easily spent another 5 days here and made it into a proper week. There is so much to do and I did feel like I was rushing around a lot to make sure I squeezed in everything. Some other attractions are the Picasso Museum, the Lighthouse and plenty of cute shops to make your way around. It's well worth popping down if you're around the Cannes area or just make the journey as it's cheaper than Cannes and the weather is perfect. 

N.B: My legs are currently swelled to the size of balloons as I forgot to bring my insect repellant and got eaten alive by mosquitos so make a note to remember to bring all that you need if you are like me and are a mosquito magnet. Me and Liv spent most of our time exploring together. When it got dark, for a pair of females alone in a strange country, we didn't experience much hassle but I would recommend travelling with a friend as there is always a risk walking by yourself so make sure you know where you're going and stick to busy pavements. 

Anyone else travelled to Antibes Juan Les Pins or planning to go? Let me know where you want to visit! 


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