If you’re in the South of France for a certain creative festival this month, you may want to spend the weekend just up the coast in Nice. Our guide is local journalist Margo Lestz, who specialises in history and culture.
The most creative museum or gallery
Palais Lascaris in the Old Town (15 rue Droite) is a little hidden gem. It’s a 17th century baroque palace hidden down a narrow street behind an unassuming exterior. But when you walk through the door, you’re slapped in the face with opulent, colourful decoration everywhere you look. In the 1600s it was a family home, but today it’s a museum of baroque architecture containing an important collection of musical instruments.
The café where you go to read, write or be inspired
I like Le Grand Café de France (7 rue de France). It’s a relatively new café and I like it mainly because of its elegant look and feel which reminds me of Paris. It sits on a busy pedestrian street and has tiny round tables with chairs facing the street. It’s ideal for writing and people watching which can sometimes bring inspiration.
A restaurant with a difference
When I want something different, I go to La Voix de son Maitre (3 place Grimaldi) which specializes in galettes and crepes. They offer a huge selection of galettes filled with just about anything you could want. They’re all delicious accompanied by a bowl of cider. They will fill you up, but if you have any room left, you can try one of their dessert crêpes.
The most creative neighbourhood
In Nice’s Old Town, creativity abounds. There are, of course, the normal tourist shops filled with local specialties which are fun to visit. But sprinkled among them, you can find funky clothes, quirky art, and signs of Niçois humour. Just wander through the labyrinth of old streets and I’m sure you’ll find a pleasant surprise.
The store you can’t walk past without going in
I can easily walk past clothing and shoe shops, but I always have to stop at Auer in the Old Town ( 7 Rue Saint-François de Paule). It combines two of my favourite things in life: delicious chocolate and beautiful architecture – what more could you ask for? The chocolate is housed in a beautiful baroque interior – and sometimes there are samples…
Margo Lestz is an American writer, blogger and the author of a number of books about French and Provençal history. Find out more here.