[Now, here I briefly recount the rest (the majority) of the places we visited and ate on our summer holiday last year.] After London, we flew down to France for the “reason” for the holiday in the first place: Euro 2016 !* And the first destination back in France: Nice. Keith and I scheduled our time to coincide with the match between Sweden and Belgium, and while we unfortunately didn’t get tickets, and unfortunately Sweden lost, we had a fantastic time. Both because the fan zones/viewing areas that were set up for Euro 2016 made watching the match so much fun, and because well, the south of France is amazing. Especially in the summer.
Stereotypes exist in part for a reason; a holiday to the South of France during summertime is one on of the best experiences you can have in your life. Being in Nice during the summer meant all the things you’d expect from the Côte d’Azur : beautiful weather, the ocean, the beach, bright colors everywhere—on building, on boats, on nature, a general sense of leisure and love of life, vibrant nightlife, and such good food.
Granted, the time we spent along the Mediterranean was a rapid succession of city after city, which I recognize is somewhat contrary to the slower pace of life. In two schools of thought of travel—see as much as you can of many places or see as much as you can of one place, both have their time and place—we opted for the former and essentially traversed the entire southern French coast. We stayed in Nice the least amount of time of nearly all the places we visited. Just another reason to keep coming back.
There are so many small towns along the sparkling coast (more on that in the next post), each having a South of France theme that ties them together (colorful, sunny, beautiful, charming), that they make the city of Nice stand out in a wonderful way. It’s so full of people and music, and an ample number of places to eat.
I was very keen to try socca, a flatbread made with chickpea flour. Nice is well known for it, and the best place to have it is a place called Chez Pipo. Everyone in Nice recommended it to us. There’s not much more on the menu than socca (except for the all important cold glass of rosé), but that’s all you need. It was crisp, flavorful, and satisfying after a day of walking the city. I also was able to try:
- pissaladière — a thick flatbread topped with caramelized onions, black olives and anchovies
- petits farcis niçois — vegetables stuffed with a meat mixture
- fougasse — a type of bread shaped to resemble wheat, sometimes stuffed with ingredients like olives
- beignets de fleurs de courgettes — fried zucchini flowers
And of course a healthy dose of gelato, pastries and rosé. It’s just not a French holiday without them. Scroll down for some photographic evidence of all this.
* Quotes because, let’s be honest, you never need a reason for a trip to France/anywhere.