The Cannes Experience

May 14, 2011

By Katrice

The view from my balcony at The Intercontinental Carlton Cannes

It's still hard for me to believe that I was just in Cannes, France, two weeks ago. What a whirlwind trip. And now, I'm seeing daily coverage of the film festival and even a shot of Sarah Jessica Parker on the Hotel Carlton Pier {my lodging while in the French Riviera}. I thought, this is a perfect time to share of few of my fave finds in Cannes.

Where to eat:

Le Machou in the Old Town is a tiny piece of heaven. The Grill restaurant features a charcoal oven that's used to cook meat the old-fashioned way. The steak leaves a taste on your palate that you won't soon forget. The treat, of the meal, however, is the basket of fresh vegetables that is presented as your starter. 

The Carlton Beach Restaurant situates you right on the beach with an incomparable view of the Mediterrean Sea. Try the Lobster Linguini. 

What to do: 
You absolutely must stroll down the Boulevard de la Croisette, just past the Casino Cannes Le Palm Beach to play pétanque, the most popular game in France. The game shifts from one end of the alley to the other as a team wins each round. The object is to amass points at each ‘end’ until the first team reaches a winning score of 13. Brilliantly spirited!

I was lucky enough to be able to take a perfume-making class at Fragonard perfumery. What a fun experiment. I loved what I concocted but I don't think I'll have a career as a perfumer any time soon. If you're not up for the class, you can take a tour of the factory or just shop Fragonard's scents. 2011 is the Year of the Orange Blossom. 

Where to shop:
Zara in Cannes was twice the size and selection of any Zara I have been in the states. No, you don't go across the world to shop where you can shop at home, but when you enter a store and feel like it's your first experience there, it's nearly impossible to resist. 

Bathroom Graffiti prides itself on presenting items that are strange, surprising and funny -- always with a practical and clever aesthetic. They're winning. I found a hot pink hard shell textured laptop case. It was the prize of my trip. 

How to Dress:

Cannes is literally the chicest city I've ever visited. After spotting about 10 Hermes Birkin bags within minutes of stepping out of the hotel onto the boulevard, I knew that the street fashion would be amazing. And, it was. I noticed, however, that people were comfortably stylish. 

If you travel there in the spring, it's bound to be a little cool but you will enjoy plenty of sun. You'll need a few basics:
Light cotton blazers
A smart trench
Fab sunnies
Chic flats and sandals {it's a wonderful place for walking}
For the rest of your wardrobe packing, think fabulous thoughts. But, most importantly, be yourself.

The key to enjoying Cannes is in discovering the nooks and crannies. It's so much more than the beachfront and the film festival.

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  1. You have convinced me to pack my bags and move to Cannes. Seriously, I love this guide, every thing a newbie would need to know.


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