A Travellerspoint blog

10 Days in France

Villefranche, Antibes and Paris

View French Riviera and Paris on neilandfiona's travel map.


Saturday 13th April

Very early start for 6.20am fight to Nice. Decided to take a taxi to the apartment
in Villefranche-sur-mer, rather an expensive decision (55euro) but it was good to get there quickly. We were met by Remy who showed us into the apartment. A studio style with bedroom and living room combined but very pleasant. It had a nice terrace but the busy road didn’t make it a very relaxing spot!

We walked down into the old town of Villefranche, which is very picturesque with sherbet coloured houses. On on side of the town there is a marina which had a fishing club and there appeared to be a competition going on, with small boats bringing in their catch. We then wandered along to the beach and lay there for a couple of hours. The weather was surprisingly warm and it was very relaxing. We dined at a restaurant called La Grignotiere, which was recommended in the guide book. It was busy but they managed to find us a table and we had a lovely meal. Fiona, soup de poisson and loup (monkfish) and Neil, escargots and spaghetti with gambas.

Sunday 14th April

Breakfast on the terrace and started the sentier littoral, the coastal path from Villefranche to Cap St Jean de ferrat. It is the most beautiful area with villas and coastal views to die for. It is the location of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, built by Beatrice to house her collection of furniture, porcelain etc. It has the most wonderful windows with views to both sides of the cap. It is painted pink and has amazing gardens. Gardens are Set out in a formal style in the middle with fountains playing to music, surrounded by gardens of the style from different countries, Japanese, Spanish etc. We had a refreshment at the very upmarket restaurant, and enjoyed tea in the garden. 20190414_150723.jpg20190414_142211.jpg20190414_142104.jpg

It started to rain a little so we started our walk back to Villefranche and had hot chocolate in a café in the the old town. ? Went along to a neighbourhood restaurant with the very unfrench name of Roxy , Fiona had delici pasta filled with asparagus and Neil the chef/owner/waiter’s recommendation of salad de poulet. I’ve never been to a restaurant before where one person did all the cooking, waiting and preparing l’addition. He even had time to chat with the customers. Food wasn’t bad either!

Monday 15th April

Train around 9.45am to Monaco and straight on to shuttle bus to take us to the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters Tennis tournament. Neil had been longing to go to this for sometime as many of his .tennis club pals go along and had raved about it. It is a beautiful setting near the sea. We watched Bautista Agut win then we met up with friends Colin and Dawn to watch the Dvokojic brothers badly play doubles on court 2. We had a substantial lunch at the Pasta Bar and then resumed our spectating, watching Sonego beat the seeded Seppi. Met up with C and D again for drinks then wandered round the site. Saw Kyle Edmund on the big screen and Neil bumped into an old friend IMG-20190519-WA0000.jpgposedwit20190415_103729.jpg20190415_155252.jpg20190415_155351.jpg Bus and train back to Villefranche and Vietnamese takeaway for F


Tuesday 16th April

Handed over keys of flat to Remy late morning and headed for the station. Unfortunately the ticket machine for train to Antibes was not working.. We got on the train anyway and took our seats. An official got on the train but we stupidly ignored her as in retrospect I think she was selling tickets. 30 minutes later an inspector arrived and ignoring our protestations fined us €100. An expensive mistake! It was only a 10 minute walk to our Booking.com apartment 23 Rue Docteur Rostan where the owner Patrick was waiting for us. A pleasant enough flat on the 2nd floor although the bed and settee were not as comfortable as we would have liked. Prepared sandwiches for lunch before too for a walk. Headed for the Picasso Museum (€16). How many bloody Picasso museums are there in the world?! Apparently he spent 9 months in Antibes and everything in the museum was from his time there. 20190416_155315.jpg In the evening we went to Restaurant Chrono. F had tagliatelle Vongole,N had fish and chips followed by an enormous I’le Flottante.

Wednesday 17th April

Breakfast in the apartment before heading for Place General de Gaulle to meet our “free” walking tour guide CedricIMG-20190519-WA0002.jpg. An interesting tour of the city centre (F to expand). As it was a beautiful sunny day we spent the afternoon on the lovely local sandy each only a few minutes walk from the apartment. In the evening Restaurant L’Annexe,Boulevard D’aguilon?? Sea Bream for F,( Boeuf) Daube Provençal for N.

Thursday 18th April

10 minute walk to Bus Station to catch 10am bus to Phare bus stop on Cap D’Antibes. A 2 hour walk round the cape in windy but sunny weather.IMG-20190519-WA0012.jpg ( F to expand).Bus back to had Place G d G before heading back to the beach again for another 2 hours of sunbathing,reading and relaxing. For our last evening in Antibes another restaurant Bistro Joule. Neil had Aoli which turned out to a large place of overcooked vegetables and a hugh lump of poached white cod with a bowl of aoli on the side. For me I’m afraid mainly inedible. A short walk through the market before an early night.


Friday 19th April

Alarm set for 4 am as we had an early morning train to catch. 10 minute walk in the dark to the train station before climbing aboard our 6.15 train to Paris. SNCF (Société nationals des chemins de fer francais) in case you’re wondering, operate the 4 main rail services in France. OUIGO (pronounced” we go” cover the cheap? long distance journeys such as the Antibes to Paris line. At some stage the train becomes a TGV but I wasn’t clear when this happened. There was no food or drink on the trip so I was desperate for a coffee when the train pulled into Gare du Lyon station at 11.45. 2 metro stations later we soon reached our new Airbnb in Rue du Chateau Landon in the north east centre of Paris. After 4 flights of stairs and 72 steps we eventually met our host Justine. We decided to spend the rest of the day in that locality. Walked along the Canal St Martin on a very hot day (27). Had a delicious warm goats cheese salad at Le Petit Carrilon. We then struggled in the heat (well Neil did) uphill before reaching Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement, one of the biggest parks in the city. On the way back to the apartment we couldn’t be bothered climbing all those stairs again so looked for a restaurant in the vicinity. Not much of a choice as it consisted mainly of fairly basic Indian and Japanese eateries . We eventually opted for a cheap Indian/Tibetan ? diner.

Saturday 20th April.

Decide to spend the day in the Montmartre area of Paris. Metro to Lamarck Coulincourt and walk up Avenue Junot recommended in the Secret Paris guidebook. Place Marcel Aymé (statue of man walking through a wall) before heading for the throngs of bodies congregating in one of the most touristy parts of the city Place du Tertre full of portrait painters and caricaturists. Views of Sacre Coeur before heading downhill towards Montmartre cemetery. On the way we accidentally passed the fruit and veg shop where the film Amelie was shotIMG-20190519-WA0005.jpg and had a look inside lovely small Studio 28 cinema. The sort of place you would love to frequent if you lived in the area. Staff let us look inside at the lights designed by Jean Cocteau. F had a walk round the cemetery while N decided to rest his weary feet. Early evening we had an Aperol Spritz in Rue des Abbesses and eventually found an acceptable restaurant Villa des Abbesses after several recommended places were either too busy or too expensive? 30 minute walk home through a fairly salubrious and slightly scary area on Boulevard de la Chapelle. Our hosts seemed mildly surprised we had come home this way but were still alive!

Sunday 21st April

Easter Sunday. A lie-in and late breakfast meant that F plans of attending a church service were foiled! Caught the metro to Bastille and walked to one of my favourite places Place des Vosges. Two falafel takeaway restaurants mentioned in the guidebook were closed but we managed to find another Mariannes on Rue des Rosiers and joined the queue. Is this the Falafal centre of Paris?
Another short walk took us to Hotel du Sens (F to explain),followed y a walk on the Left Bank, street entertainers on rollerblades, Ile St Louis, the spireless Norte Dame , Shakespeare’s English bookshop.
Early evening another Aperol Spritz and a disappointing Couscous meal in Rue St Michel.Metro back to the apartment.

Monday 22nd April

Another lie-in and late breakfast. Metro to Pyramid and a walk to one of F’s favourite places the Tuileries Gardens. A walk back passed the Opera House and Place Vendome. Electric scooters are all the rage in Paris at the monument. After registering you can pick up a scooter anywhere and leave it anywhere when you’re finished. I tried to register but couldn’t follow the instructions ! Another Metro and a walk to my favourite restaurant Chartier , a very large bistro serving basic traditional French dishes. IMG-20190519-WA0007.jpg I asked for Tête de veau and seemed surprised when this disgusting place of meat arrived. Fortunately I was allowed to change to Steak Hashé. For some reason the young English couple at the next table donated us a bottle of red wine which we shared with a couple of French guys. Back to apartment before catching the 4.30 train from Gard du Nord to Charles de Gaulle airport. Arrived at 5 and were through customs and ready to fly by 6.30. Unfortunately the flight was not until 9pm.. Arrived back in Edinburgh about 10.30

Posted by neilandfiona 12:48 Archived in France Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]