On the streets of… Cannes
The film festival is back. Can you kick it? Yes you Cannes.
France is famed for its cuisine, and Cannes is no exception to the rule.
Sacre bleu, it’s that time of year again. This charming city is about to play host to one of the world’s largest film festivals, so head to the French Riviera to catch a glimpse of yacht-life, screen stars and the glorious red carpet (no selfies allowed this year, though). But first, get clued up on Cannes’ hidden hotspots…
InterContinental Carlton Cannes (58 Promenade de la Croisette)
They say you should start the day with a smile and end it with champagne. WE say you should start the day with a champagne breakfast buffet at the Carlton restaurant, then end it with a smile at the hotel bar. The Cannes A-Listers have a penchant for this place, so you’re likely to spot a thespian or two here during the festival. Prepare to meet your inner fangirl/guy – they’re bloody scary.
La Guérite (Ile Sainte Marguerite)
Hop on a boat and sail off into the sunset. Or if getting lost at sea doesn’t sound too appealing, head to Ile St Marguerite – a small island just half a mile offshore. Here you’ll find La Guezite, a restaurant with a rather romantic outdoor dining area. Sit back, indulge in the Mediterranean cuisine, and let the chilled atmosphere wash over you (your mood may sink when the bill arrives).
Aux Bons Enfants (80 rue Meynadier)
Not much has changed in this family-owned restaurant since it opened in 1935 (there’s still no phone, fax or debit card machine), but that’s the beauty of it. And what it lacks in technology, it sure as hell makes up for in menu options, many of which come from the market nearby. So, less phubbing and more feasting – and don’t bother asking the waiter for a WiFi password.
Taverne Lucullus (4 place du Marché Forville)
Nobody goes to Cannes to save money but, equally, there’s no need to haemorrhage cash while you’re there. If you’re running low on coins, this modest bistro offers delicious, traditional and totally affordable cuisine. There’s plenty of tapas to tickle your tastebuds at the bar, too (think juicy red peppers and succulent meatballs). Even better, if you’re buying drinks, said tapas is free! Life’s full of tough moments, eh?
Le Maschou (15 rue Saint-Antoine)
Calling all carnivores: this place will have you foaming at the mouth thanks to its meaty menu which hasn’t changed in years – the fixed price four-course meal is a solid choice. Well, if it ain’t broke, prix fixe it, yeah? From whole chickens to giant, Instagram-worthy baskets of fresh veg, Le Maschou’s grub is a real crowd-pleaser. The restaurant is pretty small, though, so be sure to book in advance.
Skip the tourist train and explore the city by foot.
Musée de la Castre (Le Suquet)
In the heart of the city at the top of Suquet Hill lies this medieval castle, which was recently converted into a cool art museum. Entry only costs 6 Euro, but even if you’re not feeling the museum, this spot is worth visiting for the beautiful gardens and views alone. Pick a clear day to climb the 109 steps of the square tower – you’ll be rewarded at the top with an ace panoramic view of the city.
Cinéma de la Plage (La Croisette CS 30051)
You can attend official screenings at Palais des Festivals without an invitation, but movie-goers will really love Cinéma de la Plage, an outdoor cinema where you can watch old classics under the stars. This year’s line up is yet to be announced, but previous screenings included The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Pulp Fiction (Le Big Mac, anyone?). It’s free, so get there early to bag a seat.
Bâoli (Port Pierre Canto, Boulevard de la Croisette)
The hottest hangout spot in town, this place is made for the young and the beautiful… and the not-so-young but oh-so-very-rich. The stars love it, too – Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman and Cameron Diaz have all been here. We can understand why: from sushi boats to Flaming Lamborghini cocktails, tough doormen to a façade lit up by pink and purple lights, this dive has VIP written all over it.
Petit Majestic (6 rue Tony Allard)
If you’re not into the clubbing scene (or the prices), the Petit Majestic is a great bar to head to. This place is so popular that crowds spill all the way out onto the streets most nights. Though it’s known as a restaurant bar lounge, people usually come for the cold beers and other tipples of choice. A buzzy, chattering atmosphere, Petit Majestic is full of life.
The best place to rest your head on a budget.
Hotel Idéal Sejour (6 Allee du Parc des Vallergues)
It’s a 15-minute walk from the main attractions, but this boutique hotel is one of Cannes’ hidden gems – and is fantastic value for money compared to the pricey hotels by the port. Its 16 rooms are all individually decorated with bright, quirky themes; it has a library of 3,000 books and a cool garden. Despite only being classified as a 2 star hotel, it’s been ranked as one of the city’s best hotels.