Chez Freddy

Anyone that has been to Nice knows that the Cours Saleya is the heart of Old Nice and is host to the daily food and flower market, except for Monday’s antique market. Being a highly touristic area, the restaurants, situated along each side of this corridor, compete for customers, as they try to verbally lure you into theirs.

I hadn’t eaten seafood in a while, so decided to try “Chez Freddy,” with their fish and seafood specialties and stacked platters on display outside the restaurant to visually lure customers.  It was a Wednesday evening, off season but during carnaval time, so busy enough; reservations are probably a good idea during tourist season and/or weekends. I was seated in the tented/enclosed terrace, which had gas heaters on, although it was still a little chilly – not enough to move though.

Here’s what I saw & experienced:

The lobster I ordered was delicious, served with flavored rice (can’t figure out what it was but was outstanding!), and ratatouille. I also had a starter of Farcis Niçois, a specialty in Nice (stuffed vegetables).

I felt one waiter was a little aggressive, in verbally trying to get extra food courses ordered, and the service felt rushed, as if they were trying to have a higher rate of customer turnover.  I asked for melted butter, after my lobster was served, and it was never brought to the table (didn’t really need it after all, so I didn’t ask again). I did take a peak at the dessert menu (link also to view full menu), but decided to resist!

Would I go back?  Yes, as the seafood is their specialty and the lobster was good. Alternatively, you can order from the fixed price menu for a better price point. Just don’t be intimidated if you get a “pushy” waiter!

Olive Oil speciality in Nice (photo below)


To Each His/Her Own…Dream !



Book CoverSolitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France”  featured as Spotlight Blitz Book Tour on Buy The Book Tours site, as well as on their tour partners/hosts’ sites.

A true story of living one’s life dream!

4.6/5.0 in reviews

Available as an E-book and paperback on Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords.1519847_orig

New Language Law = FR-exting?

The following is in followup to my previous post about French language laws, in order to prevent the increasing intrusion of English-isms.

There was an article in the Le Figaro (online version) concerning text messaging (sending and receiving SMS) within France;  it refers to the use of all languages other than French when texting.

“As of Friday, April 5th, the new law dictates that a maximum of 12% of all SMS traffic within the French telecommunications system in foreign languages will be allowed (Loi 2872bis, Décret 842a, 18 Mars 2013, Loi concernant l’utilisation des langues étrangères dans les télécommunications).  Apparently, expressions such as ‘le weekend’, ‘le parking’, ‘bye bye’, ‘email’ and ‘ciao,’ that have become firmly implanted in the French vocabulary, are targeted.  In addition, for ‘email’ the French equivalent ‘courriel’ is now expected.

The most worrying part of the new law is the fact that once daily quotas are full, texts in entirely (or partly) foreign language and even using a single non-French word will be blocked.

A member of the French parliament has followed this up by proposing that all websites based in France must now contain a minimum of 33.3% French language content! Plus, all foreign language sites must offer the possibility of full availability in French.  He has also suggested that chat rooms and other facilities have limits similar to the mobile telephone regulations. It remains to be seen if this becomes law as well.”

En principe, I understand the desire to maintain French heritage and culture, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out en réalité!

(Source: Le Figaro)

Paëlla Specialist in Nice

I was invited by friends to go to a restaurant that specializes in Paëlla – not really my favorite dish, but since it is the restaurant’s specialty, I figured why not – On y va!

Oui, it was wonderful – decorated with sausage, chicken, and shrimp – loaded with flavors and a very hearty meal, of course, accompanied by a delicious, and equally hearty, red wine!  (I was too busy tasting it to take a photo – oups!)

(19, Bd. Raimbaldi, Nice)



Gardens at Versailles

I visit the Château de Versailles every time I travel to Paris – both destinations are close to my heart, and as a long-standing member of Les Amis de Versailles, I also “own” a tree in the Trianon Gardens.  The newly decorated RER train (photos here) provides a beautiful first glance for newcomers to the castle.

The Gardens of Versailles occupy part of what was once the Domaine royal de Versailles, the Château of Versailles.  The gardens cover some 1760 acres/800 hectares (see below statistics)

In French:

Size: 800 ha.
Number of trees: 200,000
Flowers planted annually: 210,000
Number of fountains: 50
Number of jets of water: 620
Surface area of the Grand Canal: 23 ha.
Perimeter of the Grand Canal: 5.57 km
Amount of piping to feed the fountains: 35 km.
Amount of water consumed by the fountains
during the ‘‘Grandes Eaux’’:
3,600 m3
Source: Wikipedia/Official site of the Château de Versailles

A Springtime Poem / Un poème de printemps

“Le temps a laissé son manteau” de Charles d’Orléans (1391-1465)

(in French & English)

A tribute to Spring that has finally sprung here on the French Riviera!

Charles d’Orleans, known for his poetry created during his 25 years of captivity in England during the war in 1419.  He returned to France in 1448 and was the father to (the future king) Louis XII.  Below is one of his most well-known poems.

Le temps a laissé son manteau.
De vent, de froidure et de pluie,
Et s’est vêtu de broderie,
De soleil luisant, clair et beau.

Il n’y a bête, ni oiseau
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie :
Le temps a laissé son manteau.

Rivière, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent en livrée jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfèvrerie,
Chacun s’habille de nouveau,
Le temps a laissé son manteau.


The season removed its coat
Of wind, cold an drain,
And put on embroidery,
Gleaming sunshine, bright and beautiful.

There is neither animal nor bird
That doesn’t tell in it’s own tongue:
The season removed its coat.

Rivers, fountains and brooks
Wear, as handsome garments,
Silver drops of goldsmith’s work,
Everyone puts on new clothing,
The season removed its coat.

Carpe Diem in Old Nice!

carpe diem cardSeize the Day Evening!  And that’s exactly what I did — at a newly discovered, charming restaurant in the Old Town of Nice, called “Carpe Diem.”  What a find!

The food was delicious; service was professional, courteous, and friendly; decoration warm and charming – it was all positive!  There were 24 seats in the section where I was seated,  with an adjoining room with more seating that can also accommodate events and weddings.

The restaurant has been open for about a year and is open for business every evening at 7pm (except Wednesday) and is open for lunch on Sunday.  This is definitely worth going back to,  so if you check it out, please mention my blog — Bon Appetit!

(This is a personal recommendation, not a paid advertisement.)

Hover over photo to see the caption:


Antibes Yacht Show

The Antibes Yacht Show, starting April 18th,  is the only brokerage and charter show, held at the beginning of the season, in the Mediterranean open to the public.

In 2012, the show welcomed 13,380 visitors from all around the world, with the top 10 nationalities being France, United Kingdom, Italy, U.S.A, Monaco, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium.

Antibes, about 20 minutes outside of Nice, is the biggest pleasure marina in Europe. I spent a “duvet day” strolling through this charming town last summer and frequently stroll along its sandy beaches.  Of course, I have also attended the annual yacht show – enjoying people & boat watching and seeing how the other half live!


Link to view Antibe Yacht Show Promo Video 2013





In front of the Bastion St Jaume


April 18th to 21st 2013


Thursday to Saturday 10h00 – 19h00  /   Sunday  10h00 – 18h00




20 EURO per personFree Entrance for children under 15pre-register online:


(see map)







Port VaubanFree Antibes Parking (Opposite Fort Carré – Opposite BP Station & Parking Ponteil) QPARK  (Post Office – Poirier & Frères Olivier) QPARK preferential prices :Get a complimentary hour for daily parking (info at the organisation of the show)4 days Pass  30€ –  7 days pass 45€


(see map for arrival and departure



Bus ShuttleFree shuttle service by bus from all the parking areas listed on the map to the AYS.Boat ShuttleFree shuttle service by bus from all the parking areas listed on the map to the AYS.



The Restaurant is on the IYCA.The Snack is in the Bastion St Jaume

PARKING2013Credit/Source:  Antibes Yacht Show website

The name’s Bond…..James Bond!

Supercars and luxury toys

It’s a world of jaw-dropping supercars and captivating luxury gadgets, where the wealthy mingle with the curious, and multi-million euro cheques are signed amid the revving of V8 engines. It is Top Marques Monaco and it is celebrating a 10-year milestone this April.

Top Marques will feature six new car releases

So what is planned for such an important anniversary of the most exclusive car show in the world? Well, the Principality will play host to no less than six new car launches this year. It is an unprecedented honour and one Steven Saltzman, Top Marques Director, is particularly proud of given that the companies could have chosen to launch their cars in Geneva one month earlier.

In addition, AugustaWestland will be launching its official James Bond helicopter – a VIP 007 version worth three million euros. “The inside is designed by Karl Lagerfeld and it’s all tricked out to be a special edition,” reveals Saltzman. “When you get in you automatically hear the James Bond theme song and it has a special design that is only available on this model.”

Interested parties will have the opportunity to be Bond for a short while thanks to a fly before you buy philosophy. In fact, the show’s motto: ‘See it, drive it, buy it’ applies to most luxury products on show. A section of the port will be privatised and up to 40 cars on show in a pit area that simply oozes speed, action and pure class. “It’s the fourth year we’ve been doing this and it’s just perfect because you get to try the car on a Formula 1 closed circuit,” adds the director.

Is it an effective tool in convincing people to instantly sign on the dotted line? “We estimate that there were about 200 million euros worth of sales last year, so the cars are there to buy, it’s a selling show,” says Saltzman.

If you’re not in the market for a supercar, there’s a 3D racecar simulator that can also give you some cheap thrills. But the show isn’t just about cars. There’s everything from a 302-carat diamond to motorised surfboards and limited edition watches – luxury gadgets, Saltzman calls them, to keep one person entertained while the other is transfixed by cars.

According to the organisers, between 30,000 and 35,000 people visit Top Marques every year, and 2,500 of those individuals are very wealthy. “They come with their cheque books,” says Saltzman, “and 60 per cent come from this area or within three hours drive.”

The 10th edition will take place on 18th to 21st April in the award-winning Grimaldi Forum. 

Credit: Cassandra Tanti for the Riviera Times

Supermarché – Hypermarché – Marché ?

Is the open-air and covered market disappearing  in France? One would think so, from the large prominent  supermarkets like Auchan, Carrefour, and Leclerc, but not to worry! There’s the open market in Cours Saleya and at Malaussena in Nice.   Cagnes-sur-Mer, just outside of Nice, has rebuilt and opened a new covered market, with all the relevant fanfare –  Bon marché!

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