Christmas in Nice

The Christmas Village willl take place from 6th December 2014 to 4th January 2015 in the heart of Nice, on the Place Massena.
Every day from 11 am to 8 pm (9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), come and admire the illuminations, do your Christmas shopping at the crafts chalets or go for a spin on the skating-rink.

FULL ARTICLE & VIDEO:
Christmas in Nice.

Riviera Restaurants: L’Ecole de Nice

Riviera Restaurants: L'Ecole de Nice

“Travellers love Nice for its reliable sunshine, handsome 19th Century architecture, lively street life, great museums and palm tree-lined beach. Unsurprisingly, the city has also become popular with young chefs looking to open their own restaurants. The new table everyone’s talking about is L’Ecole de Nice, opened last year by Michelin-starred, Japanese-born chef Keisuke Matsushima. What draws the crowds is the arty, stylish decor – the walls are hung with works by the likes of Arman, César and Pignon-Ernest – and the excellent, market-driven cooking of young Japanese chef Yoshinobu Seki, who trained with Matsushima.

Riviera Restaurants: L'Ecole de Nice

The menu changes regularly, but runs to witty, delicious riffs on Niçois classics with an intriguing Japanese sensibility. I was impressed by Seki’s impeccable rendering of one of the city’s great gastronomic classics, les petits farcis (stuffed baby vegetables), along with his succulent flank steak with an onion sauce that was inspired by pissaladière, the open Niçois tart of sautéed onions, anchovies and black olives, served avec polenta fries; and a clever reworking of tourte aux blettes (Swiss chard pie) as a dessert, served with vanilla ice cream. The rosemary- flavoured runny chocolate cake is outstanding, too.”

L’Ecole de Nice. 16 Rue la Buffa, 06000 Nice. +33 4 93 81 39 30. Closed Sundays. Average à la carte €25.

Source: France Today – Alexander Lobrano

Personal Note:  I have not yet tried this restaurant – sounds classically French!

Do expats enjoy living in France? – The Riviera Times Online

France: Recent survey reveals how expats feel about living in France

Do expats enjoy living in France?

France has ranked 9th for overall quality of life in the latest Expat Insider survey conducted by InterNations, which asked expatriates from over 160 countries about their experiences living abroad. And the top reason for moving to France? Love of course.

France ranks 9th for overall quality of life in recent expat survey

Around 13,800 expatriates representing 165 nationalities and 169 countries of residence participated in the online survey, which ran from 10th June to 30th June 2014.

According to the survey, the top three nationalities of expats in France are British, US American and German. The majority of foreigners living here appear to be satisfied with their overall quality of life, which may be thanks to the admirable health care system: 80% of participants described the quality of French medical care as good or excellent. It is a significantly higher proportion compared to the global average of 53%.

But what attracts expats to France in the first place? The main reason seems to be love, with 16% of participants saying that they moved because of their partner, compared to the worldwide average of 11%.

France also proves to be an ideal location for expats with families. The country ranked 3rd in the survey’s Family Life Index, beaten only by Sweden and Denmark. 84% of respondents are satisfied with family life in France, whilst a vast majority of participants (93%) are happy with their children’s well-being. Family life in France is also improved by the education system, with the country taking 3rd for cost of education as two-thirds agreed that schooling is affordable, compared to the worldwide average of 29%.

France also ranked 6th for availability of childcare and education, and 9th for overall quality of education.

Working in France seems to have its positives and negatives, however. The country has the 7th shortest working week, with an average of 37.6 hours in comparison to the global average of 41 hours. But it ranks 48th in 61 countries for overall satisfaction of working abroad, perhaps due to the fact that many participants felt career opportunities were scarce in France compared to expats in other countries. France could only muster 44th position for job security. And France came in at 52nd out of 61 in the Personal Finance Index, with 11% dissatisfied with their personal financial situation.

But it seems that one of the biggest issues confronting expats in France is difficulty settling in, with the country placing seventh last in ease of settling in. Many foreign residents appear to experience problems fitting in with the locals, with only 14% of expats saying that the locals are friendly, as opposed to a worldwide average of 27%. A large number of respondents went so far as to say they felt unwelcome in France, with the country ranking 39th in the welcoming category, and 50th for ease of making friends.

These issues may be linked to the language barrier though, as 64% of participants said it was difficult to live in France without learning the language, compared to the global average of 33%.

Overall, France came in 40th position out of 61. The top 10 locations for expats were:

1. Ecuador

2. Luxembourg

3. Mexico

4. Swizterland

5. USA

6. Singapore

7. Spain

8. Philippines

9. Australia

10. Hong Kong

Fashion & Food – Sarao Restaurant

While waiting on the Promenade des Anglais for a friend to have a quick lunch at Sarao, I pondered about how the French Riviera has a stereotypical image: chic and fashionable people strolling along the seafront, others drinking champagne on yachts, and sunbathers frolicking in the sand (or rocks). I people watched, as one does while waiting but not exactly as the fashion police (RIP Joan Rivers), and noticed a variety of fashion statements.

September is a great time to visit Nice, both temperature-wise and noise pollution level-wise. Even so, trying to chat was difficult with the reduced level of traffic whizzing by the restaurant terrace. The apero & tapas menu was only for the evening, but I did try the “aperol spritz” – a refreshing mixture of Prosecco and Perrier – reported by the server to be very popular in Italy. Buon Appetito!

What’s your fashion style?

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Fashion:

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JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE

Affiche JEP-2014logo-ministere-de-la-culture-et-de-la-communication

 

 

 

 

 

 SEPTEMBER 20-21, 2014

Le week-end du 20 et 21 septembre 2014, les Journées du Patrimoine reviennent avec pour thème “Patrimoine culturel, patrimoine naturel”. Comme chaque année environ 16 000 sites publics ou privés seront ouverts au public.

This annual event is a unique opportunity to discover local heritage in all its splendour and variety by visiting sites and architectural features. A wide range of activities is organised throughout the department.

2014 Schedule:

Program in NICE 

Search in other Regions

France 3 Video HERE

 

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September Events in France

In Nice:france cartoon

Jeux de la Francophonie (Nice): 7-15 September, the 7th edition of this cultural and athletic youth event will take place with sporting, traditional and creative competitions between participants representing French-speaking nations from around the globe. www.nicetourisme.com

Nationwide events in France September 2014:

France Gourmet Week known as “Tous Au Restaurant”22-28 September 2014. All over France for a whole week restaurants will put offer a buy one meal, get one free menu. Search on the website for participating restaurants:www.tousaurestaurant.com

Fete de la Gastronomie 26-28 September, every corner of France will come alive with events to celebrate its UNESCO-listed ‘world intangible heritage’ status. From grand-scale concerts to local sing-a-longs, Michelin-star set menus to small village banquets, the country will be in lively spirits to celebrate one of its most popular claims to fame. www.economie.gouv.fr/fete-gastronomie

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine – European Heritage Days: 20 and 21 September across the whole country, hundreds of historical buildings, famous monuments, Government sites and places of interest – some of which are normally closed to the public, open their doors and welcome in visitors. It is an amazing opportunity to explore and find out more about some truly fantastic buildings in France. Discover the heritage of France, more about Journées Européennes du Patrimoine. www.journeesdupatrimoine.culture.fr/

 

AMUSEZ-VOUS BIEN!

Information Source: TheGoodLifeFrance

Le Frog – A Typically French Restaurant in Old Nice

Of course, along with snails, tete de veau, and foie gras, frog legs are right up there when one thinks of French food particularities – or should I say, specialities.

Backlit in green (bien sur!)

menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that I had never tasted frog legs and so, was somewhat apprehensive, yet excited, when this restaurant was chosen for a friends dinner get together.  I also figured that there would be other items on the menu.

frog menu

From our table, we had a lovely view of the local church.

view from table street side tables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Provençale Rosé wine called “Nuit Blanche” (white night)

Rose wine label
OK, so I didn’t order the frog legs – just in case – but I did sample a taste (how could I not?).  No- it didn’t taste like chicken!  The taste was not strong and game-y as I expected, but was surprisingly a little sweet and quite tasty.

3 course menu

Nicoise plate

Pissaladiere & Salade Nicoise

Beef & gnocchi

Beef & gnocchi

Swiss chard pie dessert

Swiss chard pie dessert

& Voila!

frog entree

Menu Frog entree/appetizer mon

The Menu Frog main course consisted of asian noodles topped with frog legs (like these) and other wok type veggies with frog menu dessert of crème brulée (no photos taken).

It was a leaping-good time and fun evening with new discoveries in food, friends, and comraderie!

 

Traveller’s Guide: French Riviera

“Yes, it’s pricey. Yes, it can be crowded. But this corner of France is still the place to go for a little glitz and glamour,” says Aoife O’Riordain.

This sun-soaked corner of south-eastern France is a quintessential summer playground. For tourism purposes, the universally acknowledged extent of the French Riviera is contained within the Alpes-Maritimes department, stretching from Théoule-sur-Mer in the west via the Principality of Monaco to Menton in the east close to the border with Italy.

Photos and full article HERE

 

Credit: Aoife O’Riordain for www.independent.co.uk

 

Sun, Sea, & Green

SUN:

“In an open-topped tour bus, a collector’s car, by Segway, by tram, on foot by boat or by bicycle, there are so many ways to discover Nice and its attractions! Are you having trouble choosing between a classical tour or a chance to get off the beaten tracks, an instructive treasure hunt to discover the history of Nice, a photographic trail accompanied by a professional photographer, a guided tour through some of the city’s most attractive districts with the Heritage Centre, a culinary tour featuring the theme of Niçois cuisine or a custom tour designed especially for you, supervised by a guide?

SEA:

Just imagine… 7 km of beaches bordering the famous Promenade des Anglais! 15 private beaches and 20 public ones in the very heart of the town! Beach restaurants where you can enjoy fish-based dishes, salads or other summertime cuisine with the sound of the waves in the background. Disabled access beaches, children’s games, organised features and entertainment and nautical activities, crystal clear water at just the right temperature …and an amazing view out to sea!   A number of private beaches organize music evenings where you can dance through the night under the stars, with your feet in the water!

GREEN:

As the “green city” of the Mediterranean, Nice is home to more than 100 gardens and some 20 parks with a surface area exceeding 10,000 m2 including the 7-hectare Parc Phoenix, a holder of the “Jardin remarquable” (Remarkable Garden) label. Genuine oases of greenery in the heart of the city, these parks and gardens have been designed to bring man into contact with nature, which can be discovered and admired at any time of year. Already ahead of target in terms of the national ECOPHYTO 2018 Plan, Nice is continuing its efforts to promote sustainable development and has opted for “zero pesticides” to protect biodiversity and the health of its citizens and visitors. Waterfalls, water fun areas and varied tree and shrub varieties await… Enjoy a lungful of fresh air… You’re in Nice!”

See major SUMMER EVENTS HEREKD paperback cover

Source: Nice Convention and Visitors Bureau

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French Jazz Fans outsmart Hitler

Article written by Margo Lestz (The Curious Rambler)- Reblogged with permission:

France has a special place in its heart for jazz and in the summer, you’ll find jazz festivals all over the country. In fact, the world’s first international jazz festival was held in Nice, France in 1948. But France’s relationship with this music started some 30 years earlier during the World War I and developed under some interesting circumstances during the Nazi Occupation of World War II.

Jazz comes to France

During World War I, African-American soldiers introduced France to jazz. After the war, this lively new sound was the perfect accompaniment to les années folles, or “the crazy years”, when all art forms were changing and tastes turned to the unconventional and exotic. This new African-American music made people feel alive again, just what was needed after the horrors of the First World War.

Miles Davis statue – Negresco hotel in Nice.  Photo by Margo Lestz

Miles Davis statue – Negresco hotel in Nice. Photo by Margo Lestz

Hot Club

Jazz was especially appreciated by the young and in the early 1930s, a group of Parisian students formed a jazz club. At first they just met to listen to the music, but later they became ambassadors of this new sound. The Hot Club de France quickly grew into an important organisation working to promote jazz in France. Hugues Panassié was president and Charles Delaunay secretary, but in 1936 Louis Armstrong was elected Honorary President of the club and held that title until his death in 1971.

French Jazz

With the help of the Hot Club, jazz took root in post-war France. Although they appreciated the American jazz groups, the Hot Club was on the lookout for French talent. They “discovered” guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli who, along with others, became known as the Hot Club Quintet, the first “all French” jazz band.

Jazz during the occupation

When the Second World War was declared, most of the African American jazz musicians left France and the French bands were worried. Hitler wasn’t a jazz fan. He considered it a tool of the Jews and detrimental to society.

But, Hitler was more tolerant in France than in other countries. He wanted to remain on good terms with the French and use their resources for his war effort. He also planned to make Paris a recreation centre for his troops so he encouraged the entertainment industry there. Foreign tunes were absolutely forbidden but he allowed traditional music, thinking his propaganda would be better accepted if it was broadcast along with popular songs.

“Frenchified” jazz

The Hot Club took advantage of this situation and set about creating a “French history” for jazz, proclaiming it a traditional French form of music. They held conferences explaining how jazz was directly inspired by Debussy, an influential French composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and circulated flyers detailing this invented pedigree.

They wrote books to convince Hitler and the Vichy regime of the merits of French jazz. One music critic published a book explaining how it was intrinsically French and how it could become the new European music under the Nazi regime. Hugues Panassié, president of the Hot Club, published a book addressing the Vichy regime’s argument that jazz couldn’t carry a patriotic message. In his book he claimed that jazz had simply been misunderstood and he scattered biblical passages and political quotes throughout to make it sound convincing.

louis_armstrong_aquarium_04Louis Armstrong disguised as a French man (photo: The Curious Rambler)

It’s not swing, it’s jazz

Music experts pointed out that the jazz musicians of the time were all French (the American musicians had left at the start of the war) and they made “adjustments” to make jazz seem more French. At the time the music was called “swing” in France so they started calling it “jazz” which sounded less American.

It’s not blues, it’s tristesse

The titles of songs were changed to French: “St. Louis Blues” became “Tristesse de St. Louis” and “I Got Rhythm” became “Agate Rhythm”. The names of composers were either left off or changed. Louis Armstrong’s songs were credited to Jean Sablon during that time. When they had finished, jazz looked as French as baguettes and brie. Their efforts paid off when the Nazis banned subversive “American swing” but permitted traditional “French jazz”. Of course, it was the same music, just cleverly repackaged.

Jazz and the Resistance

Hot Club members weren’t just defying the Nazis with music, many of them were active members of the Resistance. They used jazz concerts and conferences as cover to pass information to England. In 1943 the Hot Club headquarters in Paris was raided and some of its officials were arrested. Delaunay, Hot Club secretary, was released after one month, but several of the others perished in Nazi concentration camps.

However, jazz survived and kept the French company during the occupation. And when the war was over, France remained faithful to the music that, by that time, really had become woven into French culture.

Click on the video below to see Louis Armstrong learning a song in French with Claudine Panassié, daughter-in-law of Hugues Panassié, president of the Hot Club and director of the 1948 Nice Jazz Festival. It was filmed in 1969 at Armstrong’s home in Corona, New York.

History of the Nice Jazz Festival:

1948 – Nice hosted the first international jazz festival in the world. Louis Armstrong was the headliner and performances were in the opera house and the municipal casino (which once stood in Place Massena).

1972-1973 – The next jazz festival in Nice took place 23 years later. The performances were held in the garden Albert I.

1974 – The Nice jazz festival returned under the name, Grande Parade du Jazz. Musicians played on three stages in the open spaces of the garden of Cimiez. The Nice jazz festival has continued since 1974.

1994 – The name was changed to Nice Jazz Festival.

2011 – The festival moved back into the centre of town and to the garden Albert I where two stages welcome multiple performers each evening.