eat at ...
The century-old, legendary-anddoesn’t-it-know-it Hotel Negresco charges €7 for a tarte tatin, but for that you get to sit in a café decorated like a carousel, tour the extraordinary collection of art in the lobbies, and use what may possibly be the most elegant toilets in the world. (37 Promenade des Anglais, +33 493 166 400; hotel-negresco-nice.com) Our favourite is the Café de turin, where bored staff, and their ancestors, have been dishing up oysters and other sea-life for more than a century, and for kids they serve ice cream in a plastic penguin that you can take home afterwards. (5 Place Garibaldi, +33 493 622 952; cafedeturin.fr) La Zucca Magica, on the port, is a homey, award-winning vegetarian restaurant with a set menu only: surrender to the whim of the chef. (4 bis, Quai Papacino, +33 493 562 527)
Christmas fair (complete with non-stop puppet shows, a fake snowy forest and the biggest Ferris wheel I’ve ever seen), in February for its wildly over-the-top carnival, or pretty much anytime except in the hot and crowded high summer, Nice will not bore you. Surprisingly large – the fifth biggest city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse – it can
nonetheless feel like a charming resort when you’re having ice cream by the beach, listening to the sensuous crunch of the stones rolling under the waves. Speaking of ice cream, I’d recommend Fenocchio Glacier in the old town (at 2 Place Rossetti and 6 Rue de la Poissonerie), and particularly their chocolate-ginger and rhubarb flavours, though if you’re braver than me you could try
Enjoying the shade – and the latest news – at Place Garibaldi.
La Zucca Magica