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Deliver a ďŹ ve star service to guests

Work with owners who care & understand our philosophy

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committed to‌

Help guests build precious memories to last a lifetime Pebbles Guide 6 v2.indd 1

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Guide Contents

The Pebbles Guide

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS! Owner’s Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Guest’s Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

20 & 37 rue de l’Hotel des Postes, 06000 Nice, & Norfolk Chambers, Norfolk Street, Glossop, Derbyshire � 04.97.20.27.30 info@nicepebbles.com Published by Mirko Media Ltd

OUT & ABOUT Nice’s Statue of Liberty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Top 5 Snorkel Spots on the French Riviera . . . . . . How to Sip Like a Millionaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Côte d’Azur Museum Passes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Skiing & Hiking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19 20 22 24 26

BON APPÉTIT Our Team’s Favourite Eateries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Cooking Courses on the Côte d’Azur . . . . . . . . . . . 38 HOLIDAYS Services for our Guests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Pebbles Rentals Short Lets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Pebbles Rentals Mid-term Lets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 INVESTMENT Nice Pebbles Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meet the Sales & Investments Team . . . . . . . . . . . . Pebbles Buyer’s, Owner’s & Seller’s Guides . . . . . . Secret Switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Legal SOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Our Shops & Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Map of Nice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69 70 75 76 78 80 81

Editor Gayle Roberts - gayle@nicepebbles.com Art Director Paul Harwood - paul@liquid-design.com Advertising Sales guide@nicepebbles.com Contributing Writers Dean Cordwell Johnte Lloyd David Robinson Emily Russell Kathryn Tomasetti

Olivia Gorrie Gayle Roberts Jonathan Rowe Tristan Rutherford

Contributing Photographers Various photos with kind permission of Tim McGuffog and James Pouliot. The Pebbles Guide is published for our guests and owners and distributed in leading tourism venues, Monoprix, participating bars, restaurants and retailers. If you would like to distribute the Pebbles Guide or discuss advertising in our next issue please email guide@nicepebbles.com or visit www.nicepebbles.com © 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior permission from the copyright owners.

Pebbles is recognised by leading travel guides, and is the only apartment rental company listed in Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, TimeOut, Footprint and Frommer’s.

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Editors’ Letter

Welcome to the 6th Edition of the Pebbles Guide

W

riting the editor’s letter for our 6th Pebbles Guide is a proud moment for us, as this year we celebrate our 10th anniversary! What started in a box room is now four offices across England and France.

At the time of writing, we’ve now grown the UK office to over 10 full time staff. We’ve also grown two French businesses, one dedicated to Pebbles concierge services for guests, and one dedicated to property sales for our investor clients. The property rental sector is now a huge space worldwide, and it’s continually evolving fast. Whilst we’ve continued to grow, this time the Guide has shrunk. We’ve moved more content online, but kept a compact version for those who still prefer good old-fashioned print. Too many locals and guests were asking for a French version that it was starting to feel rude not to have one to offer. Et voila! We’ve done a French version to match our French website improvements. Nice too has grown. In 2017, locals and tourists alike will benefit from the new Airport - Port tramline (in just 20 minutes) with plenty of central stops in between. This will make Nice one of the easiest to navigate cities in Europe, as well as one of the most glamorous. We’re proud to play a part

in helping people enjoy this amazing part of the world. Over 3,000 of our guests have now stayed with us more than once, some over 20 times. For so many, the French Riviera is a continual love affair, with no sign of abating. For others, there just hasn’t been an introduction yet. The last ten years have certainly been an adventure and we’ve learnt tons, but what we value the most is sharing dreams with our guests and property clients. To all our 15,000 plus guests, and our owners, and of course our wonderful team, thanks for all your support as we forge ahead for the next decade. Bon continuation.

Gayle

…and the Pebbles’ team

Pebbles has been commended by:

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We are 10!

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Celebrating 10 Years!

t is a whopping ten years since the concept of Pebbles began back in 2005. Matt and I had bought a rental property in Nice. We wanted to use it ourselves, and rent it out. We found a worldwide advertising portal, which in 2005 had just 40 properties on it. Can you imagine that now? Of these limited offerings, most looked pretty basic to say the least, and almost all purported to be “central” and we knew most were anything but.

We also realised that the support to manage the crucial housekeeping and maintenance services were not easy to find. We managed it, but we went back to the UK with an idea brewing: if we couldn’t find what we were looking for, we’d just have to do it ourselves. We started Pebbles from our box room in our Manchester home, roping in friends and family at any whiff of an offer of help. Here we set about looking for owners, and started to plan a website of our very own. We wanted to add subjectivity to the marketplace and bring some uniformity. Fast forward a year, with nicepebbles.com set up, we arrived in Nice armed with a handful of clients to get started with. With modest savings from the sale of our UK home, this plan just HAD to work.

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If it didn’t, we’d be going back to the UK laden with a lot more than just wounded pride. Later in 2006 we moved over to Nice where we set about growing the French management side of the business. By 2012, with three French offices and plenty of structure and systems, it was the UK arm of marketing (done from the UK) that needed more attention. Should we go back? After seven years in France, and with two young children, we missed our family, and our friends at home. With two young boisterous boys and a company that is often 24/7, we hugely needed grandparent support. For us, by living in France full time, the dream had died. Perhaps if we’d properly mastered the

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language, or weren’t trying to run a business, plus raise two children, we’d have managed it, but who wants to just keep managing? We realised in four years, we hadn’t taken a holiday. Worse, we’d been to the beach four times. Twice to host a work party in the evening, twice in winter. We paid a nanny to take our children to the beach, we were still working 12 hour days and just didn’t have the time. Of course, now that we were paying our nanny, the pressure was on to work even harder to balance the books. Sadly too, the French system for small businesses was crucifying us and the commercial sector for renting out holiday homes had now started to become big business. Big business means competition from giant corporations with deep pockets. If we wanted Pebbles to continue to be a success, we needed freedom from French regulations and red tape, and funds to grow. That meant utilising what the UK has on offer for small and medium sized businesses. The more we talked about it, the more it seemed like a good idea, and the best of both worlds. In mid-2013, we moved back to the UK, and by 2014 our love affair with Nice returned. We’d got back what we had fallen in love with and what we delivered for our owners, guests and sales clients; the opportunity to dip in and out of France, with all it has to offer as a “second” place of residence, but all our home comforts and some respite from the paper mountain of French bureaucracy. Since we’ve returned to the UK, we and our two boys have ironically spent much more time on beaches that we ever did in seven years of living in Nice. By 2016, the UK team is now actually bigger than the French teams. All the team talk to each other across the channel all day long, and many of our staff spend time in both the UK and France, as do we. Whether we’re in France or the UK, just like for our owners, both are now “home” and like them, we feel very lucky to have both. We look forward to making this dual-dream come true for many more guests and owners in years to come…

Gayle

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Owners’ Tips

F

Top Tips from our Owners & Guests

or almost all our Owners, it starts as a holiday in Nice. Then another, and another. There comes a point when you think of Nice as that place you want to holiday in above all other locations, and at that point, you want to have a base here.

If you can gain income when you’re not using it, sometimes if you’ve bought well, even covering the mortgage payments, then you can justify the purchase as a pension pot.

Giofreddo Happy 10 year anniversary Pebbles!! As one of your very first Pebbles guests (staying at Boucherie in 2005) and then as your first owner (Gioffredo) we remember the very early days, dealing with Matt and Gayle from their bedroom office at home in Manchester at the very start of Pebbles. We’ve watched Pebbles grow from this box-bedroom company to what it is now. We were sad to leave the Pebbles family back in 2015 when our growing family took us in another direction. We still miss our Nice pad, one day we might come back. We’re glad to have been a part of the journey, and wish Pebbles well for the next ten years and beyond.

Our Owners know Nice as well as we do. As we celebrate 10 years, some of our owners share their top tips…

From

£75 PER NIGHT

Steve & Kelly, Pebbles owners 2006 - 2015

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From

£90

Bonaparte

PER NIGHT

Josephine Use the excellent, good value transport system (train, bus, tram) to get around Nice and the surrounding region. A 10-journey card for the tram and bus costs only 10 Euros, can be bought at all tram stops. For a cheap, fun, and green way to explore Nice take a Vélo Bleu. Return or dock every 30 minutes for unlimited free travel.

If you want a really good glass of wine, then just off Place Garibaldi heading towards the old town is the wonderful Cave de la Tour, 3 Rue de la Tour. A wine bar and a wine shop with a charming owner who will offer lots of advice and fill you full of charcuterie as you try the many wines on offer by the glass. A great place to start or finish an evening. If you’d prefer to just take a bottle home, that’s OK too. It opened just after World War 2 and not much has changed (and I mean that in a good way). Old school charm. Top class wine. Gary, Pebbles’ owner since 2013

From

£75 PER NIGHT

For a change from the pebbly beaches in Nice, go to nearby Villefranche sur Mer or Antibes for free public sandy beaches. Use the picnic set in the apartment to prepare a picnic before you go or go to the Provencal market in Antibes and see what delights are on offer! Jane & Mark, Pebbles’ owner since 2015

From

£125 PER NIGHT

Owners’ Tips

Go to the Libération market - 10 minutes’ walk from our apartment. Cookbooks in the apartment will help you prepare local specialities!

Adele Hugo We always buy chocolates and cakes from Patisserie Canet (25 Rue Gambetta). We love the deli, L’Asacien (open mornings only) at 16 Gambetta. If you're interested in mid-century modern architecture I recommend a visit to the Eileen Grey-designed villa E-1027 at Cap Moderne (booking necessary) and afterwards a swim at Cabbé beach by the train station. We like the Neptune Beach and restaurant for a lazy day. George says anyone interested in cycling should go to the Café du Cycliste, 16 Quai des Docks at the port where they also hire very good bikes and can suggest routes. And the Cafe de la Fontaine, 4 Avenue du Général de Gaulle in La Turbie is well worth a visit for lunch. Mandy, Pebbles owner since 2016

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£60 PER NIGHT

Segurane When we visit Nice we enjoy the monthly flea market on Place Garibaldi and the Marche aux Puces overlooking the Port de Nice on Rue Robilant. Then, every Monday on the Cours Saleya is the Antiques Market. My tip is not to overlook the Depot Vente stores opened here and there in Nice, there is one I like to visit often because they have a quick merchandise turn over, and all items are consigned, it's called Troc Azur, 23 Rue Scaliéro, across from Arson Park and its joueurs de Petanque playing there every sunny day. It's a short walk from Garibaldi.

Bleu Marine When tourists arrive in Nice, they are overwhelmed by the beautiful sights of the cities on the Côte d’Azur. My husband and I, however, love to explore the wonderful sentiers or paths that crisscross the Riviera. The local Tourist Office provides a guidebook to sentiers on the Pays Cotier (Coastal Paths). Two of my favourites are the one from Beaulieusur-Mer to St. Jean Cap Ferrat and the one from Cap d’Ail into Monaco. Both can be easily reached and then return to Nice by the 100 bus. They are not long or difficult paths and take about 30 minutes for some of the most beautiful scenery on the Côte d’Azur. For those more energetic, walks vary in length and difficulty, including those around Cap Ferrat, from Menton to Monaco, and even on the Cannes islands (return boats available from Nice and Cannes). Take a walk! I promise beautiful memories of the Côte d’Azur! Marie, Pebbles owner since 2013

From

£70 PER NIGHT

If you are a bibliophile, every first and last Saturday of the month, you can attend the Marche aux Livres, Place du Palais de Justice, in the Old Town, where used book dealers bring their latest acquisitions. There are many bookstores in Nice, however if you are tired of the tablet and itchy to enjoy the experience of a classic antiquarian book shop, Art et Litterature, at 62 Boulevard Risso is the place to visit. The owner, Jean, stocks works dating from the sixteen century to the present in all fields of collecting. My tip, listen to the owner carefully when he greets you. Jean loves word plays and calembours. If you answer with a clever retort, he may let you browse adjacent room where he keeps harder to find treasures. Denis, Pebbles owner since 2013

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Prom Garden The sea with the beach and the Promenade are essential for Nice. We love Florida Beach, close to Gambetta, it’s less crowded and even partly sandy.

From

Museums not to miss are Palais Lascaris, 15 Rue Droite in the Old Town and Musée des beaux Arts, 33 Avenue des Baumettes. If you want to try a restaurant a little different, we love the Lao Vientiane at 12 Bis Rue de la Buffa, very good food and very well priced: a pearl! Johnny, Pebbles owner since 2013

From

£50 PER NIGHT

£105 PER NIGHT

Cathedrale My favourite things to do when I'm on the Riviera are: Dinner at the Olive and Artichoke, 6 Rue Sainte-Reparate. Also dinner at Les Vents d’Anges, 3 Rue de l'Étamine in Beaulieu sur Mer after drinks at the Royal Riviera, 3 Avenue Jean Monnet. We also like to pack a lunch and head to Jardin du Monastare de Cimez for some quiet.

Port V iew Our favourite Nice restaurants are hidden just a bit off the beaten track. Leave the Promenade, go to the Port area and have your lunch at the Bistrot du Port, 28 Quai Lunel. On weekdays they serve a 3-course formule with a quart of wine at an affordable price. We have never been disappointed there. If later in the evening, why not enjoy the sunset and a panoramic sea view with a light evening meal or just a glass of wine at Le Plongeoir a bit further east of the port, 60 Boulvard Franck Pilatte. And, if it happens to be one of those nights for a celebration, right beside Le Plongeoir, there is one of the more prestigious restaurants in Nice, La Réserve, our favourite for family gatherings and celebrations.

Owners’ Tips

Our favourite beach clubs are La Poloma at St Jean Cap Ferrat and Anjuana Plage Prive in Eze Bord de Mer. Our favourite tours are those by The French Way. We always love buying as many flowers at the flower market you can hold and fill the apartment with them! A fun day out is booking a yacht at Classic Yacht Charters: http://www.classic-charters.com/ classic-sailing-yacht-charter/ Lisa, Pebbles owner since 2010

From

£90 PER NIGHT

Bo & Sooki, Pebbles owner since 2013

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From

£50 PER NIGHT

Opera V ille I find it hard to get away from the food! Pasta is made and sold in various shops hidden away in the old town, this is unbelievably inexpensive and combined with a splash of some of the olive oil from Nicolas Alziari at 14 Rue Saint Francois de Paule and a little garlic, freshly grated tomatoes and pepper, paired off with a green salad and a glass of rose, you can get a real flavour of Mediterranean food and feed the family in minutes! Jenny, Pebbles owner since 2010

From

£125

La P lage

PER NIGHT

It is magical to walk out to our local boulangerie and return a few minutes later with a delicious ancienne du pain and crispy croissants, still warm from the baker's oven. Step out right onto the famous and stunningly beautiful Promenade des Anglais. Pick up a Niçoise sandwich for lunch and head for the recently extended beautiful Parc du Paillon. Enjoy the variety of street entertainment en route. Soak in the brilliant sunsets from the west facing large windows in the evening, relax, bliss. Top tip: Stroll along the magnificent Promenade enjoying the ever changing sights, sounds and aromas from the numerous beach cafes. Take an invigorating early morning dip or a peaceful walk on the beach. If you prefer to be more sedentary and enjoy dining al fresco have a simple outdoor breakfast at any one of the numerous beach cafes. Parc Phoenix: Walk towards airport along the Promenade des Anglais and spend a few wonderful hours at Parc Phoenix. You will see musical fountains, birds, giant tortoises, and other animals, as well as a beautiful indoor rain forest with exotic plants and flamingos. Our grandchild, 2 years old, and four adults LOVED our time spent there, you can purchase light refreshments. Chris & David, Pebbles owner since 2014

Lighthouse A good way to spend a morning is the Museum Beaux Arts (33 Ave Baumettes). This has a wonderful collection of art including beautiful works by Dufy created during his stay in Nice. The building is also worth seeing. It was built for a Ukrainian Princess in an era long gone but maintained for all to enjoy. I’ve found a decent restaurant (that is family friendly) is La Voglia (Cours Saleya) which serves delicious Italian food. Unless you are very hungry, watch how much you order - the portion sizes are huge! Kate, Pebbles owner since 2015

From

£90 PER NIGHT

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From

£65 PER NIGHT

kind of place where we ourselves would like to stay if we were looking for a break in Nice at any time of the year. Even without our own place, we have returned to Nice many times over the years and have built up a list of best places to visit, shop and eat etc.

Skyline

This property launched on our site in July 2016 and received four bookings within three days. It continues to book quickly so if this property is for you, get in quick. As owners with a different property from the very early days of Nice Pebbles, it was interesting to return to the fold this June with our new apartment, Skyline, bought through Pebbles Sales and Investments and to see how Pebbles has grown. From being just a rental agency, with Matt and Gayle working from home on their own to not one, but three offices and a staff list of goodness knows how many, we couldn’t believe how different this was from the set up we remembered from eight years earlier. Most noticeable is the organisation. If you raise a problem with Nice Pebbles nowadays, you can bet there’s a system or a kit to deal with it. The website is genuinely efficient and intuitive. After an almost immediate six-month reservation fell through, the flat went back on to the market for holiday lets and within ten days we had bookings totalling eight weeks. Emily reckoned that this was due to our southfacing terrace, but the flat is also well placed just off Boulevard Carabacel and it’s been turned into just the

We’ve built up dozens of favourite restaurants over the years, too many to list but three of our favourites in the Old Town, Bistro d’Antoine (Rue de la Préfecture), Comptoir du Marché (Rue du Marché) and Bar des Oiseaux (Rue St Vincent) all come under the same ownership umbrella. See if you can name every artist credited in Bar des Oiseaux, where the menu describes the cuisine as Ardoise, but we think it’s just good cooking. Their porcelet is especially tasty. Also good is Chez Juliette (Rue Rosetti) and, if you’re a fan of Italian banter, try Gepetto’s (Rue Gioffredo), where Alex will offer to lure your wife away to better things. For art lovers the MAMAC is a must. The Chagal and Matisse museums in Cimiez are also good. The Maeght Foundation in St Paul de Vence is well reviewed, but we recently found it down on exhibitions (most of the Miros had been removed) and there is an unnecessary €5 charge for taking photographs. The town centre is more interesting with many good galleries. Eze and Biot are alternative hilltop towns that have a very arty feel to them. An easy No 81 bus trip can be had down Cap Ferrat, where Errol Flynn and David Niven drank themselves into oblivion on Chateau d’Yquem. The Rothschilds’ Villa Ephrussi is well worth a visit. Also on the same loop is Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu, where its original eccentric owner lived as an ancient Greek. This trip brings you a real flavour of old Riviera chic.

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Owners’ Tips

Peter and Sue from Merseyside were a Pebbles’ owner back as early as 2007. A few years on, they sold up, but missed Nice too much, so in 2016 asked Pebbles Sales and Investments to find them another property to rent out. Sue and Peter became the proud owners of Skyline, a beautifully finished, romantic rooftop hideaway only a few minutes from Place Garibaldi and the Old Town with two spacious terraces to make the most of the Riviera’s al fresco lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a quiet hideaway away from the bustling beaches in the larger towns, sandy Plage Mala is well worth the trip. Take the Monaco-bound train to Cap d’Ail, find the tunnel outside the station and walk back along the coastal path. Here you’ll find two very laid back restaurants with friendly and helpful staff. Great for a wasted afternoon with a leisurely swim.

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O

f course, some guests are also starting the journey of frequent visits to Nice. We have some guests who have stayed with Pebbles 20 times or more. Take the bus to Ezé - follow the lanes right to the top to the Jardin Exotique - there are lots of mature cacti and agaves, spiky & architectural growing amongst the chateau ruins right on top of the hill and you get splendid views of the coast. (Be sure to take a bottle of water on a hot day) Olive & Artichaut ( Rue Sainte Reparate) in the old town is very much a favourite lunch spot for us! There are only a few tables so get there early or make a reservation for impressive modern seasonal food.

and refrigerate until the evening. It's hard to resist the fabulously elegant desserts; rich dark Chocolate and praline creations (the marron glacé and croquelin are particular favourites) Soca chips are our new favourite thing - we always try to get a few bags in our hand luggage and not crush them on the way home. We love the Antiques Market on a Monday in the Cours Saleya - much of what is for sale is too big to ever take home but you can find interesting curios, pots, vases, costume jewellery and occasionally I even find old 78 records. I love to look because you never know what you might find - especially in the bric-a-Brac and junk boxes.

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£50 PER NIGHT

Make sure you don't miss La Maison Baral, the little fresh pasta shop nearby (also on Rue Sainte Reparate) for the little traditional niçoise postage stamp sized ravioli or the large, green spinach or egg yellow, stuffed pasta cappelletti. They also make the fresh sauce and accompaniments to go with it. These are a simple light supper to cook in your Pebbles apartment with some fresh salad and a glass of Provençal rosé! (Note they are only open in the mornings so go before lunch!) Lac - we've rented apartments from Pebbles in Rue Giofreddo a few times and Lac is impossible to resist. We'll go on our first day in Nice and buy one little dessert each for each night we are in Nice. Carefully carry them back to the apartment

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The other thing we always take home - coffee from Café Indien, Niçois blend of course. And we have Pebbles to thank for introducing us to this wonderful coffee - there was a small packet of this coffee in the first apartment we rented in Nice. We've kept coming back for the coffee, and the Pebbles apartments! Patricia & Liane (guests with Pebbles 5 times, last time at Aurora)

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I like Nice so much because it's so cosmopolitan and there is something for everyone - art, music, shopping. I've chosen a different apartment each time I have stayed with Pebbles so I can properly explore all parts of the city. I like that with Pebbles everything said is true, right down to how many steps there are in each apartment. Each time I visit, everything always goes so smoothly. I do recommend staying in different parts of the city. Jane Carberry (stayed with us 4 times, last time at Palais)

From

£130 PER NIGHT

From

£80 PER NIGHT

The first thing we do each year is head up to the market at Liberation to be inspired by the amazing array of the freshest fruit, vegetables, fish,meat,cheese,delis etc that you can possibly find on the Riviera. Just jump on the tram to the top of Jean Medecin to join the locals and see the real Nice.

Guests’ Tips

Every year we discover something new to see. Try walking along the coastal path and if you set off from Cap D’Ail, using the wonderful public transport system from Nice to get there, do call in at the art gallery in the stunning Belle Epoque building, Villa les Camelias – it is a hidden gem! Keith & Kathryn (stayed with us 5 times, last time at Raphael)

One of our favourite things to experience when visiting Nice is to take a trip to Monte Carlo with a visit to the Fairmont Hotel for “Pink Sunday”. This is a gourmet buffet where you can enjoy unlimited rosé champagne or rosé wine, not forgetting the ‘Pink’ cocktail menu! Not only drinks, they also have a great choice of food including grilled barbequed meats, seafood, salads, desserts, cheeses and fresh fruits. For us, the location is just fantastic; sitting on the Horizon deck overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea and the three countries. At €99 for the champagne option and €79 for the rosé, it really is amazing value and a brilliant day out.

From

£??

PER NIGHT

Kenny & Linda (stayed with us 4 times, last time at Piaf)

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Want to go a step further than just a photo to remember your time in Nice? Addditive 3D printing offer a range of services to help you create a 3D model of anything you want (within reason!). Instead of arranging for the usual family portrait photo, why not enlist their services to create a 3D model of the whole family? It would make a great individual souvenir of your time spent in Nice. Being equipped with a high tech 3D scanner, they can replicate anything you desire. Or if you don’t have the actual physical object with you, with their help you can draw out the object in 3D and their 3D printer will take care of the rest. A variety of different colours can be used during the printing process to help make your model come to life.

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From

£75 PER NIGHT

Guests’ Tips

As a regular visitor in Nice, I’ve dined in a lot of restaurants over the years however, there is one I can’t seem to stay away from and that’s le Galion Plage on the Promenade des Anglais. I love to stroll down there just before midday, hire a sunbed for €15 and soak up some pre-lunchtime sun. It does get extremely busy so I would definitely recommend that you reserve a sunbed or you may just miss out! They have a lovely Mediterranean lunch menu, full of variety and fresh ingredients. I particularly like the grilled seabass with one of the delicious side salads, the entrecôte steak or the Reine pizza, if I’m not feeling too healthy! Then I spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the sunbed with a good book, finishing off with a late afternoon swim. The staff are all delightful and very efficient, particularly a young gentleman called Dominic who looks after me throughout the whole day and makes sure my pichet of rosé never goes empty! Liam Magee (stayed with us 8 times, last time at Le Metropole)

From

£70 PER NIGHT

San Marco was bought by us in 2004, before Pebbles was even an idea. It was bought just like any other second holiday home owner, as a place to go for respite. After our up-sticks move to Nice, we sold it in 2007 to Michelle, our owner, who immediately listed on our Pebbles portfolio. It was great this summer to go back as a guest. We LOVE the area of Cros de Cagnes, and still love the apartment. If you’re a couple for a relaxing break, or a small family who need a pool, we think this area and apartment complex are hard to beat. If staying in Nice, take a bike ride all the way down the cycle path on the Promenade which goes straight to Cros de Cagnes, just past Villeneuve Loubet. Both towns have better beaches than Nice and some great restaurants. Cros de Cagnes remains our favourite place on the French Riviera. Accessible, friendly, clean and quieter than its neighbour, Nice. Check out our Cagnes page on our websites if you want to know more. Matt and Gayle stayed at San Marco

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L

es and Vanessa are special guests of ours. They have stayed with us over 10 times now since 2008, relatively anonymously until we received this email from them in early 2016:

From: Vanessa Moss To: Gayle Roberts Sent: Wed, 20 Jan 2016 Subject: RE: Sorry it’s late but, Thank You Dear Gayle, Matt and the Nice Pebbles Team, There is no excuse for this being late but it is to say a huge THANK YOU for our Christmas card and gifts awaiting us in Grimaldi on the 20th December last year. It was wonderful and at bit emotional to be thanked and recognised for doing something even if it is only coming to Nice with regularity. Nice provides everything we want and Nice Pebbles puts the icing on the cake, so thank you also for that. Back in 2008 we were staying in the Poste and called into the office, it was strange seeing Matt clinging to a desk that was suspended from the ceiling. We were chatting in the office about the joys of maintenance when a young lady with “L” plates on a pushchair was trying to get through the door. The young lady turned out to be you Gayle and you offered me a job as a handyman. How I wish I could have taken you up on the offer. We also spoke about our visits to Nice and how we had found you. We stayed in the Ellington in 2005, the Florence in 2006 and an apartment run by another rental agency, and the less said about that the better. That experience resulted in a wider search for a better service and in June 2008 we stayed in Francois. The first of 10 stays with yourselves. Anyway I will always be in Nice and in every Nice Pebbles managed apartment as one of the photographs I gave into the office is of the top stair landing before reaching Francois and is in the folder in each apartment, near the back, addressing communal spaces. Also in the last and now the revised edition of the Pebbles Guide (page 23 and 25) is a photograph of tomatoes on a stall, one of mine and the fourth addition had a photograph of Cours Saleya at night on page 13 (there’s that number again). There could be other photos I may have missed. Once again thank you for everything, it is strange but because the years you have been in business and our visits to Nice coincide, we kind of feel part of the family that is Nice Pebbles, long may you continue. Thank you and Best Wishes, Les and Vanessa 

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From: Gayle Roberts To: Vanessa Carol Moss Sent: Wed, 20 Jan 2016 Subject: RE: Sorry its late but, Thank You Dear Vanessa and Les, It truly made my day yesterday to hear from you. I’ve had your “Pebbly Effect” disk in my top drawer for the last three years. I just had no idea who the photographer was. All I could ever recall was that a guest had brought it into us and said we could use if any good to us. I had no way of getting in touch with you, because over the passage of time, we didn’t know who the guest was.

Regardless of whether this offer appeals to you, I’ve just added 10 points to your account with us, so you have £50 off your next stay with us.

Guests’ Tips

I don’t like the idea of using all the shots I know we have used for nothing in return, nor do I like that in your retirement you can’t pop over as much as you would like, and I think there is something to be done here. Would you be willing to come and stay with us, as our guests to say thank you and take some more photos for us? I’m sure some more would come in handy!

Truly lovely to hear from you, and do let me know if we can help you return soon. Kind regards, Gayle

We love hearing from our guests, especially those who come to stay with us often. Please do send us your experiences, your photos enjoying our apartments, and top tips we can share with our future guests. We especially love photos and videos and the best will make it onto our TV page and social media channels. We regularly send out thank you tokens to show our appreciation to those who help us, our team and our future guests enjoy Pebbles and the French Riviera. This might be an invitation to stay with us, or Pebbles points, or our beach towels, toiletries, etc.

Well, Les and Vanessa did take us up on our offer, and were able to rack up their 11th stay with us in April 2016. Whilst staying with us, as well as taking photos, they also starred in a video we made, which can be seen on our TV page, or on social media. Thank you to them both – they are lovely guests, and lovely people.

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Keep up-to-date with Pebbles

Visually explore Nice Experience the Niçois lifestyle Read our blogs Find all the latest Nice news & events Enter competitions & win special prizes BeneďŹ t from Pebbles discount codes Sneak peaks into new Pebbles properties

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Nice’s Statue of Liberty Dear Mum, here in Having a great time pop over to Nice, but decided to days. Came New York for a few rns out Nice straight back. It tu has all we need. . See you soon, George

Mrs L. Angold e, 32 Tropicana Avenu Kingsbury, London

Greetings from Out & About

B

link and you might miss it, but whilst in Nice make sure you check out the Mini statue of Liberty on Quai des Etats Unis, near the Opera House. This cute replica was unveiled in February 2014 in Nice by Christian Estrosi, where he commented on the 1.3 metre minion, “we wanted it to be modest in order not to rival New York”. Unlike the original which apparently would require a US shoe size 879, and would crush us King Kong style if it ever decided to walk in our midst (now there’s a movie…) this little one would need an insole for Barbie’s slippers.

Although there have been lots of replicas around the world, the Nice replica represents 100 years since beginning of the First World War.

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Out & About

Top Five snorkel spots on the French Riviera

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hink you need scuba tanks to explore the Riviera’s azure seas? Pah. Spend the €40 dive fee on 12 bottles of Carrefour rosé instead. A mask and snorkel are all that’s required to spot octopi and sea bass a short swim from shore. A wetsuit isn’t necessary either: from June to November sea temperatures don’t dip below 20ºc. In July and August they top 25ºc.

Curiously, some of the Côte d’Azur’s most desirable addresses boast the best snorkel spots. A dearth of tourism, plus the fact that villa housekeepers have been known to throw leftover lobster to the fishes, guarantees sea life aplenty. Even if you can’t afford Europe’s most expensive real estate, a peek under the waves costs nothing.

(Cap d’Antibes, Cap Ferrat and Monaco prices hover around €40,000 per square metre since you ask, which translates as €200,000 for a walk-in wardrobe). Here are five secret snorkel spots where you’re as likely to spot a celebrity as you are a scorpion fish. by Tristan Rutherford

Plage les Fossettes, Cap Ferrat

Plage des Galets, Cap d’Antibes

Cap Ferrat’s ultra-exclusive Paloma Point crumbles into three fabulous public beaches: Paloma Plage, Plage les Fosses and Plage les Fossettes. In 2014, Les Fossettes received the ultimate gift for snorkelers: a 200m-long sentier sous-marin (undersea trail) that criss-crosses the deserted bay. The course runs between five buoys. Below each one a sub-aquatic notice board details five different Mediterranean biotypes like Poseidon Grass, where urchins and starfish abound, and rock bottoms, which lichen sponges call home. Plages les Fossettes faces both ocean and sun, so look out for deep sea feeders that frequent the shore at dawn and dusk. 20

Plage des Galets is the Cap d’Antibes’ secret beach. Abutting the Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc, where summer rooms are booked up years in advance for a minimum of €1,000 per night, it’s a localsonly stretch of shingle shore. Jackfish, scorpion fish, rays and nudibranches survive in these seldom swimmed seas. Just don’t snorkel too far south. The Hotel du Cap security staff may fish you out with a hook – if the beach bar waiters don’t sell you a €45 hamburger first.

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Ile St Honorat, Ile des Lérins

St Honorat, the sub-tropical island that bobs off the coast near Cannes, is serenely pristine for good reason. Not only is it a natural reserve, the sole inhabitants on this private island are a group of 20 Cistercian monks who have sworn vows of chastity and silence. St Tropez it’s most certainly not. Ten daily ferries chug out from Cannes (€16.50 return). On the island’s southern ocean-facing side sea life thrives. Common octopus and cuttlefish are prevalent, as are damselfish and moray eels, with the occasional sunfish and grouper thrown in. Brave divers can make a beeline for Ile Saint-Féréol, an uninhabited islet that bobs 150m off St Honorat’s eastern tip, but watch out for currents en-route.

Pointe de l'Aiguille, Théoule-sur-Mer

The Principality isn’t the most obvious place for a snorkel sortie. Its Casino once enticed visitors to jump into the water dressed in eveningwear rather than with a mask and snorkel (the infamous ‘suicide terrace’ near Place du Casino was thankfully filled in decades ago). But Monaco’s waters form a protected marine reserve. The nation’s finest snorkel site is off the secret beach of Crique des Pêcheurs. This former fisherman’s outpost sits directly under the Musée Océanographique, which commands the Rock of Monte Carlo high above. For access follow the signs for the open-air amphitheatre (English-language movies are screened here alfresco all summer) then hop over the sea barrier to the beach. The creek is sandy, silent and about as un-Monaco as you can get. Spot shoals of saupe, massive grey mullet and the occasional striped bass.

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Out & About

A short train ride past Cannes, the pine-fringed beach of Plage de l'Aiguille is a far cry from the ritzy Côte d’Azur. Better still, the town council installed a sentier sous-marin that encircles the beach’s ocean-facing point. Four buoys list marine habitats and their deep sea denizens. These sub-sea notice boards include a vertical drop-off, where yellow sponges and blennies cling to the wall. Plus scree rocks where scorpion fish and rainbow wrasse lay in wait. For secret sunbathers, several tiny creeks meander off from Théoule-surMer’s main beach, including Plage de la Petite Fontaine and the Criques de l'Aiguille. A final sandy strip known as Grottes de Gardanne was once a pirate’s lair – and is now a naturist beach.

Crique des Pêcheurs, Monaco

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How to sip like a millionaire 1

La Terrasse

Above Hotel Le Méridien

Le Méridien barely advertise their jaw-droppingly beautiful rooftop. For good reason. If word of La Terrasse broke out, Nice’s hoi polloi would bellyflop into the plunge pool, then snatch all the free snacks from the hotel’s venerable guests. But for smartly dressed punters, this 10th storey bonanza is the city’s ultimate escape. Head barman Lucien Dulac bangs out cocktails like Bourbon-based Carmen and Prosecco-fuelled Jasmine Royal for €13 a pop. Black slates are used to deliver hearty mains for €25: think Black Angus hamburgers and croustillants de gambas. The biggest bargain is a bottle of peerless Côtes de Provence Roseline. At €31, it’s a snip when shared between friends. We have two tips for visitors to La Terrasse. Firstly, look like you’re actually staying here. Access Le Méridien’s lobby via the escalator. Give a confident nod to the reception desk as you bear left. Then bash the 9th floor button in the bank of elevators like you mean it. The rooftop bar is reached via an additional set of steps. Secondly, bring a set of sexy swimming trunks, not your manky Adidas running togs. La Terrasse’s tiny heated pool has poseurs aplenty.

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Aqua Bar

Above Aston La Scala

Aston La Scala used to be so disorganised that you could bring your own takeout coffee to its rooftop bar and enjoy a three-hour sunbathe in peace. This writer did just that for years. Given the hotel’s sublime location – right on the Promenade du Paillon with sea views panning over the Old Town – it’s still missing a trick. And that makes its 8th floor Aqua Bar the rooftop bargain of the decade. Just wander in from the street. Then veer left away from the reception staff to the double elevator bank. Ride up to the 7th floor. Here Le Blue Bar offers fabulous year-round views. But the summer-only Aqua Bar, one flight of stairs up, is top de la top. Grab a sunlounger or take a dip in the panoramic plunge pool (it doesn’t seem to matter if you’re a guest or not). Drink prices are lower than the Cours Saleya. Ricard pastis is €5, a large glass of Champagne costs €12. Or split a bottle of AOC Coteaux Varois en Provence for just €26.

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3

La Terrasse de Nice Above the Radisson Blu

It’s the titan of all roof terraces. The daddy of millionaire sipping spots with 700m2 of lounging space, plus a vast rooftop pool. Granted, La Terrasse de Nice has a woefully unoriginal name, but it makes up for it with bumper views over the Baie des Anges. It’s also a fab spot for a pre-flight lunch: Nice Airport’s Terminal 1 is a 5-minute taxi, or 30-minute walk, away. As with Le Méridien, it pays to be posh, despite the fact the establishment is publically accessible. They don’t like just anybody sipping €13 glasses of Domaine de Colombier Chablis under their chic 1950s awnings. Simply saunter through the electric sliding doors past reception. Or book ahead for a rooftop lunch of salmon à la plancha (€20) or steak tartare (€20) with a fromage sharing platter (€12) to finish.

Le Point de Vue

Above the Colline du Château

Le Point de Vue is categorically the highest boozer in Nice. It’s just a simple hilltop café (although the €3 glasses of house rosé are exceptional) but perched at 93m above sea level, the panoramas across Nice are immense. Lazy sippers can ride the shamefully uncool petit-train from the Jardin Albert 1er. The ride terminates two tiers below the Colline du Château’s peak. The sun-kissed terrace of Le Point de Vue sits just above this terminus. A final level, reached by a dozen handsome stone steps, is suspended above the city – think 360° views of the snow-capped Alps and an occasional glimpse Calvi’s citadel in distant Corsica.

Out & About

4

After €4 crêpes, or a €5 Niçois platter that includes both snacks and wine, explore the Château park. Nice’s finest green space was created by the city’s House of Savoy overlords back in 1830. Mosaics, piazzas and shaded walkways abound. In 1943 the occupying Germans fortified the hill and dug tunnels to house barracks and armouries. Ironically, the entrance to this warren is beside the cliffside war memorial that overlooks Nice Port. In 2016 a host of events were inaugurated at the Colline du Château including a yoga festival in June, plus an electronic festival featuring Mark Ronson in August. by Tristan Rutherford 2016-2017 PEBBLES 

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Côte d’Azur Museum Passes, & how to use them

H

ere’s the good news. Nice boasts more museums than any other French city outside Paris. The bad news? A bewildering array of museum passes grant free access to sights at a city, regional and provincial level. (Think that’s complicated? Try paying tax here.)

Nice is blessed with enough cultural history to make any other European capital weep with envy. It helps that Matisse set up his easel on the Promenade des Anglais back in 1919, and was soon followed by Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy plus a dozen aspiring painters, all here to take in the scene. Today’s Musée Matisse, Musée Marc Chagall and Musée des Beaux-Arts fine arts museum are world class attractions. And there’s more. The modern art seeds sown by Matisse and his mates grew into a massive cultural movement. The MAMAC contemporary art museum and the kaleidoscopic Musée d'Art Naif are mere extensions of their artistic legacy.

It also helped that Nice has milked high-rollers for their money for a century. Queen Victoria, Tsar Nicholas II and Sir Winston Churchill railroaded in for seasons of masked balls and yacht sorties. Such prodigal exuberance is documented in the Musée Massena history museum. Moreover, this ostentatious palace that neighbours the Negresco was built with foreign funds allured by royal benefaction. Then as now, nouvelles richesses and aristocratic patronage went hand-in-hand. Whether you’re a penniless painter or a patron of the arts, these three museum passes offer a cultural sojourn for a song.

Nice Museum Pass

Cost: €10/2 days, €20/7 days. Buy in person at any Nice museum or online at nicetourisme.com. Best for: City-based culture vultures The deal: Completely free walk-in access to every museum detailed above. You'll need to sip several grand cafés for enough energy to see them all. But a lazy museum tour offers a fine geographical swoop through Nice's most elegant quartiers. Don’t miss: The Palais Lascaris. It's not big but it is clever: a former palatial home built by Nice's Genoese overlords in the middle of the Old Town. What to pack: A copy of Chasing Matisse by James Morgan, an author who follows the city’s adopted artist from Nice’s Old Town through Corsica and beyond. Downsides: The art-centric fun stops at the city limits.

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French Riviera Pass

Cost: €26/1 day, €38/2 days, €56/3 days. Buy online (frenchrivierapass.com) or in person at any Nice Tourist Office. Best for: Ardent sightseers who want shopping discounts and restaurant deals thrown in. The deal: Awesome in its scope, but only if you’re planning a one, two or three day cultural blitz during your alleged ‘holiday’. Big ticket items like Monaco's Musée Océanographique (normally €14), Nice's Open Top Bus (normally €22) and Cannes' boat trip to Ile St-Honorat (normally €16.50) are all gratis. If you already plan to visit these attractions, adding on a few other sights equals big savings.

What to pack: Adults with kids in tow should pair the Pass with a €35 Carte Isabelle, a one-day unlimited family rail card, available from any local train station. Downsides: The Pass’s highlights are scattered along the French Riviera. You’ll need a vial of what­ ever Lance Armstrong’s drinking to make it pay.

Cost: €45/3 days, €72/6 days. Buy online only (Côtedazur-card.com). Best for: Côte d’Azur visitors who plan to combine action-packed trips with beach recovery days in between. The deal: The brainchild of the Côte d’Azur Tourism Authority is the French Riviera Pass’ bitter rival. In order to trump its competitors, the Card was recently revamped to include 180 completely free activities including a coach trip to St Tropez (normally €48). It also includes almost every sight offered by the French Riviera Pass. Cleverly, you can use your three-day Côte d’Azur Card over a six-day period (or the six-day pass over 12 days), thereby avoiding cultural overload. The Card is big on experiential adventure. Think perfumemaking in Grasse (normally €12), Stand-up Paddleboarding off Cap Ferrat (normally €12) or paintballing in Fréjus (normally €18).

Out & About

Don’t miss: Best value is Nice's Mobilboard Segway tour, where a 30-minute ride usually costs €17. More culturally alluring is St Jean Cap Ferrat's Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (usually €13). This pink rococo palace looks ready to welcome Lady Gaga, and offers an endearing history lesson on the Riviera’s decadent past.

Côte d’Azur Card

Don’t miss: New for 2016 is this steal: a guided tour of the Côte d'Azur (including La Turbie, Monaco and Menton) that calls at the charming Italian town of San Remo. The usual price is €49. What to pack: A GoPro camera or an iPhone for an envious Instagram update. Downsides: You can’t hope to fit the Card’s 180 freebies, which range from summer vineyard tours to winter ski days, into a single trip. by Tristan Rutherford

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F

Skiing & Hiking

rom mid-December until the end of March, tourists can join the local community and take to the nearby slopes for the weekend or even just a day. An adult ski pass costs no more than €30. In summer too, the mountains can be well worth a visit.

Take a hike through tranquil meadows and forests where you can breathe in the air full of the scent of alpine flowers, admire the aweinspiring scenery and observe birds and animals in their natural habitat. The excellent bus service throughout the Alpes-Maritimes makes the

mountains easily accessible. If you want to mix up your winter city break or you’ve had enough of lying on the beach, a day’s outing or an overnight stay in the mountains can be just the ticket. Especially when that ticket costs €1 each way!

Isola 2000

www.isola2000.com Bus: Daily Santa Azur buses www.santa-azur.com Journey time: 2 hours each way. At 90 km from the coast, Isola is the closest ski resort to Nice, and a favourite for snowboarding. The 120 km of slopes are divided into 42 runs: 3 black, 11 red, 21 blue and 7 green. In the summer, as well as taking in a mountain walk, you can pick up tickets from the tourist office to try out activities such as riding, tennis, archery, and swimming, all located within walking distance of the main village.

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Auron

www.auron.com Bus: Daily Santa-Azur buses www.santa-azur.com Journey time:2 hours each way. Close to Isola, Auron is part of the Mercantour National Park and boasts over 50 km of cross-country pistes. The snow park includes a half-pipe, advanced tricks zone and dedicated snowboard club. The 135 km of slopes features 8 back runs, 16 red, 16 blue and 2 green. What’s more, if you’ve ever fancied dogsledging or snow-shoeing, this is the place to try it. When the snow has thawed, visitors can enjoy many walking and hiking trails around mountain lakes and pretty villages such as Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée.

Valberg

Out & About

www.valberg.com Bus: Daily buses from Nice centre and Nice Airport. Journey time: 2 hours each way. A great ski resort for beginners offering 90 km of slopes over 52 pistes. The snow park comes with a half-pipe, big air jump, ramps and an outdoor speaker system. Ice-climbing and paragliding are also available. In summer, all manner of outdoor activities are on offer including climbing, canyoning, rafting, potholing, abseiling and even bungee jumping.

Limone Piedmonte

www.limonepiemonte.it Train: Daily trains from Nice. Journey time: about 2 hours 30 minutes. It may be over the border, but this Italian resort is just as easy to access from Nice as the French ski stations. Here, the traditional mountain village is as much a pull as the slopes themselves, making this a great destination for skiers and non-skiers alike. There are 80 km of slopes (6 black, 23 red and 8 blue), an excellent beginner’s piste, a kinderpark and a Big Air Bag. In summer hiking, climbing, golf, mountain biking and rafting are all possible, or simply get supplies from one of the local shops and have a picnic by one of the mountain lakes. See our blog for more info on skiing www.nicepebblessales.com/blog/ 2016-2017 PEBBLES 

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T

Our Team’s Favourite Eateries

here’s no denying that tasting the local cuisine is a highlight of anyone’s trip to the French Riviera. Niçois cooking is a wonderful mix of Mediterranean specialities with a strong Italian influence.

From shopping in the daily markets to tasting the fresh, local produce, to some of the country’s best restaurants, Nice is a culinary paradise. When you first arrive in Nice it’s easy to be over-whelmed by the sheer quantity of restaurants. With possibly only a week to test the mouthwatering local cuisine; there’s no time to waste on a bad meal! If you want to find even more spots to grab a bite, visit our cuisine pages at www.nicepebbles.com and www.rivierapebbles.com for more detailed restaurant reviews and interesting facts about local cuisine.

For Fine Dining, Riviera Restaurants & more Nice restaurants that we have tried & tested over the years, see the Cuisine sections on our websites…

As ever, we love hearing about your dining experiences. This helps us give accurate recommendations to future guests. Please feel free to share your dining experiences with us. Contact us by email at info@nicepebbles.com or drop by and see us at our office.

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Matt’s pick: L’ybane

www.lybane-restaurant.com 1 rue de la Liberté  04 93 16 26 26 I’ve only eaten here a few times, but it’s always fast service with a smile, and contented locals and tourists inside and out. A Lebanese restaurant with a decent outside area can make a nice change when in Nice for a while.

Gayle’s pick: Oliviera www.oliviera.com 8 bis rue de Collet  04 93 13 06 45

I’ve been coming to this half restaurant/half shop for over a decade now. It remains my top favourite, and almost every time I dine, I hear voices from tables who murmur their delight at the flavours.

We usually take the standard meze menu of 13 small dishes (based on two sharing) and an assiette des frites, because they serve the best hot salty fries in Nice in my opinion. As well as the offerings of meat kebabs, falafel and hummus, I hear they do good fish dishes too. Don’t miss out on the tiramisu if you haven’t had enough in Nice already. They also offer a great wine list and a good choice of half bottles, which is rare in Nice. Dishes from 10 euros Opening hours: 12:00-23:00 Closed Sundays

The menu is simple, all made in the small open kitchen next to the dining area. There’s an olive oil to complement every dish from avocado, rabbit or lasagne. There’s even an olive oil for apple crumble. Nadim and Regina are lovely, charming and great hosts – both speaking fluent English as well as French. All the produce is as fresh as you can get – bought daily at the Cours Saleya market. We’ve never had a bad bottle of wine here, and it’s reasonably priced, even the half bottle. Dishes from 14 euros Opening hours: 12:30-14:00, 19:00-21:00 Closed Sundays and Mondays

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Micha’s pick: Ma Yucca www.mayucca.fr 26 rue de la Buffa 04 93 88 39 84

Ma Yucca offer an interesting Asian twist on French classics (magret de canard, filet de boeuf ) and it’s good to see that Japanese cuisine isn’t just sushi; particularly great if you want to try something new and different. It’s a very friendly family business (our waitress is the owner’s sister), and they speak French, English and Japanese.

Emily’s pick: Le Bocal

http://bit.ly/29TrtwF 7 Rue Alberti (less than a minutes’ walk from our offices so a great choice if you want to tie in a visit) 04 93 53 05 91 A small and intimate place with a few perfectly placed tables to catch a bit of sun. Le Bocal caters for the most important meal of the day in France: lunch. It is the favourite lunchtime treat for our team and although we can’t indulge in a siesta afterwards, you can!

Food is great both presentation and taste-wise (the dishes are almost too pretty to eat). We got a lovely amuse bouche made of caramelised carrots and parsnips with sesame seeds, their signature salad with seaweed and poached egg, magret de canard and filet de boeuf with an amazing ginger sauce on the side. The filet was done just right and practically melted in my mouth. If you love chocolate, then the fondant au chocolat won’t disappoint you (just be careful, as it comes very, very hot!) As for drinks, they have Japanese beer and a selection of French wine, mostly from Provence, plus some Japanese-inspired cocktails. It’s best to book in advance as it can get very full. Dishes from 12 euros Opening hours: 12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00 Closed Sundays and Tuesdays

Run by a small team the service is friendly and efficient and there is a good mix of vegetarian, meat and fish options to cater for everyone. At the time of writing, the menu included a hearty smoked mozzarella and tomato salad, a chicken supreme with a melt-in-the-mouth potato gratin, kefta kebab with Greek couscous salad and some deliciously fresh and enormous prawns. Plates from 12 euros Opening hours: Daily from 8.30 – 17.30

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Flora’s pick : Peixes restaurant http://bit.ly/29YFNpt 4 Rue de L'Opera 04 93 85 96 15

Just a minute from Place Massena, this newly opened restaurant is a must for the fish lovers! I love to come here as it's very rare to find a place where ingredients are carefully chosen from the local market.

Katie’s pick: Mangez-Moi www.restaurantmangezmoi.com 9 Rue Blacas 04 93 87 54 71

Mangez-Moi is a sweet little hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. People are lured in by the garden of flowers, orange trees, colourful seating and twinkling lights. The resident cockatiels Lily and Lola sing along to Buddy Holly on the stereo. Run by Parisian Martine and her husband Hugues, every dish is freshly prepared by Martine. The ingredients are locally sourced or grown in their garden. Hugues greets diners with a warm smile. He converses a little English with tourists and offers English menus to those with limited French. The gnocchi is fresh and the daube sauce is hearty. Plenty of crusty bread is available throughout the meal. The homemade vanilla ice cream is the most flavoursome ice cream you will find in Nice. The cheesecake with home-grown lemons is delicious and is definitely worth the extra pennies.

All dishes are simple but marvellous, the flavours mix in an unusual but perfect way. My absolute favourite is a ceviche of scallops with passion fruit and avocado cream - which is both colourful and incredibly tasty. On the menu you will mainly find different kinds of ceviche (typically made from fresh raw fish, citrus juice and spices). The plates are more quality than quantity so it’s best to come here for lunch, on a hot and sunny Niçoise day. You are very likely to have two dishes at least. No reservations are taken in advance so I’d recommend to go around 19h-20h to be able to sit outside. Dishes from 8 euros Opening hours: 12:00-22:00. Closed Sundays and Mondays

Keep everyone happy by ordering a carafe of wine each, providing around 3 small glasses for 10 euros, without splurging on a whole bottle which may not get finished. No dining experience at Mangez-Moi would be complete without sampling the house limoncello. Homemade with home-grown lemons, it is sweet, smooth and a real post-meal treat. Main dishes from 13 euros Opening hours: 09:30-21:00 Closed Sundays 2016-2017 PEBBLES 

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Rebecca’s pick: La Casa della Piadina www.facebook.com/ lacasadellapiadina 52 rue Gioffredo 04 22 09 58 55

Tina’s pick: Da Flavio http://bit.ly/2a0nKNv 4 Rue Massena 04 93 88 49 90

When I sit inside Da Flavio I feel like I am visiting a friend; the staff are so welcoming, and the food is fresh and simple. The wine and tapas is always a great combination! It’s situated in a great location, right at the beginning of the Pedestrian Zone (just across from the Mac make up shop). I know we’re in France but the best coffee for me is Italian, and here you get a real Italian coffee.

An absolutely fantastic lunchtime restaurant and favourite of the Pebbles team. We call it “Flatbread Friday” as our Friday lunch treat. If you’re looking for a bite to eat while in the Carré d’Or you must check it out. It’s a simple authentic Italian sandwich bar serving Piadina or Piada: a thin flatbread, originating from the Romagna region in Italy. The base is simple, made with white flour, olive oil, salt and water but there are almost one hundred different filling combinations to choose from all fresh ingredients. And if you don’t like what’s on the menu just ask – they can usually put together a custom sandwich for you!

I am quite banal with what I like to eat, but here I love the Croquet Monsieur- with smoked salmon, cream and cheese, it comes with a salad and French fries that are so good I have them without ketchup and mayonnaise. Dishes from 10 euros Opening hours: Daily 7:00-midnight I suggest heading over towards the end of lunch time as the queue shortens down. The prices are extremely reasonable, the food is delicious and the staff are warm and friendly - they’ll be sure to put a smile on your face. Always keep an eye out on the board for the daily specials for a tasty addition to the menu- my favourite is the Italian classic with Friarielli di Napoli, the famous frying pepper of Naples. If you’re having a lazy day – good news – thanks to the new Deliveroo app, you can get them delivered right to your doorstep. Flatbreads from 2 euros Opening hours: 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.

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Martin’s pick: Stuzzico http://bit.ly/2ae44IX 4 Rue Saint-Gaëtan 04 93 92 70 42

Paul & Klaske’s pick: Chez Palmyre

It might just look like a hole in the wall but it really is a whole lot more! Stuzzico’s is one of the best places to find Italian food in Nice and is perfectly located – just off Rue de la Préfecture – which you may or may not know, is home to many of the bars in Nice. So if you find yourself there and you’d like a quick bite before calling it a night, Stuzzico’s is the place for you!

http://bit.ly/2aflbv8 5 Rue Droite 04 93 85 72 32

When you are offered a 3 course meal for €18, how can you say no? Chez Palmyre is an absolute must when you’re in Nice. With a maximum capacity of 26 places, this restaurant is warm, homely and personal. Expect to share tables with other locals and indulge in beautiful, French cuisine. The menu changes weekly, with five choices for each course. During my last visit, I had the goat’s cheese and honey tartine followed by the lamb, which simply melted in your mouth, and then the peach clafoutis to finish. Not forgetting the freshly made crusty bread and pichet of rosé throughout (for just €7!). With there being just one chef, the restaurant is only open Monday – Friday and closed in May and August. I tried to book a table for a Friday night two weeks in advance and I couldn’t get in so I would definitely recommend being organised and booking in early, especially if you would like dinner service.

To say the serving size is generous is an understatement. You will not be left hungry! You can grab a succulent slice of freshly made pizza for €3.50 but if you fancy trying something new, go for a mouth-watering arancini ball (€4); an Italian speciality of stuffed rice balls, coated in bread crumbs, deep fried and filled with oozing mozzarella – just delicious. The staff are all native Italian’s with a love for their customers and providing them with good food. They even launch a pop-up bar in the summer months serving fresh mojitos (€6) and Aperol Spritz (€5) on request. Don’t miss out! Pizza slices from 3.50 euros Opening hours: Daily from 10:30 – late

So, if you are looking for a local, authentic dining experience away from tourists where you can practice a little French (or Franglais as we like to call it), there’s no better place. 3 course menu for 18 euros Opening hours: 12-13:30, 19:30-21:00 Closed Saturdays and Sundays

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Olivia’s pick: Olive & Artichaut www.oliveartichaut.com 6 Rue Sainte-Reparate 04 89 14 97 51

I booked this restaurant for my dad’s 50th birthday whilst my family were over to visit and all four of us had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The atmosphere was buzzing from start to finish and the aroma’s circulating the room were enough to make your mouth water.

Maggie’s pick: L’Ane Rouge www.anerougenice.com 7 Quai des Deux Emmanuels 04 93 89 49 63

If you’re looking for perfectly cooked fish, look no further. This restaurant is one of my favourites for a number of reasons: the chef, Michel Devillers, who never fails to produce new combinations and flavours, the presentation and the quality and freshness of the food. During my last visit, I had the stuffed zucchini flower with roasted scampi and a lemon sorbet followed by the John Dory fish in scaled potatoes with diced peppers, olives and anchovy. To finish, I had the Grand Marnier soufflé with chocolate sauce – speechless! Other dishes include a selection of their ‘fish of the day’ such as fillet of seabream and a selection of shellfish. Don’t worry if you’re not a big fish fan though, they also offer some lovely meat dishes such as beef tenderloin with potato gratin and sautéed chanterelles.

The menu is hand-written on a blackboard and brought personally to your table by a waiter who will translate it for you perfectly. The menu tends to change regularly depending on the seasons and local produce and there is always a large selection of specials offered. On this occasion, I had the most divine truffle risotto to start (which was actually a main course but they kindly made a starter portion for me) followed by the filet de boeuf and the mille-feuille to finish which was so light and delicate; the perfect end to a splendid meal. They also offer a lovely selection of fine French wine which complimented our meal throughout the evening and was topped up before you had even finished your glass by the most attentive waiters. At the end of our meal, the staff took a picture of us using an old Polaroid camera and the chef even wrote a message and signed it for us. I would certainly recommend booking this restaurant as it is only small and gets full very quickly. If you book early enough, you can even request to sit and see the chef cooking. Enjoy! Dishes from 10 euros Opening hours: 12:00-14:00, 19:30-22:00 Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Although fairly expensive, the price certainly reflects the quality here but do bear in mind the menu ‘gourmand’ (€39) which even includes little additional surprises from the chef throughout the meal – a great deal for a real treat. Bon appétit! Dishes from 18 euros Opening hours: 12:00-14:00, 19:30-22:00 Closed Wednesdays and Thursday lunch

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Katie Ann & Eva’s pick: Café des Fleurs www.lecafedesfleurs.com 5 Cours Saleya 04 93 62 31 33

Café des Fleurs is the ideal spot to eat lunch after a relaxing morning at the beach. You can either sit in the modern indoor area or outside by the Cours Saleya flower market, soaking up the lunch-time sun and watching the world go by.

Jan’s pick: Luna Rossa http://bit.ly/2agFWZ2 3 Rue Chauvain 04 93 85 55 66

One of the main reasons why this is my favourite is because of the food – freshly made French Mediterranean cuisine. Everything is homemade and the ingredients are all bought fresh every day from the local market. On our last visit, we both enjoyed the pasta with smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes and pesto which although sounds simple, was so light and flavourful – the perfect lunch.

Every time I am in Nice, I visit this small, friendly, no frills restaurant and I’m yet to be disappointed. It is perfectly situated off Boulevard Jean Jaures, just far enough away from the Old Town hustle and bustle. The prix fixe included a choice of two main courses; the first was a delicious medium rare roast beef with pommes rôtis and the second was fettucini aux champignons served in a cute iron skillet – it was certainly difficult to choose! As for the desserts, you could choose between a divine almond tart or a classic crème caramel – simple yet tasty; I can still remember the taste now! A generous glass of house wine was also included in the price. The staff are so welcoming and the service friendly and efficient. Although the menu is in French, the waiters dedicate their time to translate and explain it you. Every time I go, the restaurant is full and the atmosphere lively. On top of this, the prices are certainly reasonable, by Nice standards anyway! I would definitely recommend making a reservation.

Every time we go, we are delighted by the range of food on the menu, the generous portions and the reasonable prices – you can have the set menu for only €24! Not to mention the attentive staff who never let your wine glass go empty – what more can you ask for. Dishes from 8 euros Opening hours: Daily from 07:00-02:00

Dishes from 15 euros Opening hours: 12:00-14:00, 19:30-22:30 Closed Sunday and Monday

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So much more than a booking agency So much more than a room™

ENJOY peace of mind: ◆ Uniformity of standards across the whole portfolio ◆ A central guest reception, and luggage store ◆ Personal meet and greets by our trained staff ◆ Mid-stay cleans, extra linen, and help when you need it ◆ Maintenance team on call 7 days per week

You can’t get that from a booking agency

ENJOY apartment living: ◆ Cooking light meals, or even a roast dinner ◆ Oodles of space for real home living ◆ The experience of a proper home from home ◆ Option to return to the same property, or different as suits your lifestyle ◆ Privacy and flexibility whether you are travelling as a group or as an individual

You can’t get that from a hotel room 2016-2017 PEBBLES 

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T

Cooking Courses on the Côte d’Azur

Most cooking classes starts with a market tour. The colourfully photogenic chaos of Nice’s Marché Cours Saleya and Marché Libération, plus Cannes’ Marché Forville, serve to whet appetites for later. A chat with local producers, in the company of a French-speaking chef, gives aspiring cooks the chance to understand the seasonality of regional cuisine (think Provencal sheep in spring, or figs from Gard in late September). Plus the location specifics about the food you’ll soon scoff : including Cavaillon melons and Menton lemons. A Google search will bring up dozens of courses across the region to suit all budgets.

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In Antibes, France's former pastry champion Christian Cottard now runs weekly dessert classes (€60 for two hours, patisserie-cottardantibes.fr) at his downtown patisserie. While in deepest Provence, culinary celebrity Patricia Wells runs knockout Southern French cooking courses for knockout prices ($5,500 per week, patriciawells.com). These three hands-on cooking courses will allow you to compete with the Cours Saleya’s finest. Note that the Côte d’Azur’s additional courses on art, cuisine, language and much else besides are detailed on the Pebbles blog. by Tristan Rutherford

Photos on this spread by James Pouliot

aking a class on the Côte d’Azur allows you to experience local culture, then take it home with you for keeps – whether that’s learning to parlez like a Nicois or paint like Matisse. Learning to cook on the Côte d’A zur offers a chance to have your cake, and eat it too.

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Les Petits Farcis Who?

Rosa Jackson, a bilingual Canadian cookbook writer, has two decades of experience running French food tours.

Rosa knows everybody in Nice's culinary scene. These range from the septuagenarian salesman who forages for wild asparagus high above the city, to the Michelin-starred chefs that shop for under-the-counter cheeses at Marché Libération. Better still, she liaises with her clients beforehand to plan each aspiring chef’s perfect menu, be it for locally-landed sea bass or gluten-free stuffed pasta.

Why?

Foodies book online in advance for street food tours, day-long cooking classes or wine tastings in Nice’s offbeat caves. Guests may also specialise in macarons, vegetables, Provençal cooking and much else besides.

How?

When?

Rosa has a chockablock calendar of near daily events and classes, with plenty of last-minute availability.

Where?

Rosa just opened a brand new cooking atelier in Nice Old Town, a short walk from the Cours Saleya market.

The bottom line

Food tours start at €75, with classes from €80. petitsfarcis.com

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Christian P lumail Cooking Courses Who?

Michelin-starred superchef Christian Plumail, a man who recently hung up his apron at high-end bistro l'Univers.

It’s not every day you get a chance to cook with – and chat to – a Michelin heavyweight. Classes start with market purchases and wine buys near Christian’s Promenade du Paillon apartment. The action then moves upstairs to his capacious living room where a feast is prepared in front of your eyes. Cuisine is themed to suit: think fine wines, crustaceans or Italian fare.

Why?

Online payment for Christian’s food course calendar via credit card or PayPal is dead simple. Rather brilliantly, all classes can be filmed on request, and personal cameras are welcome.

When?

Weekly classes are the norm. Entirely English- or Frenchspeaking groups are preferred.

Where?

Christian’s funky apartment seats 10 diners with ease. Just don’t ask for ketchup.

The bottom line

Cooking lessons cost €80, a lesson including lunch or dinner at Christian’s apartment costs €100. christian-plumail.com

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Photos on this spread by James Pouliot & Tim McGuffog

How?

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Secrets de Cuisine Cédric Séguela, an ebullient young French chef who worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir au Quatre Saisons in Oxfordshire.

Who?

Cédric combines culinary professionalism with bags of fun. His restaurant-standard cooking courses are as popular with kitchen professionals (including many superyacht chefs) as they are with laugh-a-minute holidaymakers. Cédric’s team also offer Michelin kitchen experience as they teach pastry, cocktail and local cuisine courses.

Why?

Reservations can be made up to 24 hours in advance, with a minimum of four participants. Whether it's sushi, éclairs or Provençal wine tasting, contact Cédric's team as soon as you know your dates.

How?

When?

Search Cédric’s online calendar for lessons. Although courses are best planned by emailing him in advance.

Where?

An extraordinarily high-tech kitchen near Antibes that offers tasting spaces & contemporary kitchen equipment.

The bottom line

Two hour oenology or cocktail courses start at €54, with multiday cookery certificates from €1,250. All prices are per person. secretsdecuisine.fr

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Holidays

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Services For Our Guests

ere at Pebbles we pride ourselves on the service we offer our guests. We greatly appreciate the positive reviews written by past guests on various forums, including TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google reviews etc. We’re still chuffed to bits when we learn that many of our guests are previous patrons or found us by word of mouth. We’re here to make your holiday perfect, from your initial enquiry with us, until we sadly wave you off… till hopefully next time.

All our guests are VIPs. That’s Very Important Pebbles. Here’s how we strive to offer our guests the service they deserve:

Holidays

Initial enquiries through to booking with us: ◆ Detailed web pages on each apartment, including a page on what guests liked most, and also what they liked least ◆ Hundreds of impartial reviews on how previous guests found their rental property and our services ◆ Dedicated staff to answer your phone or email enquiries, 7 days a week ◆ Online booking system so you can book your holiday in minutes ◆ Packages to enhance your stay, including airport transfers and mid-stay cleans ◆ Insurance backed and licensed, so in these uncertain times you can be sure any monies you send to us are completely safe While you are here: ◆ A shop in central Nice – open 6 days a week – to help with any issues that may arise, assistance for guests faxing and printing, and to store luggage free of charge ◆ HQ in the UK open seven days a week until 8pm, and emergency helpline until midnight ◆ Early check-in and free storage of luggage during opening hours ◆ Personal Meet and Greet on arrival, including a personal tour of the rental property and details on the property and area ◆ Personal recommendations of restaurants and activities from our knowledgeable team ◆ Personal copy of the Pebbles Guide, local maps and area information ◆ Complimentary beach towel hire when towels picked up from shop ◆ Complimentary welcome pack and L’Occitane toiletries When you sadly leave us: ◆ Late check-out and free storage of luggage during opening hours ◆ Collection of loyalty points for future stays with us ◆ Choice of packages including airport transfers 2016-2017 PEBBLES

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Cognac

Revive in stylish bathrooms…

Majestic

Nightly rates from: Cataleya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £70 Cognac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £80 Pied a Mer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £85 Alsace Lorraine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 Majestic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £130

Cataleya

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Alsace Lorraine

Holidays

P ied a Mer

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Agatha

Succumb to a good night’s sleep…

Angelica

Nightly rates from: Agatha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £75 Avoca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £75 Sea Breeze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £80 Pastorelli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 Angelica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £100

Avoca

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Sea Breeze

Holidays

Pastorelli

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Bergerac

Prepare culinary feasts…

Poppy

Nightly rates from: Bergerac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £85 Poppy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £90 Valentina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 Palais . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £120 Manhattan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £225

Palais

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Manhattan

Holidays

Valentina

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La Fontaine

Vantage point balconies…

Raphaël

Nightly rates from: Quai D’azur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £75 Raphael . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £75 La Fontaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 7eme Ciel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £100 Esprit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £100

Esprit 50

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7eme Ciel

Quai D’azur

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La Coulee Verte

Couple’s romantic retreats…

Le Monastere

Nightly rates from: La Coulee Verte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mulberry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Le Monastere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Francois . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sinclair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

£60 £65 £65 £80 £80

Sinclair

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Francois

Holidays

Mulberry

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Bleu Marine

Dazzling sea views… Nightly rates from: Bleu Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £70 La Grande Vague . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 Sea Breeze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £80 Promenade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £115

La Grande Vague 54

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Sea Breeze

Holidays

Promenade

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V ia Guiglia

Peaceful terraces… Nightly rates from: Via Guiglia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 Jardin Pastorelli . . . . . . . . . . . . . £100 Sunset Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £100 Cathedrale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £115

Sunset Terrace

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Jardin Pastorelli

Holidays

Cathedrale

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Boucherie

Old Town charm…

Chocolat

Nightly rates from: Boucherie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £70 Chocolat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £70 Monastere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £70 Clochette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £95 La Belle Excuse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £115

Clochette

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La Monastere

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Holidays

La Belle Excuse

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Adele Hugo

Family apartments with style… Nightly rates from: Anatoly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £115 Dolce Acqua. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £115 Adele Hugo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £125 Serenity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £140

Anatoly

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Dolce Acqua

Holidays

Serenity

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Malhaussena

NEW to Pebbles… Nightly rates from: Palais Marie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £80 Malhaussena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £90 Lighthouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £90 Josephine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £90

Josephine

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Lighthouse

Holidays

Palais Marie

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Coccinelle

Mid-term rentals…

Vogue

Monthly rates from: Coccinelle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £850 Vogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £900 Abbeye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1,100 Olive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1,100 Normandy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1,100

Olive

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Abbeye

Holidays

Normandy

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Harmonie

Mid-term rentals… Monthly rates from: Harmonie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £800 Porto Rosso . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £950 Valery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1,100 Tournesol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1,200

Valery

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Porto Rosso

Holidays

Tournesol

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Investment

With the appealing mix of the Promenade, excellent year round climate, proximity to the airport, gastronomy and culture, it’s no surprise that this part of France attracts buyers from all over the world. There are easily over 20,000 apartments in Nice owned by non-doms. This high proportion of foreign investors means that the area is sheltered from the ebbs and flows of the national and international economy. Nice and the French Riviera offers a very stable investment, especially for those who see the investment as a pension pot, or a place earmarked for partial or full retirement as many of our clients do. At least 50% of our sales buyer clients wish to rent their property with us too. Not only taking the benefits of our Investor Advantage offer, but knowing that we will find them the right investment place, with the best rental yield. We are experts in sourcing property for our investment clients, and you can capitalise on

our decade of knowledge by working with our directors who set up the most established, and successful local rental agency, Pebbles Rentals. The French property market values its space largely by square metres. You can’t alter the size, but you can ensure you maximise the value of every square centimetre. We can help you do this by completely renovating the space or just furnishing to a high standard. We’ve seen dozens of fairly ordinary apartments transformed into fantastic little homes, with impressive rental returns to boot. The Nice Pebbles Sales team are home grown, and growing all the time.  +33.(0)4.89.05.06.60 Scan the code with your mobile phone to connect to our website

NICEPEBBLESSALES.COM 2016-2017 PEBBLES

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P

ebbles doesn’t just have charming apartments and homes to rent – you can buy with us too. Whether for investment, pleasure or a bit of both, perhaps you’re ready to take the plunge and buy your own piece of the French Riviera.

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Meet the Sales & Investments Team Gayle’s view What do you think clients need to know for the coming year? The Loi Alur. This is a major piece of legislation that impacts the sale and rental of property right across France. We have blogged about it in detail on our websites. Anyone buying or selling should take a look at the website blog. Sadly, this legislation is slowing down sales transactions because the notaires now have 50% more work to do prior to the compromis de vente being signed – this is work that was previously done between the signing of the compromis and acte de vente. It is good news for buyers though, they are more protected and gain more knowledge on what they are buying than before. The legislation gets a better grip on the holiday rental industry too, reaping in “tourist tax” from the guests who come and use holiday rentals and plough these funds back into the city. The funds being ploughed into Nice makes for a fabulous investment for coming years.

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The funds being ploughed into Nice makes for a fabulous investment for coming years

Matts’ view What’s the best advice you can give to a client who is looking to invest? Be aware of what rental guests want and put personal preferences aside if buying mainly for investment. There are certain things that guests consistently want, like air-conditioning (where possible). If you are relying on rental income it can pay to have sorted out a mortgage or finances before you are ready to make offers. You can often negotiate on the sale price if you have your mortgage in principle. A cash buy will put you ahead if there is another interested party. But just come and see us, and we’ll find you the best out there for your budget.

PEBBLES 2016-2017

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Where are you from? What brought you to Nice? Emily: Manchester, I only came to Nice for a holiday but I’ve never been able to leave. I love the Mediterranean lifestyle. Natalie: New Zealand. I fell in love with the French Riviera five years ago when I was on vacation. I love the sun, sea and food. Jeff: Tahiti - I decided to move here as I’ve always lived in the southern hemisphere and wanted to explore a new part of the world. Paul: The Netherlands - My wife Klaske and I moved to Nice for the adventure. The location is just perfect! Everything is right on your doorstep.

What drew you to the real estate industry? Jonathan: It keeps me on my toes - every day is different with new challenges. I’m a people pleaser and love to put clients a step closer to their goals. Getting to use my French on a daily basis is an added bonus. Martin: I love helping people find their place in the sun - it gives me satisfaction sharing my knowledge of the region. Klaske

What do you think makes Pebbles unique? Paul: The amount of languages our team speaks. Whether you speak English, French, Dutch, Russian, Bulgarian, Maori or German - there is someone here to help you. Emily: How we are always adapting and looking to improve how the industry works.

Investment

Klaske: Amsterdam - I often visited Nice for a long weekend. Life is much less stressful than in the Netherlands so I quit my job in Amsterdam to relocate here with my husband Paul.

Natalie: We genuinely care! It’s all about listening to our clients’ needs and going the extra mile to find their perfect property. Klaske: We know that for a lot of our clients this is the first time they have bought in France and this brings with it not just a new country, but a new culture and way of doing things. Our team has total knowledge of the market and culture, so we can translate and guide you through every step of the process.

Finding a property you can rent all year depends a lot on a good location, the centre of Nice provides this

2016-2017 PEBBLES

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We can’t imagine a better time to buy What’s your favourite event that takes place on the Riviera? Martin: I am in love with sports, so for me it is F1. The Monte Carlo retro rally also gives the Riviera a nice charm… these beautiful cars can’t look better than when cruising the streets of Villefranche. Paul & Klaske

Emily: The Crossover festival. During May-June DJ’s take over various places in and around Nice.

What is your most memorable day/funniest moment at Pebbles so far? Paul: Closing my first deal after a very hardfought negotiation, in the end we had a happy buyer and seller! Klaske: Finding a property for a client which was literally out of one of her dreams.

Competition is fierce, apartments must stand out and with our experience we’ll help you find that perfect property Describe your perfect day off in Nice. Rebecca: Soaking up the sun on the beach with a cocktail, or skating on the indoor ice rink. Emily: Getting up early and doing some yoga, followed by a swim in the Mediterranean. Then I would go out for lunch, with local wine and cheese, before relaxing on the beach until sunset.

Emily, Owner Manager

What do you think clients need to know for the coming year? Jeff: The new airport-port tram line in Nice. This is creating some short term disruption for long term gain. Rebecca: This is a great year to invest in Nice, our Mayor is making the city more attractive and functional. It’s already a beautiful city, but it gets better every year!

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What’s your favourite aspect of the Mediterranean lifestyle? Martin: The great variety of nature and the perfect cocktail of history and culture. I can’t think of a better year round destination than Nice. Emily: That everyone is always outside, whether that is with food and wine, or outdoor sports. I love that you can go swimming every day in the summer. Jeff: Being able to finish work with the sun still in the sky. Rebecca: The alfresco wining and dining. Klaske: Taking time to enjoy the day. We are in one of the best places in the world, and most people realise that. I think it is healthy to stop and enjoy the moment. It gives you energy and puts a smile on your face

Come in and ask us for more information about buying, renovating, or renting your property. We can provide you with facts & figures of what works and what doesn’t. What’s the best advice you can give to a client who is looking to invest? Klaske: Finding a property you can rent all year depends a lot on a good location, the centre of Nice provides this Paul: Know what the purpose is for your property. Is it a second home, an investment or are you looking for a mix of both. This highly influences the location where you want to look, or shouldn’t be looking. Emily: In today’s market it is worth putting in a little more in order to reap the rewards. There are currently over 14,000 rental properties available on the Riviera and this has doubled over past 2 years. Competition is fierce, apartments must stand out and with our experience we’ll help you find that perfect property.

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Whether buying for investment, pleasure or a bit of both… Buy on the French Riviera and live like a local: ◆◆Bakeries, bars, shops and restaurants on your doorstep ◆◆Transport infrastructure for enjoying Monaco, Antibes and Provence ◆◆Sip wine, go down to the beach, walk along the Prom at dusk Buy on the French Riviera and enjoy peace of mind: ◆◆Sophisticated buying process with English-speaking lawyers ◆◆A fluid asset: our constant stream of investor buyers means it’s easy to sell when the time is right for you Buy on the French Riviera and watch your revenue stream in: ◆◆Cover running costs by renting out your apartment whenever you’re not enjoying it ◆◆Properties can generate from 10,000 – 50,000 euros NET annually Buy on the French Riviera with Pebbles & join hundreds of happy owners: ◆◆You can trust us to maintain your property taking all the stress out of overseas ownership ◆◆Use your property just like a guest & we’ll take care of all the housekeeping

…PEBBLES can guide you to your perfect property

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Pebbles Buyer’s, Owner’s & Seller’s Guides

Want a hard copy? Ask us to post you complimentary copies, or you can pick one up from our offices in Central Nice.

2016-2017 PEBBLES

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P

ebbles: A one stop shop for all your property needs in Nice, and beyond. Want to know more? As well as our Rentals and Sales Blogs, you can download our information packs on our sites.

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Investment Secret Switches

H

ave you stayed in one of our apartments that have secretly switched owners? Our Owners who bought in the early noughties (time goes fast) may feel it is time to cash in on their investment and pass the baton along. With Pebbles, this couldn’t be any simpler and like most things easy, it is a win-win situation for buyers, sellers and guests alike. That’s why Pebbles is growing a firm reputation as a one-stop shop for all property needs in Nice. It simply makes sense.

“An already impressive booking calendar adds value to a purchase”

Camelia

Switched March 2016

From

£80 PER NIGHT

“A fast track investment with favourable reviews, professional photos and management in place”

Marino

Switched March 2016

From

£65 PER NIGHT

“Enjoy a hassle free transaction from offer to completion” 76

PEBBLES 2016-2017

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Sea V iew

Switched September 2016

From

£65 PER NIGHT

“Turnkey solutions with a proven track record”

La Belle Excuse From

£115 PER NIGHT

“A holiday rental with an established reputation is highly valuable”

Aurora

Investment

Switched June 2016

Switched August 2016

From

£50 PER NIGHT

“Business as usual throughout the sales process for all involved” ◆ Many investor buyer clients are looking for a turnkey investment. ◆ Some of our Seller clients who weren’t previously renting, or renting unsuccessfully, join us to rent and sell at the same time. ◆ We specialise in co-ordinating a rental and sale property at the same time. ◆ Thinking of selling, but in no rush to sell, and want to consider doing both, please get in touch.

2016-2017 PEBBLES

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F

Legal SOS

rance might think that paper makes the world go round, but it leaves us in a spin most of the time. We’ve found the headache lessened a little by our new friend Emmanuelle Bardon. We wished we’d found her sooner. Knowing it’s nice to share, we thought our fellow ex-pats and owners might want to know she’s around too. Using her 15 years of expertise and near-faultless English, Emmanuelle can help you with some of the difficult legalities that can come with owning a property in France. With over 180 properties to manage, and often described as the biggest hotel in Nice, it’s not surprising that our weekly maintenance meeting can throw up all manners of syndic issues, often involving AGMs, neighbours and even building regulations. Living in Nice full time or part time means it can sometimes be difficult to navigate between the language barrier and culture to ensure smooth ownership.

The most common property problem Emmanuelle deals with is leaks occurring in communal areas but affecting private areas. As lots of buildings are old in France, this is often a subject of dispute of who is responsible for what. Another common issue is problems with air-conditioning units and even Jacuzzi’s being installed without the permission of the syndic, which can lead to jealous neighbours and legal battles.

When certain situations have been beyond our capabilities, we’re delighted to have found our now tried and tested local lawyer Emmanuelle Bardon whose services have been used by Pebbles and some of our clients, all with glowing reviews.

Over the years she has helped many expats from all over the world with their property problems and more. Emmanuelle can help with many stressful issues ranging from divorce settlements to syndic and property problems, often managing the case while her clients are abroad via email and conference calls in the hope of limiting the disruption that these unfortunate issues can have on our daily lives. A quality she doesn’t always manage to apply to herself, “you have to keep a certain distance from stressful cases as it can be a very absorbing job, handling conflicts and emotions. It’s complicated but I love my profession and I love that it’s different every day.”

Emmanuelle set up her practice on the Côte d’Azur 15 years ago and around 10 years later started honing it towards the needs of the English speaking community. Being well-travelled and near-bilingual, this was a natural and easy progression for her business, as well as an opportunity to merge her knowledge of the law with her language skills.

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It’s clear that Emmanuelle is very passionate about her profession and has a strong desire to provide an affordable, approachable and friendly face to the intimidating practice of law. With this in mind, she has created a very convenient question-andanswer section to her website, where, for the price of an apero, you can get her professional opinion, within 48 hours, on any issue that you feel may require a lawyer – followed up by a free in-house consultation if necessary. Freeing up your time for the more important things in life, like, well… an apero! “My idea is for people to be independent at a low cost, especially when they are unsure if they need to involve a legal professional. Perhaps they have just come out of their AGM where there was a disagreement between owners and they would like a legal perspective – for whatever reason it may be, I hope that people will then find this service useful.”

Her desire to travel was how Emmanuelle came to perfect her English, which, despite her very modest attitude, is more than capable of helping her English speaking clients. So, apart from a lovely conversation or surfing tips, why else might you need a helping hand from Emmanuelle? Is there anything we, as expats and property owners, should be looking out for in the near future, perhaps regarding the Loi Alur? “Although it’s very important to keep a close eye on legal developments and submit all the necessary paperwork, I don’t believe the Loi Alur will last forever – it will certainly change with the next government, whatever that will be! This is a problem we have here in France, we seem to find it very difficult to stick to certain laws, as every new government wants to make their own or drastically modify the existing.” Finally, after the news of the UK’s departure from Europe, what’s a lawyer’s opinion on the news? Put quite simply “France and England will always be friends.” We couldn’t agree more, and we’re happy to have added Emmanuelle to our list of a friend we can call on when in need.

As a “bordelaise” Emmanuelle often came to the Côte d’Azur as a young girl to visit her father’s family in Cannes, and after finishing her studies here in Nice she knew that this was where she wanted to settle. Now with a growing legal practice and young son, finding time for herself

Investment

On Emmanuelle’s website there are tried and tested templates of official letters to social services, judges and even a long term rental contract template. Whilst many templates are available on-line, as Emmanuelle explains “the versions on my website have been read and verified by myself and they have my name and reputation behind them, they are templates you can be legally sure of.” As an extra personal touch each of these documents come with an explanation from Emmanuelle herself on how to use the template correctly.

and family isn’t easy but when she can she loves to travel, ski and surf - although she says she has a lot of progress to make on a board!

Bardon Avocat 1 Rue de Lycée, 06000 Nice Tél: 04 93 85 57 08 Fax: 04 93 62 96 83 www.bardon-avocat.com contact@bardon-avocat.com

How can Emmanuelle help you? ◆◆Quick French legal advice in almost-perfect English ◆◆Templates of French legal documents with clear explanations in English ◆◆Online Q&A service ◆◆15 years of French legal experience

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PEBBLES 2016-2017

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So much more than a booking agency So much more than a room™

Let us guide you in choosing your perfect property for investment, pleasure or perhaps a bit of both Certificate of Excellence

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+44 (0)161 471 1000 | info@nicepebbles.com nicepebbles.com | nicepebblessales.com | rivierapebbles.com Pebbles Sales - 37 rue de L'Hotel des Postes, Nice | Pebbles Rentals - 20 rue de L’Hotel des Postes, Nice | Pebbles HQ - 1 Norfolk Street, Glossop, Derbyshire

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Pebbles Guide 6th Edition