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GOURMET Three Michelin stars for Mirazur

MONACO Venturi Motors: Pioneering motorsport

MOUANS-SARTOUX Leading the way in sustainable agriculture

REAL ESTATE SPECIAL Is 2019 a buyer’s market?

RIVIERA see more, do more, know more

# 183

MARCH / APRIL 2019 4,90 € THE














We've made it through another glorious winter and now Spring is upon us. There is one very looming question on the minds of local Brits: What will befall after 29 March? We’ve asked a local expert for practical tips on getting your paperwork sorted (p. 12) no matter what the outcome--deal or no deal. This issue has been a real pleasure to put together, as two stories are dear to my heart. Passionate about the environment and organic, local ingredients, I had the pleasure to research two stories that optimise community-centred agriculture and innovation--both in Pays de Grasse. Starting with a new artisan gin distilled in Grasse (p. 14) and on to Mouans-Sartoux where the mayor has transformed the school lunch system and created an entire generation of healthconscious children happy to eat vegetables (p. 16). Electric cars are in line with helping the environment, and Venturi Motors in Monaco is revving up the Formula E season with their new ‘Dream Team’ featuring Scottish racer Susie Wolff as Team Principle (p. 24). Our Real Estate special takes a big-picture look at the local

market, then dives into specifics of like buying a home at a young age (p. 35), the new Élan Act of RE laws (p. 36) and selling your home as a retirement option with a viager contract (p. 38). Commercial real estate is booming in Nice and Sophia, we look at some new projects in the region, including Mougins and the stunning new properties in Monaco. The world lost some very iconic personalities recently: Hotel Negresco’s owner, Jeanne Augier and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. We give you a peek inside of the art collection of Madame Augier (p. 50) and look at the Karl Lagerfeld’s longtime influence in the Côte d’Azur. In our gourmet section, we spotlight local rock-star chef, Mauro Colagreco who made waves this year with his third Michelin star for Mirazur (p. 60). We discovered a dream café for Californians in Nice (p. 62) and perhaps the best pizza in Cannes ( p. 64). Our golf expert is back with a great synopsis of Opio Valbonne (p. 68) and spring welcomes the start of the sports season with the Rolex Masters in Monaco (p. 69). It’s a packed issue, so get reading!










Nicole Ruskell (editor) discovered her passion for journalism and its ability to connect people while working as the editorial director for academic journals. She has a Masters degree in journalism and over 10 years’ experience in publishing. The California native has worked throughout the French Riviera and Liguria, and is committed to well-being and organic principles. Bich Lecourt (managing director) was born in Antibes. Since completing her PhD in Economics, she has worked in Sophia Antipolis so is well-acquainted with the business ecosystem and atmosphere of the French Riviera. From architecture to interior design and décor, Bich likes discovering new parts of the region and enjoying the quintessential Côte d’Azur lifestyle. Petra Hall (founder) established the newspaper Riviera-Côte d’Azur Zeitung (now RivieraZeit) in German 26 years ago. It was followed by The Riviera Times, a magazine that has blossomed into Riviera Insider, in 2003. Her goal was always to provide readers with exciting, informative and unique insights written by professional mother-tongue journalists. She has become an institution in the south of France and Monaco's media landscape in her own right. Carole Hébert (secretary) is the heart and soul of the team. Besides dealing with accounting, subscription management and reader concerns, this native of northern France has a knack with numbers and always ensures everything in the office is ticking over perfectly.

Vincent Artus (art director) has a gift for transforming visions and ideas into reality. The Niçois creative talent has as a penchant for clean lines and playing with white space for optimum effect and has brought a fresh, stylish look to our publication. The multi-talented creative is also a photographer and videographer. Françoise Muller (sales & marketing) is originally from Dijon, but has been living and working on the Côte d'Azur since 1993. For 14 years, she has thrived on her work in the communications and marketing industry, and is now an enthusiastic member of our team. Her hobbies include literature and sports. Dominique Freulon (events & distribution), who was born in Paris and has been living on the Côte d'Azur for 15 years, puts maximum energy and dynamism into working in our marketing department. She is a true 'people person' and has always been an admirer of our magazines. Her hobbies are travelling in faraway countries and literature. Patrice Saint-Léger (sales & marketing) has been working in the communications sector for more than ten years. After studying business administration and entrepreneurship, our Cannes-born publicist discovered his passion in the advertising business. During his free time, his interests lie in sports and nature. Daniel Naro (sales & marketing) nearly became a professional footballer in his northern French home of Metz. Plan B was the insurance industry, but 25 years later, he sought the sun and found it on the Côte d'Azur. After re-launching his career in the media, he recently joined the professional Riviera Press team. MARCH / APRIL 2019




SPECIAL Real estate An 18-page dossier


Cover A beautiful property listed by Micheal Zingraf Agence Cannes Croisette : +33 (0)4 93 39 77 77

© Michaël Zingraf Christie’s International Real Estate

News from the region


Pays de Grasse 44°N: Gin imagined and distilled in Grasse


Mouans-Sartoux: The little town that could


Karl Lagerfeld Monaco looses a great friend



What is a viager contract?


Commercial Real Estate

44 Events

Art & Culture

A cultured Spring

Jeanne Augier’s Negresco



Tempe a Pailla: Eileen Gray’s lesser-known home

Gourmet Three stars for Mirazur



Unknown Monaco


Venturi: Pioneering motorsport

Golf: Valbonne Opio





Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

If these walls could talk


Business & Finance Sophia Antipolis turns 50


Vertech: Keeping companies clean


The Sohn Investment conference in Monaco


Community Happy Birthday Valbonne!

77 © Irina Markova / Shutterstock.com

Issue #183


Real Estate made easy




Côte d’Azur France THE BRAND TAKES OFF

In 2018, the Tourism Board of the Côte d’Azur launched a collection of local products under their own label, ‘Côte d’Azur France’. The collection started with 12 companies and 142 products, with the expressed goal of improving the visibility and sales of local artisan products, using the style and worldwide recognition of the South of France. The venture proved immensely successful and the label has grown to include many more of our favourite products. The simple blue branding can be found on many of our well-known products, such as Fragonard, Florian Confiserie, Huilerie St Michel, and more. This iconic branding is attractive for hotels and gift shops and the products make great parting gifts for visitors. For 2019, they have launched an online boutique with individual products and gift hampers, available to anyone in the world. This brilliant marketing strategy helps artisans have more visibility on a global scale. Check out the new online catalogue to see if you know all the wonderful products our region has to offer. www.boutique-cotedazurfrance.fr !


We’ve got the scoop on the hottest new product to hit the region. 44°N is the new luxury artisan gin being produced in Grasse using the best ingredients the city has to offer. The best part is what goes into each bottle: Rose, verbena, jasmine, lavender, mimosa… it’s a celebration of local terroir. Comte de Grasse is a start-up, it’s innovative, it’s honouring Grasse heritage, it’s remarkably delicious and it’s a great story. Read all about it on page 14. !



A few new shops in the Polygone Riviera are sure to please people of all ages! You may have already seen the new Thai food chain Pitaya which opened late 2018, but there are more openings creating a buzz. For those looking for more clothes, ZARA is knocking through walls to expand their current shop which is good news for those who brazen the crowds just to enter. The Women’s clothing line Stradivarius is opening a new 700 square metre shop offering ever more choices for a new frock. After you’ve adorned yourself with new clothes, you can head to Arts Shop Gallery to find something to adorn your home. The new gallery is filled with paintings, sculptures and more and you can even book an appointment with a design specialist to find the perfect piece. The most exciting new arrival to Polygone? The first Haribo shop in the Alpes-Maritimes! Located a few doors down from the cinema, the boutique offers 138 square metres of colourful, yummy candies, you can buy by the kilo. Mix and match from your favourites, or try some new ones. It is sure to be fun for your child (or your inner child). !





Early February marked the beginning of the very ambitious project for the new bridge in Genoa. Four months after the dramatic collapse of the ailing cement bridge, demolition of the remaining pieces began with the joint effort of Fincantieri and Salini-Impregilo. The government has been adamant about replacing the bridge in record time while assuring the new bridge is safe, well-built and will last for centuries. The goal is to complete construction 2019 and be in operation by April 2020. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was present on 8 February for the first day of demolition. He stated: "We had committed ourselves to ensure that this reconstruction would take place by 2019: we can trust that the bridge will be up and running by the end of the year. We will have to wait until the first months of 2020 for the inauguration". To meet this tight deadline, demolition and reconstruction will take place simultaneously, with construction beginning on 31 March, as the final remains are still being cleared. Several architects presented projects for the new bridge, but the smooth ‘ribbon’ design of Renzo Piano won the bid. He used elements of ships in the design and included 43 lamp posts, one for each of the victims from the Morandi bridge collapse. The world-famous architect is originally from Genoa and not only encourages reconstruction of the bridge, but also the area of the Polcevera viaduct, to transform the industrial residential zone into a more liveable space. !

© Igorstevanovic / Shutterstock.com

Cannes buses go contactless KISS THE OLD TICKETS GOODBYE

© Alessio Sbarbaro

The ‘Palm Bus’ public transport network of the Cannes Pays de Lérins urban community announced its changes for this year in order to simplify the lives of regular and occasional travellers, but also those of the drivers. The new features will be implemented in three stages; the first was launched on 28 January, with three new transport tickets: thermal paper ticket, QR code and two contactless cards. The second stage, from 4 March, will offer the purchase of an eticket by telephone and finally, the last stage will feature contactless payment by credit card. The first in France, Cannes buses will be fitted with the payment by credit card machines by the end of 2019, offering the easiest purchase of tickets to tourists and occasional visitors. For more information on these changes and the new terms and conditions, you can visit the website, or one of the three Palm Bus sales offices. www.palmbus.fr MARCH / APRIL 2019





S H O W S ! Jazz á Juan The 59th Jazz á Juan festival is taking place from 12 to 21 July. They have already booked some top acts, make sure get your spot before they’re sold out.


She is one of the greatest and most beautiful jazz performers and has won two Grammy Awards, nine Juno Awards and so many of her albums have gone gold and platinum. Do not miss the chance to see this incredibly versatile, modern yet traditional jazz artist.

© DR

JAMIROQUAI, 18 JULY Performing from his latest album, Automaton, Jamiroquai questions modernity and technology whilst staying true to his original sounds of jazz and disco

and some funky dancing. This album blends more techno and futuristic funk than previous ones. ! www.jazzajuan.com

© D.R.

Piaf! Le Spectacle Performed by Anne Carrere, it is the biggest French success abroad in recent years. Over 300 performances have delighted 1 million spectators in over 33 countries and now will be coming to Nice. Under the musical direction of György G. Rath and artistic direction of Gil Marsalla, the symMARCH / APRIL 2019

phonic orchestra and piano arrangements will be performed by Nobuyuki Nakajimac and the accordion by Guy Galliano. Opéra de Nice 14, 15 & 16 June, 2019. ! www.opera-nice.org




The Gilets Jaunes



On November 17, over 300,000 “gilets jaunes” spontaneously organised themselves into a protest movement, blocking roads and roundabouts to demonstrate against the introduction of fuel tax increases. It was “Act 1” of the crisis. Social discontent then quickly morphed into a wider demonstration of anger and frustration over austerity measures, social injustice and against a ruling class seen as out-of-touch with ordinary citizens. Three months after the emergence of the movement, the ‘Yellow Vests’ are still in the news.After four weeks of virulent national protest and what resembled urban riots, in Paris and other major towns, President Macron finally responded to the crisis by repealing the unpopular diesel tax and by promising other reforms, including increasing the minimum wage by 100 euros a month, freezing energy costs in 2019 and some tax cuts for the less well-off. However, critics in the movement voiced scepticism about his sincerity and the intention of the government to apply the promised changes. Mistrust towards political institutions seemed to be deeprooted and demonstrators continued to take to the streets. President Macron’s second attempt to defuse the gilets jaunes crisis called for a 2-month “grand debat”. This © Birdog Vasile-Radu / Shutterstock.com open debate began in January 2019 and featured online contributions to the debate and public meetings in town halls across the country. It focused on key governance issues: ecological transition, tax and public expenditure, democracy and citizenship and the organisation of Government and public services. In theory, the conclusions drawn after the debate will give direction to the government for the second half of President Macron’s mandate. Even though the demonstrations did decrease in size and some people were satisfied with the promise of a meaningful debate, a majority of gilets jaunes remained unhappy. Weekly marches continued in Paris, many ending in chaos and fiery stand-offs between protesters and the police. Without an organised structure, political affiliation or central leadership, the movement cuts across age, job and region. The only unifying trait is socio-economic; the majority of protesters from the working and middle classes, most of whom had never been involved in any protest before. Many believe the Yellow Vest movement seriously damaged the public image of Macron and his government.

Unprecedented violence

The violence of gilet jaune crisis has been unusually intense both from the protesters and the police. Since the first protest on November 17, more than 2,000 demonstrators and police officers have been injured during clashes. A dozen people have reportedly been killed, mostly hit by vehicles while trying to block the roads. To dispel rioters, security forces deployed typical tear gas and water cannons, but they also used grenades and Flash Ball riot control guns that project 40-mm semi-rigid rubber balls at a speed of 100 m/s. These have been blamed for dozens of serious injuries. Media have reported at least 15 people have been partially blinded and several hundred left with serious injuries. MARCH / APRIL 2019

On 25 January, during “Act 11,” Jérôme Rodrigues, a high-profile member of the movement, was seriously injured in the eye at Place de la Bastille, allegedly by a “flash-ball” fired by a police officer. On 9 February, during “Act 13”, tensions mounted again in Paris and one protester had 4 fingers blown off by a grenade. To curb violent street demonstrations and toughen punishments, the National Assembly overwhelmingly approved an ‘anti-casseurs’ (antiwreckers) law on 5 February. This law has been criticized by some human rights groups and even some of Macron’s own MPs, who see it as an attack on civil liberties. On 14 February, a group of UN human rights experts declared that the right to protest in France had been “disproportionately curtailed” and that many injuries seemed to have “been caused by disproportionate use of so-called ‘non-lethal’ weapons like grenades and defensive bullets or ‘flash balls’. The UN experts also expressed deep concerns over measures introduced in new law that were “not in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which France is a Party”.

A movement in decline

When the Yellow Vests first took to the streets, they were supported by an overwhelming majority of French citizens, but after three months of unrest and riots, the tide appears to be turning. The official figures, usually contested by the protesters, indicate that the number of people demonstrating has been falling over the weeks. A counter-protest on 27 January, named ‘foulards rouges’ (red scarves) gathered some 10,000 people in Paris in a march against the outbreaks of violence on politicians and journalists and in defence of republican values. By mid-February, a poll showed that the majority (58 per cent) of those questioned, wanted the weekend protests to stop. There are signs that the movement is stalling. Roundabout and toll blockades have all vanished and the number of people demonstrating keeps falling, according to France’s interior ministry. In addition, some highly publicised disagreements between the movement’s spokespeople and the emergence of anti-Semitic behaviour by a minority of protesters, have undoubtedly endangered the movement’s momentum. The Gilets Jaunes crisis is at a crossroads, but predictions on its demise remain hazardous. The move-ment seemed to came out of nowhere and as Giving us a French perspective, the long as its underlying concerns native Azurenne has a Master in remain unanswered, it could English Language and Civilisation quickly return to an intersection and is the communications officer near you. ! in the ICT standardization sector in Sophia Antipolis.





Countdown to Brexit As we face the final withdrawal date, our political columnist reflects on the current political milieu and shares his opinion on the state of modern democracy. AS DEMOCRACY CRUMBLES…

At least the headline-writers are having a Britain is far from alone. The system in many Western countries is good time—and not just in Europe. Some in crisis in the era of “fake news,” that is, the era of cyber-subversion examples from American media: when a damaging rumour planted on social networks quickly gains ‘Fool Britannia’ (New York Review of currency and is believed by many. Some are more skilled than others Books) at doing the planting, buffeting traditional politics. ‘The Messier Brexit Gets, the Better Europe In Britain, the 2016 referendum plunged the country into protracted Looks’ (New York Times) political chaos after the “Brexit” camp won. Alongside laments that ‘The Collective Madness Behind Britain’s referendums were a risky form of consultation that should have no Latest Brexit Plan’ (Washington Post) place in a long-established parliamentary system came claims that ‘Had Enough of Brexit? How About 10 the Leave camp was shamelessly dishonest on social networks. More Years of it?’ (Bloomberg) In the United States, the election of Donald Trump the same year is These headlines appeared in the week Prime alleged to have been aided by internet Minister Theresa May cobbled together a rare, if interference by no less a country than feeble, parliamentary success, obtaining a halfRussia. These charges are currently under hearted vote authorising her to return to investigation by the special counsel, Robert Brussels for new talks on her deal to leave the Mueller. European Union, set for 29 March. France has been jolted since November by The only problem was that the rest of the EU a grass-roots revolt of the “gilets jaunes,” had already told her quite firmly that there or “yellow vests,” people blocking road could be no more negotiations and that it was junctions throughout the country and not Brussels’ job to help mend the fractured complaining that ever higher taxes make it British political scene. The only glimmer of hope hard to make ends meet. was constant speculation that the leaving date Protests turned violent as the participants could be postponed to allow extra time to find called for a different sort of democracy, a way of exiting with a deal governing future with a proposed citizen-initiated trade and, crucially, keeping an open border – referendum taking centre-stage. The and peace – between Northern Ireland and the participants, like many Trump or Brexit Irish Republic. supporters, are low earners outside the big May suggested she could win over some cities disillusioned with the establishment. members of the opposition Labour Party in Far-right and far-left parties are jostling to Paris-based Julian Nundy, has been future House of Commons votes by promising influence the movement. a journalist for more than 40 years, cash for some Labour-held constituencies, a These developments coincided with a rise on staff at Reuters, Newsweek, the tactic slammed as unashamed bribery by in “populism,” a political approach to appeal International Herald Tribune, The some senior Labour figures. In the meantime, to ordinary citizens who feel neglected. Independent and Bloomberg News there were clear signs that both the ruling Detractors say that populist arguments are and as a correspondent in Moscow, Conservative Party and Labour could split over simplistic, feeding dangerous prejudices. Paris, Brussels, Beirut and Cairo. Brexit, threatening the two-party system that Governments are taxed with populism rule He has covered international has dominated British politics for a century. in Hungary and Poland, where hard-right conflict and revolutions across the As the politicians bickered among themselves, politicians have come to power through Middle East throughout the 1970s the forecasts of the horrors in waiting in the elections, rattling the foundations of their and 80s. In Paris, he covers event of Britain crashing out of the EU without democracies. domestic politics, including the a deal became more and more lurid. To modernise the electoral process and referendum to approve the There were reports of plans to evacuate the fight abstention, a common proposal for Maastricht Treaty. Queen from London out of a fear of serious civil some years was to find ways to move unrest after Brexit day and predictions of rotting voting to the internet. Opponents argued refuse piling up throughout the country adding that voting on a home PC would lead to to the now familiar scenarios of companies moving staff to Europe, “deconsecration,” removing the sense of ceremony of voting in the shortages of food and medicines and a general economic meltdown. secrecy of a polling booth. Such ideas are less popular now as more One thing the whole Brexit drama, starting with the vote by 52 per cent evidence of internet trickery surfaces. in the June 2016 referendum on EU membership, has achieved is to put Western governments are today plainly outwitted by those skilled the role of parliament in one of the oldest democracies under the at manipulating public opinion on the web. For democracies to spotlight. The signs are that Britain’s democracy is much weakened and survive in any meaningful way, they must find ways to turn the that a new model for running the country is needed. tables and fight the demons unleashed by the internet. Time is not While Brexit has highlighted the problems facing British democracy, on their side. !







Brexit – the word on everyone’s lips—the word causing so much concern for British expats living in France or wishing to make their future in France. What should British citizens in France do to prepare to stay in France? What will be the impact of a no-deal situation? Daily updates from the media are often confusing, frustrating, worrying and at times overwhelming. Articles abound with possible impacts, many of which we have, even now, no comprehensive or thorough picture of. Through all this uncertainty, I recommend you extract yourself from the ‘what if’ scenario and start working on the practical and tangible aspects of preparing your future life in France. At the end of the day, whatever the result of this political divorce, your paperwork will be ready!

How will a Deal or No Deal Brexit affect your paperwork?

Whether a deal is signed or not, your paperwork will still need to be organized and given to your prefecture. The types of paperwork you will need may be slightly affected in the case of a no deal, particularly from a resources perspective; and the process may be a little more stressful as the timeframes will be limited. Without a deal, there will be a grace period of three months to one year for to submit paperwork for the appropriate residency card. Having a deal would facilitate your applications as there will be a longer transition period to request new or modify existing residency cards. Ensuring you have a good paperwork footprint in France can only enhance your chances of making this process smoother. Bear in mind that residency permits for non-Europeans have always had a cost, so this will likely be the case for British Expats once they are no longer considered European. We are still waiting to find out what this cost will be. No matter how long you have been living in France, from a few months to a few years, you must establish your ‘paperwork footprint.’ So just what paperwork do we need and how can we prepare for the worst, whilst hoping for the best?

For newcomers

If you are just starting out in France, it’s important that you establish that you are not going to be a burden to the French state. You should apply for a Residency Permit before the Brexit date, but if this is not possible, start your paperwork footprints straight away by following the tips below. The idea here is not to decide which card to apply for but to ensure you have your paperwork in order so that once a clear path has been indicated by French authorities, you are ready with to file: !Ensure that you have utility bills in your name !Have your birth certificates & marriage certificates translated !Have a French bank account with funds !Get passport photos prepared !Ensure your passport is not about to expire (i.e. 6 months or less) !Ensure you have healthcare (private, French or EHIC) !Tax documents: If you have not yet paid your income taxes in France, you may wish to make yourself known to your local tax office to request a fiscal number and start paying monthly based on your estimated income. If you are already paying tax in France, make copies of your income tax, tenant’s tax (habitation) and owner’s tax (foncière), if applicable. MARCH / APRIL 2019

© De Pixelbliss

Decide which category you are going to fall into so that you can prepare the paperwork footprints you need for that category: Retired (receiving a pension); early retiree/long stay visitor (living on investments, savings); worker (salaried person in France); or business owner (Auto Entrepreneur & other business structure).

For those already settled

If you already have a European Residency Permit (Carte de Séjour Européenne), this will need to be altered to a non-European card at some stage in the near future. When to change it will be largely dependent upon whether a deal is reached or not. The advantage of having this card is that you will have already proved your financial status so future paperwork will be easier. The process for the modification of this permit has not yet been specified. If you do not already have a European Residency Permit, you will need to provide a complete list of paperwork, including financial, in relation to your situation in France (retired, worker, business owner etc.) in order to apply for the appropriate non-European residency permit. The French Government has assured that in the case of a no-deal Brexit, there will be a grace period of 3 months to 1 year for British residents to submit their files to the prefecture. We still have no information on what the actual process will entail, although one can imagine a visit to the prefecture is the logical answer! So once again, start preparing your file, don’t wait. If you have been in France for more than five years and you do NOT already possess a permanent European residency card, even in the case of a no deal Brexit, you will be given the opportunity to apply for a long stay residency permit. However, you will need to provide all the documents as listed above, particular proving your resources related to your situation and ensuring that you are not a burden on the French state. If you have been in France for more than 5 years and you have a permanent European residency card, you will be able Tracy Leonetti is the owner of to obtain the equivalent permit. Leonetti Business Services, The modification will be simpler specialised in helping expats with because you have already paperwork filing. She is also the proven your financial situation founder of the Serenity Club, a and your current card will be community group for the smooth valid during the transition period. transition to a life in France.





A gin imagined and distilled in Grasse Marrying state-of-the-art technology with the savoirfaire of perfume production, Comte de Grasse is raising the spirits of the city. The result is the pure essence of Grasse in a bottle. Riviera Insider takes you inside Grasse’s newest luxury brand. By NICOLE RUSKELL


omte de Grasse is an innovative new distillery in the heart of Grasse. Dedicated to the heritage of the perfume capital of the world, 44°N (named after the latitude of Grasse) is created using traditional perfume extraction techniques combined with modern distillation technology. It’s a process that hasn’t been done before in the spirits industry. They are trailblazing not only the distillation process but also how a spirits company incorporates sustainability and supports the local community. Respect for tradition is the foundation upon which Comte de Grasse is built. Every step they have taken has thoughtfully considered the heritage of the region, the sustainability of the land and the future it can provide the people. Their motto sums it up: “We came for the heritage, we stay for the future.” This is what Joanne Birkitt, Chief Marketing Officer, tells us when we visit the new distillery inside the old Roure perfume factory from 1820. Located at Traverse Dupont in the Espace Jacques-Louis Lion start-up centre, the series of stone warehouses have been in disuse for

The old Roure perfume factory in Grasse © D.R.

nearly a century. The brick chimney--the last surviving, in-tact perfumery smokestack-stands as a tribute to a bygone era. Comte de Grasse is renovating the historic structures and turning them into luxury spirit distilleries, starting with gin then rum and finally, whiskey. The founder, Bhagath Reddy, is an expert in merchandising luxury goods. Originally from Bangalore India, he is a long-time connoisseur of whisky and he dreamed of opening his own high-end distillery. He had been searching for where to establish his business, considering India, the UK, the US and others. A friend in the petroleum distillation business suggested he look into the perfume industry, as it uses the finest and highest quality distilling techniques. That’s how Bhagath discovered Grasse. Inspired by its history and terroir--add the appeal of the Côte d’Azur--and it was a clear choice.

The launch

Mayor Jérôme Viaud gave a speech 21 February for the official launch of the gin, where he thanked Bhagath for his risk and his courage to open his business in Grasse while honouring its heritage. “You chose Grasse for its water, its quality of perfumery and its capacity to find natural products; you also chose Grasse because you found a building and resonance of us working together.” Pointing to the chimney towering above us, he concluded: “This chimney is a historic symbol of Grasse that has been dormant for so many years. I think it’s wonderful that symbolically, it will find its smoke again.” Bhagath spoke after the mayor, explaining that his project would not have been possible without the support of the city and the University of Nice Côte d’Azur. He said: “When I first started, the idea was that it’s not easy to start a business in France. But I believe that idea (that exists around the world) is wrong. We have had great support and everybody has adopted me and this project, despite that fact that I don’t speak French. So thank you very much.” The stylish bottle, inspired by perfume © D.R.



The largest ultrasonic maceration machine © D.R.

Committed to being a French company, they source nearly every ingredient, down to the bottle itself, from Grasse, the Alpes-Maritimes, or greater France. They also involve the community, working with the University of Nice Côte d’Azur, local farmers, and a local solidarity group ‘Renouer’ which helps employ out-of-work and disadvantaged people (see insert). “Giving back and community spirit is really important to us and we try to incorporate it into everything we do,” explains Joanne. “It’s a commitment, not a claim.”

Innovating distillation

Bhagath hand-picked Joanne for her expertise in the drinks industry. Together, their meeting of the minds sparked many ideas of how to create a new paradigm for a sustainable, respectful, community-focused luxury brand. They also wanted to create something completely unique and innovative. “We’ve kind of ripped-up the rule book on how to bring spirits to life,” she says. They brought in their own flavour and scent expert from the University. Marie-Anne Contamin has twenty years of experience in the industry but this is her first time working with gin. She was charged with creating a recipe inspired by

the terroir of Grasse and the following poetic, albeit vague phrase: ‘if light were a flavour and illumination a scent.’ The result reads like the ingredient list for a perfume: rose centifolia, verbena, jasmine, iris, immortelle, mimosa, lavender, grapefruit, and bitter orange. Add to this the classic juniper berries that make gin, with the addition of cade, a local juniper variety that has larger, lighter berries with a more woody flavour. These traditional ingredients are then macerated in a state-of-the-art machine. Comte de Grasse has introduced the combination of ultrasonic maceration, vacuum distillation and supercritical CO2 extraction for the first time in the distillation of gin. This method - called the HYPRX Fat Distillation Procedure - is trademark registered by the company. Ultrasonic maceration is a technique used mostly in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries and their machine is the largest in the world, custom-built for 44°N. The normal maceration process takes 1-2 days, but with this machine, that time is reduced to 45 minutes, extracting the most essence while preserving the true flavours of the botanicals. The resulting solution is placed in a glass balloon vacuum distiller where they have more precise control over temperature and alcohol degree. This creates a complex and delicate gin with a refined depth of flavour and a clean finish.

Bottling the Côte d’Azur

A work of art in itself, the Blue Klein bottle is specially designed by Force Majeure, a French company in Brooklyn, together with Agent Chic, a Paris-based bottle manufacturer who specialises in... perfume bottles. Bringing the essence of Grasse together with the striking beauty of the Côte d’Azur, the bright yellow top signifies the sun shining over Grasse, its rays moving down the neck of the bottle, and settling on the rough sides which signify the movement of the Mediterranean Sea. Rumour has it that if you place the bottle in the sun, it casts an image of the sparkling sea, azur like the water itself. They have quite literally managed to bottle the South of France. So how does it taste? Heavenly--if you like botanical gin.



RENOUER Established in 1993, this locally based integration association fights unemployment and socio-professional exclusion by supporting the training and job placement for the long-term unemployed. Renouer makes these people available to individuals and companies for small jobs and maintenance work (cleaning, gardening, small renovations). Its focus is to respect the individual, provide solidarity and develop sustainable activity. ‘Cueillette Solidaire’ is their agricultural initiative where jobs are given to pick and sell local fruits from those who do not need or want them. The resulting products from the fruit (marmalades, olive oil, syrups, etc.) are sold through Renouer to support the workers. Compt de Grasse pays extra to employ these local workers to provide the cade berries, lemons, rose centifolia and bitter oranges.

A true sipping gin, 44°N can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. The delicate notes hold their own in perfect harmony, achieved by Marie-Anne’s masterful nose. Comte de Grasse recommends tasting in three steps: first neat--allowing you to taste the full set of botanicals, starting with citrus and wood notes, followed by a floral sensation and finishing with delicate rose lingering on the palate. The second step is to add ice, which they say ‘opens it up’ and really changes the flavour, adding in a peppery note from Alexanders and Sichuan pepper. The final step is to add a light tonic--no Indian tonic for this--no lime either. In fact, Comte de Grasse recommends no garnish for their 44°N G&T. However, a delicate rose petal would make an appropriate finishing touch. Their visitor centre and tasting café is planned for later this year, with the complete renovation of the site for June 2020. We will be keeping an eye on Comte de Grasse as they have more exciting projects on the way. !

WHERE TO BUY 44°N can currently be found in a few high-end hotels, including the Martinez in Cannes, or can be purchased directly from their website. A 500 mL bottle will set you back €75, an investment for your liquor cabinet but also an investment in Grasse. www.comtedegrasse.com





The little town that could


How Mouans-Sartoux is leading the world in sustainable agriculture

Farmers at the organic mmunicipal farm, Haute-Combe © D.R.



Mouans-Sartoux was the first Municipality in France to provide 100% organic school lunches. Their innovative programme to achieve this without any rise in cost is now a model for the rest of Europe.


t started in the 1990s with the Mad Cow crisis raging across Europe. Many may remember the horrible scenes of burning livestock piles flashed across our TV screens. Then-mayor of Mouans-Sartoux, André Aschieri (father of the current mayor), decided it was imperative to provide safe food for the children of Mouans-Sartoux (MS). They started with making all the beef organic (4% of the food) and continually increased their organic supply. Absolutely committed to healthy eating and removing chemicals from the food and the environment, the former green party mayor devoted over forty years of service to MS. Originally elected in 1974, he resigned in 2015 for health reasons. His son, Pierre, took up the post in 2015 and is not only continuing his father’s legacy, but he is also propelling MS onto the world stage as a model for other towns. In 2012, MS became the first town (over 10,000 residents) in France to go 100% organic, but they weren’t just buying organic produce, they were producing it. The necessity to grow their own organic food became clear early on. Most



local farms were too small to provide the food for 1,000 lunches a day and sourcing from several different suppliers was costly. In 2010, the town saved a farm from a residential development project, bought the property by pre-emption and designated it ‘Haute-Combe municipal farm.’ Starting with only one hectare of experimental crops, today the farm cultivates six hectares and produces over 20 tonnes of vegetables (and 85% of their food).

Zéro Déchet

One of the most remarkable changes from an environmental and economic standpoint is the school’s drastic reduction of food waste. In fact, the ability of the MS canteen programme to remain the same price is due to this one factor alone. Organic food costs more. It’s a fact that is unavoidable whether you buy local produce or cheaper, imported produce. However, the MS lunch programme has remained the same price for families because of the savings gained by reducing their waste (average cost in 2016: €2.04). A few years into their organic transition, they began weighing the food wasted each day. This was the total amount of food destined for the bin, including food scraps from the students, excess food prepared that could not be re-served and the food that rotted from not being used. Their average waste at the beginning was 148 grammes per student (the French national average is 147g). Within four years (2011-2015), they reduced their waste by 80% to only 32g of food waste per person--a record in France. This drastic drop took a few years to achieve, but the keys lie in a few basic tenets: allowing

AIMÉ LEGALL PRIMARY SCHOOL Riviera Insider met with Léa Sturton, Mouans-Sartoux’s new head of sustainable agriculture and educational programmes for a tour of the Aimé Legall primary school’s canteen. It’s a Thursday during the height of the lunch rush when we enter the canteen, small children are lined up along the corridor, anxious to eat their lunch. A steady stream of kids collects their trays, glasses, plate and silverware before moving down to the lady with a steaming pot of pasta primavera. “Hello little man! How much would you like today?” she asks in an enthusiastic voice. The very little ‘man’ requests ‘moyen’ and the woman dutifully obliges. The line keeps moving as more children carefully walk past carrying trays larger than their entire bodies and loaded with their lunch. Those who are finished carefully carry the large trays to the clean-up area, scrape their plate into different bucket and place the dishes in the dishwasher trays. It is a surprising scene to see these little humans being so responsible and organised. Léa explains that students separate their food scraps into specific buckets which are then taken to the farm for composting. “We make sure we waste as little as possible,” she says. The lunch must have been good as most of the plates heading to the kitchen were empty, the compost buckets as well.

the children to choose their portion, analysing the food scraps, careful menu planning and composting organic waste on the farm.

Haute-Combe Municipal farm

With its very own organic farmer, Sébastien Jourde, Haute-Combe is much more than a field of vegetables. This pedagogical farm welcomes students and the local community for classes, including cooking lessons and handson agriculture. Involving students in their own meals has proven to be successful in getting children interested, curious and even enjoying vegetables--something that some parents Children harvesting organic Butternut Sqash for their lunch© D.R.





assume impossible. These children are even requesting more vegetables at home. In fact, 85% of the families surveyed said they have modified their food habits as a result of the new food policy. 60% said they often eat organic foods, 13% said they ‘always’ eat organically and 99% say they are happy with the change. Many of these families have learned about cooking fresh food, seed saving or ‘going organic on a budget’ from the classes at Haute-Combe. The first year they had 15 families sign up for the courses and the following year it jumped to 23 families. The farm has its own website where people can see what’s going on and stay updated on current projects. Another benefit of farming their own land is the variety of vegetables has increased considerably. Mayor Pierre Aschieri tells Riviera Insider that compared to typical the school canteen menus, Mouans-Sartoux offers a wider array of vegetables, especially in the winter, with squash, pumpkins, parsnips and more. Although, one student had complained that there weren’t enough radishes! At the end of 2018, the organic school lunch programme was only available in the maternelle and primary schools (higher grades fall under a different jurisdiction). Now that these children have grown and are attending secondary school, they are complaining about the food choices. This has caused the secondary schools to work with MS on their own canteen transition. This is a policy change pushed forward by children.

MEAD programme

Created in 2016 to spread the ideas and initiatives to help change food management politics, the MEAD programme (Maison Education Alimentation Durable) is their Centre for Sustainable Food Education. Blending private initiatives and public projects, MEAD shares new ideas, training, meetings and even international projects on the topic of sustainable food models. They host classes on nutrition, food waste, cooking, organic gardening and more which are open to all ages and fields, including elected officials and representatives from the food industry. MEAD is also hosting a university degree programme with the University of Nice Côte d’Azur in Management of Sustainable Food Projects for Territorial Collectivities. The university recently funded a new classroom at


the farm, a 160 square metre room which includes a teaching kitchen, break room and toilettes. The MEAD project is supported by many partners: Carasso Foundation, the association Un Plus Bio, l’Côte d’Azur College, Skema Business School, the european network Agri Urban URBACT, the PNA (National Food Program), the Food research program Lascaux, the prefectural office and Regional district ProvenceAlpes-Côte-d’Azur, the PNNS Active Cities Network, Ademe, Codes 06, Cres Paca, Immaterra company, INRA and the Entrepreneur Club of Grasse. Mouans-Sartoux is also leading the way in the URBACT BioCanteens association. This international group for the sharing of information, projects, recipes and cultures in the arena of organic school lunch programmes had its second meeting this past February. MS was recognised as a leader in the successful transition to 100% and was asked to present their model to the group. !


" All beef made organic (4% of food)


" Mouans-Sartoux joins the National Nutrition Health Programme


" 23% organic food


" Experimental crops at the farm. First weighing of food waste.


" 73.6% organic food, food waste decreased 75%. Portion size introduced and the city hires a full-time farmer.


" 100% organic achieved. New zoning plan triples the agricultural area.


" MS wins Eco-Mayor trophy for sustainable, organic school catering


" When Cantines Rebel, MS manifesto on organic, local collective catering


" Creation of MEAD


" Launched the degree programme with UNCA MARCH / APRIL 2019

PETIT RESTO BIO RÉG’ALL The hottest restaurant in Mouans-Sartoux has a two-week reservation list. But don’t try to reserve a table for yourself, this restaurant only serves children! We were lucky enough to visit the classroomturned-restaurant just off from the main canteen. One of Aimé Legall primary school’s more unique offerings is a student restaurant where kids sign-up on a list to eat with their friends in a separate, full-service room. Designed as a ‘restaurant’ the kids get special treatment like being served at the table by the adults, enjoying music and decorations, having their plates cleared and having a little extra time to enjoy themselves. The lunch break is two-hours, Léa informs us, giving the children enough time to enjoy their food in a relaxed manner. However, she says, “we would never rush a child to finish eating, so there is a ten-minute grace period in case a child still needs to finish eating.” Those who dine in the Rég’all get a little bit extra time as well. The idea behind this ‘restaurant’ is not only to give the kids a fun experience every once in a while (it is a two-week waitlist, after all) but also to teach the enjoyment of food--not just something to shove in your face before running to the playground. The children respond very well to the idea and love when they get their chance to eat at Bio Rég’all. Before leaving, there is a small podium with a guest book for students to share their comments. Handwriting varies from the wild marks of kids just learning to write to the more controlled scrolls of those learning cursive. All the comments have one thing in common--they thank the staff for a wonderful meal and say how much they enjoyed it (in varying vocabulary, of course).





Monsieur Aschieri, what started the idea to make the school cafeteria organic? It started with moving towards organic beef after the Mad Cow crisis of 1999. Then, we progressively wanted to make more and more products organic. Also, at that time there was a lot of discussion about diet and health. Reports were showing that food was full of pesticide residues and the processing of food was introducing a lot of chemicals. So there was really a political will at that time to give a truly healthy diet to our children. So we made more things organic, but also locally sourced because organic is good, but if it has to travel a great distance, it loses its essence--it’s good for the health, but bad for the planet. This wasn’t a project that was planned from the beginning and thought over. It is something we built slowly based on what was happening at the time and new information we learned. It was an evolution in our society as a whole as we learned more about diet and food. We discussed it a lot, and still do, with our residents.

How did recuperated land become the school farm? In our progression to 100% organic, we met a lot of challenges sourcing our needs. In our region, agriculture has all but disappeared and organic even more so. We searched for local organic suppliers, but they just couldn’t provide the amount we needed for our schools. We make 1,000 meals per day and no one locally had the ability to supply that. So the idea to create our own farms came about by chance. We didn’t know what the end result would be, we didn’t know what we would create with the land, but we went for it. We started with a small piece of the land and we slowly grew until we arrived at producing 85% of our own product. How has the farm affected the school menu? Typically school cafeterias are very standardised with industrially produced food which is easier to produce and easy for kids to eat but it comes from who knows where. Our farm gives the children a bigger diversity of vegetables in their diet. They eat several types of squash, Butternut, pumpkin, parsnips, chard, things that are never found on a school cafeteria menu. So it’s really been a goal of improving childhood health and to be more ecological, of course. You have turned the farm into a sort of classroom. How does it work? It has turned into a learning experience for the children because the farm is like a little school. Children can learn how

plants grow, how germination works, how to save seeds. The concept has really spread because the kids learn about nutrition and vegetables, then they tell their parents about it. It’s now the children who are demanding more high-quality foods and so the parents are requesting more local, organic products, too. This isn’t a solution to all our problems, but it’s imperative that food production plays a part in the local economy. And we need to eat less processed food, take cooking lessons, and eat seasonally. Organic is more expensive. How have you managed to keep the costs even? We have been able to keep the costs constant for now. Organic is much more expensive. But we are producing things ourselves now and we don’t have any intermediates. So we produce our own and it’s more expensive than before, but we also drastically reduced our food waste. So that bit of margin of savings on our consumption has enabled us to break even with costs. And [the food waste reduction] has made the biggest news in our surrounding communities. We have had other towns come to us and ask us how we did it and want to implement the same system. And we never planned any of this in the beginning. This has worked well in a small town. Is it possible for it to work in a large city? This model is completely scalable. It’s a model that can be made for 1,000 meals just as it can be made for 10,000--it’s the same. We cook for the number

of students we have and we weigh everything we throw away. Are you satisfied with what you’ve accomplished? Yes, we are extremely satisfied. And everyone is happy. It’s publicised by the parents, the children are excited, and the children that have grown and moved on to secondary school [which is under different department] are demanding better food there as well. They are asking why the secondary schools don’t have good food, so those schools are in the process of changing their lunch system. It’s a good sign that the kids are demanding healthier food. Yes, it’s a good sign! It’s the children that have demanded the change. We are also working with the university to offer better food choices because the students are eating junk food. They are in the process of looking at their supply chain and developing a quality food offering. You have created an entire generation of healthy eaters! Yes, it’s true. When I was at university, we never talked about food, we just ate. Now I overhear students saying “yeah, it’s organic and it’s not too expensive”. This is a conversation that never existed back in the day. We do satisfaction surveys and people are really happy with what we’ve created.





Monaco Ocean Week The Principality’s continued support for the sea or the third year in a row, the Principality of Monaco is showcasing its ongoing marine conservation initiatives with Monaco Ocean Week. Welcoming international experts in a variety of marine conservation fields, the week is devoted to the major issues affecting the ocean. The subject for this year’s conference is the future of our shared heritage and will include discussions on the possibilities offered by biomimicry, the opportunities created by bioplastics, rethinking yachting of the future, pooling initiatives to curb and tackle plastic pollution more effectively, and developing a sustainable ocean economy. Taking place from 24 to 30 March 2019, scientists, experts, NGOs and representatives of civil society will discuss the key issues of ocean protection, including topics addressing innovation, research and developing a blue economy. The event organisation is a collaboration of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Government of Monaco, the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, the Scientific Centre of Monaco and the Yacht Club of Monaco.


© Irina Markova / Shutterstock.com

The start of Monaco Ocean week corresponds with the 10th annual Monaco Blue Initiative, whose objective is to develop the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of the world. One of the best solutions for protecting marine ecosystems from human activities, MPAs currently only cover 7.44% of the world’s oceans. Panels will discuss how to further Aichi targets and protect migratory species. Ocean conservation has been a priority for Monaco since the 19th century. Prince Albert I was a passionate explorer, dedicated scientist and is considered one of the founders of modern oceanography. Prince Albert II continues this push to save the oceans. Last year’s conference proved

very successful in making agreements between nations to protect marine areas. The ‘Monaco Manifesto for the Ocean’ was published and signed by HSH the Sovereign Prince with the French and Italian ministers in charge of the marine environment. Leaders also signed the Sanctuary Pelagos headquarters’ agreement. The Arctic regions are currently under direct threat from both climate change and nations after precious resources. The Natural Marine World Heritage in the Arctic Ocean will be present to discuss furthering commitments from nations on preserving this still pristine environment. www.monacooceanweek.org !

Monaco Art Week Shuttle through 500 years of art he idea is tempting: a journey through 500 years of art history, through some of Monaco’s most impressive galleries on a free shuttle bus. This is exactly what Monaco Art Week offers. For the second year, the Principality invites you to discover the wealth of art on display. From 24 to 28 April, ten galleries and an auction house in Monaco's Larvotto, MonteCarlo and Condamine districts can be visited by a designated shuttle bus. The programme includes current exhibitions, meetings with the artists and a discussion panel. Objects and artwork from five centuries will be on display, including the latest contemporary art. According to the organisers, the originality of the Monaco Art Week tour lies in the dialogue between the various artistic trends of half a millennium.



Goldschmied & Chiari Untitled View, 2017, digital print on mirror and glass,115x150cm © G&C_ presente par nm contemporary

This initiative takes place during a period marked by other cultural events in the Principality, such as the Printemps des Arts Festival, a new creation of Monte-Carlo's ballet, the artmontecarlo, PAD art fair and numerous prestigious auctions. The participants of Monaco Art Week include:

Artcurial, De Jonckheere, G&M Design Gallery, Galerie Grippaldi, Galeries Bartoux, Kamil Art Gallery, M.F. Toninelli Art Moderne, Moretti Fine Art, NM>Contemporary, Sotheby's and Wannenes Art Contact. Vernissage 24 April, 6 - 9 pm For more info: monacoartweek.com !




Karl Lagerfeld Monaco loses a great friend By SARAH HYDE

Princesse Caroline of Monaco and good friend Karl Lagerfeld at the 2017 Bal de la Rose © Palais Princier/ Monte-Carlo SBM

Karl Lagerfeld passed away on 19 February at the age of 85. © De Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

s the world comes to terms with Karl Lagerfeld's passing, he will be especially missed in The Riviera, a place that could be considered his second home. In the 1970’s a young Karl Lagerfeld was captured by Antonio Lopez with his coterie of beautiful people including an as yet unknown Jerry Hall in St Tropez, his relationship with the most glamorous fishing village in the world was enduring and he often returned situating a pop up shop for the 2015 season. Karl Lagerfeld moved to Monaco in 1980, creating several homes in the principality. From a design point of view, the Memphis apartment was perhaps his greatest triumph. Although, by 1992 Karl felt it was out of date and the entire art and furniture collection was sold by Simon du Pury at Sotheby’s. Valuing the present much more highly than the past, Karl Lagerfeld was never scared of starting again. Indeed, he


seems to have enjoyed creating collections with the thought of selling and he passionately indulged his curiosities. He created several more collections which were then sold at auction in Monaco. We can only imagine what will happen to his immense library of books. Described as a ‘great friend of Monaco’ by Prince Albert II, Karl Lagerfeld’s greatest contribution to the principalty has been to the Le Bal de la Rose, the annual March charity ball to benefit The Princess Grace Foundation. The sumptuous event has a different historical theme each year. For the last several years, Karl Lagerfeld has been the artistic director, working alongside close friend Princess Caroline. Under his direction, the ball became a magical world of lavish décor, transporting guests to Russia, New York City, or the Great Gatsby. His theme for last year’s ball was Manhattan. This year the ball will take place on 23 March. Karl Lagerfeld's profound understanding of the importance of fantasy infused his work with magic. The presentation of his shows at the

Grand Palais went above and beyond the other fashion houses and this was something that he brought to Le Bal de la Rose. Every one of his collections was situated within a new phantasmagorical Chanel reality. Even the mundane was elevated to the sublime when a show was situated within a ‘Chanel supermarket.’ Karl Lagerfeld’s work was often provocative, humorous and a little challenging to the rules of taste but he tiptoed a delicate path with skill and significant confidence. It was perhaps this profound understanding of human nature and his passionate engagement with the present which enabled Karl Lagerfeld to keep Chanel at the apex of our desire for so long. Young beautiful women longed to be dressed by him, the value of being his current favourite ensured he was endlessly pursued and, in return, these young beautiful people injected the brand with their youth and vitality— a perfect synergy. With his genius for patronage, Karl Lagerfeld brought glamour and desirability to any event and the gift of his attention was pure delight. !

Villa "La Vigie" above Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Karl Lagerfeld rented it between 1986 and 2000. Built in 1902 and belonging to SBM, the villa had stood empty for many years before he rented, renovated and furnished it. © De andersphoto / Shutterstock.com







The 2019 Monaco municipal elections will take place at the Espace Léo Ferré on Sunday 17 March 2019 for the first round and the second round will take place, if necessary, on Sunday 24 March. Monaco City Hall sent a 16-page practical guide to voters by post at the end of January. The document contains a presentation of the role of the Communal Council, the documents required to vote, procedure on voting day, persons authorised to enter the voting room, special provisions and an explanation of voting by proxy. An electronic version of the guide is also available online: www.mairie.mc. !

A new district created for the Principality ittle Princess Gabriella and her brother, Prince Jacques - cool with sunglasses and leather jackets - were delighted to unveil the plaques commemorating the inauguration of the new district of One Monte-Carlo. Mama Princess Charlène and Papa Prince Albert didn’t seem to mind their little twins almost stole the show! Jean-Luc Biamonti, President of the SBM, was visibly happy to have finally reached the dedication ceremony after four years of construction. He thanked Prince Albert for the green light he had given for the revolutionary construction work. The inauguration also included the dedication of the Promenade Princesse Charlène, the pedestrian walkway through the gorgeous new district. See page 49 for details on the new building. !


Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques © Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer – Pierre Villard

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS FOR CITY HALL Part of the Energy Transition Pact n Monday 17 December 2018, Mayor Georges Marsan and Marjorie Crovetto Harroch, Deputy Mayor, Delegate for the Living Environment, Environment and Sustainable Development, received three new electric scooters for Monaco City Hall. The two-wheeled - 50cc Vespa Elettrica (with a range of 100 kilometres) will be assigned to the Municipal Police and the Municipal Domain Service Shops, Halls and Markets. The scooters are the newest addition to the city’s fleet of 100% electric vehicles, reaffirming its commitment to the environment, part of the National Energy Transition Pact which was signed on 8 October 2018. The Town Hall is further developing its fleet and should soon be able to accommodate other electric scooters of the same type. The Town Hall plans to continue its actions on environmental issues around three main lines of action: mobility, waste and energy.


New electric scooters for city hall © Marie de Monaco

The National Energy Transition Pact is an agreement with the Princely Government for the transition to environmentally sustainable municipality. A dedicated website provides detailed information: www.transition-energetique.gouv.mc !


Two world records in the 5km Herculis wo world records were broken during the 5km Herculis race at the Monaco Run in February. In the Elite Women category, Ethiopian athlete Sifan Hassan finished the race in 14 minutes and 44 seconds. In the Men's Elite category, the French-Swiss athlete, Julien Wanders, ran in 13 minutes and 29 seconds. In addition to these records, the Herculis EBS race which is organised by the Monegasque Athletics Federation, was voted the best meeting in the world in 2018 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). !


Julien Wanders Monaco Run 2019 © Manuel Vitali – Direction de la Communication


WELCOMING NEW AND FUTURE RESIDENTS The Welcome Office, headed by Laurence Garino, organises informational meetings at the Club for Foreign Residents of Monaco (CREM) for new and future residents. The meetings provide an opportunity to present the various practical aspects of living in the Principality, from health care to various means of transport, education or even starting a business. At the end of the presentation, the participants are able to speak with the members of the Welcome Office in English, French or Italian. This type of meeting also allows guests to meet other residents. The Welcome Office is the entry point for people who plan to settle in Monaco, either privately or professionally. This Service provides a reception, listening, advice and guidance role for integrating newcomers. www.monaco-welcome.mc ! TELEVISION SERVICE SWITCHES TO DIGITAL The free universal television service of 18 channels will end on 25 March 2019. To continue to benefit from the television service you must switch to the Free Digital Service. If your television set is connected to a Monaco Telecom TV Box, no modifications or settings need to be made. If your TV is not connected to a Monaco Telecom TV Box and is directly connected to a wall socket, or you see an information banner on some channels, you must make changes. If your TV is compatible with DVB-C format, you can search for channels in DVB-C mode to switch to the Free Digital Service. If your TV is not compatible, you will need to purchase a DVB-C decoder, a DVB-C compatible TV set, or a Monaco Telecom box. The Gouvernement Princier has provided detailed explanations, a list of compatible TVs and installation tips on their website: www.monaco-telecom.mc/tnt. !





Venturi: Pioneering motorsport The pillars of the Venturi racing team: Venturi boss Gildo Pallanca Pastor (l.), team boss Susie Wolff and driver Felipe Massa © Venturi © Venturi

Daring to be different with Susie Wolff Venturi Motors is the only Monaco registered race car manufacturer in the world and their Formula E team is the only one racing with a Monegasque flag. Their new ‘dream team’ is already making their mark and the new team principal, Susie Wolff is their rock. The former Scottish racer is expected to give Venturi decisive command of their electric series. MARCH / APRIL 2019



t only 35-years-old, Scottish-born race-car driver Susie Wolff has already finished her first career. Starting with racing bikes as a child, she went on to become the best female kart driver in the world, then took the wheel in various racing series (Formula Renault, Formula 3, DTM) and finally as a test driver for Formula 1 (the first woman to drive an F1 weekend since 1992). At the end of 2015, feeling she had gone as far as she could, she retired from driving. “It was the right time and felt like the right thing to do,” she says. After giving birth to her son, the driver is back in the race, but this time as team manager of the Monegasque Formula E team, Venturi. In 2013, Susie was named honorary fellow at Edinburgh University for her role as an ambassador for women in sport. In 2016, she began the "Dare to be different" initiative, which supports girls’ interest in sport and actively campaigns for more women in motorsport. In fact, just about any article on Susie Wolff leads with her being a woman, a fact that she finds rather cliché at this point. After her successful career, she is not exactly keen on being approached for her exceptional

position as the female boss of a motorsport team. Too often her gender has been the subject of numerous interviews she has given during her active time. And Gildo Pallanca Pastor, the head of Venturi, certainly didn't bring her to Monaco because she was a woman: "I’ve never felt I’m here because I’m a woman,” she explains. “It’s never come into the equation. I'm considered here in terms of my performance and business experience.” Venturi has so far been better known in insider circles than commercially. But despite its relatively unknown brand recognition, Venturi is one of the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturers, the very first to produce an allelectric, high-performance sports car, they shattered land-speed records with hydrogen powered engines and they are now revving up the world of Formula E, the electric FIA series. The Venturi boss, member of Monaco’s Pastor dynasty which became wealthy through real estate, is intensifying his efforts to bring his Formula E racing team forward. Venturi is one of only ten pioneer teams worldwide (the only team with a Monaco licence) that launched the first season of the FIA Electric Series in 2014. Here, the Monegasque company competes with names like BMW, Audi or Nissan. When Gildo called to take Susie to the principality, "it felt right immediately," she recalls.




Susie Wolff, Venturi boss Gildo Pallanca Pastor and Formula E driver Felipe Massa in a Venturi road vehicle, naturally electrically powered © Venturi

The Venturi boss approached Susie in the first Formula E season at the race in Paris. At the time Gildo wanted to win her as a driver, but she was in Formula 1 commitments. Now she has an office on the top floor of the Gildo Pastor Centre, sea view included, and is "very proud to be part of the team". After a ninth, then sixth, again ninth and finally seventh place in the overall classification of the World Championship, Susie Wolfe’s goal is to make Venturi a race-winning team: "I want to turn Venturi into a racing team that wins races. We finished the last season as the seventh of ten teams. In my first year we want to be stable in the top six and become a winning team within three years." The history of Venturi The Formula E team set up by Pallanca Pastor is just one of the many e-mobility projects that the visionary businessman has been pursuing for years. It all began when the 51-year-old bought the then ailing company in 2000. It was a large and risky investment, one that he threw himself into 200%. Within four years, Venturi presented the world's first electrically powered sports car, the sleek "Fétish". This was followed in 2006 by a hybrid vehicle that was partly battery-operated and partly powered by solar energy, and in 2008 by "Volage", a design study for an electric car with engines in the wheels. In 2009, Gildo Pallaca Pastor launched "Global Challenges", an internal competition to demonstrate the capacity of electric vehicles in a variety of ways. In September of the same year, Venturi set a record for hydrogen-powered vehicles with a top speed of 487 km/h; further best performances were to follow - also

in the "Endurance" discipline: in 2010, an electrically powered Citroën Berlingo "Powered by Venturi" covered a 14,000 kilometre distance from Shanghai to Paris. The Venturi-powered Berlingo was employed by the French Post as delivery vehicles. In 2011, the company launched the Antarctica program, which is currently entering a new expedition (see info box). In 2012, as part of ‘Global Challenges’ a Citroën Berlingo equipped with Venturi battery-powered engines successfully covered 5,800 kilometres through Africa - from Nairobi to Johannesburg, through areas without paved roads or a reliable power supply. Since then, Formula E has played a leading role at the Venturi headquarters in MonacoFontvieille. Formula 1 veterans such as Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) and Nick Heidfeld (Germany) were already part of the team as drivers, as was the German Maro Engel (who grew up in Monaco) until last season. For the 2018/19 series, the Monegasque team has Susie at the helm, with Brazilian Felipe Massa, fresh from retirement in F1, having raced one of the longest careers in his 36 years. The Swiss Italian Formula Three champion, Edoardo Mortara joins as Massa’s teammate and Frenchman Norman Nato also joined the team as substitute shortly before the start of the season. It has proven to be a winning combination. Now deemed the “Venturi Dream Team,” they have had a very strong start of the season. In January, they finished the race in Santiago with points and the E Prix of Mexico on 16 February saw a podium finish for Mortara and points for Massa. Only a few months into the

«DARE TO BE DIFFERENT» After hanging up her own helmet, Susie Wolff founded the initiative "Dare to be Different" together with the British Motorsport Association for girls and women who are interested in motorsport. Their logic: If more female drivers were to participate in the sport, more would reach the top. "For a passion to be sparked, you first have to have the opportunity to get to know the sport," says the founder. And that's exactly what she wants to offer the next generation of girls. Susie Wolff has attracted numerous prominent ambassadors for her initiative, from drivers to mechanics; engineers to race marshalls; and motorsport journalists to chief medical officers. These trailblazing women from around world have ‘dared to be different’ to get where they are. Visit the website to see them all—you may be surprised to learn of so many women in a field assumed to be run by men. www.daretobedifferent.org

The Girls Project © D.R.






season and Susie is on-track to meet her goal. Perhaps her three-year plan will take considerably less time. She was thrilled with the results in Mexico, which was her first podium as well. In post-race statement she said: ‘What a day it’s been for Venturi Formula E Team - not only did we have Felipe in the Superpole with a fantastic qualifying result but Edo finished on the podium - my first podium as Team Principal and a very special moment for the team. Going into this race weekend we were cautiously optimistic but I wouldn’t have dared to predict this result.’

Is Formula E the new Formula 1?

THE SIMULATOR In Formula E, drivers train mostly on a simulator. During our visit to the Venturi headquarters, Norman Nato, who was officially nominated as the team's replacement driver, explains the race simulator to us. We enter a small dark room where several technicians are huddled in front of computer screens. Between them and the simulated race car is only a thin glass pane. The test driver, Simona de Silvestro, is nestled inside, barely visible but for her hands on the ‘wheel’. The giant screen in front of her shows her zooming around the Diriyya race track, where the seasonopening race would take place two weeks later. The roar of simulated driving sounds fills the small room. On the monitors, lines appear like vital signs in a hospital, but these vitals are measuring things like Simona's current speed, her steering wheel movements, vehicle response and battery consumption. All data is recorded and meticulously evaluated.

Despite the obvious similarities, Susie makes it clear that Formula E cannot be compared to Formula 1. The figures alone speak volumes: 600 to 800 people work for a Formula 1 team, while only around 30 make up the Venturi team in Monaco. One is like an established company, the other is a small start-up still struggling for recognition, and both have a right to exist: "Formula E is not there to replace Formula 1, but to supplement it.” "In addition, Formula 1 has well over 50 years of history on its back and a huge worldwide crowd of supporters," says Susie in her endearing Scottish accent. "Formula E, on the other hand, shows where the automotive world is headed, which is why Formula E is so relevant: What we develop helps the manufacturers of the new electric cars for everyone." Another part of Susie's new job: that the niche series leaves its niche existence. But as team principal she is mainly responsible for the performance and the functioning of her team. In the Principality, the aforementioned 30 people work with her on the eleventh floor of the Pastor Tower. The open-plan office is home to three engineers for the Antarctica project, ten for Formula E, and a sales, marketing and press team. And if you listen clo-

sely while in the Venturi office, you'll regularly hear a strange noise: it's the sound of the race simulator just behind the rows of desks.

Balancing work and life

If all goes well, Susie Wolff will stay with Venturi in the long run. After all, she acquired shares in the company directly. Susie says she feels at home in Monaco, although she currently commutes to the principality at least twice a month. The mother of a twoyear-old son lives in Switzerland with her F1 champion husband, Toto Wolff, who has been the team manager at Mercedes since 2013. Today she doesn't get into a car for a living and she is fine with that. “I had achieved everything in motorsport that I could,” she explains, consciously ending her career in 2015, “and I felt then that it was time to start something new.” Growing up in Scotland, she loved the speed and the “adrenaline rushes I experienced when I was driving fast.” When she was two, her parents, who still run a motorcycle shop today, gave Susie her first mini motorcycle. "I was one of those annoying little girls who always want to win," she laughs. She thrashed two bikes before realising that they were too delicate for her intense driving skills. "All this probably made karting my passion." Which is for the best as she never did get her motorcycle licence! After she became a mother of her own, she quickly realised that she was someone who needed challenges and goals. That's why she's so happy about her new career step: "It's fantastic! The people I work with are great. I am particularly impressed by the team spirit and that all departments work towards the same goal in their own way. We have already achieved a lot, but there is still a lot to do. The challenge motivates me and it feels like I've landed in the right place." !

"The art," says Norman Nato, "is to drive as fast and as energy-saving as possible at the same time. Compared to Formula 1, the controls of a Formula E car function completely differently. For example, there are no gears and the battery is charged by braking. Talk about a learning curve! Drivers must completely relearn what they know behind the wheel. And the wheel, which isn’t a wheel at all but rather a removable steering element, is covered with countless buttons and switches in all colours—but no paddle shifters or gear buttons. "Formula E is above all mentally exhausting," says Nato. Those who prepare most in the simulator have clear advantages. The Venturi Dream Team: Susie Wolff, Edoardo Mortara (M.) and ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa © Venturi





THE ANTARCTICA PROGRAM At the end of November, Venturi presented its newest electrically powered polar expedition vehicle at the Princely Palace: Venturi Antarctica. The initiative to build this relatively small vehicle goes back to Prince Albert II and his environmental foundation. The aim was to create a vehicle that would drive emission-free in inhospitable terrain at extreme temperatures of up to minus 50 degrees Celsius. With the help of Venturi Antarctica, important research in the Polar Regions could carried out, according to the Prince in his speech. The Polar Regions are the first witnesses of climate change and are experiencing the most negative consequences. The vehicle would be invaluable in aiding scientists in research stations at the poles. Between 2013 and 2015, Venturi Automobiles first built a prototype of Antarctica and tested it in cold European regions. The Polar-Mobil uses the same battery cells as the Venturi Formula E cars. Antarctica's secondgeneration model features significantly refined technology and higher performance. With room for a crew of three plus luggage and technical equipment, the vehicle, which weighs around two tons, can travel around 45 kilometres at a speed of 20 km/h. At the beginning of March, Antarctica is scheduled for its first endurance test in Canada, on the track of a 1934 rally. At that time, the last leg between Lake Dease and Telegraph Creek, 42 kilometres away, could not be finished due to extreme weather. It’s the perfect place to test the vehicle. Prince Albert will attend the expedition taking turns driving with two colleagues. "Back to Telegraph Creek" is one of the regular Venturi Global Challenges in which the company tests electric vehicles under the most difficult conditions. Once this mission has been completed, Antarctica will be taken to actual Antarctica, where the vehicle will be made available to scientists.

Felipe Massa at the season opening race in Ad Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) on 15 December. The Brazilian finished 15th in his first Formula E race; he "had a lot of fun" and learned a lot. Š Spacesuit Media / Venturi



Venturi is a small team, is taken seriously on the track? I don't see anyone laughing at Venturi. At the level we're at everyone has respect for each other, everyone gives their best - even the one who finishes last has given everything. The brutality of the sport is that there's only one winner - and we're all fighting to be that winner. Is Prince Albert a fan?

What is your leadership style? I have the big advantage that my husband has won the last five championships in Formula 1. So I know pretty well what it takes to build a successful team. I'm very focused on our performance on the track. For that we need the right people in the team. Success on the race track doesn't depend on the performance of one individual and it doesn't depend on individual decisions, but many good people have to come together and make many good decisions.

He's very interested in what we do and supports Venturi. We just had an event with the palace on the Antarctica project. Gildo is a close friend of the Prince. Are electric cars the future? Gildo is an absolute pioneer; he built e-vehicles before anyone else talked about it. I think electric cars are really coming now, first in the city centres.

autonomous driving. Here in Monaco, traffic is shocking when you drive in in the morning. On some routes you can reach your destination faster on foot than by car. This causes enormous air pollution, and in this respect electric vehicles are the right way forward. I think our way of getting around will change massively. There will be fewer car owners, car sharing instead. How do you like Monaco? As someone who comes from the cold, dark, wet UK, I like Monaco pretty much... My family life doesn't happen here, but it's fantastic when I come here to work! It's beautifully situated, I love the view of the sea and the sun.

Is it the best technology in the long run? I can't judge that; I can only trust the industry, which is also driving other developments like





knowledge and teamwork to make a wall that will last for centuries. UNESCO’s granting of World Heritage Status recognises the technique as an ‘intangible human heritage.’ Dating back to prehistoric times, dry-stone walls have proven sturdier and more environmentally friendly than our modern-day walls. Only recently have we understood the beneficial effects the walls play in regulating water flow during extreme rainfall, both absorbing water and allowing it to pass through without crumbling.

Giving life to villages

View of the old town of Vernazza, Italy © Botond Horvath / Shutterstock.com

If these walls could talk


ry-stone walls are built with a precise range of stones piled onto others without any fixative material except dry earth. The stones are sorted, broken down and arranged in an interlocking manner. While not incredibly complicated, it takes years of practice,

The women saving the ancient stone walls of Vernazza By NICOLE RUSKELL In November 2018, UNESCO granted World Heritage Status to drystones walls in several countries. The bid was an international effort involving applications from Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. The highest concentration of these walls are found in the Cinque Terre. MARCH / APRIL 2019

Marherita Erminio and Sarah Elizabeth Yoho

The Cinque Terre’s steep, mountainous terrain plunges dramatically into the sea. Today, the area is famous for the colourful buildings that cling to the cliffs and offer romantic evenings in seafront squares. But the Ligurian people have never had it easy. The mere layout of the land makes for a constant battle with nature and an incredible amount of effort just to survive. Terracing the land with stone walls made it possible to cultivate the steep terrain. There are an estimated 42,000 hectares of terraced land in the Cinque Terre, with 7,000 kilometres of dry-stone walls. In Italy’s bid for UNESCO, Vernazza was listed as the example town for Liguria. Riviera Insider spoke with Margherita Erminio, a young woman from Vernazza who is leading the charge in preserving the terraced landscapes that not only grow the grapes for




Margherita repairs old crumbled walls on land that is either abandoned or neglected. The first question for this young, entrepreneurial wall-builder was basic, yet necessary: “why are dry stone walls important to Vernazza?” Her response was beautifully poetic: “they are the legs with which the village can walk.” With only a few words, Margherita describes the village’s complete dependence on the ancient structures. She continued:


Carying bucket of rocks along the small paths

Cinque Terre DOC wines, but also keep the village safe from climate catastrophe. Margherita, 34, studied Fine Art in Florence, lived in London and travels the world as a consultant for terraced landscape preservation. She is a sweet, funky artist at heart

and known for colourful fashion, including her often brightly-coloured hair. On any given morning, Margherita can be found high in the mountains heaving stones and covered in dirt. Working with her father, or another local wall expert (now in his 80’s)

“The walls are all about us--they protect us, give us food, give us the ability to live. Our land is 1000 years of our hard work; every day going up a steep mountain and mending the landscape. It’s such an amazing feat, what [our ancestors] did!” Once reliant on agriculture and fishing, tourism has become the main source of income for residents. This means the days of hiking the steep mountains to tend to the land are over. After decades of neglect, the ancient walls lose their integrity and nature takes over, threatening the very existence of these precarious towns. In 2011, torrential flooding in the region caused a devastating landslide in Vernazza. The steep mountain slopes, once held strongly by the walls had washed away, burying the village in over five metres of dirt and debris. That was when Margherita realised the importance of dry-stone walls. “I discovered that a lot of the debris in the mud were stones from the walls in the mountains. I was afraid that my village would disappear forever and all that effort from my ancestors would be lost. I was also terrified that my family's land would crumble away as well.”

Women’s work

Sarah Johnson (American volunteer), Margherita Erminio and Sarah Elizabeth Yoho

The physical labour of wall-building is often considered men’s work. However, the drystone walls of the Cinque Terre have long been the job of women, tending the land while the men were out at sea. Margherita asked her father, who had learned to build the walls from his aunt and grandmother, to continue the tradition and teach her as well. Hiking up a mountain each morning at 6 am to lift, sort and break up stones along a steep cliff is not a very attractive proposition for most. In fact, Margherita is the only one of her generation, as far as she knows, to take on the task of repairing the walls. She spent a year learning from her father and now she teaches it to school groups, MARCH / APRIL 2019




volunteers and anyone who is interested. In October 2013, she founded the Tu Quoque Association with friends and local Vernazzans, Yann Patrick Martins (artist) and Chiara Viacava (fashion designer). It is a cultural association that aims to revive the care and culture of the landscape and support the flourishing of art projects in the Cinque Terre. Margherita wants people to learn what’s going on in her village and why it matters. Another goal: to involve young people from all over the world in learning the art of dry-stone wall building. The association organises volunteer camps of up to two weeks with 10-17 kids per group. They have done around a dozen camps, one of which was sponsored by UNESCO and provided a group of young UNESCO volunteers from France, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Russia and more. Making a difference She recounts that the students weren’t initially interested in the walls. “Plants, dirt and rocks aren’t very exciting.” By the end of the experience, though, the students were “delighted.” She explains: “Because I talked so much about the history and significance, and how necessary the job is and how empowering it is to build a wall, they get interested.” Then it becomes about teamwork because there are specific jobs for people in the building of walls and everyone has to work together. “Someone is on the wall building, someone is doing the management, someone is sorting rocks by size and shape and you have to be a team. “I think what’s missing in young generations now is a sense of belonging and feeling like you can make a difference. Building a dry stone wall really matters. And how long will it stand? Maybe more than their own lives. So they really liked it. It was seriously hard labour, they had to walk up and down a mountain several times a day and there were disagreements and misunderstandings because everyone spoke different languages--but it was so good. In the end, they were heart-broken they had to leave.” Margherita has led eight camps of volunteers and despite the immense success with feedback, she hasn’t been able to procure further funding for the Tu Quoque Association. The local mayor hasn’t allocated any funding for the association and the National Park of the Cinque Terre (which is headed by the mayor) denied her request to work with the park in rebuilding the land. Yet Margherita continues to educate those interested, and hasn’t lost hope in procuring more funding for projects. Describing herself as a ‘bulldozer’ she pushes on, trying to drudge up support to save her land. She organised three branches of the local branch of the Terraced Landscape Association; she leads school groups from nearby cities into the hills to teach about the walls and she networks with associations in foMARCH / APRIL 2019

reign countries, acting as a consultant for land preservation. In fact, she’s in Korea when we speak, consulting with a town on how to save their national park. Our conversation ends on forbidding note: “I hope to build more international connections and projects of exchange to keep ter-

SARAH ELIZABETH YOHO When I came to Cinque Terre, I didn’t expect to fall head over heels in love. I am an environmental anthropologist and doctoral candidate at the University of Leeds in the UK. I am also part of the European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network for the Environmental Humanities, which also funds my work. My research is about human and environmental resilience in Liguria over the long term. I arrived in Liguria expecting small seaside villages, vast hiking trails and great food – all of which are undoutedly quintessential features of the Italian riviera. Yet, after almost two years in the region, I am now convinced that dry stone constructed walls are the heart of the region. I am steadfastly in love with these walls. Cinque Terre is one of the top tourist destinations in Italy. Its fragile environment, however, is innudated with issues of popularity: overcrowding, environmental degredation, struggles to maintain adequate public services, etc. When I first arrived, like many people I think, I didn’t see dry stone walls as the foundation of Cinque Terre. Instead I saw the sea, olive trees, and beautiful terraced vineyards. The walls that hold up the terraced vineyards and olive groves are easy to take for granted. When walls work, it is easy not to notice them. When walls fail, it can be disastorous, leading to erosion, landslides, and plant, animal and human livelihood. To put it another way, without dry stone walls we would no longer have the Cinque Terre. In a terraced landscape, wall failure is often attributed to neglect, erosion or abandonment. Mass wall abandonment started during industrialization and accellerated following World World II as less people were available to farm and maintain the walls. Erosion has become worse as tourism increases because of the impact of millions of people bumbling around. Weather, particularly extreme weather events like large storms or extreme heat, causes its own erosion. All of these things impact dry stone

raced landscapes alive. The problem is it’s a dying art. If local communities don’t cherish what they have, they will lose it.” Clearly, this was one of the biggest deciding factors for UNESCO granting ‘intangible heritage’ status to dry-stone walls. It is a dying art that needs to be saved. !

walls, making their care more necessary and more time critical. But not all is lost! There are many dedicated people and organizations diligently working to reverse wall destruction. Community and international organizations such as Tu Quoque in Vernazza or the International Terraced Landscapes Alliance aim to regenerate dry stone walls in Italy and worldwide. The recent UNESCO intangible heritage designation goes some way in raising awareness about the importance of dry stone rock walls. However, regardless of awareness, it is the communities where the dry stone walls exist that bear the cost of both the past destruction and the future care of dry stone walls. Given the right resources and protections, terraced landscapes can continue to provide intangible cultural heritage to the world as well as social, environmental, and economic resources to local communities for generations to come. As for me, my love of dry stone walls has manifested in various ways. When I started working with Margherita Ermirio and Tu Quoque, she warned me that stones have a way of getting into your heart. Now I understand why. I am an avowed night owl, yet I will wake up at 5 AM in order to build walls in the morning before the sun becomes too hot. I tolerate broken fingernails, sore muscles and dirt in my hair in order to build walls. I have been known to bring visitors and dates on dry stone wall projects. Margherita and the stones have been great teachers. I now understand and appreciate the ingenuity of rocks and the hands that transform them. Dry stone walls are a perfect combination of artistic form and engineered function. They are beautiful. They are robust and environmentally sustainable. They can last for over a century (or longer) and require less long-term maintenance than fencing or walls built with mortar, plus dry stone construction can absorb shocks as the earth shifts and tremors – something for which Italy is well known. The abandonment of terraced landscapes might, in some contexts, be irreversible. But in many places, abandonment should not be seen as an accomplished fact: based on my own experiences in working with terraced landscapes, I remain hopeful for their future.

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Contents: Rare Goods: 2018 Facts & Figures

34 Buying at a Young Age & Harrison Brooks Mortgages

35 The 2019 Real Estate Market Real estate is always a hot trend in the South of France. No matter what is happening politically, or what other housing markets are doing, the AlpesMaritimes stays consistently steady. We start off with a look at facts and figures of the region, then discuss mortgages--advice on buying young, and selling with the ‘viager’ contract. This year there are a series of new real estate laws called the Loi Élan, we give a recap of the things you should know. One sector that is showing no signs of slowing down is commercial real estate. It is booming in Nice and SophiaAntipolis. Across the Côte d’Azur, from Mougins to Monaco, there are a number of innovative and environmentally sustainable commercial and mixed-use buildings that have been awarded or inaugurated, including a brand new neighbourhood in the heart of MonteCarlo.

Real Estate made easier

36 Q&A with Lafage Transactions

37 The Viager contract

38 The Residential Market

40 Virtual Home Staging

42 Chateau Diter

43 Commercial Real Estate

44 Mipim Awards

46 Cœur de Mougins

47 A New Era for the Hôtel de Paris

48 One Monte-Carlo

49 MARCH / APRIL 2019





Rares goods

1,082 440

The Observatoire Immobilier d'Habitat has been monitoring the property market for 40 years.

population of France


iving space is a rare commodity in the Alpes-Maritimes, and not just as of late. Not only is property in the Côte d’Azur a hot commodity, its geographical situation makes development limited. Demand, which has long outstripped the supply of housing, leads to high prices - which regularly exceed the average working population's budget. Decades ago, this slowed the economy and the attractiveness of the labour market in the Alpes-Maritimes to such an extent that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Alpes-Maritimes (CCI) decided to do something about it. The Observatoire Immobilier d'Habitat (OIH) was founded exactly 40 years ago to keep a close eye on the real estate market. Thanks to the collaboration of various partners (Fnaim, BTP, CAF, banks, etc.), statistics, analysis and recommendations have been published on a regular basis ever since. The OIH is responsible for the creation of affordable housing, exclusively for the working population (logements des actifs). The OIH also offers lectures on topics such as "Controlling construction costs". Here we give some facts and figures about the Alpes-Maritimes. !

people live in the Alpes-Maritimes (AM) region, about

1,7percent of the

Age Structure 00-14 years: 16 percent 15-29 years: 16 percent 30-44 years: 18 percent 45-59 years: 20 percent 60-74 years: 18 percent over 75 years: 12 percent Compared to France as a whole, the proportion of over 60-year-olds is higher in the A-M (by 5 percentage points) and 4 points lower in the 0-29 age group.

-€27,687 was the average yearly household income in the AM in 2016 (€26,775 in France) -10 percent unemployment in 1st quarter of 2018 (8.9 percent in France) -70 percent of households are entitled to social housing

Prices per square metre for new construction €5,487 €4,958 €4,191 €4,104 €4,032 €4,005 €3,995 €3,685 €3,673 €3,375 €3,358

Metro Nice Ile de France (except Paris) Metro Lyon Metro Aix-Marseille Bordeaux Metropolis Metro Nantes Metro Montpellier Méditerranée Metro Strasbourg Greater Toulouse area Greater Metz area Greater Lille area

Population Trend 1968-1975 1975-1982 1982-1990 1990-1999 1999-2010 2010-2015

+1.8 percent +1.1 percent +1.2 percent +0.4 percent +0.6 percent +0.1 percent

The population barely grew between 1990 and 1999 in the region of PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), the department of Alpes-Maritimes and throughout France. There was a slight upturn in 2007, but the trend didn’t last long. Across France, numbers have since risen by 4.12 percent - 2.96 percent in the PACA region and only 0.02 percent in the Alpes-Maritimes.



Need for new living space 5,000 apartments needed per year (AM) 3,400 residential units built on average per year since 1999

Price per square metre (2017) €5,399 for new buildings €4,038 for resale


Should You Make The Leap?

Harrison Brook Mortgages English-language mortgage advisers


or many young people, owning a home seems like a far-off life goal. Buying a home is a big emotional decision and a serious financial commitment with a maze of pros and cons. Will it be worth it? Should you buy now or wait? Riviera Insider consults with Marie-Claire Sangouard, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Côte d'Azur on why young people should consider making the leap onto the property ladder and investing in real estate at a young age.

The biggest deterrent for young people buying their own home is the down payment. What advice can you give?

The crunch point of investing in real estate at a young age is that you may not have the initial capital. If you don’t happen to have a pot of money set aside already, you’ll need to start saving. Decide on a percentage of your pay and be disciplined about putting this to one side; saving where you can to speed up the process. It may seem limiting to your lifestyle at first, but in the long run you’ll be in a better and more flexible financial position. What’s more, as you’re just starting out in your career, the chances are that your monthly earnings will increase and you’ll soon find yourself much more financially comfortable. The benefit of investing in Marie-Claire Sangouard, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Côte d'Azur real estate at a young age is that your monthly mortgage will stay the same even as your salary increases – and thus the future will look a lot rosier. The other thing that will most likely increase is the value of your property. If you own your property for long enough and are savvy with the market trends, you’re likely to reap the rewards.

A new job or relationship can often lead to relocation. Do you still recommend buying?

While it’s not the case that you need to choose your ‘forever location’ right now, you do need to see yourself staying somewhere for a decent amount of time. This is so that you can build up equity before selling and moving on. However, if you do find yourself needing or wanting to move away before too long, you can always cover the rent on your new place by letting your current property, or you can buy-to-let from the start.

What are the biggest advantages of buying young?

The earlier you get a mortgage, the sooner you stop paying someone else’s. The fact of renting is that you’re giving out a lot per month, and not seeing a long-term return. While having a mortgage still means monthly payments, the money you spend is building up solid equity of your own. All of this, and the likely increase in value of your property, means young homeowners can be in a great situation when it comes to buying a second home. !



Buying at a young age



urchasing a property can be a complicated process and when that purchase is in a foreign country and foreign language, it can become that much more difficult. There are many people involved in the process: the bank, the notary, estate agents and the insurance company, just to name a few. An independent mortgage adviser can help to liaise and organise on your behalf with all relevant intermediaries in order to make the purchase as simple as it can be. Different banks have different criteria, and it is key that before moving forward with any transaction, you speak with a qualified independent mortgage broker who can fully understand your situation and thus ensure you get the right financing with the right bank, according to your own unique situation. It is also very important to ascertain what sort of loan to value you can expect to obtain and what the costs involved are so that you know how much of your own funds are going to be required to complete the purchase. This is key to finalising the purchase. At HB Mortgages, we offer a total mortgage financing solution for our clients, entirely in English, and based at our

office in Villeneuve-Loubet. We are partnered with multiple French Retail Banks and Monegasque Private Banks, which enables us to obtain the best possible terms and conditions due to our ability to tailor the relevant bank that will most benefit the client. Our knowledge and industry contacts have been developed over 15 years of working in France for international and local banks based here on the Riviera and across France, so we know exactly how things work to help you in getting a mortgage. We offer financing solutions across the entirety of the French Riviera, from Monaco to Aix-enProvence, and anywhere elsewhere in France. So please do not hesitate to contact us for a mortgage quote should you be looking outside of the PACA region. If you would like to discuss the options and go through the process of getting a mortgage in France, we would be happy to talk you through the stages and how it all works. We can either be contacted by phone or through our contact page and an adviser will reply to you directly. www.hbmortgages.fr !

Dylan Lewis, Senior French Mortgage Adviser 1752 Route Nationale 7, 06270 Villeneuve-Loubet Tel. + 33 (0) 4 92 08 06 41 dylan.lewis@hbmortgages.fr





REAL ESTATE MADE EASIER The new housing law "Loi Elan" that was approved in November 2018 has come into force, which brings with it various interesting innovations in housing law.

Holiday rentals

Be careful if you rent a holiday property or even your main residence. The new law also provides for tighter controls and a steep fine of up to 5,000 euros for furnished tourist rentals that have not been registered with the municipality. There is a limit of 120 total days of rental for your main residence. If that is surpassed, there are steep fines and the law obliges the booking sites to block Internet rentals. MARCH / APRIL 2019

Set up by Julien Denormandie, Minister of the City and Housing, the Denormandie law is kind of equivalent to the Pinel law. Designed to accelerate the renovation of empty or dilapidated housing, this system makes it possible to obtain a tax reduction of between 12% and 21% of your investment. Eligible are acquisitions of old properties that need renovation and must represent at least 25% of the total cost of the project. The amount of the total project is capped at 300,000 euros. !


Mobility leases added to the Elan Act

New short-term "Mobility" rental contracts, or "bail mobilité" in French, now make it possible to sign a rental contract of 1 to 10 months for a furnished apartment, even if it is the main residence of the tenant. The only condition is that the tenant must be a verifiable temporary resident (student, trainee, intern or temporary worker). Such a contract cannot be renewed with the same tenant and automatic renewal is excluded by law. Only the tenant may terminate at any time with one month's notice and without justification. With this new tenancy agreement, no security deposit will be required for the payment of the rent, and the ancillary costs will be charged as a lump sum. A landlord will be protected from the risk of nonpayment by tenants eligible with the Visale guarantee. This allows flexibility where previously only the seasonal rental agreement (for a maximum of 3 months) or the furnished rental agreement (for a minimum of 12 months) existed. A joint liability between tenants in shared flats is excluded by the law.

The Denormandie tax system created

! The Pinel Act extended until 2021 Extended and refocused, the tax advantage favouring new real estate in rental investment is now restricted to real estate areas: A, A bis and B1.

© Sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Community of owners

For co-ownership communities (syndicats de copropriété), the 1965 law is modernised in many respects. For example, the possibility of postal or electronic voting at the annual meeting is created. The exception of a limitation period of 10 years has been reduced to 5 years, which contributes to better legal certainty. Property managers will be obliged to make all relevant documents available to co-owners online.


For the sale of building land, the new law provides for a geological survey to be carried out at the expense of the seller in order to avoid surprises. In order to facilitate housing construction, the procedural deadlines will be reduced from 24 to 10 months if a building permit is contested by a third party. Additional legal penalties will also be created for abusive opposition to a building permit. From 2022, it will be possible to apply for a building permit online. When buying a flat on plan, the buyer can postpone certain finishing works in the future to save money.

! Building loans made simpler but more expensive The government has chosen to tax the contribution paid for the death benefit in creditor insurance at 9%. On the other hand, if there was still some uncertainty about when to change your mortgage insurance (since 2018, it is possible to change it every year), you now have to wait until the anniversary date of the signing of the loan offer to be able to do so. ! CITE and eco-PTZ extended These energy transition and renovation schemes have been extended until 2021. Note for the eco-PTZ that it is no longer necessary to initiate several works to obtain it, only one project is needed! Energy diagnostics will be required by landlords starting from 1 January 2021 with improvements paid at the cost of the owner. A grace period will be granted to landlords in order to accomplish any necessary energy-saving renovations. ! The lowered housing tax Its disappearance has already begun with a 30% decrease in 2018 for most taxpayers whose income did not exceed €27,000. In 2019, a second decline of 65% is expected. A further step towards the total exemption is planned for 2020.



Q&A with Benjamin Mondou Director of Century 21 Lafage Transactions Real estate is a very competitive sector on the Côte d'Azur. What sets Lafage Transactions apart from others?

The Century 21 Lafage Transactions group has been on the Côte d'Azur for more than 30 years. Over the years, thanks to our skills, seriousness and rigour, we have established a long-term relationship of trust with our clients. We offer

personalised service and professional advice. Our 45 employees are skilled in all aspects of real estate: residential and commercial, new real estate, life annuity sales, rental management, condominium management, year-round rental and holiday rental. Their multi-skill set is a real asset. The "Lafage spirit" is a maximum quality of service and a real commitment to our customers which has once again led to Lafage Transactions being named 1st agency in France within Century 21 for 2017.

2018 showed a strong increase in listings, but only a slight increase in sales. Will 2019 be a buyer's market?



south of France, but don't know where to begin?

Contact us! We support our customers from the initial development of their project to the final installation. Above all, it is a question of defining their desires and needs in concrete terms. Our role is to give them all the information they need about the RE market and the buying process. The purchase of a property is a life project, it is important to think about it objectively, and we are here to help.

What services do you offer for international clients?

Prices are stable in the region despite sustained demand. I think it is really time to invest on the Côte d'Azur given the transformation of the city of Nice and the very low interest rates in France.

All our employees are multilingual. We ensure the post-sale follow-up, all contract changes, administrative follow-up, we connect our customers with trusted service providers such as bankers, insurers, lawyers, architects, etc. The Lafage group also has a private management department for concierge service.

Brexit has caused many Britons to feel unsure of their future in France. Have you experienced British clients selling?

You founded Passionnement TNN, an organization that supports the Théâtre National de Nice. Why is it important to support the arts?

In fact, we have had very few departures from our British customers. Today they are coming back in force to invest in Nice and the surrounding area. They prefer to buy in France rather than England.

What advice would you give to those interested in buying in the

It is very important for me to get involved in the life of the city. Above all, I am passionate about the arts and theatre in particular, which are essential to the dynamism and influence of a city like Nice. It seems only natural to create synergies between the worlds of business and culture. The two worlds are linked. PTNN is now in its third season with more than 200 partners! !

Eight agencies at your service from Nice’s Carré d’Or to Beaulieu-sur-Mer

www.french-riviera-property.com Tél.





WHAT IS A VIAGER CONTRACT? A win-win situation for buyers and sellers A viager contract, similar to a transaction on life annuity, is popular in France and specially regulated by law. It ensures the seller a better financial provision in old age and for the buyer, it can be an inexpensive way to acquire a home in the south of France. By PETRA HALL


he story of Jeanne Calment from Arles dominated headlines in 1997 because Jeanne was considered the oldest person in the world at the time. Eight years old when Edison invented the light bulb, she died at the age of 122 years and 164 days. But there was another reason why the elderly lady caused such a stir: at the age of 90 she sold her little house to the then 45-year-old notary, André-François Raffray, on a viager contract - for 2,500 francs a month. Upon his death in 1995 - two years before Jeanne Calment's death - Raffray had paid the value of the house multiple times! He had believed he got a real bargain given the owner's old age, but that is the gamble. This is exactly the risk of this form of real estate contract. Accordingly, such a contract belongs to the contrats aléatoires, as well as insurance policies, betting and gambling, all bet on unpredictable events, such as death. However, viager contracts do give both parties the freedom to negotiate the terms at their own discretion. The tempting prospect of getting a property for little money if the often childless seller dies early may seem macabre. But there are advantages for both parties. For the seller, the viager represents an opportunity to improve the quality of life through additional monthly income and often a negotiable down payment – a bouquet as it is so beautifully called in French. At the MARCH / APRIL 2019

same time, the seller can usually remain undisturbed within their own four walls until the end of their lives. For the buyer, it is a chance to invest in a property at a greatly reduced rate. With the viager contract, advice from specialised agencies and a local notary is particularly important. In Nice, we spoke to Hervé Odent, president since 2003 of Etude Lodel, a company founded in 1980 and specializing in viager contracts, with

THE IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW IS THAT VIAGER IS A SAFE INVESTMENT AND THE BUYER DOES NOT NEED TO TAKE OUT A BANK LOAN. 20 branches throughout France, six of them in the south and one in Monaco. The concept was originally founded after the Second World War by notaries who, by the way, often buy such a property themselves. According to Odent, three quarters of the viager properties are based in Paris and the Côte d'Azur: "Many old people and potential buyers live here," says the experienced expert. "The viager, for example, is ideal for childless people who often have a low pension and still want something

out of life. They inherit, so to speak, themselves. 95 per cent of our properties currently on offer are occupied, so the owners live at home." The viager market has changed considerably over the last 15 years. While Etude Lodel only offered 50 properties in 2003, today it has 400. Not surprising, considering the constantly increasing life expectancy and often uncertain pension situation. The number of investors, on the other hand, has fallen. The important thing to know is that viager is a safe investment and the buyer does not need to take out a bank loan. "The risk for the seller is also limited," says Odent. The French government has passed numerous laws to protect pensioners and residents in particular. For example, the seller's rights must be entered clearly in the land register along with a number of other protective measures. If a spouse dies, the monthly payment is transferred to the surviving spouse without further costs. "However, one should like to play with bargains a little. Some say the viager is a bet on death. But there are also other forms, such as vente à terme," explains Odent. In this case, the contract is not terminated by the death of the seller, but by a mutually agreed term based on a set number of years. If the seller dies before the end of the contract, the monthly taxfree payments are paid to the heirs. The



vente à terme is actually a free loan from the buyer to the seller. Here, too, there are several options: The property can be vacant immediately, occupied for a certain period of time or for life. In the latter case, the seller remains in his home until their death, but the pension payment could end before - depending on what was negotiated. With the viager contract, on the other hand, the tax situation is not as favourable: the monthly payments are taxed, however from 70 years on, the tax rate drops to 30 percent of the monthly payments. "A viager only makes sense for sellers over 70 years of age—beforehand the taxes are higher," says Hervé Odent and underlines: "Which option is suitable for the seller must be decided on a case-bycase basis. We take a lot of time to analyse the financial and family situation of the prospective buyer, often requiring sensitivity, patience and psychology. Many of our customers are foreigners, so a particularly detailed consultation is necessary, because the viager contract is very specific to France and little known in the rest of Europe." The fact that notaries are often the first to take the opportunity to acquire such a property shows that the various forms of contract around the viager are also inte-

resting for the buyer. And, smiles Odent, "almost all French presidents have bought such an apartment or house. Like Fran-


çois Hollande, for example, who bought a villa in Mougins from us in this way." "





06000 NICE


TEL. 04 93 80 75 24


W W W. E T U D E LO D E L . C O M





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Carlton International Resale Market: Alpes-Maritimes Evolution of annual price (per m2)

Residential real estate A closer look at the market


here are two types of markets in real estate: new builds and existing. Jean-Marie Ebel, President of the Observatoire Immobilier d'Habitat, drew up the 2018 balance sheet.

As for new properties, sales volume increased by 7% compared to 2017, enabling the CCI Nice Côte d'Azur to set a new record with 4,882 properties sold compared to 4,663 in 1999. The sales volume is not the only thing on the rise—prices also increased by 4%, or an average price of €5,600 per square metre. This is explained by a significant increase in the quantity of new builds and sales above €5,000 per square metre. The only drop is Sophia-Antipolis, where the balance sheet is down, a slight decline in the residential market compared to the previous year. The market for existing properties also benefits from this dynamism, with 13,279 properties sold during the year, a feat that surpasses the record year of 2004, a total increase of 5%. On this side, prices remain similar with an average of € 4,000 per square metre. This year, caution will be the key word, in view of the 2020 municipal elections, high prices for new properties, credit rates likely to rise, households will become more cautious, this is what Jean-Marie Ebel has already noticed at the end of the 4th quarter, with a slowdown in the market. !


ARLTON INTERNATIONAL with offices in Antibes, Valbonne, St Paul de Vence & St Tropez, is known as an emblematic figure in the world of luxury real estate on the French Riviera. Their expert offer services to a sophisticated clientele from around the world, seeking to purchase or rent prestigious and exceptional properties. The company’s team of multilingual consultants is discrete and professional, dedicated to satisfying the needs of discerning clients. Their selection of luxury properties and their bespoke service are the cornerstone on which Carlton International was built. The French Riviera combines sophistication, modernity and natural beauty with undoubtedly, the most beautiful Mediterranean coastline. Enjoying a heritage of sumptuous palaces, dating mainly from the Belle Époque era, the French Riviera is only two hours flight from most European capitals and has become the most sought after glamorous destination.. !

Antibes Office 2721 Chemin de St Claude 06600 Antibes France Tel: +33 (0)4 93 95 11 11 www.carlton-international.com

My personal experience as an expat understands your needs. I offer you personalised and quality service with discretion.

S erenity Link BtoB/BtoC

Riviera Relocation

Sonia Le Bouthillier / Tel :+33 (0)7 81 18 63 56 www.slbrivierarelocation.com





Virtual home staging How augmented reality is changing the game By LAURA FIORINO

© Sfio Cracho/ Shutterstock.com


inding the right property can be a difficult and time-consuming task, especially when the property is at a distance or needs some work. With the vast and rapid improvements in technology, virtual and augmented reality is transforming how agents show properties, allowing prospective buyers to have ‘walk-throughs’ of redesigned spaces, without even being at the property. We covered the emerging world of virtual reality last year, which in tech years is more like an aeon ago. Today, virtual reality headpieces are more and more popular, not only because they can they take a viewer through

the property, but now ‘augmented reality’ is doing Home Staging, allowing buyers to see what their dream house could look like after renovations, or simply professional decorating. VR technology is no longer reserved for highend buyers or overseas investors--today, virtual reality tours can help sell a property that needs a makeover or some serious remodelling. This feature is the real game-changer. The principle is simple; a specialist goes to the property to film the rooms in high definition with a 360-degree camera. Once this step is completed, the content is adapted into



interactive images and transferred to interior designers. Home staging specialists can then rework the images using special software, giving a three-dimensional representation with decorative elements such as furniture, lighting, and wall colour. The final result gives the client an immersive and redesigned vision of what they desire for the property. It poses a win-win process for buyers, owners and real estate agencies. Virtual Home Staging is reinventing how real estate agents can present properties, being able to completely transform the interior without actually touching the property itself. !

Real Estate Salons Everything under one roof


11 Rue MACE, 06400 CANNES Tel. +33 493 685 737 | Mob. +33 674 614 239 www.siematic-cannes.com | gilles.leone@siematic-cannes.com


eal Estate Salons are a unique meeting place for individuals and professionals, offering a chance to meet companies and agencies to help buy, build, sell, rent, lease, or invest in property. Featuring much more than estate agents, these salons bring together representatives from the entire industry, including individual home builders, developers, designers, bank lenders, brokers, insurance agents, lawyers, and more. Plus food trucks and daycare for the wee ones. The following are upcoming Real estate salons in the PACA region. All events are free to the public and are open from 10 am to 7 pm.

23rd Immexpo

Marseille 22 - 24 March Parc Chanot www.immexpo-marseille.com

5th Salon Immobilier

St Raphaël 5 - 7 April Palais des Congrès St Raphaël, Port Santa Lucia www.st-raphael-immo.com

1st Salon Immo

Cannes 19 - 20 April Gare Maritime www.salon-immo-cannes.com


Château Diter

Château Viter is a massive villa in the SaintJacques area of Grasse. The 3,000 square metre structure has been cause for much controversy over the years due to numerous infractions, blatant disregard for the law and repeated nuisance to neighbours. The problem with this property is that it was turned from a small historic farm house to massive commercial villa without any permits, approvals or taxes. It is, to put it frankly, completely illegal. In 2000, Diter purchased ten hectares of the Haut Couloubrier estate. Totally uninterested in whether the law allowed him to build or not, in 2005 he began construction of arguably one of the most beautiful Renaissance-style villas in existence. It is completely new with all the amenities of a modern building, constructed with the finest materials and some original stonework from castles. There are arched colonnades, stone flooring, top-of-the-line marble floors, a gorgeous swimming pool and so much more.




The fate of the infamous Grasse villa


Despite the years of construction, permits were denied, construction ordered to stop and the city found itself in a quagmire over what to do with the situation. After a 2013 complaint of licence fraud, Patrick Diter finally appeared before the Grasse court in May 2016. In April 2017, the city ruled to return the property to its original state (a 200 m2 bastide) and fine him 90 million euros. Obviously he appealed. The outlandish and brazen nature of Diter has made him no friends, especially alienating neighbours in the surrounding area, as he continually rented the property our for weddings, corporate functions and filming. The noise and the laser light shows into the wee hours of the morning stirred many complaints. The final appeals trial opened in Aix-en-Provence this past January, where Diter openly admitted to making “some mistakes” but referenced his building of the large swimming pool without permits over the other 2,800 square metres of illegal property. The court’s final decision has been set to 23 March. !

Today’s buzzwords are sustainability, recycling, reduction of waste, and so on. We have banned plastic bags, straws and grocery sacs to help the environment. Yet we are looking at tearing down tons upon tons of perfectly good materials, stone, marble and iron creations. I see the destruction of Château Diter as a hideous waste of resources, not to mention the pollution and runoff that the demolition would cause. There is no doubt a need to punish Mr Diter for his blatant disregard for the law. However, I don’t see that fining him and tearing down the building does justice. A man so rich isn’t too bothered by fines (the fine was appealed down to a much lower amount) and he keeps the land. Wouldn’t a more appropriate punishment be for the city to confiscate the property? It could be sold at market value, turned into a cultural space or rental property to make much needed revenue for Grasse. It would save the beautiful property, avoid pollution, prevent the waste and takes away Diter’s ability to do it all over again.





COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE A historic year for the booming sector

The planned Cœur de Mougins project © Ville de Mouins


ast year proved to be a record-breaking year for commercial real estate investment. The amount of money invested in commercial properties in France surpassed 31 billion euros, the fourth quarter of 2018 shattering all records with 13 billion euros. The business office market alone made up 21 euros billion. These are levels never before seen. Perhaps word is spreading that France has made it easier to start a business? Paris was epicentre of the transactions, with an obvious corner on the market with 87%. One of the reasons given for this intense jump is due to Brexit. A Paris-based English estate agency wrote on their blog that Paris is being flooded by companies and small businesses (mostly French and EU owners) leaving London and opening in Paris to remain Europe based. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is third in France, after l’Auvergne-Rhône, for attracting new businesses. Companies specialising in E-commerce, logistics, software, and technology have outpaced all other sectors. Retail, on the other hand, has taken a hard hit, dropping 70% from previous years. Clearing barely 500 million euros of investment in 2018, it is the lowest level in last ten years. Restaurants and bars have held their own against the tech industry, with Jean Médecin in Nice and Rue d’Antibes in Cannes being the strongest areas for such commercial property. Benjamin Mondou (interviewed on page 37), the director of Nicebased Century 21 Lafage Transactions, had so much commercial business that last year he opened a new agency dedicated to commercial property sales. Lafage Horeca Commerces, provides specialists in bar-tabacs, retail and cafes and restaurants. They have been so busy that in only six months, they have made over

twenty transactions. Surely there is no sign of a slowing economy in these parts! Nice Metropole, the Côte d'Azur capital and Sophia-Antipolis are two quite distinct markets that are practically impervious to each other. Sophia Antipolis technology park is experiencing remarkable growth (+1,000 net jobs per year), and achieved a record year in 2018. Two-thirds of last year’s 74,000 square metres of transactions took place in Sophia. Figures like this haven’t been seen since 2000.

© HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock.com





Large developments A number of large commercial developments have been approved across the Côte d’Azur: new municipal buildings, large-scale corporate projects, new hotels and new community centres. Fortunately, the designs getting approved these days require extensive environmental standards, mixed-use concepts and energy-saving design. Projects like the long-awaited Ikea complex in Nice finally broke ground this year. Several new projects are on the horizon, including the Palazzo Meridia, the largest wooden building in France will be offered for sale in Nice Méridia; the Grand Central, a 35,000m² complex for rent in the future ‘multimodal hub’ of the Grand Arénas and Sky Sophia is a dynamic space designed to work differently. There are also municipal projects, like the future city-centre for Mougins combining retail, residential and municipal spaces. This project was just awarded with the prestigious Marianne d’Or for its exceptional environmental standards (read more on page 47). The following pages highlight the projects making news, including a completely revamped district in Monte-Carlo. !

74,000 M² OF COMMERCIAL SPACE FILLED IN 2018 The Nice Metropole market: # 26,500 m² processed in 66 transaction requests # 7 requests between 500 m² and 1000 m² # 4 requests above 1000 m² (Spaces, Regus, KPMG and MNCA) The Sophia Antipolis market: # 45,500 m² processed and placed in 16 transaction requests: # 10 requests between 1000 m² to 2000 m² # 6 requests for more than 2000 m² (Sopra Steria, ARM, Alten, SII, IBM, Mercedes design centre, Amadeus)

© Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com





Future Park

Amazon sphere

Gasholders London


30th Mipim Awards Mipim, the world's largest real estate fair, celebrates its 30th year in Cannes. Sustainability and the future of the real estate sector will be more important than ever.


or thirty years, the MIPIM Awards have been celebrating the real estate industry and awarding the biggest and most innovative properties in the world. Now the fair is looking to the future and wondering what the next 30 years of the real estate industry will look like. One thing is for sure, the keyword of the future is sustainability. The most influential players from all areas of the international real estate industry will be gathering at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, from 12 to 15 March, to network and discuss the future of the industry. Special guest Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations, will be giving the opening speech on 12 March. Ronan Vaspart, Director of Mipim, says: "For the 30th Mipim, we have chosen 'Engaging MARCH / APRIL 2019

the Future' as the central theme, and this includes the question of how future generations will live and work in an increasingly densely populated urban environment. Ban Ki-moon is committed to sustainable development and his opening speech is expected to set the theme of this very special Mipim". More than 26,000 participants and around 5400 investors are expected at the Palais, where there will be numerous lectures, exhibitions and networking opportunities. On Thursday, March 14, the highly anticipated Mipim Awards will be presented to the creators of the world's most exciting new real estate projects. Four or five buildings are nominated in eleven different categories. Here we look at some innovative nominees in Anglophone countries.

BEST OFFICE & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Amazon Spheres, Seattle, United States Developer: Seneca Group Architect: NBBJ BEST RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT: Gasholders London, London, United Kingdom Developer: King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) Architect: Wilkinson Eyre BEST FUTURA PROJECT: Humaniti, Montreal, Canada Developer: Cogir Immobilier Architect: Lemay BEST FUTURA MEGA PROJECT: Future Park, Yorkshire, United Kingdom Developer: Fallons Architect: Bond Bryan


Cœur de Mougins The future town hall wins the Marianne d’Or


rance’s most prestigious municipality award, the Marianne d’Or was granted to Mougins for their ambitious, innovative and environmentally sustainable project, Cœur de Mougins. The Marianne d'Or competition is a prize of excellence for the French towns, honouring their initiatives, actions and policies. Since 2007, the Marianne d'Or Sustainable Development Competition has been held in parallel. For 18 years, the priority of Richard Galy, Mayor of Mougins, has been to respect the nature of his city, what he considers a ‘garden municipality.’ He has worked to curb urban development by being very selective with building permits. The Cœur de Mougins project, however, has his full support. Establishing a living centre, the complex incorporates numerous needs of the city, including a new centralised Mairie, with the

latest sustainable technology and environmentally friendly features. The 37,080 m² project is made of 11 buildings and will provide 480 residences, a Senior living residence, 24 retail shops, a three-theatre cinema, 860 parking spaces and green spaces with over 300 trees and rooftop orchards. The new, centralised town hall will house all the city affairs including the municipal police, school affairs, the urban planning dept., the tourism board and more. Designed by architect Jean-Pierre Lott, its design is innovative and bold, featuring a ventilated and tree-lined double layer facade to use the transpiration of the tree-lined area to cool offices in the summer and warm them up in winter. It will also feature rain and wastewater collection networks. Its bioclimatic design, green roof and planned



energy autonomy brings the building to a high environmental standard (earning the Mediterranean Sustainable Building label). The total cost of the project is near 15 million euros, which was made possible thanks to rigorous management of public funds, and the support of the State and the ProvenceAlpes-Côte-D'Azur Regional Council. It is projected that with the reduction in expenditure on energy, building insurance, return and return of service vehicles, building maintenance the new town hall will provide 280,000 euros in annual savings for the city. Conviviality, intergenerational cohesion, proximity and services, and respect for the environment are the main goals for this development. Start of work is planned for the second quarter of 2020 to be completed in 2022. !

The future centre of Mougins © D.R.







A NEW ERA FOR HÔTEL DE PARIS The Monaco fairy tale continues

Inaugurated in January by HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Stephanie, the Prince Rainier III suite is the largest of the hotel, with 600 square metres of interior space and a terrace with a roof-top infinity pool overlooking the Place du Casino and the Italian Riviera in the distance. Almost 900 m² of the roof has been transformed into an indoor/outdoor wellness area with a pool, sauna, steam room and numerous bar and lounge areas. The newly built Ômer restaurant, another Ducasse creation, joins the ranks of the hotel’s haute-cuisine. The Rotonde, the American Bar and the lobby have also been redesigned, although the central flower arrangement and the lucky Louis XIV statue with its knee polished by those seeking fortune have remained unchanged. The fairy tale of Monte-Carlo continues, ushering in a new era for this legendary hotel, renewing not only the environment but also its reputation with the top stars and great leaders of the world. "


ince 1864, the world-famous Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo has stood for exclusivity and luxury. The prestigious Belle-Époque building on the Place du Casino has also made a name for itself in gastronomy thanks to Alain Ducasse and his 3-star restaurant Louis XV and The Grill with its 350,000-bottle wine cellar. Now, after four years of extensive construction work, the legendary address once again fulfils the credo of its founder François Blanc: "The Hôtel de Paris surpasses everything created before." The impressive metamorphosis begins with the extension’s façade, which recalls its identity from the Belle Époque of 1909, and continues with contemporary and luxurious interior decoration of the rooms. Two exceptional new suites, Princesse Grace and Prince Rainier III, offer stunning accommodations fit for royalty. ©MCSBM



One MonteCarlo

© Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer – Pierre VillardMCSBM

The new neighbourhood


fter four years of intense construction, the complex has been officially inaugurated. Located next to the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, One Monte-Carlo is not only a new building, but an entirely



new neighbourhood. At the end of February, about 400 invited guests - tout Monaco - attended the celebratory inauguration of Société des Bains de Mer’s state-of-the-art structure and the redesigned quartier. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlène joined JeanLuc Biamonti, President délégué of the SBM to officiate the ceremony and dedicate the plaques bearing their names. Where the beautiful Sporting d'Hiver, built in 1932, once stood, One Monte-Carlo is a new centre of residential and commercial space with a fully pedestrianised area, bringing together leading luxury brands and a selection of outstanding restaurants, surrounded by a ‘haven of greenery.’ Luxury boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi, Chanel, Prada, Graff, Lanvin, Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent are all to be found on the newly created "Promenade Princesse Charlène", making One Monte-Carlo, according to SBM, one of the world's most unique shopping experiences. The pavilions where the shops were temporarily housed, just north of Place du Casino, are now being dismantled. The impressive seven-building project was designed by architect and urban planner Sir Richard Rogers (responsible for One Hyde Park in London), along with Monaco architect Alexandre Giraldi, and the interior architecture of 4BI & Associates, Bruno Moinard and Claire Bétaille. Together, they created a modern complex of 37 luxury apartments, 4,500 square metres of commercial space, 2,500 square metres of office space, an exhibition centre of 800 square metres, a 200 seat cinema and 3,000 square metres of conference rooms. The immense project has completely changed the heart of the principality, offering the newest modern amenities in the grand style expected of Monaco. "

© Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer – Pierre VillardMCSBM





Jeanne Augier’s Negresco A living anthology Madame Jeanne Augier, owner of the Negresco Hotel since 1957, spent her life collecting some of the rarest works of French art. After her death, her legacy lives on in one of the most incredible art collections of the region. By NICOLE RUSKELL


he start of 2019 saw the loss of one of Nice’s most iconic personalities. On 7 January, Madame Jeanne Augier passed away at the age of 96. Taking over the hotel from her father in 1957, she was a tireless force, shaping the culture and reputation of the famed Belle Époque hotel. Together with her husband, Paul Augier, they made the Negresco a luxurious palace that became a favourite with the rich and famous. Known not only for its luxury, the Negresco is also known for being unexpected and Avant-guard. Often called ‘flamboyant,’ Madame Augier’s bright hair, red lips and colourful wardrobe made her an unmistakable icon of Nice and she was revered for her fabulous taste in art and flair for surprising her guests with exceptional treats and special experiences. Refusing repeated offers to purchase the landmark hotel, Mme Augier kept the Negresco true to her unique style, remaining one of the few high-end, independently owned hotels of the world. She once told Liberation newspaper: "I must have a hundred offers a year to buy the Negresco. It's out of the question." An avid art collector, Madame Augier acquired an impressive collection of French art, particularly antique furniture, busts of French aristocracy and classical paintings, which famously adorne the walls the hotel. Over the decades, she amassed over 6,000 pieces spanning 500 years of French history. Her idea was to enrich the hotel's collection by presenting a sort of living anthology of French art. She rigorously redecorated the interior with some of the finest examples of French art and MARCH / APRIL 2019

The Salon Versailles ©Hotel Negresco

craftsmanship. Taking on the task as an adventure of sorts, she travelled extensively to find rare and outstanding pieces from the time of Louis XIII to the present day. The two main types of the hotel's artistic heritage are a magnificent collection of portraits and sculptures from the 17th and 18th centuries and a collection of modern art, supporting contemporary artists of our time.

17th century lounge, the Salon Versailles. The ceiling of this grand salon is rare example of a painted wood box ceiling, from the 17th

The 17th to 18th century art

These two oppulent centuries were always the favourite of Madame Augier. When you first enter the Negresco, you are welcomed by a set of portraits from the 17th and 18th centuries, a hint that you are stepping into a living art museum. These portraits are all works by painters close to Pierre Mignard, the First Painter to the King at Palace of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV. They include François de Troy, Hyacinthe Rigaud and Carle Van Loo (a native of Nice). Madame Augier’s taste for the grandeur of French art is also expressed in decorative pieces, recreating rooms according to specific time periods, such as the reconstruction of a

Yellow Nana, Niki de Saint Phalle, 1995. ©Hotel Negresco


©Hotel Negresco

BUST OF ALINE RENOIR, AUGUSTUS RENOIR, 1916 The sculptures of the great Auguste Renoir are little known. The Negresco owns a rare example of a bust of his wife, Aline Charigot, which Renoir completed towards the end of his career.

century. The meticulously painted scenes depict various allegorical figures and scenes from the twelve works of Hercules (Hercules and the Hydra of Lerne, the delivery of Prometheus). Amazingly, Jeanne Augier was given the ceiling by cloistered nuns who took over a castle in 1957. Rare portraits and even rarer furniture can be found on each floor of the hotel, with perhaps the finest piece in the Suite Pompadour, home to a chest of drawers crafted in inlaid wood and a double basket motif, richly carved with gilded leaves. Objects of the sort are just not found these days, let alone one you can actually use.

Modern and Contemporary art

Perhaps one of the most unusual aspects of the hotel’s collection is the brazen combination of antiquities and contemporary art. Jeanne Augier has never hesitated combining the drastically different styles, believing it gave the Negresco an eclectic, colourful and joyful result. A special friendship was forged between Madame Augier and local Niçiose artist and designer, Niki de Saint Phalle. Her colourful and iconic “Yellow Nana” is an unmistakable part of the hotel’s contemporary collection and satisfied Augier’s love of the ‘freed woman’. The artist belonged to the "New Realism” style and her series of "Nanas" flew in face of artistic conventions of the time. She described the brightly coloured figures as ‘a vision of femininity that is at once maternal, free, alive and light.’ Another iconic piece of the hotel’s collection

is visible without even entering. De Saint Phalle’s shining, sparkling ‘Miles Davis’ (1999) stands proudly below the towering Belle Époque building, blaring on his golden trumpet. Yet another example of Madame Augier’s bold combining of classic and contemporary art, this time out in the open. It’s no wonder the Negresco became a favourite for top stars and artists. From the Beatles to Salvador Dalí, to the world’s royal families, the sea-front hotel is the place to stay when in Nice. Many fine pieces of art are on display in the restaurant and bar, including an ancient tapestry in the main bar, on view for any customer. The Negresco has lost their matron saint and Nice has lost an icon of its own, but Madame Augier lives on through her incredible collection, leaving her mark forever on the soul of the city. !

"POÉSIE LÉGÈRE" The frescoes under the colonnade of the Royal Salon were especially created for the Negresco, combining a festive spirit and the erotic lightness so cherished in during the Belle Époque. On the right, as you enter, is a voluptuous woman dancing with a delicately transparent skirt. Perhaps she is Erato, muse of lyrical and erotic poetry, crowned with roses and myrtle. The peacock that accompanies her is attributed to the goddess Hera. The painter, Hyppolite-Lucas, specialist in oldworld style was quite famous at the time and regularly exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, and was awarded at the Expositions of 1889 and 1900. ©Hotel Negresco




Every time I pass the Hotel Negresco, my gaze wanders up to its world-famous dome tower, the landmark of Nice. Here, on the last floor, with an unobstructed view of the Promenade des Anglais and the Mediterranean, Madame Jeanne Augier resided with her beloved cat and later - her nurses. Until a few years before her death in January 2019, they drove her to the Negresco carousel restaurant La Rotonde for dinner every evening. There she, the millionaire owner, dined mostly unrecognized in her restaurant. Even then, she was a legend, a strong personality who was hard to come by. Known for her uncompromising nature, but also for her love of animals and her passion for art. In the course of her long life, she collected 6000 works from five centuries of French history. I was all the happier when she agreed to an interview for the Riviera Times. Meeting point: the mythical hotel bar. The Grande Dame arrived on time for our conversation. After some small talk, Jeanne Augier said: "You know, most journalists bore me. Then, after five minutes, I save myself from headaches and leave. But you can stay" I felt ennobled. We talked for two hours. About her expeditions in the French countryside, where she personally tracked down forgotten art treasures and antique furniture at the wheel of a small van. About Bill Gates, who was holding out a blank cheque for her to sell him the Negresco. Which she "naturally" vehemently rejected. And about the future. Her marriage with Paul Augier had remained childless, her whole love was for animal protection and culture. The hotel and her private assets flowed into a foundation. Now one might say that 95 years is a remarkable age and that Madame Augier, who had recently fallen seriously ill with Alzheimer's, had finally found her peace. But the sadness is still immense. Sadness about the loss of a kind of personality that is dying out. Her death leaves a hole in Nice's story, as people of such calibre are not easily found.






Eileen Gray’s Villa Tempe a Pailla © National Museum of Ireland

Tempe a Pailla The innovative and lesser-known home of Eileen Gray By SARAH HYDE


ileen Gray was buried in a simple unmarked grave, numbered 17616 in Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Only three people attended her funeral after her auspicious death on Halloween, 1976. Largely unknown during her life time, Eileen Gray was initially rediscovered by Joseph Rykwert in 1967 when he wrote about her work for ‘Dormus Magazine’ claiming her place among the great modernists. Today, almost 50 years after her death, the world is looking for a female architect to canonise and interest in Eileen Gray has never been greater. At first it was her luxurious furniture design that drew the attention of designers, writers and wealthy collectors. The record-breaking price for her Dragon Chair at the Christie’s Yves Saint Laurent sale made her a household name. Now, it’s as an architect that she is gaining the world’s attention. Eileen Gray’s home was on Rue Bonaparte in Paris, a flat she owned since 1917. However she had an enduring relationship with the Côte d’Azur, spending every December and July on the sun drenched coast. The two precious houses that she built are within the region, the third, Lou Pelou, was a conversion of an older property. We know plenty about Villa E1027, but Gray built another house in Menton - after her beak-up with Jean Badalucci, the editor of Architecture Vivante. The new house, Tempe a Pailla, which translates roughly as the moment before yawning, was the house she created for herself, making it perhaps her most intriguing work of all. Eileen Gray began buying parcels of the land on the road to Castellar in 1926, before E1027 was even completed. Not an easy place to build, the site was chosen primarily for its incredible view of the mountains and the sea, something which Gray guaranteed by buying the lemon grove on the other side of the road. The property contained three large cisterns, one of which she converted into a garage with a modern pivoting door. This was the home for her beloved sports car which she was known to drive around in a dicky bow tie and trousers suit. Work on the new house began in 1932 and it was completed in 1934. Le Corbusier rather cleverly said it: “fait dialogue aesthetic moderne et language vernaculaire” (makes dialogue between modern aesthetic and vernacular language) which sums it up very well. The house used local stone and this is noticeable on the façade facing the street, drawing less attention than a white concrete wall. The true entrance to the house is not visible from the road; requiring visitors arrive via stairs through the garden. Much has been made of the extreme discretion of this house, perhaps one contributing factor was simply that it was closed up for much of the year. If E1027 was a home for lovers, Tempe a Pailla was concerned solely with accommodating its creator. Described as a laboratory for her prototypes, the house itself was an experiment. Understanding the layers of thought



Eileen Gray’s Villa Tempe a Pailla © National Museum of Ireland

that have gone into this house makes its interpretation intellectually demanding --it's like a very clever puzzle. Eileen paid careful attention to the relationship of the house with nature and its location. The shaded terrace commands panoramic views of the mountains and the sea — aligned to the sun at both the winter and summer solstice. There has been debate about Gray's interest in Stonehenge. Could this be the influence of her friendship with Alistair Crowley? Hidden ingenuity The relationship between the house and its environment is taken much further than simply aligning the house to the sun and incorporating the stunning view. Eileen’s ingenuity created a sophisticated ventilation system to keep the house cool in summer, controlling the temperature and ambience with shade and light. The house literally metamorphoses from summer to winter. An ingenious aperture system in the roof of the bedroom allowed complete control of the sunlight. One assumes that it was blocked during the day in the summer to keep bedrooms cool and fully open in winter to bring in light and warmth and a fire place was hidden within a cupboard. Eileen carefully considered the relationship between outside and inside, consciously managing the interchange between the two with stunning results, creating exquisite tension between the shaded terrace and the interior. Of course what is truly remarkable is that there is so much beauty. Colin St John Wilson, architect of the British library and Eileen Gray aficionado, described her "unique gift for turning the practical into the poetic." It would be too easy to imagine that Eileen Gray rejected the rigid orthodoxy of modernism as she moved away from her relationship with Baldolucci. What is certain is she did not embrace Le Corbusier's five principals or open plan living in this house. She employed a systematic approach, plotting the movement and function within the house to both

herself and her maid Louise, with whom she lived with for over fifty years. There are diagrams of the plan of the house with lines for Gray's movement and dotted lines for Louiseshowing their two different yet parallel lives in the same space. If anything, Gray was creating division with the allocation of space. Inside the house things are not always as they seem, benches in the dining room pull forward to reveal stairs to the wine cellar, sliding cupboard spaces reveal hidden fire places and moveable wardrobes expand to become partitions. Architectural historians have argued that in making all the furniture and rugs for her house herself, Gray was actually returning to the arts and crafts tradition of her education. Modern readers may wonder why such endless classification of Eileen Gray’s work is necessary; surely if the house is beautiful and works that is all that matters. From the perspective of today, it is hard to imagine how rigid and male dominated the ideals of International Modernism were – at the time it was considered a political belief if you were not adhering to the basic tenets and you were kicked out of the party. Sadly, Tempe a Pailla was devastated during the war. It must have been heart-breaking for


Gray to return to an empty shell of her home, but she ensured it was painstakingly restored. In 1955, Gray received an offer from the artist Graham Sutherland to buy the house and she let it go, moving on to St Tropez where she had an apartment. Eventually she created a new home, Lou Pelou. Perhaps this is the origin of her famous statement: ‘The future projects light, the past only clouds.’ In an interview with Zeev Aran for Dezeen magazine, Aran described Eileen Gray as “disappointed with a small d.” It seems tragic that it took fifty years after her death to gain so much recognition for her work. The quiet, private architect destroyed most of her personal papers before she died, leaving her work alone as her legacy and we will never know why she designed this incredibly private house as she did. Is it possible that she was operating on another spiritual level? Or perhaps she simply enjoyed an afternoon cat nap in the sun. What is becoming increasingly clear is how important this house and its mysteries are. We can only hope that if the property becomes available, its importance will be acknowledged and it will be saved and preserved for posterity. !

Eileen Gray’s Villa Tempe a Pailla © National Museum of Ireland





The Agenda


Must-see exhibitions Is there something in the air that makes you feel a little bit tipsy or is it springtime in the Côte D’Azur? It’s blissful just to be alive in spring, but if you like a little extra stimulation there is plenty to see.

f Modernism is your passion, there is a fascinating Corbusier Exhibition at Villa Noailles exploring the Villa de Mandrot, called L’Artaude, which was completed in 1931 as a summer home for Hélène de Mandrot. It’s quite interesting to note that this well-received and celebrated property notoriously leaked in the rain. The exhibition, set within the fascinating Robert Mallet Stevens building is a double hit for purists — it runs alongside a curious exhibition entitled “A Room Away” about Architects’ Hotel rooms.


Want to experience colour rather than form? Head to Villa Paloma in Monaco and enter the colourful world of Ettore Spalleti. This Italian artist works with layers of colour and shapes, producing work that he describes as ‘meditative’. He layers paint onto the surface, achieving spectacular results by degrees of saturation. It’s an immersive experience that may prove inspirational for anyone who is considering redecorating. ‘Adrien Vescovi. MNEMOSYNE’ opens at MAMAC in Nice 9 March; the upcoming artist has been invited to take over the entire Galerie des Ponchettes with an intervention that includes textiles that have been weathered by nature. Elsewhere in Nice an exhibition space that has been on Riviera Insider’s radar for some time is Maison Abandonée. As the name suggests, it’s an abandoned villa turned art space. They have a new show opening: Cabinet Pique Nique. In response to the #Metoo movement (#balancetonporc in France), this all-female show fits appropriately in an aged and abandoned home, with displays in bedrooms, sitting rooms and the kitchen. Opening 29 March (vernissage 6:30 pm) until 26 April.

Ettore Spalletti, View of the artist’s studio, Cappelle sul Tavo-Pescara ©2013 Ph:Werner J. Hannappel

The end of April is probably one of the most glamorous times of year for art lovers as Art Monte Carlo takes over the Grimaldi Forum. Serious business will be taking place — accompanied by the discreet sound of champagne corks popping and charming bon mots around the open space— the international art world is paying annual homage to the principality and there will be a host of gala and VIP events as the top galleries, including Victoria Miro, Gagosian, Houser and Almine Rech take part. Don’t miss Art Week, also in Monaco, from 24 to 28 April (more on page 20). Sadly, this year the hugely successful Nomad will not be visiting Monaco, however what we lose in one event, we gain with PAD, which is opening for the first time in the principlaity. For those of you familiar with the London or Geneva edition you may know what to expect but if not, this fair is all about design and Jewellery. Held at the Grimaldi Forum, prepare to be taken to the next level of desire.

Ettore Spalletti, View of the artist’s studio, Cappelle sul Tavo-Pescara ©2013 Ph:Werner J. Hannappel


Finally, if you love all things fashion and in particular fashion photography and accessories, there is only one place to be the last weekend of April: The 34th International Festival of Fashion Photography and Accessories. Taking place at Villa Noailles from 25-29 April with exhibitions continuing until 26 May. This is a great place to discover the best in new photography and make sure you look fabulous as the event is sponsored by Chanel and will be packed with paparazzi. Keep an eye on social media, it will surely explode with posts. !





47th Salon d'Antibes Antibes’ annual Art Fair or more than forty years, the Salon d’Antibes has been showcasing antiques, modern art and contemporary art. ‘Art Fair’ is one of the most important and prestigious art fairs in France and also a major event in Europe due to its unique atmosphere on the Antibes’ port. With close to 100 antique dealers, jewellers and gallery owners presenting their best and most famous pieces, the event is very well attended. This is why, every year, more than 20,000 visitors flock to the seaside fair, including art dealers, art lovers and collectors of antiques, jewellery and masterpiece paintings. Specialists in the


field know that at the Salon d'Antibes they will find some of the most beautiful pieces currently available on the art market. This year, the organisers are raising the bar, presenting an even higher quality than previous years. They have selected French and foreign exhibitors who are leaders in their specialities, thus bringing together some of the most beautiful artistic creations in the same place: furniture, artwork, decorative objects, lighting, carpets, antique jewellery, tableware and much more. Outside, facing the sea, visitors will delight with a stroll through the antique shops on the beautiful esplanade in front of the port by the entrance to old town.

Under the fair’s big top, dealers will create true galleries, sumptuously staged with spectacular pieces of art. Visitors will feel as if they are travelling back in time, a visual tour through the history of art from antiquity to the twenty-first century. All styles of decoration will be represented: From the ancient arts of Asia to the major European classical styles, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, modern art, minimalist design, contemporary art, and so on. As during a voyage, each exhibitor allows you to step into different styles of interior furniture, objects and artworks created over the centuries. Make sure to admire these rare pieces before they go home with a private collector or to a museum. !






Aterballetto, Bliss di Johan Inger © ph. Nadir Bonazzi

What? Deux Mensonges et une vérité After 27 years of marriage with Catherine, Philippe is certain that there are no secrets between them. To convince his wife, he proposes a game in which both of them are supposed to tell two lies and one true story: The goal is it to guess the true one. An enchanting story by Sébastien Blanc and Nicolas Poiret which was nominated for the best comedy prize at the Molières 2018.


We are giving away a pair of tickets to see Eh bien, dansez maintenant! on Sunday, 28 April at 4:30 pm. For details, visit the Competitions section on our website: www.riviera-press.fr


Palais des Festivals Cannes

When? 23th March – 8:30pm

Where? Théâtre Croisette – Hôtel JW Marriott


Aterballetto “Golden Days” The Italian company Aterballetto has co-operated with the Swedish choreograph of the Cullberg Ballett, John Inger to present a new dance show. It persists of three parts: Rain Dogs with the lyrics and the voice of Tom Waits, Bliss with the well-known Köln Concert of Keith Jarrett at the piano and last but not least a combination of two epochs: The solo Birdland with the Patti Smith song.

Dominique A “Solo” The artist, well-known for his hits Vers and Éléor, is now breaking a new ground: His 11th album Toute Latitude offers a rock and electronic sound accompanied by sociological and poetic lyrics.

Where? What?



30th March – 8:30pm

Théâtre Debussy – Palais des Festivals

20th March – 8:00pm

Théâtre Debussy – Palais des Festivals


Le Lauréat (The Graduate) The provocative and at the same time rebellious and desperate Mrs. Robinson seduces the young graduate Benjamin Braddock to kill the routine of his boring life. The classic film by Mike Nicholas has now been transformed into a French play by Stéphane Cottin. Immerse yourself into the American 60ties accompanied by Beatles, Lo Reed, Velvet Underground and of course Simon and Garfunkel music.

When? 14th April – 4:00pm

Where? Théâtre Debussy – Palais des Festivals




Orchestre de Cannes What? When? 2nd April – 7:00pm

Where? Mille et une nuits Amel Brahim-Djelloul © Ashraf Kessaissia

What? Mille et une nuits The Cannes Orchestra presents a concert between tradition and modernity. The classical pieces by Saint-Saëns and Weber will be combined with Andalusian and Greek songs. A unique combination of classical and contemporary music.


Théâtre Alexandre III, Cannes

What? Émile A musical fairy story written by Vincent Cuvellier and accompanied by the music of Marc-Olivier whose ability to transform everything we cannot express in words with humor and ease.


31st March – 4:30pm

12th April – 3:00pm and 05:00pm



Théâtre Croisette, Cannes

What? Voyage Baroque The orchestra of Cannes invites you to a baroque concert with French, German and English music. Composers such as Henry du Mont, Erlebach or Dornel are on the programme.

Auditorium des Arlucs – Cannes la Bocca

What? Eh bien, dansez maintenant ! Just a century ago, to heal the wounds of an atrocious war, France lived at the frenetic pace of the Roaring Twenties: Paris danced and sang and the accordion became the symbol of the epoch. The solo accordionist Félicien Brut offers us now his story accompanied by the unique instrument. We have tickets!

When? 28th April – 4:30pm

Where? Théâtre Croisette – Hôtel JW Marriott Cannes

Et bien dansez maintenant - Félicien Brut © Manuel Braun

La damnation de Faust Goethe’s classic, a narration about the old and wise Faust between heaven and hell, is now represented by Hector Berlioz. His interpretation is more of an oratorio than an opera whose focus is placed less on the narration.


Trois Préludes © D.R.

Opéra de Nice

22th March - 8:00pm 24th March – 3:00pm

Where? Opéra Nice

What? Ludwig van Beethoven A concert conducted by György R. Ráth and accompanied at the piano by Dénes Vàrjon.


What? Trois Préludes Two ballet dancers fall in love repeating their dance moves and trying to unify their bodies. This growing passion is choreographed by Ben Stevenson and accompanied by the music of Sergueï Rachmaninov.


28th April – 3:00pm

12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th and 21st April



Opéra Nice

Ballet de Monte-Carlo What? Imprévus 2 This ballet offers a subtle and at the same time surprising art of choreography with the privilege of observing the dancers very closely.


Opéra Nice

What? Création The choreographers of this show, Jean-Christophe Maillot and Goyo Montero, are convinced that dance is a mix of various disciplines. These two performances are a combination of movement, music, scenography, costumes and lighting. Maillot will be accompanied by the music of Antonio Castrignanò and Montero by Owen Belton.


4th, 5th and 6th April – 7:00pm

25th, 26th, 27th and 28th April – 8:00pm



Atelier des Ballets de MonteCarlo

Grimaldi Forum (except the 28th: Salle des Princes)







9 - 10 MARCH

"JAZZ CONCERT YOUN SUN NAH" From Seoul to Paris: Youn Sun Nah belongs to the great jazz voices of today. Influenced by American classics like Paul Simon and Jimi Hendrix, she enchants audiences around the world. Le Carré, 8pm. www.carre-sainte-maxime.fr

SAINT RAPHAËL 1ST COMIC AND YOUTH FESTIVAL For this first edition, the Palais des Congrès will welcome comics for workshops, signing sessions, shows and conferences. Palais des Congrès, 10am – 6pm www.saint-raphael.com

9 - 18 MARCH NICE "FOIRE DE NICE" Traditional fair on 25,000 m2 of exhibition space with more than 500 stands! Nice Acropolis, 10am - 7pm. www.sean-acropolis.com

10 MARCH NICE BEETHOVEN CONCERT For all Beethoven lovers, the Opera House of Nice offers two hours of unforgettable musical enjoyment. Nice Opera House, 3pm. www.opera-nice.org

14 - 15 MARCH GRASSE "NOMAD" The most important choreographer of his generation, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, shows a powerful ode to fraternity. Théâtre Grasse, 8pm. www.theatredegrasse.com

15 - 17 MARCH MANDELIEU WELLNESS, BIO & THERAPIES FAIR 3 days of conferences, stands and activities to find solutions and new alternatives for a better life. Centre Expo Congrès, 10am - 7pm. www.salonbienetremandelieu.com

16 MARCH SAINT-JEAN-CAP-FERRAT MUSIC EVENING AND DINNER Wonderful evening by the Sea with a champagne reception and candlelight dinner. Accompanied by classical melodies. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, 6:30pm. www.villa-ephrussi.com


18 MARCH NICE CONCERT Sounds of Borodine and Smetana in the Palais Lascaris in old town. 12.30 pm. www.opera-nice.org/

29 MARCH NICE RED ARMY CHOIR CONCERT The most famous choir in the world returns to Nice to celebrate its 90th anniversary with a flashback to the most famous works of its repertoire. A breathtaking show that touches the heart and soul of every spectator. Nice Acropolis, 8:30pm. www.sean-acropolis.com NICE BALLET PERFORMANCE Here dance and art meet: dancers of the Monte-Carlo Ballet combine dance and other artistic disciplines. Musée National Marc Chagall, 8 pm. www.nicetourisme.com

30 MARCH CANNES CHOIR CONCERT The three choirs of the Conservatory gather for an extraordinary concert. Église Protestante Unie de Cannes, 7 rue Notre-Dame. 8pm. www.cannes.com BEAULIEU-SUR-MER "CARMEN" The unique opera by Georges Bizet is now coming to the Côte d'Azur under the musical direction of Sir Mark Elder. Cinéma de Beaulieusur-mer, 2pm. www.cinemadebeaulieu.com

31 MARCH CANNES "THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS" The Cannes Orchestra presents a concert between tradition and modernity. The classical pieces by Saint-Saëns and Weber will be

combined with Andalusian and Greek songs. A unique combination of classical and contemporary music. Theatre Croisette, 4:30pm. www.orchestre-cannes.com CANNES CONCERT The Cannes Conservatory offers a contemporary creation with Thierry Mercier on guitar and Hélène Breschand on harp. Espace Miramar, 35 rue Pasteur, 4pm. www.cannes.com

2 APRIL NICE "CELTIC LEGENDS" For their 15th anniversary, Celtic Legends 2019 is back with a brand new show. On the program are 20 dancers and two hours of spectacular dances and choreographies, Palais Nikaïa. 8:30pm. www.nikaia.fr MENTON ROYAL NATIONAL BALLET OF GEORGIA A mixture of classical, modern and traditional dance that takes the audience on a journey through Georgia. Théâtre Francis Palermo, Palais de l'Europe, 9pm. www.agenda-menton.fr CANNES JOURNEY TO THE BAROQUE PERIOD The orchestra of Cannes invites you to a baroque concert with French German and English music. Composers such as Henry du Mont, Erlebach or Dornel are on the programme. Theatre Alexandre III, 7pm. www.orchestre-cannes.com

5 - 7 APRIL SAINT RAPHAËL 5TH REAL ESTATE FAIR Informative for sellers, investors or simply visitors. Palais des Congrès, Port Santa Lucia, 101 Quai Commandant le Prieur. 10am – 7pm www.saint-raphael.com

5 - 10 APRIL CANNES "CANNESERIES 2019" After its first success in 2018, the little sister of the Cannes Film Festival returns with speakers from the world of television series,

international competitions and the discovery of future talent. Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. www.canneseries.com

11 - 14 APRIL MANDELIEU "NAPOULE BOAT SHOW Indispensable meeting point for lovers of used boats on more than 10,000 m2 of exhibition space on land and 2 km on the quay. This 29th edition presents more than 300 boats ranging in length from 6 to 25 metres. Port La Napoule. www.mandelieu.fr

12 - 14 APRIL FRÉJUS FESTIVAL OF PLANTS Every year at the beginning of spring, the town of Fréjus prepares itself for the plant festival. Place Camille Formigé. www.ville-frejus.fr

25 APRIL CANNES "ANTOINE BOYER & SAMUELITO" A meeting of gypsy guitar and flamenco represent these two young artists who have won the 4th European Guitar Prize and recorded their first album Coïncidence. Théâtre Alexandre III, 19 boulevard Alexandre III, 7:30pm. www.cannes.com

26 - 27 APRIL SAINT RAPHAËL 4TH SENIORS' FAIR The Palais des congrès becomes a place of exchange where questions about the lives of senior citizens are answered. Palais des Congrès, 10am - 6pm. www.saint-raphael.com

16 MAY RAMATUELLE. STREET FESTIVAL "VIDE DE GRENIER EN MUSIQUE" A day dedicated to living together and friendship, with snacks, stands, music and a children's workshop. Restanques, opposite the Theatre Verdure. Thursday, 8am to 4pm. www.pointsdechine.com


27 MAY

20 APRIL - 2 MAY

NICE LENNY KRAVITZ The American superstar, famous for his hits like Again or It ain't over till it's over, will fill the Nikaia Hall. Palais Nikaia. Monday 8pm. www.nikaia.fr

ANTIBES "47TH SALON D'ANTIBES" The 47th edition of the internationally renowned and unique Antibes Salon will take place again this year. From antique to contemporary art, from jewellery to furniture. Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs. www.salon-antiquaires-antibes.com

EXHIBITIONS 9 MARCH LE CANNET PIERRE BONNARD & MARC CHAGALL If you want to better understand how Pierre Bonnard and Marc Chagall explored black and color, don't miss this day! Meeting point: Musée Bonnard, 9am. www.lecannet.fr

UNTIL 10 MARCH SAINT-TROPEZ "EXPOSITION EDWARD QUINN" Thanks to its great success, this exhibition has been extended until 10 March. The photographer Edward Quinn immortalised stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Pablo Picasso, Louis de Funès. Musée de la Gendarme et du cinéma de Saint-Tropez, 2 Place Blanqui. www.saint-tropez.fr

UNTIL 24 MARCH SAINTE-MAXIME PHOTOGRAPHS French photographer Dan Olivier shows female beauty thanks to his camera. Models are naked to achieve an authentic result, without retouching or altering. Salle Jean Portal, Mairie Annexe, 1 Rue de Maures. www.sainte-maxime.com

UNTIL 28 MARCH NICE "MARCH IN THE MUSEUMS" The 18th edition coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Victorine Film Studios in Nice. The event, organised by the City of Nice and the University of the Côte d'Azur, offers a multifaceted programme of music, photography, dance and theatre at numerous museums in Nice. www.marsauxmusees.fr

24 APRIL - 4 MAY CARQUEIRANNE UNDERWATER PHOTOS The German underwater photographer Gaby Fey exhibits her unique underwater photos during the fashion festival in Hyères. In her repertoire she brings figures like Alice in Wonderland or the Greek god Poseidon to life under water and gives them a magical touch. La Galérie Carqueiranne. www.83.agendaculturel.fr

UNTIL 28 APRIL AIX-EN-PROVENCE BAUHAUS.PHOTOS One hundred years of Bauhaus is celebrated until the end of April with a photo exhibition. One hundred famous photos will be shown, covering the themes "Life in the Bauhaus", "Architecture and Products", "The Face of Bauhaus" and "The Class of Photographs in the Peterhaus". Vasarely Foundation. 1, avenue Marcel Pagnol. www.cfaprovence.com

UNTIL 27 MAY VALLAURIS "UN PORT, EXPORT" For the 25th edition of the International Ceramic Biennial 2019, this exhibition will trace the important moments in the expansion of Vallauris ceramics. A short return journey through time that will take us directly from the 18th century to our time. Magnelli Museum, Place de la Libération. www.vallauris-golfe-juan.fr

MONACO 15 MARCH - 14 APRIL "PRINTEMPS DES ARTS" The Spring Festival of the Arts of Monte-Carlo has been a great event since 1981. The programme includes new interpretations of

musical classics such as Beethoven, the discovery of new contemporary creations and encounters with artists from all over the world. www.printempsdesarts.com

22 MARCH "THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO" The opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart comes to Monaco with a brand new production. Opéra Garnier, 8pm. www.opera.mc

13 - 21 APRIL "ROLEX MONTE CARLO MASTERS" World famous tennis tournament Monte-Carlo Country Club www.montecarlotennismasters.com

24 APRIL "OTHELLO" The last performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Othello in Monaco's opera dates back to 2007. Opéra Garnier, 8pm. www.opera.mc

EXHIBITIONS UNTIL 3 MARCH MONACO INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW Expo Monaco is hosting the third edition of the Monaco International Motor Show, which will unveil the innovations of tomorrow's vehicle. Port Hercule 1, Quai Albert Ier. www.salonautomonaco.com

24 - 28 APRIL

"MONACO ART WEEK" Several galleries and auction houses form an exhibition course through the city. A broad spectrum of art from 500 years of history is offered. www.monacoartweek.com

ITALY 15 - 17 MARCH FINALE LIGURE BORGO "SALONE DELL'AGROALIMENTARE LIGURE" Popular gastronomic event with the specialties of Liguria and many stalls, Santa Caterina and squares of the old town. www.saloneagroalimentareligure.org



28 APRIL IMPERIA "ART-ON AT VILLA GROCK" Immerse yourself in the fabulous world of the most famous clown of all time, to whom a day full of events and photo and painting exhibitions is dedicated in his villa in Imperia. Villa Grock, Via Fanny Roncati Carli 38. www.lamialiguria.it

EVERY FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH FINALE LIGURE BORGO "FIERA DELLE VECCHIE COSE ED ANTICHI MESTIERI" Flea and antique market with about 50 exhibitors in the old town of Finalborgo. Tel. +39 019 69 01 12

EXHIBITIONS UNTIL 30 MARCH BORDIGHERA "CLARENCE BICKNELL: IN THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE" An exhibition about Clarence Bicknell, 100 years after his death. The museum named after him shows his impressive drawings of the culture and fauna of Western Liguria. Museo Clarence Bicknell, Centro Nino Lamboglia, Via Romana 39. www.rivieraeventi.it

30 MARCH - 7 JULY GENOA "GIORGIO DE CHIRICO - Il volto della metafisica" 100 works by the great master from various museums and private collections. Appartamento del Doge di Palazzo Ducale. www.palazzoducale.visitmuv e.it

UNTIL 24 JUNE GENOA "CARAVAGGIO" For a short period Genoa was the residence of the unmistakable Italian artist Caravaggio. Now the painter's works are returning to the Ligurian capital. Palazzo della Meridiana, Salita San Francesco 4. www.ilturista.info






Three stars for Mirazur The 2019 Michelin Guide grants Colagreco the most sought after award By NICOLE RUSKELL In the world of famous chefs, Mauro Colagreco is as close to a rock star chef as it comes. Long a favourite in several countries, from his homeland of Argentina where he won Masterchef, to his ancestral land of Italy where he is regularly a Masterchef judge, to his adopted home of France, where his Menton restaurant is one of the top in the world.

n 21 January, the 2019 Michelin Guide France announced the new stars for culinary country. In a new ceremony with chefs present, the famous guide granted Colagreco his third star for his restaurant Mirazur in Menton, the highest accolade for a chef. In true rock-star fashion, the Argentine was hoisted up by fellow chefs in a raucous celebration of his accomplishment. Colagreco admitted the announcement was “a total surprise,” saying that despite rumours, he wasn’t expecting or trying for a third star; just working to please his customers and ‘be himself.’ The ever-humble chef then thanked all those who had supported him in building his restaurant. On Social media, he posted: ‘How can I express such overwhelming emotion and gratitude! Gratitude to my team for their dedication; gratitude to my family for their sacrifices and efforts; gratitude to our guests’ constant support during these 12 years; gratitude to Michelin Guide that has always recognised our work; gratitude to France, the country I chose to express myself, a country that adopted me, transmitting its values to me: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.’


It has been a swift ascent for the Argentine. He opened Mirazur in 2006 and within only six months, the influential French guide Gault Millau named the new restaurant ‘Discovery of the Year.’ A few months after that, he earned his first Michelin star. In 2009, Gault Millau published their praises again by naming Colagreco ‘Chef of the Year,’ the very first time the guide awarded a non-French chef. He was featured in articles across the globe, including the New York Times. The man was on fire. In 2012, he got his second Michelin star. From that point, he was content. A third Michelin star is the ultimate pinnacle for a chef, but Colagreco wasn’t bothered. The larger-than-life, free-spirited chef wanted nothing to do with the stress that comes with that coveted yet burdensome étoile. Riviera Insider’s Petra Hall interviewed Colagreco in 2015. He discussed his history, his inspiration, and how he fell in love with an abandoned restaurant in Menton. Although trained in Buenos Aires, he knew a serious chef needed to work in France. He continued training for several years at the hotel school La Rochelle, until he was handpicked to join the famous chef Bernard Loiseau, who became a close mentor to the young Argentine. Just before taking the position of commis chef, Loiseau committed suicide, reportedly because he was in danger of losing his third star. That was a defining moment for Colagreco, which can certainly explain his lack of interest for the coveted third star. Colagreco dutifully worked the rounds of the top restaurants in Paris, including Alain Passard’s L’Arpège, Alain Ducasse’s Plaza Athenée and Grand Vefour, run by Guy Martin. But he Mauro Colagreco © Fabien Prauss




wanted to be “free and independent” and dreamed of his own restaurant by the sea.

Love at first sight

During a holiday in Spain, he told his friends of this dream and one of them happened to know of a beautiful restaurant in the Côte d’Azur, long-since shut. In October of 2005, Colagreco hopped on a flight to see this empty 1930s restaurant on a hill overlooking Menton. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining and the window-lined dining room over-looking the Mediterranean sea took his breathe away. It was love at first sight. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the means,” the young chef told the owner. To which the Frenchman replied: “I’ll rent it to you for a year, and then we’ll see.” The now famous chef thought back to those early days: “Back then, I was young and fearless, even though the odds were stacked against the restaurant’s success. Menton wasn’t exactly a culinary destination and Mirazur was way off the beaten track. As well as that, I didn’t know a soul here. But when you’re in love, rational arguments don’t count for much. We opened the restaurant in April 2006. Now people come to us from all over the world, but in the first years it was really difficult.” In 2017, Mirazur was voted the fourth best restaurant in the world, now it’s number three. Mauro Colagreco can be seen on television shows, magazines, books and newspapers. Nonetheless, his status doesn’t seem to go to head; he remains down-to-earth and devoted to his customers. He explained that his success is rooted in his family history: “I love working hard, just like my Italian grandparents who emigrated to Argentina. They lived in the countryside and only ate what nature gave them. Cooking as a symbol of love, that’s how I’ve always felt it and I want to give all that back. I work for the happiness of my clientele, not for a star.”

France’s tallest avocado tree. Each morning, Mirazur cooks go to the garden for the vegetable, fruit and herbs that they need for the day’s menu. The garden provides at least 50% of the restaurant’s food and the rest is carefully sourced from local producers. Colagreco adheres to a strict ‘kilometre zero’ policy because respecting the environment is of utmost importance. “We have carried out so many environmental sins. I want to make my contribution, so that my children can grow up in a healthier world.” The bounty of Mother Nature provides the ingredients, but it’s the expertise of the chef

‘BIB GOURMANDS’ Michelin Guide’s noteworthy yet affordable restaurants

that makes an award-winning menu. His secret? Simplicity. He said: “You can find creativity in simplicity. I prefer food that’s not putting on airs, but where the original produce of the region is centre stage. It must be fresh, soaked in the sun and the sea.” Mirazur reopens for the 2019 season on 6 March. !

What does "Bib Gourmand" stand for? Bib is the abbreviation for Bibendum – a term used as the name of the Michelin man, the mascot of the tire manufacturer that gave birth to France's renowned restaurant critique universe.

New in the Alpes-Maritimes:

La Table de la Réserve, Beaulieu-sur-Mer Lougoline, Grasse Vegan Gorilla, Nice Les Plaisirs, Peillon


La Turbie: Café de la Fontaine Le Cannet: Bistrot des Anges, Bistrot SaintSauveur Le Rouret: Bistrot du Clos Mougins: L'Amandier de Mougins Nice: Fine Gueule, Au Rendez-vous des amis, Bistrot d'Antoine, La Merenda, Olive et Artichaut

New in the Var

Mimosa, Bormes-les-Mimosa La Grange des Agapes, Cogolin L'Arum, Hyères Le Clos Pierrepont, Montferrat Le Local, Toulon

Respecting nature

In the kitchen, Mother Nature is his muse. The chef respects and reveres nature in every dish and only uses fresh, local ingredients exactly when they are in season. “In contrast to Northern Europe, we are totally spoilt by Mother Nature all year round,” he explains. “There are constantly new surprises awaiting us, which is why we don’t offer a fixed menu, only themes: Water, Earth and chlorophyll. Certain vegetables are only available for ten days or in limited quantities, so there is only just enough for a dozen portions. Everything depends on the season of the year.” Perhaps the greatest perk of the property, aside from the stunning sea views, is the 2,000 square metre organic garden. Thanks to Menton’s special microclimate, this garden can grow just about anything, including things that wouldn’t survive just a few kilometres away, like mango, papaya, banana and even



Every year, shortly before the unveiling of the squad of new (and old) star chefs, Michelin's gastronomic critics publish the list of restaurants awarded the "Bib Gourmand": In 2019, nine restaurants in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes will be able to decorate themselves with the award for the first time. Here, guests can enjoy upscale cuisine at an attractive price-performance ratio. In fact, menus in restaurants with Bib Gourmand cost only 33 euros. According to Michelin, 604 restaurants across France are earning the "Bib Gourmand" label this year - 67 of them new. There are a total of nine new restaurants in the Côte d'Azur alone (Alpes-Maritimes and Var).

Bandol: L'Espérance Beausset: Auberge La Cauquière Faience: La Table d'Yves Flayosc: Le Nid Fréjus: L'Amandier Gassin: Bello Visto, La Verdoyante Hyères: La Colombe Le Rayol-Canadel: Le Relais des Maures Lorgues: Le Bistrot de Benjamin (Château de Berne) Rians: La Roquette Saint-Raphael: Les Voiles Sanary-sur-Mer: La P'tite Cour Seillans: Chez Hugo Toulon: Carré 2 Vigne Tourtour: La Table




GOURMET style treats that catch those walking by. Moist, double-layer cakes with frosting, plump cookies (some gluten-free), scones, pound cake and even coffee cake topped with crunchies and drizzled with icing line the shop window, luring in passers-by. The best part is everything is made with high-quality, organic ingredients. “We want it to be healthy, but we also want it to be fun,” says Allison after I fall victim to the Black Forest chocolate and cherry cake in the window. She bakes up a storm each day, including a selection of proper scones--best to visit often to try them all. La pièce de la résistance: the organic almond milk they make daily. Like sweet nectar of the gods, their fresh almond milk is light and delicate, perfect for making silky vegan lattes (without the commercial fillers and thickeners). Or just drink it straight--they sell small glass bottles of the milk (which can be brought back to use again). Buy a bottle, bring it back, get another. Heaven. www.lecountrystore.com !

From left: Thomas, Allison and Fabien. Photo: Devin Smith

West Coast Cafe Nice’s newest neighbourhood hotspot e Country Store - West Coast Cafe is a brand new coffee shop on 43 rue de l'Hôtel des Postes, in the New Town neighbourhood of Nice. Featuring speciality coffee, organic lunches, and homemade pastries, it’s a great place for anyone in search of quality food. But for fellow Californians and lovers of the West Coast,


this will be your Mecca: Green matcha lattes, homemade almond milk, freshly brewed Kombucha, vegetarian lunch specials, vegan cookies, lush cakes, gluten-free treats and ‘Le Country Store’ a little shop to stock up on healthy foods. Co-owner Fabien Pruvot is originally from Nice but lived in Los Angeles for over a decade. When he returned to the Côte d’Azur, he wanted to recreate the community-centred, healthy yet indulgent cafes that make LA neighbourhoods so homey. Together with his son Thomas and his partner, Allison Smith (an American from Seattle), they opened a fun, healthy spot with a touch of rustic American flair. Fabien is a strict coffee connoisseur, serving Mokxa, a sustainable coffee from Lyon and a selection of silky non-dairy milk. Allison, who is passionate about healthy, ‘gutfriendly’ food creates fresh, organic lunch specials that are often vegan and/or gluten-free. But it’s her rich, tantalising repertoire of American-

"Cuisine Cannoise en Fête" Cannes celebrates its terroir ©Ville de Cannes

he association "Les Gourmets de Cannes", along with the City of Cannes and restaurant professionals are coming together for the 4th edition of "Cuisine Cannoise en Fête." From 23 to 31 March 2019, chefs will work exclusively with local market gardeners and pro-



ducers, artisans and fishermen from the Forville market to reinvent dishes with the flavours of local ingredients from the Cannes territory, including the Bay of Cannes, the Lérins islands and the lower Siagne Valley. Around fifty restaurants, cafes and bakeries will offer, in addition to their usual menu, a single dish, finger foods, a dessert, or a two-course

Organic almond milk made daily. Photo: Devin Smith

menu at a promotional price. All the dishes will feature ingredients from the Cannes Basin and have a specific name referring to the city or the territory. The event kicks off on Saturday, March 23, from 10 am to 1 pm, when restaurateurs and local food artisans will transform Marché Forville into a vast gourmet market. There will be several workshops to demonstrate their specialities and the two winegrowers of the Cannes basin, the Monks of the Abbey of Lérins and Domaine de Barbossi will present their wines. This year’s honourary president is Cannes native, Christian Sinicropi, two-star chef at La Palme d’Or in the Hyatt Martinez. Laurent Bunel, Chef for the Hôtel Carlton has been named the godfather of this edition. Keep an eye out for the sign in the window, or visit the website for a complete list of participating venues from Théoules-sur-mer to Mougins. www.cuisine-cannoise.com !


La Gaudinade An enchanting meal in Mougins

aria and Thierry Caïdominici are the fabulously welcoming and enthusiastic owners of La Gaudinade. Your culinary experience begins with them, a couple whose personalities are opposite enough to attract each other and congruent enough to compliment. Maria is a tall, elegant and demure woman who has created the whimsical and delightful interior. From botanic prints lining the walls, to topiaries on the table and ceiling, it feels somewhere between a fairy-tale greenhouse and a garden wedding reception. Thierry discusses the menu, a warm and jovial man who is very passionate about food. “Everything we make, we make ourselves!” he exclaims with arms wide open. “Well, I don’t fish and I don’t hunt--” he adds, gesturing a fishing pole and a hunting rifle, “so not that. But everything we can make we do.” La Gaudinade’s menu changes every three months, making sure the plates on offer are of the freshest seasonality. Thierry’s passion for food and the quality of his ingredients is expressed like only someone with Italian grandparents can. But he is a true Frenchman and even though their young chefs create a very contemporary menu, Thierry always demands one or two traditional dishes--especially those rapidly disappearing from French restaurants: tripe, sweetbreads and escargots. Our first course arrives, a slate platter with




mixed greens, brioches toasts and “mi-cuit foie gras” marinated in cognac and served with a dollop of fig and apricot chutney. No question of the quality of ingredients, as the foie gras was smooth and decadent. However, ‘half-cooked’ liver is not for the faint of heart. The next course blows me away: ‘Noix de Saint Jacques au chou-fleur et noisettes’. A black plate serves as contrast to white scallops in a foamed cream sauce with nibs of roasted cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts. I would have thought it an unlikely pairing had it not been placed before me but the combination is to die for. The hazelnuts, which could be considered just an accessory to a plate of scallops, are “la cazettes,” a speciality from the Bourgogne region.

Another round of empty plates is taken away, our stomachs well-filled and our brains telling us to stop there. This is when we are joined by the husband and wife duo, to discuss food and other important things in life. There is a complete synergy between the two of them and it adds to the harmony of the environment. For the dessert course, Maria describes the dishes: a millefeuille with pistachio mousse and fresh raspberries and a special dessert of Pavlova, shaped like a flower and filled with rhubarb and verbena mousse. Suddenly our brains discover more room. The description of the Pavlova speaks for itself. It is as wonderful and delicate as it sounds, not too sour or sweet and brightened by the touch of verbena. Again, they struck the perfect balance. Served on a bed of sliced persimmons, it is an ultimate ode to winter. We visited just at the end of the winter menu. The spring menu will still feature the scallops with cauliflower, plus asparagus, sweetbreads, escargots, a lemon tart and a chocolate and banana tart. For the quality of the food and expertise of the chefs, La Gaudinade is surprisingly affordable. A two-course Prix fix menu starts at €31 and a four-course for €42. Their website states: ‘Our mission is simple, serve a delicious meal that will make you want to come back.’ Mission accomplished. !


Utilising the ‘fleur de cazette’, a special fresh (not dried) hazelnut preserves the intense flavour, which blends beautifully with roasted cauliflower. The chef has managed a complete balance between three strong flavours, each holding its own without overpowering the others. It is truly an exceptional dish. When dining with other people, especially in a work setting, one must control the urge to lick the plate clean. Shame. Although, I’m sure such a manoeuvre would bring nothing but pleasure for Thierry. On to the main course, ‘Tournedos grillés, purée d’oignons brulées, pomme duchesse, jus de bœuf.’ Just like the scallops, the beef is cooked to perfection, properly ‘à point’ without being too rare. Drizzled with its own juice, it is more tender than the average filet mignon and bursting with flavour. Crunchy baby carrots and potato croquettes add variety but the dollops of browned onion purée take the dish to a new level.

Owner Thierry with Chef Jérémy

LA GAUDINADE 9 Rue de l’Eglise 06250 Mougins Tel. +33 (0)4 92 98 07 83 lagaudinade-mougins.com Closed Sundays and Mondays






Originally from sleepy Suffolk, Lewis Longman moved to Cannes three years ago in the search of something meaningful to fill the predictable void of post-graduate life. Between the ubiquitous palm trees of the sunsoaked Côte d’Azur and the terraces of its numerous restaurants, he thinks he has found that something...


Tredici The best pizza in Cannes here’s something special happening, on a small and quiet street at the top of Cannes’ Old Town, Le Suquet - blink and you’ll miss it. The last restaurant on a small cobbled street before reaching the Musée de La Castre, Tredici is a very unassuming and quaint place at first glance - inside however, it’s a whole different story. The restaurant, which is split into two halves with two separate entrances, has walls lined with oddities and retro relics, from an assortment of globes, old cameras and even a Super Nintendo - complete with a pull down screen on the opposite wall - in case diners want to play Mario Kart whilst enjoying their food! The food itself is an array of ‘apero’ style dishes; Burrata, assiettes, guacamole, tartines and a plat du jour - all homemade and served with the attention to detail which makes the Italian-French restaurant’s ranking in the top 10 of Cannes’ Trip Advisor no surprise - 8th out of 705! When talking about pizza, everyone claims to know the best restaurant, and insists that their favourite pizza is the best in town - very much like how everyone claims that “you must see” their Dentist, “he’s the best!”, and scrambles frantically for their number at the very first mention that your tooth hurts. But I promise you, the pizza at Tredici really is the best in town, if not the best I’ve eaten. While toppings are as essential to a pizza as good deal is to Brexit, the crust alone is so ludicrously good that it could be eaten exclusively, the toppings nothing but a lavish


luxury. The dough is delicately tossed in semolina, a technique which makes for the most crunchy, light and divine pizza base. When it comes to toppings, there is a very fine line between originality and pretentiousness, but Tredici tiptoes gracefully along this line, creating pizzas which are both exciting and clever, without falling into the category of restaurants who try too hard and ultimately overindulge in the unnecessary. Artichoke, sun dried tomatoes, pancetta and pecorino. Five simple ingredients, but of an excellent quality which marry together to make my favourite pizza at Tredici: ‘L'Azzurri’. The ‘Incontournable’ is a simple but beautiful ode to indulgence; smoked ham with a whole burrata outrageously sitting on top - each slice into the pizza unleashes an outpouring of creamy mozzarella. There is also a Pizza Du Soir on offer, as well as others such as the ‘Epatante’, a meat-free truffle feast whose smell immediately fills the restaurant and turns heads. It’s not just the brilliant flavours which make these pizzas so great, but it’s the theatre which comes with them. When the chef serves up the pizzas on the pass in front of the restaurant, they are still not complete. Some of the ingredients are added once the pizza has left the oven, which allows for the added components to have a much fresher taste and texture. From a height, the chef dramatically drops down lashings of cheese, roquette, truffle cream - an abundance of flavours and smells raining down from his fingertips almost in slow motion. Living in the South of France, we are extremely lucky to be so close to Italy and benefit from having such a wide range of Italian cuisine on offer. Thus it can often be no easy task deciding on which Italy restaurant to pick. Though when it comes to choosing somewhere to feast on our favourite doughy Italian staple, you can’t go wrong with the pizzas in Tredici. So next time you are walking up the Suquet, walk a little bit further and keep going until you reach the last restaurant on the hill. You won’t be disappointed. ! 13 rue Louis Perrissol, Cannes

Š Fanfo / Shutterstock.com




A hidden jewel


costs under control." She admits that turning this little hotel into a place of longing where guests keep returning and become friends, took a lot of hard work. But she has imbibed this 22-room manor with heart and soul and knows the secret to its success: “Everything stands and falls with the staff. Today I have a super team around me and I am so proud.” Customer service is at the top of her list and she describes "manoeuvring" her employees: "They have internalised that the customer stands above everything else." Manoir de l'Etang is open most of the year, closing only a few weeks in late autumn and reopening again in December. In the high summer season, holiday goers fill the rooms in the main house and several smaller buildings on the property; in the winter, conference guests

BRUNCH Don’t miss their Provencal Brunch Every Saturday 29 Euro per person (15 Euro for children under 10 years)

he ground is lush green at the feet of the old manor house, which is surrounded by a Mediterranean landscape as far as the eye can see. Camilla Richards runs the sun-drenched five-and-a-half hectare property with a small hotel-restaurant just inland from Cannes. Over the past 15 years, the light-blond Swedish woman has gradually transformed Manoir de l'Etang into an almost magical oasis with sunny terraces, cosy rooms with fireplaces, a glittering swimming pool and attentive staff. Tucked away in the forested outskirts of Mougins, Manoir de l'Etang is difficult to find; well-hidden between the Valmasque Nature Park and the Cannes-Grasse expressway. But many know of the lotus flower pond deep below the manor house, at the edge of the popular public park. It is believed that a woman from Mougins village brought some lotus plants from Japan years ago and introduced them to the pond. Today it has grown into a sea of water lilies, which according to Camilla is the largest lotus pond in Europe. These flowers, as well as other views of the stunning property, can be found again and again in the art that decorates the walls of the manor. "This is simply a place for art - and the images arouse emotions," says Camilla. She regularly organizes exhibitions, and guests, inspired by the surroundings, leave their own works of art as well. "My guests should feel at home with me," says the mother of two. She welcomes her guests personally and speaks fluent English and French, but also understands German and, of course, the Scandinavian languages. A former banker who started her career in London's financial world, Camilla knows her way around numbers and how to run a tight ship: "You have to keep running


2 Owner, Camille Richards

MANOIR DE L’ETANG Manoir de l'Etang 66 Allée du Manoir Mougins Tel.:+33 04 92 28 36 00 Restaurant open daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. manoir-de-letang.com




Recharge your batteries at the unique "Manoir de l'Etang"

are the majority of the clientele. But during the gorgeous spring and autumn months of May and September, Camilla reserves the weekends specifically for weddings. Almost every weekend there is a lovely celebration and often even the ceremony takes place on the grounds. During the week, you will regularly find people doing yoga at the pool; at Easter the owner welcomes people to a big egg hunt in the garden, and she plans picnics for the coming summer. The restaurant is open to the public five days a week. Lunchtime (except Sundays) offers the daily special plus dessert for 19 euros. Always on the menu: a risotto, the favourite dish of Chef Sébastien Saint-Paul. As Camilla leads us through her realm, her annual holiday is coming to an end. November, during the annual closure, also means a part of the hotel is being renovated. Last year it was the beds in all rooms, this time the restaurant gets a facelift. Nevertheless, the busy owner took time for a little holiday in Israel. Her souvenirs: black-and-white drawings of dresses. "The new restaurant decoration," she beams. !




To your health Spring Clean: Part 1 Let´s talk DETOX

Spring is a time of renewal and heightened energy. The desire to air-out, open the windows, let warmer air in and get rid of an accumulation of dust, grime and the general sluggishness that can build up during the winter season. The temptation to shift excess pounds quickly with promises of great outcomes using fast detoxes appears to appeal to many. What many don´t understand is the simple fact that it is physically impossible to detox a burdened body in a few days. We harbour toxins not just in our blood, but often deep within organs and tissues, which take longer than a 3 day liquid “cure” to be eliminated. If the body is “toxic” a quick detox will often end up making us feel much worse due to the sudden rush of toxins from tissues into the bloodstream. These “Herxheimer” reactions are unpleasant and in some cases, dangerous.

Why are we getting TOXIC?

We were designed to breakdown chemicals our body naturally produces, such as used hormones and brain chemicals. However, our bodies also have to cope with additional metals and chemicals we are constantly exposed to in our environment, in the foods we eat and the water we drink. Our health and wellbeing depends upon how effective the body is to remove these toxins from the body. In today’s world our bodies accumulate more toxins than our detoxification organs can eliminate. During the last 50 years more than 100,000 toxic chemicals, including heavy metals and pesticides have been released into the environment. To manage this exposure the body is constantly breaking down and processing potentially harmful toxins, making it easy to become overloaded. Many products we come into contact with on a daily basis may be untested and contain unregulated chemicals. The effect of these chemicals on the body have the potential to disrupt the healthy balance of hormones, impact fertility and sperm quality, reduce immune health and trigger chronic illness. The amount of hidden toxins we come in contact with each day is alarming. The following are everyday products that expose us to chemicals: Hygiene & cosmetic products: On a daily basis the average female uses 12 different hygiene and cosmetic products. This means applying approximately 165 chemicals daily. Feminine hygiene products contain high levels of pesticide and herbicide residue and chlorine which can convert to highly toxic dioxins in the body. Men use an average of 6 products daily, or around 85 chemicals. Our skin is like a sponge

and it only takes seconds for products we apply to get to the blood stream. Processed foods: Foods not in their natural state have undergone some kind of processing to ensure a longer lasting shelf-life or enhanced flavour. Chemical processing like hydrogenation, chemical preservatives and additives for colour and flavour, can load the liver with toxins. Household products: Cleaning products have numerous chemicals added to to improve their effectiveness and durability. They are often loaded with synthetic perfumes which can disrupt the endocrine system. Dry-cleaning can also store chemicals in your clothes. Teflon and copper cookware can leach metal and toxins into food. Plastic drinking bottles: Plastic bottles are not only terrible for the environment, they also leach potential hormone disruptive chemicals and plastic particles into the water.

Detoxification simplified!

Detoxification is a biochemical process that is happening 24/7 thanks to our wonderful human physiology. The liver is our main detox factory, but the full process involves the assistance of multiple organs including the gut, kidnies, lymphs and skin. Toxins fall into either a water-soluble or fat-soluble category. Those that dissolve in water tend not to be problematic, however, many environmental toxins and metals get stored in fatty tissue and body organs. The liver is our internal cleansing factory that tries to deal with these fat-loving toxins and aims to convert them to water-soluble compounds that can be eliminated in urine or faeces. The liver has several pathways dependent upon the type of toxin, to break them down for elimination. Phase I converts the toxin into a compound that can be more toxic and damaging than in its original state, so anti-oxidants are pulled in to neutralize it. Phase II converts it again into a form that can safely be eliminated from the body.

Tips for preventing toxin exposure

!Read labels! Avoid processed and packaged “anti-foods” and those containing preservatives and additives !Buy organic from the ‘Dirty dozen’ list of most pesticide-ridden fruit and vegetables (www.EWG.org/foodnews) !Switch to natural cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products (thinkdirtyapp.com OR safecosmetics.org) !Use organic feminine hygiene products or a menstrual cup !Drink water from glass or stainless steel bottles


has a BSc in nutritional therapy, an MSc in personalised nutrition and is a Pilates & Xtend Barre instructor. Originally from Berkshire in the UK, Christine has been living in the Riviera for 12 years. She has a busy fitness and health coaching business in Grasse and runs various educational workshops. www.ck-health.com

5 Tips to optimise detoxification:

! EXERCISE DAILY and sweat out toxins! !Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system! !Epsom salts (magnesium) baths! !Start the day with warm water and ½ fresh squeezed lemon! ! Wash all fruit and vegetables well with 4 parts warm water 1 part white vinegar and soak for 20 minutes. Rinse well and dry. Detoxing and cleansing the body periodically of accumulated garbage is one way to counteract imbalance and support your health. Following a cleanse programme a couple of times a year can help counteract the onslaught of toxins the body is exposed to. The body requires specific nutrients to detoxify effectively on a daily basis. Part 2, in the next edition, will cover how targeted nutrition can be an excellent way to help your body cleanse. Remember, effective detoxification should not involve a starvation period, but rather clean living over a period of time to slowly eliminate stored toxins safely and effectively. ! MARCH / APRIL 2019





Teeing-off on the Côte d’Azur

Château de la Bégude


f you've ever driven the forested country roads between the villages of Valbonne and Roquefort les Pins, you've likely passed alongside the green fairways of one of the region’s oldest golf courses. While the Château de la Bégude has a quite ancient ambiance itself, the golf course, added in 1966, has not at all diminished that sense of calm solitude you only find in an old parkland forests. When you come to visit, a feeling of peace descends as soon as you enter the car park. Even an hour spent at the secluded driving range and putting green can, I think, be a refreshing and inexpensive escape from the bustle of the madding beaches and autoroutes of our beloved Côte d'Azur. For those ponying up to play the course itself, you'll find many of the elements a course should have, with plenty of topological variation and quite a tight play! It's much tighter than nearby Grande Bastide, and will certainly suit strategic players more than big hitters, so bring extra balls! We all like to start a round with a driver, but you must resist! Hole 1 is a nice opener - an easy enough short dog leg left,


but I've never seen anyone successfully drive the green, and you've got out-of-bounds on the right. Much of the course thereafter can be punishing if your driver isn't dead straight, and even if it is, dog legs like the first, tenth and fifteenth will invite a world of pain if you insist on using it. After two relatively easy opening holes, you'll find a kind of Eisenhower oak in the centre of the third fairway. Just aim right at it! Water hazards appear on the fifth, a good risk reward par 5 that twists left and right. Next, a hilltop par 3 green you can't see from the tee demands some extra club. That same hill takes you to a super over-thehorizon blind tee shot on the sixth. Assign a 'point man' to see where your drives go! There's plenty of space down in the valley, but trust me--unmarked balls will be lost! Standing on the 7th tee gives you a taste of how claustrophobic the old forest can be. Shaped a little like Augusta's famous 13th, but not as forgiving, failure to carry the dog-leg will probably land you in the stream. Dark forest corridors continue on the 8th hole, with accuracy and yardage knowledge trumping distance. The

9th hole is a fun dog leg left that might be drivable to some. Can you draw your driver? If not, using a long iron to avoid the water hazard bisecting the fairway can be almost as much fun. This hole takes you back to the chateau and a very nice terrace which overlooks the 9th and 18th greens. The website blurb suggests that the back nine is longer, but it's no more open! Holes 10 to 14 take you down the narrow river Dones valley, and back again. If the omni-present forestry on your left doesn't keep you honest here, the stream running along the valley floor will. Mercifully, daylight shows itself once again with a sharp right dog leg uphill to the 15th green. A driver is usually too long to hit the ample fairway here. Two consecutive par fives take you back to the club house. Both will seem to go on forever if you're low on mental energy or golf balls... but fear not! The final hole - a downhill par 3 awaits you with a grand-stand finish. Those sipping rosé on the terrace are waiting for you to entertain them, so this should be your best swing of the day! Closest to the flag buys the drinks!! !

An Irish IT professional who spent several years working in Sophia Antipolis, Michael learned his French at the local rugby club and got his golfing fix by joining the office golf society. During his time in the region, he has played many of southern France’s finest courses.

GOLF OPIO VALBONNE Route de Roquefort-les-Pins Opio Tel: +33 (0)4 93 12 37 00 chateau-begude.com

The course >118 holes, front and back 9 >Par 72 >5,698 m >Club house, restaurant, Hotel & Spa




Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2019 Each year, the best of the men’s rankings come to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to win, but for more than a decade, the winner has usually been the same player: Rafael Nadal. This year, he intends to win his twelfth title on the country club’s clay. More than ever, however, the young and fierce competition will probably make life difficult for him. With Zverev, Thiem, Tsitsipras, Khachanov, Shapovalov or Coric, a whole squad of talented newcomers are waiting for their chance against the Spaniard. "They're not afraid of the big boys, tournament director Zeljko Franulovic told Riviera Indsider. "It won't be long before they take over the world's best." Who exactly makes it into the top-class field of participants will be decided on 21 March. As always, Franulovic is hoping for Roger Federer, but admits that the Swiss, who is at the end of his unique career, will only register on short notice. Aside from the matches, there's a lot going on during tournament week at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Show matches and charity events, which always take place on Friday evenings before the semi-finals in the Salle des Étoiles of Sporting Monte-Carlo, culminating in the Grande Nuit du Tennis with world-class entertainment in the presence of numerous players, 230 euros per person) – and the presentation of awards. In 2018, Boris Becker, who was awarded the Tennis Hall of 3 Fame Signet Ring on the Court Central, was the focus of attention. He had already been admitted to the Hall of Fame in 2003; rings are presented to the honoured at a place of significance for them at a later date. Monaco is associated with many memories for Becker: As a young player, the former No. 1 in the world had his residence here for a while, reached the finals of the tournament twice and returned to the country club clay several times as a coach. Becker after the award ceremony: "As a young person you are not really aware of your performance. Only with time can you assess all this. And all the more so when you are given an honour such as admission to the Hall of Fame." TIP: If you can't get a ticket (starting at around 20 Euro), the tournament will be broadcast live on Eurosport TV for the first time! ! Tickets & Info: montecarlotennismasters.com


Nadal wants to win again By AILA STÖCKMANN

"Photo 1 Nadal is an 11 time champion © Philippe Fitte/Realis/SMETT

"Photo 2 Presentation of the Hall of Fame ring to Boris Becker by SAS Prince Albert II © Philippe Fitte/Realis/SMETT

ome players have described the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters like "coming home," while Rafael Nadal says a "love story" connects him to the tournament. But it’s not only the players who are looking forward to Europe's most important Masters 1000 tennis tournament each year—for the spectators as well, it remains a tournament like no other. World-class matches take place under the springtime warmth of the Côte-d'Azur sun, which usually shows itself merciful with the crowds in the stands. Despite sold out ranks on the seats with sea views, the setting remains relaxed: the players are approachable, willing to sign autographs and let themselves be observed while training.


2 MARCH / APRIL 2019




Cleaner seas ahead EU agrees to ban single-use plastics By NICOLE RUSKELL

he European Commission made a ground-breaking agreement at the start of the year. On 18 January, eight months after the original proposal by environmental ministers, the EU Council and Parliament reached an agreement to eliminate a number of single-use plastic products (which have replacements) by 2021. The proposed ban is on the top-ten plastic waste items found on beaches across the Mediterranean. These include plastic straws, plates, cutlery and polystyrene (Styrofoam) beverage cups and takeaway food boxes. The proposal originally came from the European Plastic Strategy, which studied numerous reports and statistics on plastic waste in the oceans, seas and beaches. The Mediterranean is the most visited sea in Europe and the European Commission reported that 85% of beach litter is plastic, 70% of which are the items listed to be banned. In a statement about the landmark agreement, Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian federal minister of sustainability and tourism said: ‘Marine litter is a growing


global problem. We have all heard the warning by the World Economic Forum and others that, measured by weight, there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans by 2050 if we continue dumping plastic in the sea at the present rate. We cannot let this happen. This is why the EU takes action to restrict the use of certain throwaway plastic products for which good plastic-free alternatives exist. And we will make plastic producers pay for cleaning up.’ Provisions for making plastic producers pay for the clean-up is not a novel idea but it is rarely enforced. In addition to the ten items to be banned, there are several provisions for other plastic-containing products. Coming in at number two for the most-littered singled use plastic, cigarettes may not be well-known for their plastic content, but the filters are made with plastic fibres. Les magots, or cigarette butts, are constantly tossed just about anywhere one can smoke. With a bit of rainfall, cigarette butts wash easily out to sea where they expand, begin to disintegrate and look like food for fish. Cigarettes do not fall under the single-use ban, however, cigarette manufacturers will be subject to a new ‘extended producer responsibility scheme’ which will make them print warnings on the packaging about the plastic content and the danger to the environment when not disposed of properly. The scheme encourages companies to find alternatives to plastic filters, otherwise, they will be subject to pay for the municipal collection of the cigarette butts and the infrastructure to provide appropriate collection bins. Other provisions include tighter restrictions on plastic bottles and a higher percentage of recycled content (25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030). This agreement is a landmark move by a government, leading the way for tangible plastic waste reduction. Before the agreement becomes law, each member country needs to confirm it, after which it will be submitted for approval by the EU Parliament. In the meantime, the ‘Single-use plastic directive’ should act as a model for governments around the world. !

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED IN THE EU: ! Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks) ! Plastic plates ! Plastic straws ! Cotton bud sticks made of plastic ! Food containers made of expanded polystyrene, such as fast-food boxes ! Beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene ! Cups for beverages made of expanded polystyrene ! Products made from oxo-degradable plastic causes microplastic pollution and negatively affects conventional plastic recycling.








up to 300 over the next four years: software engineers, computer engineers, embedded software engineers, project managers, communications & marketing, high- tech journalists...



40 %


40% female staff, a good working atmosphere, a challenging environment, concrete projects for short & medium terms, career opportunities in a human-sized corporation

7 YEARS Constant evolution: Paris, Lyon & Marseille following existing sites in Monaco & Sophia Antipolis... Soon international


Ranked 35th nationally among France's leading IT companies in 2014

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Sophia Antipolis Celebrating its 50th anniversary By MARINA CARVALHO



38,000 Jobs


Foreign-owned companies


Billion euros Of the turnover generated


Researchers in the public sector

5,000 Students




In only half a century, the French business park has attracted some of the top companies in science and technology and is nurturing some of the world’s most promising start-ups. Already deemed the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Europe, this forested city is only getting started… ophia (for wisdom) Antipolis (in reference to the city of Antibes in ancient Greek) is the brain child of political visionary and senator, Pierre Lafitte. In 1969, he laid the cornerstone of this unique project with the dream and ambition of building a city of wisdom, science and knowledge, a kind of "Florence of the 21st century" as he likes to say. The 2,400 hectare site extending over Antibes, Biot, Mougins, Valbonne and Vallauris is an inspiring natural setting with an ambitious challenge: to bring together education and training courses of excellence and innovative companies to form a territory of French competitiveness on a global scale. The key is the blending of schools with companies, providing a background of cross-fertilization. So far it has been successful challenge—Sophia-Antipolis is now the first and largest technology park in Europe. Has it achieved all its objectives? Certainly not! Last September, during the first Antibes real estate exhibition, Jean Léonetti, President of the Sophia Antipolis Urban Community (CASA), recalled the thriving health of the technology park: "For the last five years, 1,000 jobs have been created each year and for each of the last three years, an additional 20,000 m² have been dedicated to new technologies". Around the two branches of Bu-


siness Pôle Sophia Antipolis and SophiaTech is an entire ecosystem dedicated to innovation that beats to the rhythm of the many projects that will be designing the technopole of tomorrow: Sophia 2030 is the next big project, encompassing the Trois Moulins area, Le Fugueiret which will host the Business Cluster 2.0 and the future CASA headquarters, Les Clausonnes and its Open Sky and the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis’ Smart Campus. The focus of this will be the future of artificial intelligence, the autonomous car etc. To maintain its leadership position and pursue the ambition of Mr Lafitte, the Sophia-Antipolis technology park must stay ahead of the technology curve, renewing itself and anticipating new areas of development to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Which it seems to have understood perfectly. 2019: 50 years, a year of review and a glimpse into the future too, but above all a year of celebration. Several events are being organized throughout the year, starting with the #BeSophia exhibition on 13 June, at Place Bermond, which will highlight the various components and strengths of the science park through concepts that constitute its identity. June 13th is also the date of the flagship event of the 50th anniversary celebration, as a round table will be organised to discuss the theme "New technologies and their role in building tomorrow's society". The year’s celebration will come to an end in December with the burial of a time capsule.. !




s in many other countries in the world, France had adopted laws organizing compensation in the case of personal injury or property damages in order to properly identify what could be the rights of the victims. There are different kinds of injury cases but the area in which most personal injury actions arise is vehicle incidents. A specific statute has been enacted to cover liability for motor vehicle incidents, namely “Loi n° 85-677 tendant à l’amélioration de la situation des victimes d’accidents de la circulation et à l’accélération des procédures d’indemnisation“ of 5 July 1985, also known as “Loi Badinter“. This law states that the principle of full compensation shall apply when the following criteria are fulfilled: (i) a traffic accident occurred, (ii) the plaintiff has suffered an injury, (iii) the insured motor vehicle was involved in the accident, (iv) there is a causal link between the accident and the injury and - last but not least – (v) the person whose liability is sought is the “gardien” or driver of the vehicle involved. In fact, as it applies for motor vehicles, a person riding a bicycle cannot be held responsible under Loi Badinter but can be a victim (as a bicycle is not motorized but other regulations shall apply in such cases). There is no limitation to the principle of full compensation as drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care anytime they are on the road. An important exception is in the case of a fault of the victim: Article 3 states that the limit is where inexcusable fault on the part of the victim was the sole cause of the accident. Immediate and Indirect victims have the possibility to seek for damages. Different compensation rules apply. In the case of compensation, Courts generally take into account a reference nomenclature entitled “Dintilhac” after the Magistrate who presided over the Commission that submitted a new classification for the different kind of damages suffered. Of course, different statutes of limitation apply (10 years from the stabilization of the injury). Also, it is important to remember that the person will have to act quickly in order not to suffer any challenge from the insurer only because the contractual delays to claim and/or contest decision were not respected. It is a key role for the personal injury lawyer to inform his/her client about their rights and give the appropriate advice. Don’t hesitate to take advice about what strategy and rights could be offered to your case.



Together for the arts CMB and Grimaldi Forum renew their partnership


$ Zoubaïda Bouzou, Lawyer 12 Avenue Malausséna 06000 Nice Tel.: +33 (0)9 83 57 28 00 isegoria.conseils@gmail.com

On the left: Werner Peyer, Managing Director CMB and Etienne Franzi, President of CMB. On the right: Sylvie Biancheri, Managing Director Grimaldi Forum and President Henri Fissore.

truly loyal partnership stands the test of time. Such a partnership exists between the Compagnie Monégasque de Banque and the Grimaldi Forum, who have renewed their commitment to each other year after year since 2005. On Friday 4 January, the banking partner, represented by Mr Etienne Franzi, President of CMB, and Mr Werner Peyer, Managing Director, once again signed their support for the events and activities of the Grimaldi Forum for the year 2019. President Henri Fissore and Managing Director Sylvie Biancheri are very pleased with the continued support of both their professional and cultural events. "CMB's active sponsorship policy confirms its desire to contribute to Monaco's cultural influence. We are very committed to associating ourselves with partnerships whose image enhances the Principality and our House," said Mr Franzi. Beyond this commitment to the Principality's congress and cultural centre, CMB supports numerous other art and culture enterprises. Compagnie Monégasque de Banque considers their support of the Monegasque cultural scene as dynamic and multifaceted, as if to better highlight its roots in the Principality's territory since its creation over 40 years ago. The bank has been working alongside the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012, even accompanying it on its last tour of Switzerland in 2018, and is also very active at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, demonstrating its commitment to environmental and climate issues. Since 2016, CMB has supported the "Open des Artistes" organised each year by the "L'Entrepôt" Gallery. In order to help the selected young talents, CMB even buys a piece of art after each Open to enrich its already extensive art collection. By investing so much in the art and promotion of ‘ambassadors of excellence’ in the Principality, Compagnie Monégasque de Banque encourages diversity, one of the essential values it develops on a daily basis with its clients. They believe that bringing together culture and finance is an excellent way to open up many other perspectives in the world.. !






Vertech Antonio Barona’s commitment to the planet By NICOLE RUSKELL

resh from winning the Riviera Business Club’s Businessperson of the year award, founder and CEO of Vertech, Antonio Barona met with Riviera Insider to tell us about his business. He began by showing the presentation he had recently created for the RBC panel of judges. Perhaps an unusual way to begin an interview, but within a few minutes, his reason was made abundantly clear. The presentation started with his motivation for creating Vertech, a company dedicated to helping companies become more ‘green.’ “I come from a very beautiful place,” he began, “but many years ago, oil was discovered.” The next image on the large screen caused a heartstopping reaction--a mix of emotions ranging from heartbreak to outrage. A beautiful green valley with rolling hills filled the screen, but at the bottom, a river ran as black as if it flowed with pure crude oil. “This is what happened to my hometown.” Antonio is from a rural town in Colombia where a multinational oil company built a refinery that forever changed the landscape and polluted the environment with toxic waste. He was only a child at the time, but he decided then to devote his life to preventing such disasters elsewhere. “I have always wanted to be an engineer, and I have always wanted to do something to protect the environment.” Vertech is the manifestation of that goal, assisting companies to become more green, more efficient and more environmentally responsible by transforming any business into a sustainable and ‘green’ operation. Although designed as a consulting firm, they go far beyond consulting, using science-based and deep-technological solutions with a ‘research to invoice’ approach. They do a complete three-phase audit of a company, looking at the value chain from internal processes, to transport to the end-of-life of a product. They take into consideration the overall carbon-footprint of company operations, looking at waste, overuse, product sourcing


LENA FOUNDATION Antonio’s first passion is the environment. His second: education. Acutely aware that he wouldn’t be where he is today without education and numerous scholarships along the way, Antonio created a foundation 2018 to give back. The Lena Foundation funds scholarships for students at the prestigious and rigorous public university in Columbia, Univalle. The Lena Foundation also supports small businesses, agriculture programmes and organisations to become more sustainable.


and even the modes of business travel. Their findings are then analysed by a team of experts (a third of who hold PhDs) in varying fields from engineering to chemistry to data analysis. They also analyse the company’s market and the ‘eco-ness’ of their competitors. Phase two lays out an environmental management plan, which outlines the recommended changes in order to bring the company in line with ISO 14001 environmental standards. Their plan offers several levels, from mere compliance to what they call a “Green transformation”. This transformation usually takes about a year, however, he doesn’t see working with companies as ‘a one-shot deal’, rather, he prefers to retain clients for continued transition to better performance. “There is no need for companies to have a sustainability department,” he says, “Vertech takes care of that.” Phase three is communication: Antonio explains that as sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers, companies are realising that they need to not only make efforts to become more environmentally responsible, but they also need to communicate their efforts to customers and shareholders. In fact, when client demand was pulling Vertech’s services more into market research and communication, an area beyond the scope he intended for Vertech, Antonio saw the opportunity to create another business. Sustainable Innovations now works in tandem with Vertech, meeting the need for the dissemination of the companies’ changes with experts in the communication field, while keeping Vertech laser-focused on his core mission. The core mission, of course, is keeping companies clean and preventing blatant mistreatment of the planet. Antonio is serious about this mission, and he works hard to make sure his clients hold up their end. “I’m not working with these companies to clean up their image,” he says. Antonio brought Vertech to Nice in 2014 when it was just him. In only five years, they have grown to 25 employees--20 in Nice and five in their new Paris office. Vertech’s portfolio has over 200 clients, including Shell, Dow, Fiat, Bosch, Whirlpool, Audi, Philips and many more. It’s an impressive list, but despite signing such large clients, including the giant multinational oil company (a personal victory), Antonio still feels like his business is just getting started. “There is a huge amount of work to do. I’m happy, but I’m not there yet.” What are his plans for the future? He’d like to become more involved in the local business community. “We’ve focused a lot on companies abroad; now we want to explore the companies here in the Riviera and have local businesses know we exist.” !




France tax changes for 2019 By ROB KAY, SENIOR PARTNER, BLEVINS FRANKS

2019 has seen few tax changes that affect expatriates living in France but there is good news for retirees regarding social charges though. ‘PAYE’

Income tax

There are no changes to French income tax rates for 2019 (payable on 2018 income), though the income bands for each rate increased slightly with inflation. Investment income continues to be taxed at a fixed rate of 30%, covering both income tax and social charges. Lower earners can opt for the progressive income tax rates, plus social charges. The minimum tax rate on non-residents’ French source income increased to 30%.

France began implementing a pay-as-you-earn system on 1st January 2019. It covers various income including employment, retirement and rental income, and non-French income taxable in France. Income tax is deducted at source for French employment income and pensions. For self-employment earnings, rental income and UK pensions, tax is collected by regular direct debit from your bank account. Investment income is excluded from PAYE.

Social charges

Social charges remain 9.7% for employment income, 17.2% for investment income and 9.1% for pension income (now reduced to 7.4% for those receiving less than €2,000 per month/€3,000 for a couple). Individuals covered under the health system of another EU/EEA country are no longer subject to



some social charges on their investment income and capital gains. Instead, a new prélèvement de solidarité applies at a flat rate of 7.5%. This is good news for those holding Form S1 and non-residents, since their social charges burden on investment income reduces from 17.2% to 7.5%.

Wealth tax / real estate tax

There are no changes from 2018, so ‘wealth tax’ is only levied on real estate assets. The threshold is €1,300,000 and the tax rates remain the same as last year.

Tax planning

It is important to understand how French taxation affects you and establish tax planning solutions based on your circumstances and objectives*. Regular reviews will ensure your arrangements are up to date. Take specialist advice on how to make the most of the opportunities offered by the French tax system. !

*Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should seek personalised advice. Blevins Franks – Winner of the “Best Overall Adviser Firm” award at the International Adviser Best Practice Awards 2018. Sign up for our monthly eNewsletters to receive tax updates and keep up to date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks website: www.blevinsfranks.com





The Sohn Investment Conference, Monqco 2018 © D.R.

The Sohn Investment Conference Hedge fund managers gather in Monaco on 6 June to fund paediatric cancer care ach year, 300,000 children and teens are diagnosed with cancer; 80,000 of those will die from the disease and many will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment. Despite those alarming figures, childhood cancer research remains vastly underfunded. Since its inception, the Sohn Investment Conference has gathered the global financial industry for a day of highly-anticipated market insights from the world's top investors, with the goal of raising funds for paediatric cancer research and care. The conference also offers a unique approach to fundraising: directly connecting people in the financial community interested in philanthropy, with oncological doctors and scientists. For one day, these people come together to share ideas and raise a lot of money cancer research. Founded in New York in 1995, the Sohn Investment Conference honours the memory of Ira Sohn, a talented Wall Street professional who died from cancer at the shocking age of 29. The first gathering was arranged as a local tribute


to a beloved friend, brother, and colleague with 50 people in attendance. Introducing the Sohn concept of “investing for good,” it was the first investment conference that dedicated its proceeds to charity.

Since then it has grown in popularity, expanding to financial centres worldwide and drawing thousands of participants. Conference speakers have been some of the ‘who’s who’ in the investment world, including Bill Ackman, David Einhorn, Stanley Druckenmiller, Paul Tudor Jones, Chamath Palihapitiya, and Larry Robbins. Now held in 11 cities across five continents, The Sohn Conference Foundation has received over $85 million of donations from the financial community. This has contributed to invaluable breakthroughs in the fight against paediatric cancer. , Co-Chairs of Sohn Monaco, Justin Hilbert and Florence Tournier, have attended several Sohn Conferences around the world and were inspired by its fascinating speakers, critical purpose and amazing achievements. Monaco seemed the ideal place to expand Sohn’s conference, with its truly global financial landscape and nearly unlimited investment potential to fund the fight against children’s cancer. After its first two years, funds raised by Sohn Monaco have supported innovative research and treatment initiatives at the University Hospital of Nice, French National Institute INSERM and the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) in Paris. Now in its third year, the Sohn Monaco Investment Conference will be held under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II on Thursday, 6 June at the Monaco Yacht Club, convening leading European hedge fund managers to present their most compelling investment ideas in support of cutting-edge paediatric cancer care. www.sohnconference.org/monaco

The Sohn Investment Conference, Monqco 2018 © D.R.




Happy birthday, Valbonne! Celebrating 500 years of history

oday, Valbonne is famous for its picturesque views, charming alleys and grand large square which is often bustling with families and friends. But 500 years ago, the area was scarcely populated after the plague had ravaged the entire region in the 14th century.


In 1519, Augustin de Grimaldi, then Bishop of Grasse and Abbot of Lérins, wanted to bring life back to the valley. This was the idea for Valbonne, constructed as a joint effort by neighbouring towns and hamlets to create a new thriving village. Built next to the existing Chalaisian abbey from 1199, Valbonne was constructed according to the rectangular Roman plan, combining a central street perpendicular to the central square. The ramparts were built without any exterior doors in order to maintain good protection for the citizens. The Valbonne of today is practically unchanged, although you’ll no longer find goats and horses drinking from the stone trough in front of the Mairie. What has changed in this picturesque town is its popularity with the international community. Until the middle of the 20th century, Valbonne remained a relatively unknown agricultural village, the olive trees and grapevines producing the town’s main source of income, augmented with seasonal rose and jasmine for nearby perfumeries. The turning point was during WWII with the arrival of refugees from the occupied area. After the liberation of France, more people began moving to Valbonne and the momentum grew during the 1950s in response to rising population on the coast and the construction of many villas on abandoned plots left free by the decline of agriculture. At the same time, the arts and crafts movement attrac-



ted more tourists who were drawn to the village’s beauty and relaxed lifestyle. In 2019, Valbonne flourishes with a vibrant and tight-knit community that attracts visitors year-round, and the new sister-city of Sophia-Antipolis is on the cutting-edge of the future. To celebrate the half-millennium birthday, several events are planned throughout the year: ! Treasure hunts on March 9 and 13 ! The Vallis Bona raid on April 14 ! The Clay Earth exhibition from May 11 to June 2 ! The schools' exhibition on June 18 ! The 500th Anniversary Astro Concert on July 12 ! All ages in play! September 28 and 29 There are some highlights not to be missed: - Les Légendes de la Bonne Vallée (The Legends of the Good Valley): a history game that will allow kids of all ages (including the grown-ups) to discover the hidden heritage of the town and a treasure hunt for the youngest to collect the hidden objects. Hints are provided each month in the town newsletter and on the Les Légendes de la Bonne Vallée Facebook page. - ‘Valbonne Sophia Antipolis, yesterday, today, tomorrow…’: a series of videos on the history of the town available on social networks and in the local cinemas. !







Leonetti elected president

ap Azur,’ the new metropolitan cluster of Antibes, Grasse and Cannes, has elected a new president. Antibes mayor, Jean Leonetti takes over after the resignation of David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes. Leonetti was elected without much surprise since he was the only candidate. Making clear his plan to follow the same programme as his predecessor, he stated: “We are not replacing David Lisnard, we are succeeding him.” The Cap Azur group formed with the idea that a local alliance provides more direct democracy and together the towns have a stronger voice for change. The project has been advancing step by step since its formation in February 2018. The first meeting of 2019 took place on 11 January, when they announced the amount allocated to the cluster: nothing. A symbolic euro was introduced to the 2019 budget, to show that the new alliance will not take any additional resources from the region. The top issues for Cap Azur are waste management (and reduction), transport services and technology. Vice-President Charles-Ange Ginesy spoke about the digital revolution, which will be an essential element in the development of the metropolitan area. He believes artificial intelligence must be mastered and integrated into the project to optimize their chances of success. In the coming months, a new election will take place so that Jérôme Viaud, mayor of Grasse, can be elected, Jean Leonetti tells us that Viaud will "lean on the accelerator" to complete the project. !


Hotel earns the Green Globe d’Or award

annes is known for its luxury and festival, but today it’s all about being ‘green’. Cannes iconic Grand Hyatt Hôtel Martinez, one of the most famous on the Croisette, received a new "Green Globe d'Or"certification, for their commitment to sustainable development. The California-based Green Globe is the global benchmark for sustainable management in the world of tourism, present in more than 83 countries. The Martinez has been certified by Green Globe since 2010, and in 2015 it was confirmed for meeting the standards of the "Gold" label, which requires five consecutive years of certification. Now, in 2019 the historic hotel is pleased with this important recognition of their evolution over the past five years. On the agenda to earn this new certification: drastic reductions in waste and consumption (they reduced their consumption of white paper by 55% and


over 50% of their waste is recycled and they dehydrate around 30,000 kilos of organic waste on-site); short circuits for product choices, meaning a preference for local suppliers or those resulting from responsible trade; a reduction of water and electricity energy consumption (their washing loads have reduced from 34 litres per kilo to 4), including water recovery systems and room presence detectors. Green Globe also has social-economic requirements, such as parity in hiring, volunteering of staff for socially responsible programmes and hours of environmental training for employees. Changes and renovations have cost the hotel a significant investment, but for Alessandro Cresta, the hotel's general manager, being a socially and environmentally responsible establishment is well worth the cost. !

© Semmick Photo / Shutterstock.com

IMPROMPTU CONCERT Charlie Winston records in Nice

ritish musician, Charlie Winston was spotted in Nice while filming a music video. The Cornish singersongwriter first discovered our beautiful city in 2009 when touring his ‘Hobo’ album and particularly liked the Niçois bar scene. His eclectic sound has proven very successful in France, topping more charts than in Britain. He is a regular to the region, often playing in music festivals, including Dime on Fest (a tribute concert to the victims of the terrorist attack in 2016), Jazz à Juan and more. Winston picked Nice to record clips for two songs from his latest album, Square 1. A regular customer of Saint Paul restaurant in Place



Garibaldi, the musician was looking for a good place to play when "Café de la place" just a few doors down offered him their first-floor room. For two days in February, he played and filmed above the retro bistro. Winston recorded two songs, “Rendez-vous” and “Here I am,” from his latest album which was released in September last year. During the two days of recording, neighbours and passers-by enjoyed listening to the live music emanating from the terrace and many people were seen dancing in the streets and on their own balconies. Posts were popping up on social media by those who recognised the music, including Cafe de la Place, who grabbed a shot with Winston on their balcony. !






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by French in Cannes Piano Master Class taught by three professors trained at the Moscow Conservatory Campus International de Cannes 1, Avenue du Docteur A. Pascal 06400 Cannes - Tel: +33 www.french-in-cannes.fr





CLUB VIVANOVA LUXURY LIFESTYLE CHARITY GALA DINNER SATURDAY 6TH APRIL 2019 "We are the results of our actions and we only achieve great things in life by giving back. Our gala is being organised to appreciate the best things in life offering attendees the chance to donate to worthy, local and life-changing charities." Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Chances for Children Foundation and TAF - The Animal Fund.

LUXURY GALA DINNER AT THE FAIRMONT MONTE CARLO SALLE D'OR BALLROOM The evening will feature: " Galerie Cristal Premier Cru Champagne aperitif " Four-course gourmet meal by a Meilleur Ouvrier de France chef " Selection of premium international wines " Live musical entertainment and charity auction " Victoria Napolitano Haute Couture Fashion Show " Vodka23 after-party with dancers and DJ

WITH AN EXPECTED ATTENDANCE OF 500 GUESTS, OUR FIFTH EDITION GALA IS GOING TO BE A MEMORABLE & CHARITABLE EXPERIENCE FOR ALL INVOLVED. Tickets: €175 per person, fully inclusive 2019 VIP Gala Partnership €2500 including ten tickets &VIP Partner benefits Visit www.clubvivanova.com for more information.

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EXPAT FOCUS: BEATHE-JEANETTE LUNDE international places and companies, it is a factor that makes me thrive here. I like to associate with different cultures, learn about them and be with them--so that attracts me to living here. I really enjoy it. And also, there is so much to do here! So when I will be ready to retire, I have already tested the Riviera and it's a perfect place. You can still stay busy, you can still stay engaged, you can volunteer; you can do so much.

Jeanette is a business owner, a senior executive in hospitality and adjunct professor in luxury hospitality and events management at the International University of Monaco. Originally from Stavanger Norway, she has lived in several countries, including the UK, US, Denmark and Belgium. Here in Nice, she is a member of numerous influential clubs and organisations in the region, including the Professional Women’s Network, Skaal International Monaco, Norvège Côte d’Azur and the American Club of the Riviera, where she is the current President. After decades in corporate hospitality, Jeanette has become a master networker and she coaches students in the MBA programmes at both EDHEC Business School in Nice and the International University of Monaco. She and her husband bought their home in Nice in the early 2000s and split their time between Nice and Norway.

hat’s your favourite W thing about living here? To be able to enjoy the beauty of the sunshine and nature and to walk anywhere I like without an umbrella! What amazes me is that the Riviera is so international. Having lived and worked in MARCH / APRIL 2019

You volunteer a lot of your time for local organisations. Why is this important for you? It started when I was 16 in Norway. I volunteered as a leader in the Scouts, or Pathfinders organisation. So it was natural for me and I have always volunteered. When I came to the Riviera I brought the same passion with me. I got involved with the Professional Women’s Network and volunteered for the board as VP of corporate partnership and events management for several years, and also as a mentor, which I still do. I see it as totally expected that one volunteers where they can add meaning to an organisation. I joined the American Club of the Riviera in 2012 as a member. I was invited to become a Governor, then a vice president and co-president and now I’ve been serving as the President since 2018. We take turns and rotate with each other, which is great because you will always have someone with a fresh pair of eyes. What are your favourite places in the region? When I have guests--family or friends--I have my favourite tourist spots. I always take them to SaintPaul-de-Vence, to the Friday market in Valbonne and to Cannes. I take them on the little tourist train because it explains Cannes in the best way possible. It’s so worth it! And we take a picture on the red carpet at the Palais. The Château de la Chèvre d’Or is great for lunch or a drink because the view is spectacular. I also love to take them to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


Founder PETRA HALL p.hall@riviera-press.fr

in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and combine it with a walk through Villefranchesur-Mer. Always a trip to Monaco and the first stop is the little train, followed by a coffee or hot chocolate at the Chocolaterie in Monaco-Ville. Then a walk to see Princess Grace’s grave in the cathedral and to take pictures of the palace and the view. And then there’s the Friday market in Ventimiglia--number one for fun. That is the best trip to do with girlfriends. We take the train in the morning, start with a coffee and then we go and buy bits and pieces before heading to lunch. After lunch we take another stroll through the market, have a Prosecco and take the train home. It’s a fabulous day out, I recommend it to anyone. When I am on my own, I love walking around Old Town Nice and inhaling the atmosphere. I also love walking the Promenade--it’s the best thing in the world.

Do you have any Insider tips for newcomers? Every time I have moved--and that’s been a few times--I always look up what clubs or networks there are in town and go to the ones I think will work for me and where I might find new friends and like-minded people who enjoy visiting places of interest, culture, music, art and local cuisine. Any tips for people who have lived here a while? You know, I thought I knew a lot about Nice. In December, I organised a tasting tour for the American Club where you walk from place to place tasting local specialities. I thought that sounded really interesting and I wanted to test it out so I first did it on my own and I learned so much! I thought, how can it be that I have been here for so many years and I didn’t know all this? So I would say to those who have been here a while, sometimes you should be a tourist and do one of these local trips, whether it’s a tasting tour, a film tour in Cannes, a wine tour or a bicycle tour - you will be surprised what you learn. !

Publishing Director SEBASTIEN FRAISSE s.fraisse@riviera-press.fr Managing Director BICH LECOURT b.lecourt@riviera-press.fr Editor-in-Chief NICOLE RUSKELL n.ruskell@riviera-press.fr Contributors Laura Fiorino, Sarah Hyde, Christine Kjeldberg, Sinja Klock, Lewis Longman, Tracy Leonetti, Estelle Mancini, Mike Molloy, Julien Nundy & Aila Stöckmann Creative Director VINCENT ARTUS vincent.artus@wanadoo.fr Advertising & PR FRANCOISE MULLER Tel: +33 (0)4 97 00 11 29 f.muller@riviera-press.fr PATRICE SAINT-LEGER Tel: +33 (0)4 93 27 60 00 p.saintleger@riviera-press.fr DANIEL NARO Tel: +33 (0)4 93 27 60 00 d.naro@riviera-press.fr Distribution DOMINIQUE FREULON Tel: +33 (0)4 97 00 11 22 d.freulon@riviera-press.fr Secretary CAROLE HEBERT contact@riviera-press.fr Manuscripts and photos will not be returned unless previously agreed. Articles do not represent the opinion of the Editor. The publishing house is not responsible for the correct contents of ads. © 2015-2019 by Riviera Press s.a.r.l.



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Riviera Insider - March/April 2019  

Riviera Insider - March/April 2019