Things to do in the South of France

As I am from Nice I keep getting asked what to do when visiting the South of France. Here are my recommendations:


  • Eat dinner at “La Petite Maison”, my favorite restaurant in the world! Make reservations ahead of time. Once you are there tell Nicole you are coming from Fabrice Grinda and you want to try the sampling menu with sea bass as the main dish.
  • For great local fare in a more casual setting, eat at “Le Safari” on “Le Cours Saleya”
  • Walk on “La Promenade des Anglais,” “La Zone Pietone”, “Le Cours Saleya” and visit “Le Château”
  • Eat Fenochio ice cream and sorbet in “Le Vieux Nice” (over 70 home made flavors!)
  • Cultural activities include the Matisse Museum, Museum of Modern Art, etc.

St. Paul de Vence:

  • Beautiful little village 30 minutes away from Nice that gives you a sense for the relaxed life on the Cote d’Azur
  • Eat at La Colombe d’Or. Don’t miss looking at their art collection which includes a Picasso!
  • Explore the old town and its art galleries
  • Walk on “les ramparts”
  • Take a stroll in the gardens of “La Fondation Maeght” and admire their modern and contemporary art collection


  • 30 minutes East of Nice by car or train
  • Just walk around the city and the main Casino it’s beautiful


  • 30 minutes West of Nice by car or train
  • Most well known for “La Croisette”

St. Tropez:

  • 1 hour 30 minutes West of Nice by car or 20 minutes by helicopter from Nice airport
  • It’s the “Ibiza” of France – beautiful and rich people go party there
  • Walk around the town, eat lunch or dinner on “La Place des Lys,” walk alongside the huge boats in the harbor, eat ice cream at “Barbarac” (70 amazing flavors).
  • Visit the beautiful sand beaches “Les Plages de Pampelonne”, especially “Club 55” or “Kai Largo” 20 minutes outside of town (great places for lunch too). Go to “Nikki Beach” if you want to see how the young idle rich party.
  • Go to the night club: “Les Caves du Roy”

Nice, Monaco, Cannes and St. Paul can all be done from where you are staying in or near any of those cities. You will need to rent a car to get around.

Stay a few nights in or near Saint Tropez. With the nights you will have there, you will not want to be doing any commuting!

  • “La petite Maison” is fine but Nicole can be in a very bad mood sometime and you end up with a very bad service. Just so you know she has opened another restaurant in Cannes.

    For great restaurant, I would recommend:

    L’Oasis in La Napoule
    La Bastide Saint Antoine in Grasse
    La Chevre d’Or at Eze (what else ?)
    La colombe d’or at St Paul de Vence

    Monaco is overrated, noisy (plenty of construction all the time) and boring 🙂 Maybe I’m biased since I work there … 😉


  • Aaah Nice! Maison… Niiice! Merci Fabrice for this taste of holidays.
    For Les Caves (du RoY), admittance is quite tricky for non regulars. Reservation with a Black Card guarantees to not wait an hour for nothing.
    Being a guest at the Byblos too. But taht place really cooks great parties ambiances all nights long in summer. A must. ZE place. Taking bottles and tables are a prerequisite. Last summer, while we were there, 2 billionaires fought over spending the most in one night. One Pakistani won with a half million euros bill in champagne for the night.

    Also, if you want to spoil a child, do not miss my friend’s trendiest French Kidstore in St-Tropez. You might very well rub elbows with some legends in this new little shop (

    Enjot! Bonnes Vacances! 🙂

  • Je confirme l’excellent choix du glacier Fenochio !

    Fabrice si tu passes en France, je connais de bonnes adresses à Lyon, capitale de la gastronomie, classée par l’Unesco comme cité Renaissance.

  • Essaie aussi cet endroit magique: le cap ferret et le bassin d’arcachon.

    quelle vue !

    un coucher de soleil sur la dune du Pyla plus haute dune d’europe c’est magique, pendant dix minutes l’horizon se pare d’une lueur mauve. Inoubliable. Mon plus beau coucher de soleil après celui sur le Grand Canyon.

    MIAM ! : moules frites chez Hortense (spécialité maison), ou un bar… resto 100% poissons. réservation obligatoire.

    RE-MIAMglaces: le buffet de la gare (le parfum résine de pin maison est à tomber).

    Le quartier des pecheurs est très romantique, et on peut déguster des huitres au bord de l’eau.

    Surtout vas y en juin, fuis juillet et aout. A voir et revoir la chapelle de la villa algérienne, seule chapelle mariant le croissant musulman et la croix catholique. C’est le seul vestige d’un domaine somptueux qui s’appelait la villa algérienne, propriété de Léon Lescat, batisseur du port d’Alger qui avait acheté toute la péninsule (+20 kilomètres) entre mer intérieure et océan.

    le cap ferret fut le refuge de Jean Cocteau.