In one of the most coveted destinations in the world, where are the best places to wine and dine?
The French are renowned for their love of local specialities and pairing it with delectable local wine, so it’s no wonder that France recently came top of an OECD study for the most “time spent eating and drinking”.
With 11 million visitors exploring the Côte d’Azur each year and a huge number of these being some of the most famous and glamorous people in the world, the Riviera’s coastal resorts are brimming with convivial places to wine and dine. But with so much competition, you can’t always be sure which restaurants will stand out from the crowd and consistently serve up excellence.
After spending years living on the Riviera, here are five recommendations from the Home Hunts team for a guaranteed evening of foodie heaven.
Le Candille – Mougins
Everything about dining at Michelin-starred Le Candille is enchanting, from the setting to the ambiance and the unique menu. Eating al-fresco on the terrace is always a delight, as you can look out over the peaceful Riviera countryside towards Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, and the French Prealps.
Here, Xavier Burelle, who has formerly worked with chefs like Alain Ducasse, is the chef behind entrées such as “Tuna tartare with grated fennel, tomato and courgette petals” and tasty deserts like “Valrhona Araguani chocolate ‘mille-feuille’ with molten centre”. Each dish is a gastronomic delight, made with local ingredients, and exquisitely presented.
La Colombe d’Or – Saint-Paul-de-Vence
This hotel and restaurant started off life as an inn back in the twenties and became a home away from home for artists and creatives, including Chagall and César. Many have swapped accommodation for artwork over the years, so there is original art and sculptures everywhere you look, on the roof, around the pool, on the walls – so much so that here it is a feast for your eyes as well as your appetite.
This Provençal haven, in the pretty village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, with its authentic, classic cuisine has a reputation as being one of the best on the Riviera. You can dine either in the beautifully-presented indoor dining room, or a spacious leafy courtyard, and while some say it can be a little on the expensive side, others adore the simplicity of the dishes in such an iconic historic setting.
Jan – Nice
Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen comes from Middleburg in South Africa and has become famous for adapting South African favourites, such as melktert (“milk tart”) and biltong (“dried, cured meat”), for European guests.
At his popular restaurant Jan, in the bohemian district of Nice Port, he fuses traditional South African dishes with French cuisine to create a whole new dining experience with style and flair. Considered by many to be the best restaurant in Nice, you need to book well before your trip as often tables are reserved for months in advance.
Mirazur – Menton
Italian-Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco says the sea, the mountains and his home-grown fruit and vegetables are the inspiration behind his bold, colourful dishes. Set in a sun-filled 1930s rotunda-style building in Menton, near the Italian border, Mirazur’s views over the Mediterranean and the unusually-styled dishes are a visual extravaganza and really give this restaurant the “wow factor”.
There is a range of experiences to choose from on the menu, but the most luxurious of them all, Signature, pairs top wines with dishes such as “blue lobster, French coco beans and chamomile broth” and “Gillardeau oyster and pear”.
La Chèvre d’Or – Eze
This two Michelin-starred La Chèvre d’Or in Eze offers gastronomic cuisine at its finest from chef Arnaud Faye. With an exceptionally warm and friendly service, the first-class food and breath-taking views make this one of the best places to dine out on the Riviera.
The immaculate and decorative dining room, which is flooded with glorious Mediterranean light, is just a sensational setting for dinner. Outside, it’s hard to imagine a more superior sea-view restaurant terrace.
Described as “a solar, mineral and marine cuisine that is also aromatic and vegetal”, Faye’s elegant creations never disappoint, making an extraordinary culinary experience every time you visit.
If you are looking to buy property on the French Riviera, you can view thousands of luxury homes for sale at www.home-hunts.com, but for more recommendations and advice, or to discuss your particular property criteria, speak to a consultant directly on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.