Our journey to Cannes this time was a very different affair to the ones we had become accustomed to, as travelling from Newcastle upon Tyne direct to Nice in winter is not possible. Consequently, we had to travel to other UK airports to fly to Nice. However, on this occasion imagewe were going to take an alternative route, via Schiphol, to get to our cherished destination. To be honest, it was a sensible choice, as although we added a couple of hours to our journey, we actually avoided the additional 5 or so hours we would have had to accept by travelling to another airport which on the return journey always felt like a huge chore.

This was a first for us, as was flying with KLM and it most certainly won’t be the last! The aircraft was clean with plenty of legroom, friendly staff, fresh and tasty sandwiches on board and flights on time…. Everything we’ve always found wanting from the UK counterparts….
Our only comment would be that whilst we expected Schipol to be a large airport, we were very surprised how huge it was and how long it took to walk between the gates for our transfer. For anyone with walking difficulties travelling via Schipol, whilst there are moving walkways, however, there are parts without and long distances potentially between gates.
imageOn arrival in Nice we were greeted by the warm Côte d’Azur air and bright sunshine and clear blue skies…. just what we needed. Selfies duly taken at the airport and posted on Facebook to let the friends and family know we had arrived safely (no it wasn’t to wind everyone up back in Newcastle) (fingers crossed)
Our very wonderful and perennially cheerful friend, John Weaving, arrived moments later beaming ear to ear, picking us up and whisking us off for a lovely relaxing lunch at the marina in Golfe-Juan.
Catching up with John is always lovely, only this time, we were on our own, as we were usually accompanied by our daughter or a friend and so it was going to be an even more relaxing trip and we were determined to make the most of our newly found freedom!

IMG_0017Sitting drenched in sunshine, by the marina, sunglasses donned and enjoying a rather fine platter of charcuterie and cheeses, washed down with some glorious Côtes de Provence Rosé really set the scene. Great company at a IMG_0090great location made us feel uber-chic and so welcome. We couldn’t wish for a better start to our stay!
There are many fine bistros and brasseries in the area and John is always able to pick out the perfect location for each occasion and this one, Le 61, was no exception. After a lovely lunch, very reluctantly, we departed Golfe-Juan to go to our apartment in the centre of Cannes and drop our luggage. Without a moment to spare we were back out in the lovely sunshine, refreshed and refuelled from lunch, and on our way to run a few errands before heading off to John’s home as he had so graciously invited us over for dinner with his family.

image Cue great conversation, laughter, excellent food and a couple more cheeky glasses of Rosé and before we could draw breath we were on our way to take in some live music and excellent beverages, courtesy of Couby’s Café and to meet up with another friend, colleague and fellow northerner, Pat Denton. Pat, you may know as our fantastically talented and erudite ‘I Love Cannes’ photographer.53a7292eb5067
Couby’s Café, for those not in-the-know is a Cannes gem. One of those places that has the knack of making you feel so welcome, like you’re a local and regular visitor to its bar….. and not only does it serve some rather fine beers, our beer of choice this evening was Leffe, it also serves up some particularly good live acts!
With much imbibing it was inevitable that the music would draw us in and we were all dancing and having a great time, mixing with strangers and making new friends.
I have to say that was a night to remember and one I would recommend to everyone!

thecarsAlthough it was a late night, we would be up at a reasonable time and ready for the day ahead.
And what a day we had in store… I say that, however some 12 hours earlier we had no knowledge of its content!
We were to be part of the promotional video montage that was being put together for Nick Casson, the proprietor of Riviera Classic Car.
Hire that he operates out of Golfe-Juan and has an abundance of sublime classic cars available for your delectation. Nick is a wonderfully charming character full of great stories and dry wit whose company we enjoy enormously. He’s always on the lookout for new cars to add to his portfolio and has an eye for detail, ever attentive and looking for ways to improve his clients’ already great customer experience. Having enjoyed a rather tasty café au lait, with Nespresso pods from Café Itineraire on Rue Hoche in Cannes and a bit of banter, Pat arrived back, having earlier chauffeured us to Nick’s to give us the lowdown on what was happening and the itinerary of the day.

IMG_0041This was a great experience, driving a dazzling Red Alfa Romeo 1967 Duetto Spider Pininfarina, with the talent in a Morgan 4/4.IMG_0001 Taking in some lovely locations, like La Turbie, Nice and Monaco, we also took in Monte-Carlo gathering much interest from tourists outside of the Casino and Café De Paris. It would have been rude if we didn’t stop for them to take some photos, which we were only too happy to pose in! Whilst we were there we had to also take in the Monaco Grand Prix route with such memorable sections such as La Rascasse, Massenet, the Chicane and not forgetting the Tunnel.
Nearing the end of the filming, when we went up to La Turbie, with some breath-taking views over Monaco (not to be missed) we had some unexpected events occur.

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Unfortunately, one of the cars overheated and although you’d expect that it was one of the vintage cars that befell such a situation, it was actually the Land Rover carrying the film crew! Would you believe it! Anyway, it gave us a great opportunity to have a spot of late lunch at a rather lovely restaurant just off of the main route through the IMG_0037village. Don’t mind if we do….. ! Well, it had been a hard day having photos taken of us…. we were exhausted!!

After our impromptu stop we were met with the unfortunate news that the Land Rover would need a spare part and we had to make some changes to our plans to get back to Cannes. That wasn’t too bad though as it made for an even more interesting day!
Eventually, back in Cannes, we decided upon a relaxing evening over another few glasses of Rosé and an early night as we had a busy day of work ahead of us on Sunday; or so we had believed…

Check out the next blog post for the second instalment of our trip to Cannes!