Although I’ve lived in Normandy and Paris for very many years, a part of my heart still resides on the Cote d’Azur. The town of Nice is where I met my husband, and it was the first place I ever lived full time in France. We had some good years in St Tropez too, all at that precious time of life, when we were young adults, starting out on what was obviously going to be a great adventure, but still without the responsibilities and ties of a house and children …. or even dogs.
Today, when we return South to see family, we are light years from those younger jet setting days; we aim to avoid the crowds, and we no longer need to be stalwarts of the local nightlife. Today the coast holds other pleasures and we enjoy the company of good friends and look for quality over glitz.
As we visit with friends this week I’ve enjoyed re-discovering the little town of Valbonne, and I thought that if any of you are coming this way, you may like to know my favourite addresses.
Valbonne is a smallish town, up on the hills behind Cannes. I love that the heart of the place is the old town, with its narrow streets, square paving stones and tall buildings with mismatched doors and windows. It’s easy to while away a few hours wandering the streets, admiring the architecture and stopping for a coffee.
If you come at the weekend, there is a brocante fair on the first Sunday of the month, it takes place on the Place des Arcades, which also happens to be my favourite spot for breakfast. The staff at the Café des Arcades are charming and eager to please and I love to watch the town wake up as I enjoy a coffee and croissant.
Should I need to buy bread, then the Valbonnais or the Fournil d’Eugene is the place to go. You could easily walk straight past, because it isn’t a conventional bakers, but simply a stand set up in the street in front of the door to the bakers ovens.
For pastries or divine chocolates then I stop off at Jean Jacques Lenoir, whose name is a byword for indulgence. He has a little tea room, but if you don’t have time to stop then a selection of cakes or chocolates is beautifully wrapped to be enjoyed at home .
Just across the street from Jean Jacques is the wonderful home decor and antiques store of Jean Luc Charrier and Sara Giunta. Both gifted interior architects and stylists. They carry Astier de Villatte, as well as some other brands that blend seamlessly with antiques and textiles.
I could have spent hours in this store, and will certainly be back soon to purchase and be inspired.
And finally as the day draws to a close, there are many addresses to choose from to eat or have a drink. One of my favourites is the tiny italian restaurant, Little Italy, in a narrow lane . Good food, great wines and friendly service.
Voila! I hope you like these suggestions for a lazy day wandering down the sun drenched streets of Valbonne. The addresses are below. Thank you for reading me! And if you’d like to see more pictures of the south of France, then follow along on Instagram , HERE
Little Italy – 7, Rue De La Mairie 06560 Valbonne
La Maison de Charrier – 1 Fbg St Esprit, 06560 Valbonne
Patisserie Lenoir – 14 Bvd Carnot, Valbonne
Le Fournil d’Eugene – 16 rue de la Fontaine, Valbonne
Café des Arcades – Place des Arcades, Valbonne