As I mentioned before, one of the wonderful things about Cannes is that you'll never get bored (particularly if you like your pommes purée with a side of couture). Admittedly, I have never been one of those people who claim to find beach holidays excruciatingly dull. However, the city girl within me can sometimes materialise in a sudden spurt of restlessness. After a few hours soaking up the sun, extracting every word from my chosen magazine and braving the icy-shock of the waves, I am a curious city explorer, ready for adventure. If you also take a break from this (very) beautiful beach, here are my tips for a fashionable day à Cannes.
Firstly, if you can book a room at the popular Hotel Martinez, don't hesitate. It's a wonderfully warm hotel which exudes glamour (old-Hollywood style), staff are super-friendly, spa treatments are heavenly and you feel every bit the movie star. During our stay, we were wowed by a complimentary bottle of champagne, bottle of red, chocolate cake and birthday presents delivered to our room! It really does feel like the epicentre of Cannes activity and you only need to witness their events roster to understand why (superb hospitality must help). Remember the fashion photographs? I will soon be sharing another special Martinez event with you.
|Both pictures: the Hotel Martinez|
Following pains-au-chocolat or omelette complet at Hotel Martinez, pause on the palm tree-lined beachfront promenade La Croisette, home to excellent and affordable bistros and, of course, Jimmy Choo, Prada et al. A visual feast lies before you, from every angle. Listen for the noise of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Astons behind you...
|Jimmy Choo, La Croisette|
|A fabulous Ferrari, La Croisette|
Let your eyes wander to the beach below and you’ll spy the latest Chanel tote glamorizing sun-bathers, often shockingly, being used to carry sun-cream. You'll witness jewel-encrusted, cut-away swimming costumes (here the women steal the show) to the most fashion-savvy children I have ever seen (read: bored/overindulgent parents?) Headscarves, maxi-dresses, nail polish, you name it; who needs €5 to find English Grazia, when you have these trendy tots for inspiration? Or, you can watch with utter fascination while one smiling lady changes her kaftan every 5 minutes (although I later discovered that she was selling her decorative designs). Even the Martinez beach boys and girls are the height of preppy chic in their pristine white shorts and stylish sunglasses. Their nautically-inspired attire would fit in very well in Port Canto, where the boats look like this...WOW.
|Boats in Port Canto, Cannes|
After pretending that you belong aboard Roman Abramovich's boat with your crew in tow, it’s time to shop (or window-shop) on La Croisette or the boutique-friendly Rue D’antibes*, until you drop into a chair at the perfectly positioned, people-watching restaurant Le Voilier, for a Filet de Boeuf avec la pomme purée à l'huile d'olive. Can't you almost taste it? Le Voilier fare is simple, fresh and moreishly delicious, served by lovely staff, one of whom humorously resembles a French Mick Jagger. Return to the beachfront after dinner for some of Cannes’ famous fireworks displays and have a drink at the Martinez hotel's Z Plage bar as the DJ warms up and the sun begins to set.
Now, if you are really lucky, Escada could unveil their Fall/Winter 2010 collection in the bar, just for you (well, sort of). Visit my blog again soon for our exclusive peek!
The red carpets may be rolled up as the film festival ends, but Cannes remains a place where some very stylish dreams are born... and lived. It may not feel like real life to you or I, but who cares? Revel in the charade with your coupe de champagne. And, to get close to the red-carpet experience, visit Cinéma Les Arcades for the latest cinema releases in V.O. (version originale). Enjoy the show!
*Shopping on Rue D'antibes? My favourites: Sandro, Maje, Sinequanone, Pinko, Maxmara, Missoni, Agnes B, Gérard Darel.
Pinko S/S 2010 (Sales now on)
Images: my own, except for final two: Pinko and Agnes B.