A Perfect Day In Nice

Eat lunch at a Matali Crasset-designed beach club, buy a bottle of Molinard perfume and get the best views in town at the Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain.

10 a.m.

Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain

Photo: MAMAC / Muriel Anssens

Skip the crowds at the famous Matisse and Chagall museums and head to the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain. From the roof’s undulating, wavelike walkways, you’ll have soaring views of Nice’s orange-tile roofs, green-brown hills, sherbet-hued townhouses and azure Mediterranean. The galleries below are no less colourful, thanks to standout works like Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes (1980), Claes Oldenburg’s gooey sculpture Shrimps on Fork (1965) and a whole room devoted to Yves Klein, the master of blue.

Promenade des Arts, 33-4-97-13-42-01, mamac-nice.org

1 p.m.

Hi Beach

Fans of French design superstar Matali Crasset will recognize her bold playroom hues and futuristic forms at Hi Beach, a seaside beach club complete with sunbeds and umbrellas for lounging on the shore. Choose from one of the three outdoor areas to suit your mood, from Hi Energy (with a bar and music) to Hi Relax (for some quieter downtime) to Hi Play (for families, with rentable tentlike enclosures the kids will love). The globetrotting menu includes sushi and sashimi, North African merguez sausage and a Franco-American burger with foie gras, of course.

47 Promenade des Anglais, 33-4-97-14-00-83

4 p.m.

Maison Auer

For classic Nice products, stroll past the venerable opera house on Rue Saint-François de Paule and explore the street’s old-world boutiques. Adorned with chandeliers and carved cherubs, Maison Auer is stocked with candied fruits, salty caramels, white nougat and other confections. (Don’t miss the discreet back room, which showcases jewel-like chocolate ganaches and pralines.) Then move from sweet to savoury at Nicolas Alziari, whose nearby olive groves provide the materials for everything from tapenades to soaps to grands crus oils. The Molinard perfume house also has its gardens and production facility near Nice, meaning that the fragrances, massage oils, shower gels and other floral concoctions in its boutique are factory fresh.

Maison Auer, 7 rue Saint-François de Paule, 33-4-93-85-77-98, maison-auer.com
Nicolas Alziari, 14 rue Saint-François de Paule, 33-4-93-62-94-03, alziari.com.fr
Molinard, 20 rue Saint-François de Paule, 33-4-93-62-90-50, molinard.com

9 p.m.


Brothers Gaël and Mickaël Tourteaux opened their cheerful little restaurant, Flaveur, in 2009 and landed a Michelin star two years later thanks to unexpected touches that infuse every dish on their tasting menus. To wit: a mini sausage made of duck confit gets a hint of sweetness from liquefied sticky rice, while potato chips get blended into a foamy mousse whose earthiness plays off the tender, marinated sea bream chunks beneath. The final surprise: a sprinkle of Kerala black pepper on a cube of Valrhona dark chocolate.

25 rue Gubernatis, 33-4-93-62-53-95, flaveur.net


Hôtel Nice Excelsior

Photo: Groupe Maranatha

The stately Belle Époque facade of Hôtel Nice Excelsior hides a playful renovation completed last year that riffs off the themes of travel and history. Each floor has a colour scheme and ambience inspired by a vintage form of transport – ship, train, automobile and propeller airplane – complete with enlarged wall-size images from vintage Nice postcards and murals depicting vacation-style sketches of the cityscape by illustrator Frédéric Arnold. With the train station a short walk away, you can zip off to Monte Carlo in no time at all for another perfect day.

19 avenue Durante, 33-4-93-88-18-05, excelsiornice.com