Before you start thinking about it, let’s me throw out our little disclaimer, no SKYN products were used during the making of this feature. We set off on a Friday afternoon from a cold windy London to sunny South of France. It’s crazy how a few thousand miles down and everything is almost tropical and exotic looking in comparison to the city. Tropical trees, beaches, tanned people (oooh!) and more. We’re going to be giving this wonderful trip to one of you lucky readers. To get your hands on the golden ticket, that encompasses two nights travel and stay in Nice, all you have to do is answer the simple question at the bottom of the feature.
We headed to our hotel, Hyatt Regency Nice Palais, on the strip which overlooked the coastline, can’t complain. The hotel has a great interior which is a fusion of Art Deco and contemporary design. A strong history from being a Great Gatsby-esque venue space to what it is now – you can read more about the hotel on the review here. We were pleasantly greeted with a plate of a macaroons and bottles of wine in each of our hotel rooms. Can’t complain about that and seeing as I’m technically away from home – low carb diet can go out of the window for a few days, it was time to enjoy life for a few days without restrictions.
As soon as we dropped our things off, ate a few macaroons (well I did), we headed off into the city/town to see what it had to offer. It was already around 11pm which is usually around the time the big cities like London start to liven up. Quite the contrast here, everything was getting quieter and strangely enough no one sat inside the bars. Everyone sat outside on the street conversing instead with little or no music being played in the backgrounds. The latter is what I found most bizarre, so people actually converse whilst consuming alcohol? That’s news to me haha. After around 30 minutes of walking around most of the town we reached Nice’s Old Town quarter, it was here where we found a place that played decent music and looked quite nice to chill at.
Nice is a small city with just over a million population in the southern part of France. It’s quite close to the infamous Cannes where all the music and advertising festivals take place. We landed few weeks after the summer party season was over so everything was a lot quieter which made it more real with just the locals and less tourists around. My first observation was the average age; a lot more older people out dining and chilling. It’s only when we reached Old Town where all the youngsters started popping up but even then it was nothing like what we see across the pond. Everyone’s civilized, no drunken lunatics on the rampage. It’s all about a nice quiet drink and good conversation.
If you’ve got a photographer’s eye then you’ll be able to tell some of these photographs are shot on my Lumix GX3.
Since it was already pretty late, we ended up having a few drinks at this bar before heading back to the hotel. Standard choice of drink with the neat whisky, Talisker 18 whilst DJB opted for a fruity cocktail. I’m not even going to state where we grabbed late night food from, it was definitely a sinful moment in terms of diet.
We rose early the next day to maximise use of your time, grabbed our lovely French breakfast – those guys kill it when it comes to the pastries and headed on out to play tourists for the first few hours. We were in awe of the view from the breakfast area, it was simply beautiful and the coastline was so blue. If this was Southend, you’d see grey skies and alcohol bottles laying all over the sand. We headed up towards the highest point in Nice from the seafront area, it’s about a 20-30 minute walk. The weather was hitting around 25-30 degrees in mid-September so we were melting. A lot more of a workout than I had expected which was mainly down to our speed in comparison the citizens of Nice. It was like we were walking at Usain Bolt speed in comparison to them. Everything was much slower.
I’m going to share a whole bunch of images below, enjoy the photo story.
You’ve just got to love the architecture. I try to look up in new places to spot it, have any of you ever looked up in London? Especially in the Regent Street/Oxford Circus area, lots of gems that most people just walk past without noticing.
Below: Try and spot the non-Caucasian guy.
Highest point in the city. Rather beautiful if I do say so. We ended up walking up the hill all the way to the top to find a park with folks practicing Tai Chi and other martial arts. One set of men were training with real swords. Crazy.
A quick wander through the markets by old town. Such different architecture over here, everything is yellow/orange/red over here – lots of tight streets and alleyways with hidden gems to find. It’s where Nice starts to liven up with more personality as opposed to the bougie lifestyle elsewhere.
We actually ended up back at the Hyatt Regency hotel after this wander for a quick morning drink before heading back out to find a lunch spot. You can’t go wrong with mojito. Trying to find a half decent food spot was a challenge, all the places didn’t look that appealing from the outside – think Tottenham Court Road style restaurants all over the place.
Entrance to someone’s mansion along the coast. Right in between all the major hotels, someone’s ballin’. We headed off to Mobilboard for a quick tour around the city on a SEGWAY – if you all remember reading about my trip to Malta then you’ll know that Segway was one of the most enjoyable activities I had done. So I thought I’d give it another ago, despite my obvious lack of balance from years no cycling I managed to get on with it. DJB was killing it like a pro, doing all kinds of no hands business and spins. If you’re ever on holiday and have the option of going on a tour with a Segway, I totally recommend it as it’s a quick and fast way
Funnily enough our tour guide happened to be a French blogger who happened to know his way around the city so recommended to us a few spots to check out nearby. We headed off to the Le Meridien hotel’s rooftop bar after our tour, as you do, right? It’s classy, think London’s Boundary but with a beautiful view of the sea instead of a gentrified concrete jungle like in East London. Just look at the sunset image below, no words needed.
Then we went back out on the hunt for a good night out in Nice and guess where we ended up? An American bar. The drinks below may look fruity with the marshmallows but they were a mixture of 3 different spirits, peculiar taste but damn good. The burgers weren’t too bad either.
Next morning with a few hours remaining till our flight, we ended up back at the Le Meridien at 10am for um, more drinks. Mojito’o’clock. That’s Nice summarised for you as seen in approximately 72 hours, a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of London city life. Not a really a party city but more of a great place to chill, slow down and enjoy life. Now if you’re interested in winning a two day trip to Nice with flights and accommodation provided courtesy of the good folks at SKYN scroll down.
Please make sure you read the Ts&Cs below.
1.1) To enter a competition you must be: (a) UK resident (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry
1.2) 1 competition entry per email address is allowed.
1.3) Employees and immediate families of the promoter, its agents or anyone professionally connected with the promotion may not participate.
2) Competition details
2.1) The opening date of the competition is 7/11/2013 at 12pm. All completion entries must be received by 10pm on 17/11/13; any entries received after this time will not be accepted into the competition.
2.2) Once the competition is closed, one correct entry will be selected at random as the winner.
3.1) To enter the Competition an Entrant must enter the correct answer on Yin & Yang.
3.2) No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost or delayed, or which are not received for any reason.
3.3) The winner will be chosen at random from the candidates who have answered the competition question correctly.
3.4) The winner will be contacted within a week of the closing date. In the event that the claim for the prize is not received by Yin &Yang within 48 hours of the notification the promoter reserves the right. withdraw the prize entitlement and award the prize to reserve selected at the same time as the original.
3.5) No responsibility can be taken for claims which are lost, delayed, corrupted, damaged, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered because of technical difficulties.
4.1) Prize includes return economy flights from a major UK city airport to Nice and a two night stay at an equivalent four star hotel to that in the article. The prize is for 2 adults, sharing a twin or double bedded room and is subject to availability.
4.2) Travel dates must avoid all UK bank holidays and [Christmas and New Year period].
4.3) Travel insurance and transport to and from the airports in the UK and NICE are NOT provided.
4.4) The winner will be contacted within a week of the closing date and must confirm holiday dates within 28 days. The weekend experience needs to be taken before 30th April 2014.
5.1) This prize is not transferable.
5.2) No cash or credit alternative is available
5.3) Any taxes payable in relation to the prize will be for the winner to bear
5.4) No responsibility can be taken for if the participant misses the scheduled flights to Nice nor can the promoter re-arrange flights or accommodation once the final booking has been made.
5.5) The winner and their guest must have a valid UK or EU passport to be able to travel on.
6) Promotion details
6.1) The promoter of this competition is Ansell and Yin & Yang.