Why is the Riviera razing its beach restaurants?

August 15, 2021

The Côte d’Azur has been bulldozing its beach restaurants. The demolition began a few years ago, wiping out celebrated haunts and their too-permanent installations. The image is shocking – but as ever, this coin has two sides. As the upheaval moves closer to home, French Lessons tries to understand.

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Grab Bag: Bloopers and More from Summer 2019

August 31, 2019

As French Lessons wishes readers au revoir until Summer 2020, we share a few stories from this past season that didn’t make our feed.  Gossip, blackout, and glut: Did the springtime omen of nesting doves on Bellevue’s rooftop bring the sort of luck we needed?

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Au Revoir: Summer 2017 on the Côte d’Azur

September 2, 2017

What do a tornado, double-the-figs, police on horseback, Macron, Trump, the BBC, and Leonardo DiCaprio all have in common? As the summer of 2017 rolls up its beach towels and twists the cap back on the sunscreen, French Lessons considers what made this Côte d’Azur season like no other.

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July 29, 2016

As French Lessons treads into the middle of the Côte d’Azur’s acclaimed summer season, we pause, catch our breath, and revel in a jumble of what makes the French Riviera so dazzling, so bewitching. But spoken or not this summer, one topic seems to cut through all the fun.

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It’s a Wrap: Summer 2014 in the Côte d’Azur

August 29, 2014

French Lessons looks back at the highlights of Summer 2014 in the Côte d’Azur as Bellevue’s occupants declare they are utterly exhausted from all the fun. In many ways this summer was like no other – and yet we discern a few conspicuous and intriguing themes that have endured this summer as in the past.

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Profile: Madame Lucienne Frey, Centenarian

August 15, 2014

Alternatively, this post could be entitled The 100-Year Old Woman Who Endured Both World Wars and Still Dreams About Golf. Madame Lucienne Frey has enjoyed a century’s worth of family and travel, books and sport. She has spent nearly seven decades visiting or living in Antibes. No matter what we call this post, this centenaire hardly lets age define her.

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Photo Essay: A Simple Love Letter to Antibes

August 8, 2014

From Donna Tartt’s latest novel The Goldfinch to a small library in the wilds of Botswana, French Lessons is reminded that our summer hometown has a certain reputation. Antibes may see its share of bling, but this nook of the glittering Côte d’Azur has managed to retain its genuine charm.

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Royal Monaco: A Glimpse Backstage

June 27, 2014

French Lessons cruises to the glamorous Principality of Monaco to join a gala dinner within the celebrated wine cellars of the Hôtel de Paris and – with a bit of luck – to meet the top royals. The glittering occasion will remain etched in our memories – and perhaps in Prince Albert II’s, too.

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The Côte d’Azur: The World’s New Silk Road

July 26, 2013

An impromptu wine-tasting, a celebrity invitation and an esteemed golf tournament – all transpiring in a single, long breath of time – blend the foods and talk, traditions and table manners of France, India, Austria, Germany, Russia, China, the United States, Slovakia, Russia, Canada, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia in the Côte d’Azur, a modern-day melting pot.

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Fast Food – à la Côte d’Azur

August 9, 2012

The glitz and glam of the Côte d’Azur even seeps into its pizzas and burgers.  Where else do you find lobster, foie gras and truffles as must-have ingredients than in this world of fast food haute couture?  Still, there’s one food we North Americans bring to the French table – even if locals put their own, tidy spin on it.

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Double Vision: The End of a Cap d’Antibes Summer

August 26, 2011

While French Lessons has one foot rooted in the Côte d’Azur and the other pointing toward a Toronto rentrée, stratospheric property gossip and megayacht quarrels form a fitting finale to the season.  Meanwhile visits by the so-called Little Mouse, midnight skinny dippers and a heartwarming postscript to the story of Bellevue make this summer unforgettable.

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The Côte d’Azur: Best of the Best

September 9, 2010

In this summer’s roundup, we name our favourite spots along the fêted Côte d’Azur.  From Monte Carlo to Nikki Beach, here are the best coffees, croissants, gelatos and sundowners, as well as the best ways to feel like a local and to get away from the crowds.  These are the places and faces, foods and moods you simply cannot miss.

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