Marco - Menton
Sunday lunch at ‘Chez Marco’ on the Port of Menton, Garavan is wonderful. It’s a relaxed, friendly, family-style restaurant where chef Marco and his daughter run the show with no planned menu and true Italian passion. Everything is fresh, homemade and good quality. I love to sit on the terrace overlooking the sparkling yachts on a sunny day – I usually choose the antipasti plate to start or the calamari. Have the gambas, the homemade pasta dish of the day, or the freshly caught fish of the day - simply grilled with the freshest of vegetables and, of course, a gorgeous glass of crisp Italian white wine! It can get busy so reserve ahead of time. Italians disguise slow service with lashings of personality and ‘more wine,’ so a little patience on a busy evening is always welcome… Friendly, family, and quality are three words that sum up Marco’s.
This is one of my favourite restaurants with gorgeous panoramic views - it feels like you are out to sea. Located at Port de Plaisance in Cap D’ail, it is actually in France, but skims the whiskers of Monaco. Décor is Monaco chic meets Hamptons beach house - crisp white cotton pillows on nautical striped sofas and marble next to wood panels and overstuffed armchairs. You can have lunch or dinner here, they also do a great Sunday brunch with a DJ playing low-key music. Begin your evening with a chilled glass of rosé upstairs on the open roof terrace as the sun sets. The menu is delicious and contains lots of healthy choices – the artichoke salad with parmesan is a must, and the sea bass with fennel is a favourite of mine. Reservations are essential – especially for the popular Sunday Brunch. Dress is simple-chic.
I absolutely love the Bistro Terrace at this art deco hotel where F. Scott Fitzgerald spent his summers. Sitting on the terrace you can just imagine well-heeled Americans and jet-set types dancing the night away. It was here that Fitzgerald was inspired to write ‘Tender is the Night’ and later, ‘The Great Gatsby’. Arrive at sunset and enjoy a glass of champagne with the Mediterranean lapping at your toes in what feels like an elegant 1920’s movie set.
The Michelin-starred chef has created something special; the menu is fresh, clean, balanced and beautiful. The bistro’s set tasting menu never fails; everything is beautifully presented and the service is impeccable. Just when you think it can’t get any better, dessert arrives and you are faced with the most amazing designer petits fours with coffee and freshly made marshmallows. The terrace is open April to October, and the indoor dining room is accordingly elegant. Dress is relaxed-chic
For a gorgeous sunny lunch with friends or a romantic dinner a deux, check out this fashionable and trendy beach restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Martinez in Cannes. Outfitted in white, with teak, wood and glass, the cabana-lounge space is charming, and backdropped by the azure blue Mediterranean as far as the eye can see. The menu is exactly my style – lots of market fresh organic produce presented superbly. Z Plage’s focus is health and wellbeing, and they do not disappoint. I especially recommend ordering one of their signature mojitos… the second one tastes as good as the first! I also like their Asian-style seafood wok dishes, and recommend the Z salad. For meat lovers, the Z Plage burger looks excellent too. Dessert is a fresh fruit plate on crushed ice with fruit coulis dip or the warm chocolate cake, if you dare! Dress is sexy and relaxed - think light linens.
If you are heading to St. Tropez, then stop by at Rivea for dinner. Owner Alain Ducasse’s excellent reputation follows him here. The décor is simple and chic, the service is comfortable and friendly. I always enjoy Rivea’s healthy, tasty, good quality produce. I recommend the blue lobster with artichokes or the wild sea bass and the linguini with clams. There is an inside table area but the balmy, glamorous nights in St. Tropez are to be enjoyed al fresco! If you are a group of friends choose the striped sofas on the terrace then kick of your strappy, sparkly sandals and order a mixed plate of octopus salad, mini pizzas and tomato mozzarella salad to share. As you're already in St. Tropez, it would be a crime not to try the famous Tarte Tropezienne for dessert.