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July 2009
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September 2009

St Tropez Bubbly Nights

GlassOfChamp   Summer nights in St Tropez can be wild.  Champagne flows like water at a village fountain, celebs dance around, rounds of drinks on them.

Last Friday night, American singer Usher and rapper Snoop Dogg made the rounds at the VIP room, but this was just the beginning.

What followed was a very generous round of free champagne bottles delivered to all tables, all night long. Reports tell us that 300 bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne, 24 jeroboams (3-liter bottles), 10 mathusalems (6-liter bottles) popped open as a gift to the public.

Who was handing the bubbly?

Javed Fiyaz, an entrepreneur who is fan of St Tropez summer nights. It cost him just shy of 1 Million euros for the night.

It's not unusual to see gifted champagne appear at the VIP or Caves du Roy tables in St Tropez. This many is unusual though... cheers!

Callas: Plane Crash

A single-engine Socata passenger plane crashed this morning around 10AM in the hills of Callas in the Var, France.

No details yet on causes of the crash - skies are mostly clear, winds are light. The likely explanation for the accident is an engine malfunction. According to witnesses on the ground, the engine coughed, stopped and the plane plunged and crashed and burned in flames.

All five passengers have died, including two children aged 8 and 13.

French Riviera: Too hot for canicule?



Pfew, even under the shade of a yellow beach umbrella, it's chaud chaud chaud on the French Riviera.

In fact, the news du jour in France this week is whether or not we have a canicule (heat wave) on our hands in some parts of France.

Whatever we call this weather, it's simply HOT here on the French Riviera. In Menton, we had 33°C, in Nice, 32°C; inland such as in Carros in the Alpes-Maritimes and in Draguignan it's a couple of degrees warmer with zero chance of cooling off in the sea. We can't complain too loudly as we're not the hottest. Today, Avignon is in the oven at 38°C.

It's hot but then again this is August on the French Riviera. As we talked about before here in our post about average temperatures on the French Riviera, August is the hottest month on the Cote d'Azur.

How does it look for the rest of August? Meteo France gives us a clear picture for at least the rest of the week. It's going to be a tad cooler on the Côte d'Azur, but still warm beach weather.

For me, hiking is off until September. I can't get enough of a group for an early morning hike on the count of late summer nights.

Instead of hiking, there's swimming. The sea helps to cool off with waters around 27°C. Lots of folks head for the mountains to escape the heat. The Gorges du Verdon are full right now.

Be aware that storms come quickly in the pre-Alps. In the upper Vésubie (Saint-Martin-Vésubie), a flash storm can pour down without warning under this kind of weather. They come down fast and very heavy. If you're planning to hike in that region of the Mercantour, please check weather conditions.

Stay cool!


Starry Skies of the French Riviera

St Tropez Stars A few spots around the globe hold the right mix of glamor, dazzle and sun to make the stars shoot down from their universe and visit. Some spots are so pipping hot with stars and agents that, for anyone who's anybody, showing up is mandatory. The French Riviera's St Tropez is one such star magnet.

This summer, the usual celebrities shot down to St Tropez: singer and songwriter Elton John, actor Jack Nicholson, Kate Moss, DiCaprio, Formula One hero Jenson Button. The list goes on.

Where exactly do they go? In St Tropez, many hang out on yachts and dinghy (on big dinghies, not the usual life raft rubber ones) over to the beaches and to the port. They stroll down the shopping streets. At night, they boogie-woogie at Club 55 and at the VIP. The clubs then fill to the brim & turn very selective.

Some prefer more quiet spots in France.
Last Sunday Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt landed in the Castellet airport and made their jolly way to Correns, a lovely village in the Provence Verte region of the Var, inland from the French Riviera. They're hoping for quiet family time with their six children. The curious and the photo hungry may not let them.

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." 

- William Shakespeare

Saint Paul de Vence: Miro in his garden


During his years in Paris, artist Joan Miro developed close ties with Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, art supporters, traders and founders of the Fondation Maeght in St Paul de Vence in southern France.

Aimé Maeght helped Miro when the artist arrived in Paris after the tumult of the second World War. Miro remained grateful to the Maeght family for their early trust and helping hand. He donated artwork to the Maeght galeries and dealt almost exclusively with Aimé Maeght in the trade.

As a result of this tight connection, the Maeght fondation's gardens are filled with Miro's playful sculptures, ceramics, and fountains in Miro's "Labyrinth" creation: there you'll find his fundamental egg (1963), the smiling wall lizard, a ceramic wall, sun dials.

But from June 27 to November 8, 2009, Miro does more than adorn the Fondation Maeght's gardens. During the "Miro dans son jardin" expo, Miro shines all over the open art museum in Saint-Paul de Vence. Over 250 of Miro's creations dot the lively museum's gardens and interior spaces from expo rooms to library. Many of Miro creations' now on display have never before been seen by the general public.

If you're on the French Riviera and curious about Miro and his art, don't miss it.

Getting there?

Half a kilometer from St Paul-de-Vence.
By train, the nearest train station is Cagnes sur Mer then bus to Saint Paul.
By bus from Nice: bus number 400 to Vence by Saint Paul.
Highway: from Nice exit number 48, from Cannes exit number 47 Villeneuve Loubet/Cagnes sur Mer then follow the signs to Saint Paul


The Maeght Foundation is open from:
October 1st – June 30th : 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
July 1st – September 30th: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

"Miro dans son jardin" takes place until November 8, 2009.