La Part des Anges - one for wine lovers and foodies

La Part des Anges - 18th July 2009

my favourite surroundings

Think of La Part des Anges first as a wine merchants, then as a wine bar serving light supper and finally as a restaurant. Very nice atmosphere here - very French but friendly and unstuffy. From outside you wouldn't realise any food was served here - there are just a few tables at the back and the restaurant is open only a couple of nights a week I think. Its main function is a wine merchants.

As a restaurant there is a limited menu and you buy the wine by the glass which means it's a great opportunity to try a different one with each course - from apéro to pudding. We have no real clue about wine and took the advice of the chap who served us - he seemed to be running the place alongside the chef who can be seen preparing meals through an open arch into the tiny kitchen. Courses were prepped, cooked and plated up in a tiny space with great speed and confidence.

Menu - sorry for the out of focus shot

If you like a particular wine, it is of course possible to buy a bottle or case of any of the wines you tried. During our meal, at the business end of the store, a group of people spent about two hours discussing, sampling and choosing champagne for a future event. All the wine is stored on the walls so don't lean back too far on your chair or the evening could become very expensive.

The room is high-ceilinged with vaulted walls with the menu chalked up on a board. There doesn't appear to be a fixed menu, just a selection of starters, mains and puddings. There isn't much choice, the emphasis is on the wine which is sold by the glass.

We noticed a couple of groups ordered the charcuterie starter, wine and nothing else - this seemed quite acceptable to the manager and is a good idea if you have had a big lunch and just want a light supper rather than a full meal. It might explain why cheese was part of the starters too - it's a good choice if you just want one course with your wine. The starters where appropriate are served and eaten straight off wooden platters. No standing on ceremony here and hang onto your cutlery for the next course.

Charcuterie - this is just one serving

The three of us shared one course of charcuterie - a large platter of ham, salami and prosciutto with great wodges of good bread - use your paper napkin if you don't want to eat off the marble-toppped table. We like strong red wine and were recommended the Côte du Rhone which we liked and continued to order throughout the next course. I had risotto with truffle oil and shavings - it was perfect. The other two both had veal cooked au point on a bed of vegetables.

quasi de Veau Rotis et legumes d'Alberga

risotto au beurre du Trufe et Trufes d'été

The charcuterie was excellent value at 10 euros, the photo shows one serving plus bread which we shared between the three of us. The other starters were around 11,50 euros, choose from a plate of cheeses, tomato with melon sorbet, octopus salad or gazpacho soup. Main courses were the veal and truffle risotto (see photos) at 14,50 and 17,50 euros respectively. there was also a ravioli dish and a mushroom and vegetable dish, both at 11,50 euros. Puddings were the fig/apple/sponge combination, homemade meringue/cream or fromage blanc with honey for 5,50 - 6 euros. Coffee is 1,60 euros a cup.

There were nine different wines available by the glass that evening which varied from 3 euro to 6,50 euros a glass. You will have to squint at the menu photo to make out the different types. There are a couple of aperitifs and a wide range of digestifs to follow your meal. No doubt, if you prefer a bottle of your own choosing e with your meal this would be no problem but we rather enjoyed trying something new on recommendation. It was the same with the food menu, a small unusual just 5 starters, 4 main courses and three puddings meant we all tried something different for a change.

All fabulous so far, the puddings were the least successful - I had fig/apple something with sponge and my daughter has brousse au miel which turned out to be fromage blanc with honey, it was ok. We had a 'zero pointé' Loire rosé wine with our pudding - wonderful, then coffee.

The bill came to around 100 euros. I liked the place a lot and I think it suits the casual approach of a starter of charcuterie, a glass or two of wine then clearing off although having said that, I could eat that risotto again and again...

If you have a particular interest in wine served with then you might really like this place particularly if you speak a little French. I got the impression the manager would talk wine with you as long like you like. The best bet is to amble along during the day, have a look inside, read the menu and if you like what you see, book a table. I am not sure of the nights that food is served - we went on Saturday night having popped in to reserve earlier in the day - it might be just Fridays and Saturdays. I don't know if food is served at lunchtime, sorry.

La Part des Anges is located in rue Gubernatis, handy for the Old Town and modern city centre:

La Part des Anges
17 rue Gubernatis
Nice 06000

tel: 04 93 62 69 80

fax: 04 93 54 76 04


For other restaurant recommendations, please see my restaurant page on my website

Roller blading or Inline Skating - you know you want to try it

My Website :

49 quai des Etats-Unis, Nice Map
Tél. 04 93 62 99 05

I will try it one day, may be in the winter when it's less of a spectator sport.

My daughter and her school friend were keen to have a go one evening on the Prom. My daughter has all the equipment - rollerboots, pads and helmet but we needed to kit out her friend.

Roller Station on the quai des Etats Uni is open until midnight so there's plenty of time for the sun to go down and the heat to ease up. No need to reserve, just turn up and go to the counter.

The cost of boots is 4 euros for an hour and 2 euros for the padding for one hour. I was able to lend my cycle helmet so not sure if these are also available to rent. The best rental value is 8 euros for 24 hours.

Here is the price list - sorry about the crummy photo - the reflection bounces at the important bit:

As well as rollerblading, you can also hire skateboards, micro-scooters and bikes.

You need to take an Identity Card, I used my driving licence which they keep until you return the goods at which point you settle the bill so it's not a problem if you go over the hour, the bill is adjusted accordingly.

I suggest you wait until you have crossed the road before putting on the rollerboots - there are plenty of benches there and it's safer to dodge the traffic on foot.

Beginners will appreciate the short stretch of railing opposite the store. This runs out quickly so have a practise here up and down a few times before you set off along the Prom as there is no more railing and you have to look for friendly strangers to cling to in an emergency, or fall down - aim forwards.

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La Favola Restaurant on the Cours Saleya

La Favola Restaurant, 13, Cours Saleya, Old Nice, France

Tel: 04 93 04 45 23

On the corner of the Cours and rue Louis Gassin:- Map or scroll to end of post

For more restaurants in Nice please visit my website

La Favola is an Italian restaurant occupying the corner of the Cour Saleya and rue Louis Gassin, a couple of steps from its sister restaurant, La Voglia. Although it's new for 2009, it is already building a good reputation with several favourable mentions in the Nice forum.

La Voglia, a relative newcomer to the Cours, already has an established reputation for good food and large portions. La Favola seems to be headed the same way. It's a large restaurant with outdoor terrace which spreads across under the market awnings, freshened by a sea breeze funnelled through a nearby archway.

The day we went for lunch, there was no breeze and the temp was in the mid-30s, Nice is having a heat wave or canicule this summer and although it feels wrong to be inside on a sunny day we passed on the terrace and took the air-conditioned option. There are two levels, we went upstairs and took a seat by the window.

Seating in the dining rooms is mostly semi-booths - with white padded banquettes supplemented with a few chairs. The decor is a teen-boy bedroom palette of black, silver and red or maybe a tribute to the local footie team strip, not really my taste but it's all new and fresh, no expense spared etc. There was a reassuring glimpse of large open kitchens on the way to our table.

The menus don't give much away, I ordered La Belle Salade 'Favola' (13,50 euros) without much idea what it might contain. Turned out to be parma ham, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, melon and avocado plus usual salad-y stuff. My daughter who always wants fillet steak had La Tagliata de Boeuf sur lit Riquette (22 euros) - which sounds as though it might come with pasta but in fact turned out to be quite plain - just strips of rare-cooked steak on salad - a bit too Atkins for my taste but I guess the bread basket would bridge the carb deficit. My husband had 'Il Grande Fritto Misto di Pesce' (24 euros) - an assortment of battered fish - some whole, and ugly with it, plus salad.

My salad was enormous and perfect. Looking around at other diners, this Salade belle Favola and huge bowls of pasta seemed to be the popular choices.

At this point we knew it wasn't going to be a budget lunch so we had a rush of blood to the head and ordered a bottle of Bandol at 25 euros. Plus several carafes of free water.

It felt a bit pricey to us as we usually have a baguette on our balcony, the weak pound doesn't help either - pizzas averaging about 12,50 euros, salads around 14,50 euros and pasta dishes between 12 and 20 euros. Fish and Beef dishes were around 24 euros. However, the prices are very comparable with other restaurants on the Cours Saleya and the portions were huge, it's a prime location, service excellent and it's a good safe clean bet in the very heart of the tourist beaten track.

For pudding, we ordered Le Gros Pot. This dish actually came with a hint - Tout Chocolat - essayer de le finir!!! - all chocolate - try and finish it!!! My daughter accepted the challenge and failed but no matter as we had requested 3 spoons and helped her out when she faltered. It was three layers of chocolate mousse, dark, milk and white, decorated with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate spirals. It was 9 euros but we decided that 3 euros each for a shared pudding sounded better value. 8 euros was the average price of the puddings.

Bottles of wine started around 18 euros with many in the 23 euro range, large glasses of wine were 4,50 euros and a cup of espresso to finish was 2 euros. The bill came to just about 100 euros, quite high, but we had picked expensive dishes and wine.

A couple having pasta, a bottle of house wine and a coffee would pay around 54 euros or add an extra 9 euros to share the Gros Pot chocolate pudding.

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For more information about Nice and other restaurants, please visit my website

La Colombe d'Or, St Paul de Vence

My website :

My restaurant page

La Colombe d'Or website

lunch last year at La Colombe d'Or

We have been coming to La Colombe d'Or for lunch every year, sometimes twice a year since 2003. Just within the entrance, there is a large sculpture of a thumb by César. It's been a good height marker for our daughter over the years:

Five year's growth against César'sThumb at La Colombe d'Or Restaurant

If Thumb looks familiar, chances are you will have seen a gold version outside the Mayor's office in Nice this summer:

La Colombe is one of our favourite places and lunch there has become an annual pilgrimage every summer.

We always start with the famous hors d'oeuvres - we share one between two, followed by roast beef, which is prepared for a minimum of two persons. My husband sometimes chooses the rabbit stew - a speciality of La Colombe.

Here are the menus from 2006 - they remain much the same each year:

I wrote a review for this restaurant earlier this year for Riviera Pebbles - here is the link

The following clip lasting about three and a half minutes is a selection of photos from lunches at La Colombe that date from 2008 back to 2003:

Last weekend, La Colombe d'Or was the subject of a small article in the Financial Times. Here is the direct link and I have also copied and pasted the complete review here:

Lore of the Colombe d’Or

By Rowley Leigh

Published: August 15 2009 02:53 | Last updated: August 15 2009 02:53

The Colombe d’Or is a love-it or hate-it sort of place. If you hate it – and some do – it is because it is a celebrity-ridden, vulgar sort of joint with overpriced, ordinary food in an overpopulated, touristy village in a much over-visited corner of the south of France. However, if you love it, you don’t care about any of these things because a lunch there is a kind of privilege that has to be experienced at least once.

A lot of peole visit the hotel without ever seeing what it is most famous for: the art from the likes of Matisse, Braque and Léger that is dotted around the place or the large Calder mobile by the swimming pool. This bounty is said to have been given by the artists as payment in lieu for meals and sojourns in the hotel.

Even the disparagers have to concede that the hotel’s splendid terrace is a good spot to dine – “un endroit fleuri et ombrageux”, as Michelin would have it, although I doubt if its reviewers would have much more to say on the subject of La Colombe d’Or. The food is unpretentious in the extreme and, in choosing a main course, it is probably prudent to stick to a simple grilled fish, which will not disappoint. To start, of course, you must have the hors d’oeuvres.

I daresay old Colombe hands eschew the hors d’oeuvres, a bit like habitués of La Tour d’Argent would never have the duck. They are not cheap and one can only eat – and I speak with some expertise on this point – a fraction of them.

The service starts slowly with a lady of mature years who brings a few saucissons sec to the table and cuts them into thick slices . Besides the saucissons, a magnificent basket of raw vegetables – artichokes, radishes, cucumbers, carrots and celery – is presented before the hors d’oeuvres proper appear in profusion.Among their number are sardines en escabèche, chickpeas, celeriac remoulade, black pudding, rice, couscous, potato salad, lentils, artichoke hearts, aubergines and squid. It is a banquet.

I tried to copy the idea some years ago when revamping a restaurant we had purchased. It didn’t work: the restaurant was too small and the customers just didn’t get it. Ten years later, I tried again at Le Café Anglais with a list of 15 hors d’oeuvres before the starters proper. This time it caught on. My thanks to La Colombe are long overdue.

Rowley Leigh is the chef at Le Café Anglais

The famous hors d'oevres are amazing, definitely share one between two though - it would be enough with the bread, saucisson and basket of salad, veg, even hard-boiled eggs as a meal in itself plus the salty anchovy mayonnaise.

We love the place, the food is very simple, nothing special but the atmosphere is magical. It's the highlight of our summer holiday, we usually book lunch there during our last week in August.

We take the 400 bus from Nice and visit the Fondation Maeght modern art museum and sculpture, this year until 8th November 2009 - 'Miro et son Jardin' first, then lunch at La Colombe followed a very mellow wander around the perched village of St Paul before sleeping off lunch on the bus back to Nice.

To make a reservation at La Colombe d'Or:

Tel: 00 33 (0)4 93 32 32 80 02 or email:

View La Colombe d'Or Restaurant & Hotel, St Paul de Vence. in a larger map

Parascend or Parasail in Nice

Break up the sunbathing with an adrenalin rush...

having second thoughts?

My daughter has been eyeing up the parascending or
parachute ascensionnel for the last year or two and I promised she could have a go this year. Luckily, a school friend came to stay for a few days which saved me the fright of going up.

There are a few Sports beaches along the Prom. The nearest one to us and the Old Town is Nikaia Sports which is about halfway between Opera Plage and Beau Rivage Plage. There are no direct steps down to it, you have to make your way along the public bit for a few metres. It is fenced off from the public beaches with the opening on the Beau Rivage side, nearest the airport.

No need to book, just go to the small kiosk and pay and wait. We waited for 3 lots to go up before our turn, about 15 minutes. When we had finished, another couple arrived, paid and went straight up, there never seems to be much of a queue or hanging around. There are a couple of tables/parasols for sitting and waiting. Two speed boats are used so the rides are staggered and everything moves along fairly swiftly.

Each ride is about 5 minutes with optional dipping in the water. The day we went, everyone was landed on the beach rather than the sea although in previous years I have seen sea landings. Three gorgeous young men launch you and land you.

It costs 45 euros this year for one person, 60 for two so it's much better value to go with a friend. they even offer a triple ride for 90 euros. I declined to make a third because I didn't want to get dipped in the cold sea in order to take photos from a dry vantage point. If you are the official camera bod, you have to be quick - I just about missed the takeoff it was so quick, one second standing there the next up up and away.

It's not just parascending. According to the sign, you can also water ski, wake board, fly fish, tube and canoe:

The girls loved it and the boat driver dipped them up and down a few times when they were out at sea. It's not at all scary but quite relaxing and great views although the harness and life jacket are not particularly comfortable. The girls wore rash tops over their bikinis which helped I think. I wish I had been organised enough for them to take a waterproof camera with them - a wasted opportunity for some wonderful views.

There is another Sports beach near the Blue Beach and Negresco Hotel and also another at the far end of the Prom by the airport - Carras, which also offers jet ski.

Here is a short video clip of the girls landing safe and sound:

Place Garibaldi

Place Garibaldi looks very impressive this year. This is a huge Italianate 18th century plaza or square at the back of the old town. It divides the Port, Old Town and edge of the modern city centre. It was a mess for a couple of years when the tram was built and the associated time-consuming archaeological dig that accompanied it. You can take a small peep at some of the archeology at the tram stop Cathédrale-Vielle Ville where a small section of the platform has been glazed over to provide a viewing window.

Now, the almost fully pedestrianised square is open. The traffic is much reduced; there is a one-way single lane through the centre and another one-way road along one side. This seems to have had an affect on all the surrounding traffic - the drivers must have found other routes. Rue Cassini which links the Port to the square is much quieter. The Tram traverses the square with the Garibaldi stop just beyond the square on rue Republique.

Our studio is very close to Place Garibaldi and we pass by most days. There are restaurants, cafes, MAMAC, the huge main library, a Monoprix supermarket and separate bakery and ice cream parlour. There's even a cinema here, tucked away in a corner - the Mercury. Films in English will have VO - version originale after the film title in the listings. For shops, other than a lovely shoe shop, you need to nip into the old town or stroll to the modern city centre 10 minutes away. The Chapel of the Holy Sepulcre or Blue Penitants is found just past the famous fish restaurants de Turin. Look for the three cannon balls mounted above the central three arches of the church arcade - monument to the Turkish-French invasion in 1543.

The centre of the square has a large water feature with a rather grand sculpture of Giuseppi Garibaldi facing Turin up rue de la Republique. The pool has rows of water sprays which can soak the surrounding edges but when these are switched off (quite often) they provide handy seating where you can usually find a shady spot from established trees to sit down for a few moments, maybe cool off with an ice cream from the new Giuseppi & Pepino gelateria.

There are new benches and planters filled with young trees dotted around the square. These need to grow a bit to give more shade - the square is huge and sun-soaked most of the day. You can choose to walk across the square in full sun or go around the four sides shaded by the vaulted arcades or porticos.

The square is often busy at weekend with art fairs, antique fairs etc. A film crew were making an advert for Samsung recently, the velo blue cycles were inaugurated here last month and the restaurants and cafes have invested in some huge parasols and are starting to edge out into the square. There are famous established restaurants here like the Turin seafood restaurants - in a group of three - the Grand café de Turin, the Petit Turin and the Turissimo and a bit further along, the Cappa tearoom and patisserie. On the same side as Monoprix, Au Petit Gari is an established low key family restaurant specialising in hearty home cooking and charcuterie.

There are also newcomers to the square - Le Danieli, a combined bread and Patisserie, bistro, bar and restaurant, opened in August 2009. An ice-cold half carafe of rosé wine costs 5,50 euros here - it's a good spot to chat and people watch.

I don't know how long it will last, but Place Garibaldi has so far escaped the attentions of the passing musicians who play their set repertoire in the same circuit around the restaurants and cafes of the Old Town every day. Place Garibaldi is a very peaceful and civilised place to have a meal or drink, take advantage for as long as it lasts. Sometimes groups of skateboarders will practise their skills in the square but this is not a regular feature and the open space is vast enough to absorb them.