Roadtrip to Monaco

June 23, 2017 / Fashion

Roadtrip to Monaco

From time to time, I am getting on a road trip: leaving Switzerland crossing the alps on a sunny day,  towards Italy, passing a breathtaking landscape with the view on the Mont Blanc peak, cruising down empty Italian highways at high speed, stopping at any of the gas stations where the cappuccino is better than in any of the Italian bars back home, until where the road arrives at the seaside down south.

Then heading on to Ventimiglia, crossing the border to France and soon leaving the highway for the Corniche with its breathtaking view, heading to my beloved Monte Carlo. Since I left early, arrival is midday and the warm welcome ‘back home’ makes you already feel at ease. This year it’s been early, at the beginning of June, but the sun was already hot and the sea just warm enough to give you that refreshing moment when you’re jumping in from the pier. From the balcony of the room you hear the sound of the waves and you see some yachts moored outside the bay, elegantly floating in the water. Having a huge appetite after the journey, what’s better than having a light lunch al fresco with some pizza to share and fresh fruit (big disappointment: it’ too early for watermelon, but they match up with pineapple and strawberries).

I spent the rest of the afternoon between sleeping, reading and swimming. Wow, there’s a lot of German voices around: all those Swiss and Germans longing for the first strong sunrays have escaped to the south of France and I don’t mind them. Do you remember how it feels when you return from a day at the beach, you’re taking a shower, relax a bit and then change for dinner? It’s a nice period of the day. The good thing with Monaco is that things hardly change and if so then it’s for the better. I was already excited to return to Cipriani, see Pierre and Stefano masterly handling the guests and the ballet of waiters balancing the meringue cake through the crowd. After a lavish dinner it’s time for bed soon.

Morning activity when in Monaco

Next morning: how to best start the day? Taking the e-bike along the sea promenade, passing Port Hercules with the remainders of the Grand Prix, taking the tunnel under the rock and arriving perfectly warmed up at  the outskirts of Fontvieille for the best morning activity: a run along the footpath to Cap d’Ail in the morning sun. There are only a few other runners and some people  walking their dogs, it’s a peaceful atmosphere and worth while getting up early before the sun is too intense. Breakfast tastes twice as good afterwards! Where can you take breakfast in the center of a city at the sea felling like you’re far far away? That’s Monaco. Another day at the beach, this time they fixed some paddle boards and you can participate an hour of quite straining  exercises on them with a very motivated trainer, but it’s already nice to watch the elegant women doing it, then lounging in the cabana, getting taught backgammon and playing some rounds with a view on the sparkling sea, watching the beach filling up slowly during the day. Perfect bliss.

Le Grill by Alain Ducasse at Hotel de Paris

Evening number two: entering the American bar and listening to the tunes of the live band, accompanied by perfectly chilled champagne. You get carried away immediately. This time I wanted to try the newly renovated Grill and I was really curious how they would have done it and whether the food would live up to my expectations. Arriving at the top floor: view fantastic, also the terrace outside is a great idea but the light inside is much too bright, feels like a staff restaurant. Maybe they do it because they want to be able to cater for big functions but tables are just arranged one next other just like a big hotel dining room, I had expected something more innovative. Food is delicious and service is ambitious but there’s a lot of large tables with families where the children (and some adults) have no table manners: luxury ghetto kind of. I leave the place with mixed feelings: with a little extra effort they could make it really comfortable, so I give them the credit that it’s brand new and they need a little while to adjust and fine tune the place. It’s a small place but there’s always something to do and days are never boring.

Trousers & Top: Elisabetta Franchi | Shoes: Christian Louboutin


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