Conquering a few cols during the day is the perfect excuse for some guilt-free gastronomy, and the Mediterranean coast is the ideal place to indulge!
Provençal food is rightly world-famous and is very distinctive from the rest of French cuisine. The Mediterranean influence results in recipes with spices, and of course seafood features strongly. Because of the mountainous country, without the rich farmlands and herds of dairy cattle, Provençal cooking uses very little milk, and where cheese does feature, it tends to be goat’s cheese which predominates. Garlic, olive oil and olives are the leitmotif, with an abundance of “Herbes de Provence”.
Nice itself has its own cuisine with strong Italian influences; Nice was under Italian rule until 1861 and in many ways seems more Italian than French, so it’s no surprise to see ravioli, macaroni, spaghetti and other staples of Naples and Sicily on the menu. The best known example of Nice’s cuisine is probably the salade Niçoise, but it includes other local delicacies such as Pissaladière (a pizza-like base topped with onion, anchovies and black olives – nicer than it sounds!), and Socca (a delightfully salty chick-pea “bread”).
Filling bidons in La Turbie
coffee never tasted so good!
A coffee and pain au chocolat rarely tastes better than sat in a café in a medieval hilltop village, looking out over an amazing coastal vista.
Coffee stop in the mediaeval town of Peille
I really liked the fact that you can cycle around in a social bunch and then get to the foot of a climb and suddenly go all out like your life depends on it! Then half an hour later you’re sitting in a café enjoying a coffee and a pain au chocolat 🙂James W
loads of lunch options
Depending on the duration of the ride, guests will either stop for lunch during the ride, or have lunch on the return to Beaulieu or Nice. And lunch can be whatever you want it to be…a leisurely affair (most of the village restaurants will offer a good-value “plat du jour”or pasta), or a somewhat quicker sandwich or panini to take-away and eat.
Lunch stop along the coast
In the morning you can be having a coffee on the balcony and looking out over the Med, and by lunchtime you can be up at 1600m in wild mountains – then back again for dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants in the town.James A
dinner - spoilt for choice!
For dinner, we recommend the best local restaurants to suit every palate and budget, and all within easy walking distance, and we’ll reserve a table for you. Beaulieu has a fantastic selection from simple cafés to Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels…choose between a table overlooking the market square, to one overlooking the superyachts down in the harbour.
One of our favourite places does what virtually all guests describe as the best paella they have ever had – but it’s only available on one day of the week, and such is its popularity, you have to reserve your portion in advance! We can also tell you where to find the best pizza – proper thin crust, and cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven – whilst another place offers the best grilled steak.
If you want to venture a little further afield, St Jean Cap Ferrat and the mediaeval town of Villefranche-sur-mer are both within a 15-minute walk or short bus ride; Nice is 10 minutes away by train in one direction, Monaco is 15 minutes away in the other.
The area has one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants, so gastronomes and oenophiles are well catered for, but even the most modest establishment does really great Provençal food.
After the day’s riding, Beaulieu has many excellent restaurants to choose from and Justin knows and is known at the best of them.Simon J
The area is nice and quiet with many very good restaurants less than 5 minutes walk awayPaul H