Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 HelloMonaco #05 Winter 2018–2019 - Page 113

MONACO NEIGHBOURHOOD C ap d’Antibes has always been a Diva on centre stage awaiting the applause of the audience — and the applause comes in waves literally from its shores and metaphorically from everyone who has the fortune to experience it. And when you are a Diva and are situated between Monte-Carlo and Cannes then you have all the audience you could ever desire. And when Pablo Pi- casso takes up residence in Antibes on your Northeast edge joining the Côte d’Azur and Francis Scott Fitzgerald decides to lodge opposite in Juan-les-Pins on the Northwest side — well the sun is certainly never going to set on your reputation. Celebrity and Hol- lywood glamour aside where there is a Cap there is a sea-scape and almost certainly beaches and a glorious coastal walk. Sentier du Littoral L © mapio.net © www.lepavillonbeach.com ooping around the Cap’s billion- dollar hotel-palaces and zillionaire estates does run one of the most spectacular coastal walks in the world. Also called the Sentier Tire-Poil (because on windy days, ruffling your hair would be an understatement!), the trail now stretches roughly 5 km along the outermost tip of the Cap. The danger sign at the beginning of the path is a little intimidating as is the thin wire fence as the sole barrier keeping you from plunging into the churning water be- low. But don’t be put off the Sentier du Lit- toral begins gently at the very pleasant Plage de la Garoupe (where Cole Porter and Gerald Murphy soaked up the ambiance), with a paved walkway. Fitzgerald likened the beach at Plage de la Garoupe to a bright tan prayer rug. The greenery, the blue water, the snow- capped alps in the distance — the view is one of the most beautiful you will ever see. Tramp further along and your relaxed prome­nade soon becomes a tad more chal- Sentier du Littoral lenging with a boulder-studded pathway that winds above awe-inspiring cliffs and thundering surf below. The magnificence really has to be experienced in person. The walk takes about one and a half hours or more, but it may prove to be the most mem- orable adventure of your time at the Cap. Eden Roc P eering out over the Iles de Lérins and Pointe Croisette at the tip of Cap d’Antibes and protected from prying eyes in a 9 hectares paradise is the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Aptly named this Garden of Eden blends exclusivity, pampering and out- right charm in a perfect cocktail, living comfort- ably and unapologetically in its aristocratic skin. Italian hotelier Antoine Sella christened the Grand Hôtel du Cap in 1889; it used to be the «Villa Soleil», a haven built in 1869 for writ- ers by founder of the French newspaper Le Figaro, Hippolyte de Villemessant. Gerald and Sara Murphy, a youthful American cou- ple, notorious for lavish partying in France in the 1920s, once booked the hotel for an en- tire summer, a surprising event for that era as the Côte d’Azur was not a summer desti- nation at the time, rather a winter getaway for the European aristocracy. The Murphys’ chic and strikingly bohemian congregation of party goers included a who’s who of liter- ary and artistic giants including Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald who modelled his «Tender Is the Night» characters Dick and Nicole Diver after them. And Fitzgerald opened «Tender Is the Night» with an image of what is an uncanny like- ness of today’s Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc — «Deferential palms» still cast a cooling sha­dow on its face; there is a white-cream marble staircase that sweeps down to a Ver- sailles-like boulevard shaded by perfect- ly positioned continental umbrella pines and an expanse of immaculate gardens. And for relaxing or frolicking in sea-water Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 / 111