The perfect example of a glocal city, Cannes successfully combines a Mediterranean spirit with an international allure, the charm of street markets with a middle eastern touch and expensive boutiques for fashion victims.
The Film Festival, the Casino, the finest beaches of Provence and gourmet delicacies: you just have to hear these words to imagine yourself being catapulted into a star-studded dimension, sitting at pavement cafés on the Croisette and rubbing shoulders with the like of Sean Penn, Tim Burton or the Cohen brothers, some of the previous festival jury chairmen preceding George Miller, who will be out to judge the films being presented at this year’s edition, from 11 to 22 May.
Cannes, however, is also synonymous with outrageous and apparently prohibitive prices. If you want to enjoy Cannes restaurants, here are a few tips to enable you to partake of the joie de vivre without breaking the bank.
Up to 25 Euro
While on the promenade, banish all thoughts of being able to enjoy a breakfast buffet on less than 30 Euro. If 25 Euro is your set limit, you can sit down at any table along the Croisette and order a coffee and croissant for an average price of 10 Euro.
If you have just landed in town, our advice is to go up to the panoramic terrace of the Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso and order a quick aperitif and sandwich: from there you can get an impression of the city in one all-embracing view; it is no coincidence that the Restaurant has been named 360°.
A glass of ‘’Domaine du Colombier’’ Chablis will set you back 9 Euro and you can get an eyeful of the city from the Vieux Port to the Massif de l’Esterel.
If, instead of heights, you prefer the mood down on the Croisette, beware that a glass of Champagne at the table of any grand hotel on the sea front will be priced at around 20 Euro. It is here that Jude Law and Prince Albert of Monaco park their Bentleys, order salmon sashimi and sip Champagne.
This is the Bâoli, the most exclusive club restaurant on the French Riviera: here you can afford to splash out on a Sex on the beach after dinner, so long as you manage to get past the selective inspection at the door. Your budget will remain intact also if you choose to order a plate of fresh fruit or a dessert at the Zplage, the bar restaurant in front of the Martinez.
From 25 to 50 Euro
So, you happen to be at no. 58 on the Croisette? You may treat yourself to one dish, but no more, at the legendary Intercontinental Carlton Hotel: look up and enjoy the famous Belle Epoque facade Grace Kelly used to love so much. Some swear that her first meeting with Prince Rainier of Monaco actually took place here, way back in 1955. From noon to 4 pm the prices of this prestigious hotel are more affordable: we recommend a sort of complete main course, Marinated duck parmentier, stir fried foie gras and salad shoots with aged vinegar (32 Euro).
Meat isn’t quite your thing? No problem, order the Noix de Saint-Jacques rôties, lentilles vertes du Puy vinaigrées, lard fumé façon paysan and you will not exceed your budget. The Carlton also has a magnificent “pieds dans l’eau” beach restaurant. Here you can ask for the “Carlton club à la volaille”, one of the best club sandwiches on the coast (29 € ). Look out, though… if you are thirsty and are tempted to order mineral water (plate ou gazeuse, as the French would say) be prepared to part with another 9 Euros.
The laziest stars stay at the Hotel Majestic Barrière, just a few steps away from the Palais des Festivals where it’s all happening. The interior is spectacular with breathtaking attic apartments and a marvellous private pool. When Matthew McConaughey and Robert De Niro arrive, they like to treat themselves at La Petite Maison de Nicole. Here you can order the Soupe de poissons, complete with croûtons et rouille at 25 €, Beignets de fleurs de courgettes (20 Euro) or the Marrons glacés dessert : glacé aux marrons, crème de marrons et chantilly (17 Euro), which is perfectly divine when paired with a glass of Banyuls A.O.P (15 Euro). All of which is masterfully orchestrated by chef Brice Morvent.
From 50 to 100 Euro
Fed up with the sea view? The Five Seas Hotel looks out onto the old quarter of Suquet. Gourmets love it thanks to chef Arnaud Tabarec of the Sea Sens restaurant on the 5th floor. Here, you can afford to order the Discovery menu priced 65 Euro, without too many qualms. The signature dish: lightly cooked Valcluse trout with fresh aromatic herb sauce and Wasabi sorbet. Without splashing out on a complete menu, you will be able to afford a couple of dishes at the legendary Martinez establishment belonging to the Park Hyatt hotel chain. It is easy to spot celebrities here: Bruce Willis, Robert Pattinson, Eva Longoria and Clint Eastwood love it.
This is Cannes’ one and only restaurant boasting two Michelin stars. Chef Christian Sinicropi, king of La Palme D’Or, will honour you with dishes served in the ceramic ware of his own design. Order the dish of Dublin bay prawns (74 Euro) from his à la carte menu and you will fully grasp the philosophy of this chef who explains: “I converted in flavors the earth and sea smells to dynamise the mangetout peas fed by the Riviera”. Don’t miss the mature cheese selection signed by master cheese maturer Ms Josiane Déal, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (35 Euro). From March to October, it is well worth while taking a trip to Tetou, just a few kilometres away from Cannes, a mythical restaurant with its own beach as well as being Brangelina’s favourite spot; their bouillabaisse is considered to be the world’s best. Our advice is to find a friend to share it with because it costs around 140 Euro and credit cards are not accepted by the establishment.