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If you’re on a couple’s break in the south of France, you’ve got to go with the flow and let go. It’s the perfect opportunity to lose your inhibitions and try things you’ve always wanted to try. First off, you need to start with the clothes. Swimming costumes are famously non-existent in the south of France or very high-end fashion (topless is still very common on the Cote D’Azur). For the boys, they are tiny, tiny, tiny (most swimming pools won’t let you enter without speedos; swimwear has to look like it can’t be worn on the street, for hygiene reasons). Remember, no one knows you’re here; you can wear what you both like and have a giggle too. If that feels a little too alien though (and it might!) go buy some lingerie together and get the weekend off with a bang.
There are lots of affordable places to stay in Nice but one of the best couple’s places is definitely the Hotel Splendid, mainly because it has an affordable spa, two hot tubs (indoor and outdoor) and a rooftop terrace with food. It’s a four-star hotel but prices start affordably and the hotel is fun, rather than stuffy and formal (with a 1950/60s feel). Check into your room, grab your new swimsuits and snuggle together in the rooftop hot tub with a glass of champagne, whatever the weather. Kick off your evenings in style.
Rooms start from 90€ (£78).
It’s cliché to drink champagne cocktails on a romantic break, and to have amazing views from a rooftop pool. But, what’s not to love if you can do both in one go with amazing food? The lounge/restaurant La Terrasse, at Le Méridien Hotel on the Promenade des Anglais has all of these things. It’s not formal or stuffy – it’s laid-back and cool – and 10 floors up, it has a cocktail menu to die for.
Opening hours: Daily, 12pm to 4pm (lounge is open from 10am to 5pm)
Prices start from approximately 20€ (£17) for a main course, such as a burger or club sandwich.
At more than 90 metres above sea level, Castle Hill in Nice is the highest point in town. Charge up the stairs – or take the more leisurely lift – and picnic in the park, talk about your future, state your desires and then head down into town to act them out. There’s no inhibitions when your head is in the clouds. For extra romance, time it just right to do it all at sunset. There’s no better way to end the day/start the night.
The best part about a couple’s weekend is that there’s nothing to do but hang out with each other and it would be rude to ignore the beach, particularly ones as beautiful and stylish as those in Nice. There are many private beaches along the main bay, but Sporting Plage is one of the best for couples – the service is friendly, the food is simple but good and the patisseries are from local patisserie, Le Lac. In other words, sublime.
There are so many beaches to choose from, but the best bet to complete your couple’s break is probably to move a little out of town, to some of the more remote beaches. You can even take a bus or train, although if you walk half an hour towards Villefranche-sur-mer you will find a couple of great local beaches. Take a picnic (restaurants might be harder to rely on) and stop for an ice cream when you find a beach you like. If you can’t find any space on the shingle, join the locals and hop to an available rock, spread out your towel and gaze at the crisp, clean water together. Sheer bliss.