Photos from ANZAC Day service in Antibes

On Monday this week, I watched a live stream online of the ANZAC services in New Zealand then went to the 11am ANZAC Day service held at the base of the Statue à la Memoire des Combattants (‘Le Poilu’) at Fort Carre in Antibes.

The Antibes event includes a 5.30am Dawn Service and is a nice morning of remembrance that commemorates all Australians and New Zealander’s who served and died in wars and on operational service, and also honours returned servicemen and women.

Antibes ANZAC service in Antibes-Juan les Pins edition of Nice Matin, Tues 26 Apr

Antibes ANZAC service in Antibes-Juan les Pins edition of Nice Matin, Tues 26 Apr

The date itself – 25 April – marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the ANZACS – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.  This was Turkish territory that formed part of Germany’s ally, the Ottoman Empire. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Dardanelles Strait to the Allied fleets, allowing them to threaten the capital Constantinople (now Istanbul) and, it was hoped, force a Turkish surrender. The Allied forces encountered unexpectedly strong resistance from the Turks, and both sides suffered huge loss of life (source:

I have been to many ANZAC services since I was a child and the importance will be explained to my own sons when they are older.  My own family has members who have served in wars and one who was a Farrier Serjeant with the New Zealand Field Artillery in WWI is actually buried in northern France in a British Cemetery in Pas de Calais.  I located the exact plot last year and will be visiting some time in the future on behalf of 46 Kiwi families and the National Army Museum in New Zealand to lay a poppy on each gravesite in that plot with a cross of woven flax (used traditionally in Maori weaving in New Zealand).

Thank you to the organisers of the Antibes ANZAC Service, it means a lot to many expats so far from home.

Here are a few photos from Monday’s service (all photos credited to Michel Tolosano):







4 Ideas for Activities & Sightseeing for the next fortnight

  1. Jazz e Brasil will inject some Latino rhythm in your afternoon on Saturday 30 April when the Cannes Bel Age Orchestra pairs with the Rio Ao Vivo Orchestra to bring a concert of jazz, Brazilian music and swing alongside capoeira and dancers.  3pm, Espace Miramar, rue Pasteur, Cannes
Jazz e Brasil, Espace Miramar

Jazz e Brasil, Espace Miramar

2.  The 26th Salon des Vignerons from 29 April-02 May at the Hippodrome in Cagnes-sur-Mer will host around 300 producers from various regions in France for a great show with wine tasting, seafood, cheeses, foie gras etc.  There is an onsite children’s play area at the venue if you take the kids along.

Salon des Vignerons 2016, Hippodrome, Cagnes sur Mer

Salon des Vignerons 2016, Hippodrome, Cagnes sur Mer

3.  Antibes Art Fair is still on until 02 May.  Make sure you visit if you like antiques, art and curiosities.

4. Fans of beautiful blooms should venture to the perfume capital of France, Grasse, from 03-08 May where the streets will be transformed for Expo Rose.

Expo Rose, Grasse

Expo Rose, Grasse

The queen of flowers – the rose – will take pride of place with 25000 roses decorating city fountains and monuments, sales of bouquets and rose bushes. This year’s theme is based on the revues of Music Hall so keep a look out for classic cars, parades and costumed actors.

Afterwards, head to Chocolaterie Maison Duplanteur, the only artisan chocolate factory in the region and try their unique Rose Chocolate (70% high end dark chocolate with rose petals from Grasse!).  They also have other yummy products such as ginger and orange tablettes, milk chocolate with banana and cashew nut and Grasse coat-of-arms with gilding.

Maison Duplanteur's Rose Chocolate, Grasse

Maison Duplanteur’s Rose Chocolate, Grasse

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One week left to enter! WIN 2 tickets to Monaco Grand Prix After Party

Monaco Grand Prix is Formula 1’s most anticipated Grand Prix event and you could win 2 tickets to the Amber Lounge, Grand Prix party central where you’ll get to mingle with VIP’s and celebrities in post qualifying celebrations.

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix Driver’s Fashion Show takes place on Friday 27 May

This prize for one lucky reader is for 2 tickets to the Amber-Lounge party on Saturday 28th May, 2016 (qualifying day).

Doors open at 11pm when you can join this prestigious Grand Prix Post Qualifying Race Party with iconic live acts and DJ’s.

These passes are valued at around 650 euros each and include complimentary premium drinks all night long, including house Champagne. If you don’t win you can always book yourself into this night of fabulousness

This competition is open to entrants worldwide.   To enter, you simply need to join the Luxury Travel Diary newsletter by entering your email address in the MAILING LIST box at the bottom of the page in the following link: If you are already subscribed then you are already entered!

The competition closes 30 April 2016.   Good luck!

Check out last years video of the Amber Lounge parties!


NOTE:  This competition prize is awarded by Luxury Travel Diary (not Access Riviera), therefore their terms & conditions apply. This prize excludes flights, accommodation and transport – you will need to arrange your own flights/transportation to and from your home to the Amber Lounge party in Monaco on Saturday 28th May.

Free NASA posters for kids bedrooms

If you’re looking for a fabulous way to pep up the walls in your kids bedrooms, how about a free poster ?

Courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (part of NASA), there are 14 different designs, all free to download and print in poster size (20 x 30 inches).

The designs aren’t cartoon-cutesy or uncool for that tricky ‘grown-out-of-Disney-but-still-love-themes’ age bracket and they have a retro vibe; we love ‘The Grand Tour’ and ‘Jupiter’ posters in my house – which poster is your favourite?

Visions of the Future : The Grand Tour

Visions of the Future : The Grand Tour

You can download one or all of the ‘Visions of the Future’ space themed posters here:

A big thanks to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech for these super cool poster designs!

Antibes Art Fair / Salon des Antiquaires : 16 Apr – 02 May

The annual Antibes Art Fair starts today and attracts international buyers and browsers interested in antiques, furniture, paintings, archaeological sculptures, vintage toys, silverware, watches, ancient books and contemporary art.

I’ll be heading along at some stage as I really love the furniture collections (period, art deco and contemporary), the Asian exhibits (furniture and art) and the old books.

If you enjoy bric-a-brac/flea markets/car boot sales/vide greniers etc this show is a step up and more high brow than sifting through stall boxes on a Sunday morning, however it combines some rare, beautiful and unique items worth seeing – and buying.

(image: Antibes Art Fair)

(image: Antibes Art Fair)

How to get there

By car:  You can get to Antibes via the A8 (exit/sortie 44) or the Bord de Mer coast road. There is free street parking on weekends in Antibes Old Town, or park under the show in the underground carpark ‘Parking Pré du Pêcheurs’.

Car parks closest to Antibes Art Fair

Car parks closest to Antibes Art Fair

By train:  Gare d’Antibes is an easy 5-minute flat paved walk from the show.  Exit the station and cross directly in front at the traffic lights, follow the road straight ahead 150 metres to the roundabout and then walk slightly right parallel to the port for another 300 metres – you will see the show area by the town walls facing the port.

By bus:  Bus 200 (Nice-Cannes) and 250 (Nice Airport Express) pass by Antibes; the closest stop to the show is the one by Gare d’Antibes called ‘Passarelle’.

What: Antibes Art Fair

When:  16 April to 02 May 2016

Hours:  10.30am to 7.30pm

Where: Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs, Antibes Port (you can’t miss the big tent!)

Entry fee:  €10 per adult / €5 for under 18 years or students / Free entry for persons with reduced mobility and their accompanying companion

La Liste : 118 French Restaurants Get It Right

La Liste, a selection of the 1000 most impressive restaurants in the world, was published at the end of last year with Benoît Violier’s Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier, Switzerland, coming out on top.

Thomas Keller’s Per Se, in New York, came in second place; Kenichiro Nishi’s Kyo Aji in Tokyo is third.  Guy Savoy in Paris in 4th place was the highest-ranking French restaurant.

Le Louis XV in Monaco ranked in the Top 20 for their wine list

Le Louis XV in Monaco ranked in the Top 20 for their wine list

The list is a part of a project by the French Foreign Ministry to collate the world’s best restaurants by analysing all sorts of data about a restaurants quality of food, ambience, wine, spirits and service.

How they got to ‘La Liste’

  • The producers say they listed, harmonized and compiled the scores awarded to several thousand restaurants by almost 200 guidebooks and online review sites including Michelin, Gault & Millau and TripAdvisor.
  • Scores relating to the wine list, service and decor were also included.
  • They then asked a panel of around 150,000 restaurant owners to rate the reliability of the different guidebooks.
  • The results of that survey, carried out under professional supervision, determined the relative weighting of each guidebook in each restaurant’s overall score.
  • Finally, actual comments from interactive websites were included, which accounted for 25% of the overall score.

Japan had the highest number of restaurants on the list, followed by France, USA and Spain.

La Liste by country

La Liste by country

Other notable mentions

Best atmosphere – won by a French restaurant, Apicius in Paris

Most awarded chefs – Joël Robuchon came out on top

Best Mentor Award – Alain Ducasse

Best Wine List – Le Louis XV in Monaco made the Top 20

For the full list, you can find it here:



Top Marques Monaco

The 13th edition of Top Marques Monaco is the place you want to be with your kids on the last weekend of Zone B school holidays if they are remotely interested in supercars or fast shiny things!

Hosted at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, the show is the premium auto show for the Principality and you’ll see everything luxurious including slick cars, watches, superboats (all displayed by gorgeous promo ladies in sparkly dresses and high heels) as well as innovative machines and forward-thinking inventions that aim to change transport on land, sea and in the air.

Top Marques Monaco : A top place to take kids

Top Marques Monaco : A top place to take kids

This year at Top Marques look for:

  • Bond cars!  – fans of the films and the fast cars in them will be pleased to know James Bond is returning to Monaco for the first time in 21 years and you’ll get to see fancy wheels such as the 4.7-litre V8 Aston Martin DB10, the Jaguar C-X75 which featured in a chase through the streets of Rome in Spectre, the Range Rover Sport SVR, and the Aston Martin DB5.   I love Astons in all models – old and new – so you may see me there drooling over a bonnet or two…
007's Spectre cars will be displayed at Top Marques Monaco 2016

007’s Spectre cars will be displayed at Top Marques Monaco 2016

  • Other Bond memorabilia thanks to the Propshop (they took care of all the gadgets behind the Bond films Spectre and Skyfall as well as on Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
  • The ArcaBoard, the first ever flying hoverboard to be launched worldwide for the first time on 14 April. Personally, it doesn’t look aesthethically cool to me (a hovering Lego platform rather than board?) but my 5-year old announced ‘wow that’s cool’ so I’ll reserve my opinion further.
  • The Kormaran, a catamaran that transforms into 4 configurations at the switch of a button
  • The European launch of the Martin Jetpack for personal aviation – the world’s first practical jetpack without wings or a body due for release later this year.  Of course I’m biased about this one and wish them huge success – it was invented by a New Zealand university student who dreamed of it over drinks at the pub, he went home and built the first prototype in his garage (his wife was the first test pilot!), fast forward a few years and his prototype worked and so he quit his job to work on it.   While it will get attention from the super-rich and they’ve received order interest from Dubai Police, they are aiming it at search and rescue missions and emergency responders and after securing investment in 2014 of US$50 million from Chinese aerospace group Kuang-Chi Science, the world is their oyster.  Go Kiwis!
Kiwi invention the Martin Jetpack will be at Top Marques Monaco 2016

Kiwi invention the Martin Jetpack will be at Top Marques Monaco 2016

  • The Icona Vulcano Titanium, the world’s first supercar made out of titanium.  I’m expecting the high rollers from the Middle East to go nuts over this one.

Potential buyers and media can also get their thrills by test driving a number of supercars on the famous Monaco F1 Grand Prix circuit – if that’s not a bucket list experience then you may as well stay at home.  Head to the Test Drive Paddock right next to the Forum’s main exhibition hall to check them out.

Test drive anyone?  (image copyright: GTspirit Ltd 2013-2016)

Test drive anyone? (image copyright: GTspirit Ltd 2013-2016)

My Top Tips

If you have kids under 6 years of age they are free every day.  Older kids?  No problem, get a ticket on the Saturday and Sunday as they are cheaper.

How to get to Grimaldi Forum

Arriving by train:  Monaco has lots of public stairs and elevators but the quickest way if you have kids and don’t know your way around Monaco is to come out of the train station at the Sainte-Dévote Church exit, go down the stairs towards the church/port and walk to the left along ave J.F Kennedy and Boulevard Louis II all the way to the roundabout at ave Princess Grace. Then you can take the pedestrian overpass to the Forum.  The walk from the station takes about 15 minutes.

Arriving by car:  To reach Monaco from the A8, take the Monaco-La Turbie exit coming from the direction of Nice, or Roquebrune exit if you are coming from Italy.  There is a parking facility at the Grimaldi Forum, and a further carpark along the main beach called Larvotto.  The map and rates for the parking in Monaco is here:

What:  Top Marques Monaco

Where: Grimaldi Forum, 10 avenue Princess Grace, 98000 Monaco

When:  14-17 April 2016

Tickets are on sale now from