Activities – ANTIBES (Piccolo Festival – children’s theatre 02-05 Nov 2012)

The first weekend in November is the 3rd edition of the Piccolo Festival – a local theatre event for children in Antibes (aged 8 months and upwards).

Piccolo Festival

There will be sessions with clowns, magicians, marionnette dolls, dancing and songs.

Location: Salle du huit Mai, 06600 Antibes

Cost:  6€ per child per session, or 15€ for three sessions / 9€ adults, or 24€ for three sessions

Reservations are essential by either email piccolo.festival@aaatheatre.net or in person in advance at the ticket office at Espace Bonzai, 21 avenue Gazan, 06600 Antibes, open Tuesday-Thursday 10am-5pm

For show times and dates:  see the programme here http://a10.idata.over-blog.com/4/55/61/20/Piccolo-Festival-2012/Affiches-2012/PICCOLO-FESTIVAL-2.jpg

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Activities – Week 03 Sept – 09 Sept

Here are some free family-friendly options for entertainment this week on the French Riviera:

SATURDAY 08 SEPTEMBER

Antibes:  Fête de la jeunesse et des sports – The seventh year of a free sports day with over 90 sports and cultural demonstrations.  Inflatable castles, pony rides, climbing wall, sumo suits.  10am-6pm at Fort Carré.

Antibes:  Fête des vendanges (Grape harvest festival) – Held in the small commune of Safranier, grape pressing and wine tasting.  6pm-8pm, Place de Safranier.

Grasse:  Bio Grasse – Eco-festival held on both days of this weekend showcasing market stalls, conferences, renewable energy, bio food and lifestyle products.  Lunch kiosks onsite, or option for starred chef to cook lunch (at additional cost).  9am-6pm, Cours Honoré-Cresp and Palais des Congrès.

Juan les Pins:  Fireworks over Baie de Juan, 10pm.  Best location to watch from is ‘Bijou Blage’ restaurant (reservations accepted).

Mougins:  Fête de la rentrée country – ‘Far West’ carnival with pony rides, cowboys, indians, mini-farm, archery, lasso demonstrations and a concert and country dance in the evening.   From 10am-late, Place des Arcades, Mougins-le-haut.

Nice:  Lou Festin du Pouort – festival at Nice port including street theatre, music, food stalls, fireworks. From 5pm.  Note:  Major roads in and around the port will be closed to traffic from 5pm.  Free shuttle buses will travel between Palais de la Méditerranée and Palais des Expositions and the port from 6pm-8.30pm and 11pm-1am.

Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne: Fête de la Saint-Ferréol – From Friday 07 Sep-Sunday 09 Sep, boules competition, fireworks 9.45pm on Saturday evening followed by a ball. Sunday has more boules, cart parade and Provençal costumes. See fête programme here http://www.saintcezairesursiagne.fr/?q=content/fete-de-la-saint-ferreol

Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey:  Le Grand C – Theatre, humour, human pyramids, circus and acrobatic display.  Recommended for children 7 years and older as start time is 9pm. Held at the Grand Pré.

Villefranche-sur-Mer:  Vertige des Fleurs – Theatre and music from 5pm at Jardin de la roseraie, la Citadelle.

SUNDAY 09 SEPTEMBER

Grasse: see above

Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne: see above

Tourettes-sur-Loup:  Potters market – Display from over 30 ceramicists and potters of art of the region. 9am-7pm, Place de la Libération.

Sightseeing – GOLFE JUAN / ANTIBES / JUAN LES PINS (Tuk Tuk Azur)

One of the first things I did as a tourist in Antibes was jump aboard ‘Le Petit Train’ – the little white tourist train that winds it’s way from Antibes old town along the remparts to Juan les Pins.  The journey takes roughly 20 minutes oneway and is full of photo opportunities, especially as it travels along the Antibes remparts beside Plage Gravette.  My son loves it!

Another great family experience if you are after something different is to take a trip onboard one of the new Tuk Tuks I have spotted around town.  More inclined to be seen as a common mode of transport in Asia, the Tuk Tuks in Antibes are the first electric Tuk Tuks to operate here in the south of France.  Because they are electric, they are environmentally friendly and present no harm to the environment with zero emissions.  Also, you won’t need to worry about finding a carpark space!

The Tuk Tuks have 3-seats or 6-seats and pricing is based on ‘zones’ including Antibes, Juan les Pins and Golfe Juan.  They are a unique way to see the local area and customised tours or event transport can be arranged.

For further information or to make a booking visit www.tuktukazur.com or phone/SMS: +33 (0) 627 02 65 01 (English/French spoken)

Sightseeing – Road trip playlist

This weekend my partner and I are heading to Castellane for 2 days camping, kayaking and outdoor activities.  I like traveling – whether I am the driver or the passenger, getting to the destination can be as enjoyable as arriving at the destination.

As we will not be traveling with our son (thanks to his grandmother babysitting him while we are away), our music tastes for the journey will be extended beyond child-friendly CD’s and catchy songs involving ‘A, B, C’s’ or ‘Name that animal’.  Here is my playlist compilation of road trip songs that I like for various reasons (in no particular order):

  • You and Me song – The Wannadies
  • Scar tissue – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Canned heat – Jamiroquai
  • Just like heaven – The Cure
  • Get a move on – Mr Scruff
  • Your Song – Elton John
  • Free fallin’ – Tom Petty
  • Here’s where the story ends – The Sundays
  • Superstylin’ – Groove Armada
  • Arizona – Kings of Leon
  • Sunshine – P. Digss and Drumagick
  • Luna – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Born slippy – Underworld
  • Every day is a winding road – Sheryl Crow
  • So true – The Black Seeds
  • Starlight – Muse
  • Last request – Paolo Nutini
  • Dakota – Stereophonics
  • Love is a losing game – Amy Winehouse
  • Brazilian hipster – Fort Knox Five
  • You’ve got the love – Florence and the Machine

I would love to hear from anyone what you would include on your road trip playlist!

Happy traveling!

Sightseeing – LA GAUDE (Gallo-Romain festival)

Next weekend Friday 06 July, Saturday 07 July and Sunday 08 July the town of La Gaude is holding it’s second festival showcasing the life and times of the Gauls, and the Roman Legion.

There will be gladiator displays, druids, a mock village with taverna, iron and pottery craftsmen, a gladiator ‘school’ for children, archery lessons and music.  A banquet and concert is arranged for Saturday evening serving traditional Gaulois food including roast boar (reservations for the dinner are however full but you can go on a waiting list).  If you fancy really getting into the vibe of the festival, there will be costume hire available.

We are hoping to attend with my partner’s family, and will dress our son in appropriate Roman costume!

La Gaude is a short distance from Cagnes-sur-Mer and Nice – for festival details and directions to La Gaude visit the festival website at http://www.gaulgauda.fr

Sightseeing – ANTIBES (Fête de la Saint-Pierre)

One of the benefits of living in France is the regular occurrence of free traditional festivals.  You can absorb as little or as much as you like of the heritage and culture of religions, local customs, food and community spirit.

Next week over 3 days (29 June-01 July) – I am hoping to attend the ‘Fête de la Saint-Pierre’ held in Antibes old town.

Saint-Peter (Pierre) is the Patron Saint of fishermen, and he is honoured every year with processions through the streets, dualling competitions on boats, games, water skiiing displays, parades with paper lanterns, regattas and music.

Held this year from Friday 29 June-Sunday 01 July at Plage de la Gravette on Antibes port (accessible for baby buggies and wheelchairs)

For the programme itinerary click on the following link http://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/agenda-culturel/autres-manifestations/icalrepeat.detail/2012/06/29/462/150/fete-de-la-saint-pierre

Eat and drink – JUAN LES PINS (Le Pousse Pousse)

Juan les Pins is perfect for al fresco dining for families – it has a nice combination of warm temperatures, sunny skies and lots to watch as you dine (people and traffic).  Whilst there are numerous eateries situated right on the beach and waterfront promenade, you can find a decent restaurant to eat down a side street, or away from the main hub.

This week we ate dinner at Le Pousse Pousse (12 rue Dautheville, 06160 Juan les Pins. Telephone:  04 93 61 41 99), a restaurant specialising in Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes.  The decor is understated Asian fusion of buddha statues and a handful of black and white photos.  There are plenty of tables inside which were mostly full with diners, and more tables situated outdoors on the terrace with awnings on the pedestrian street.

Our waitress spoke English, and the staff speak French, Dutch and Spanish also.  All of the staff we encountered were pleasant and courteous.  There was a high chair available for our son.  We chose to sit outside and the menus were promptly given to us and drinks orders taken.  We all decided on the 20€ menu each (3-courses), and a serving of steamed dim sums for our son.  Two of us had glasses of rosé, and two of us had beers (they offer Heineken, Tsing-Tao and Singha).  I appreciated that they brought the dim sums out first for our son.  Meals were delivered to our table quickly (and cleared quickly), however they forgot to bring my partner’s main course and we had to request it again – they were apologetic and swiftly bought it out to the table and reduced our bill slightly at the end.

My entree was a cold chicken salad which was tasty and fresh with crunchy bean sprouts, grated carrot, fresh mint and a delicious light sauce which I stupidly forgot to ask them what it was.  My main course was a mild Vietnamese chicken curry which was also really  delicious and I had opted for a serving of perfumed white rice.  I think this was a better option to accompany this curry than the fried rice so as not to compete with the flavours in the curry.  For dessert, I chose the sorbet and received a scoop of passionfruit sorbet which was very refreshing, and a scoop of coconut-flavoured sorbet which was creamy and rich.  My dinner companions had dessert-envy but enjoyed their chosen selection of nougat.

The bill was just over 100€ for four 3-course menus including rice, two bottled beers, two large glasses of rosé and a serving of dim sums.

A good option if you desire an Asian-inspired meal in Juan les Pins.  To view their menu and prices visit their website www.lepoussepousse.com

Note:  I am unsure if the toilets for this restaurant are accessible as we sat outside on the terrace and did not enter the restaurant; I will find out and update this posting.