6 Ways to mark Fête Nationale 2018

Fête Nationale, often referred by as Bastille Day, is recognised on 14 July each year in commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789.

Throughout France and its territories, people gather on this day for parties, parades and feasting in the ultimate display of patriotism.  The televised coverage of the traditional défilé in Paris and along the Champs-Élysées is particularly impressive involving military tanks, cavalry, aircraft fly overs by the Patrouille de France, jets and helicopters and the customary appearance from the French President.

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The annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Élysées avenue near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on July 14, 2018. (photo: AFP PHOTO / Ludovic MARIN)

As well, there are public events hosted across the country including balls and fireworks displays.  Here are 6 ways you can ring in Fête Nationale this year:

1. Watch the national day parades

The main event is hosted in Paris from morning with televised coverage on all major French TV stations and news channels.  Expect military formations, speeches and La Marseillaise!

2. Follow the Tour de France 2018 coverage

Whether you’re a cyclist or not, the Tour de France is one of the world’s most viewed sports races.  Fête Nationale coincides with Stage Eight of the tour from Dreux to Amiens – you can follow Stage Eight coverage here:  Tour de France route

Follow stage 8 of the Tour de France on Bastille Day 2018 (photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

3. Drink French wine and Champagne

I’m not going to argue with this as there are so many fantastic French wines and of course, Champagne!

For a glass of inspiration, head to:

About France : Introduction to the wines of France

Decanters August 2018 guide with 93 rosés tasted beyond Provence, whites from Languedoc and Crémants

The Yacht Cru Wine Guide : France (Rough Regions Guide)

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Champagne for Fête Nationale (photo: Pulsd)

Of course, if adults are having a glass of something alcoholic you can keep the kids happy by whipping up fun drinks such as this non-alcoholic sangria!

4. Splurge on French-themed patisseries

French patisseries love a national holiday to showcase their skills and you’ll find every patisserie will display macarons, cakes, tarts and eclairs in the window decorated with icing, sprinkles or bon bons in the tricolore.

Sweet treats for Fête Nationale (photo: Pinterest)

5. Join in on a game of boules

Every town in France has a boules pitch and if you’ve ever wanted to learn the game, today is the day!  Usually, there are park benches beside boules pitches so even if you feel unsure you can always sit and watch the locals play.

Boules in St Tropez anyone? (photo: Dandy Magazine)

6. Attend the memorial service in Nice

Two years ago on this day, Nice was affected by a cowardly attack on a night where people were in good spirits attending the fireworks display.  Sadly, 86 people lost their lives including a number of children and almost 500 people were injured.

I did not write a blog post at that time as I felt incredible sadness for the victims and their families.  In the days following, I was asked to do a radio interview and my aim was to speak about the city they love and live in and focus on the Nice I know.

Tourists have kept coming to Nice.

Daily life has continued as the city moves on with remembrance and resilience.

Nice will always be a place that mixes not divides cultures.  You will find those blue chairs on the Prom, munch on some hot socca and enjoy a cold glass of rosé.

Two years have passed, but flying into Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and seeing that turquoise sea still moves people to call it home.  There are wonderful museums, beautiful buildings, interesting markets and pretty shops selling the best olive oil, fragrant soaps, hand made chocolates and vintage postcards.

Thank you to the city of Nice for remembering the people with a memorial service today.  There will be a free concert from 9.15pm by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice and at 10.34pm, 86 balloons will be released at Jardin Albert 1er with 86 light beams into the sky from the Promenade des Anglais.  You can find out the details below for the journée d’hommage:

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Fête Nationale 2018 in Nice (image: VilledeNice)

NOTE: I have had many requests for information about the summer fireworks displays on the French Riviera.  I love fireworks, however out of personal choice I won’t be publishing a public guide for the regional fireworks dates as I would like to continue showing solidarity to the families of the Nice attack.

I shall leave you to recognise Fête Nationale in your own way – beach picnics, parades or simply enjoying the sunshine or a meal with family and friends.  A year ago, I shared this video – filmed and edited by Fabien Ecochard; it still holds a poignantly beautiful capture of life in Nice:

Bonne Fête!  

 

 

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Les Voiles d’Antibes and L’Italie à Table 2018

Les Voiles d’Antibes

Les Voiles d’Antibes is an annual sailing regatta hosted at Port Vauban and the 23rd edition will take place from 30 May to 3 June 2018.

This popular event signals the first stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge and sees the port in Antibes and surrounding sea filled with beautiful yachts including vintage yachts built pre-1950 and classic yachts from the late 1950’s onwards.

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Les Voiles d’Antibes 2018 will be held from 30 May to 3 June

As well as the yacht races, a pop-up Village is set up at the Bastion Saint Jaume at Port Vauban with exhibits about marine preservation and the sea.  A huge drawcard for the community is free nightly entertainment with live music and bars.

Les Voiles d’Antibes (image: Stilldrone)

See Les Voiles d’Antibes 2018 Programme here including times for the bands:  Les Voiles d’Antibes 2018 Programme

A map for the location of Les Voiles d’Antibes is below:

Find out more about the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge here:   Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge

L’Italie à Table

The sights and smells of L’Italie à Table will cross over the same time as Les Voiles d’Antibes (from 31 May to 3 June 2018) at Port Vauban in Antibes.

L’Italie à Table is an Italian food festival that features a number of Italian gastronomy products such as cheese, pasta, beverages, cured meats, olive oils, pastries, bread, sweets as well as recipe demonstrations, children’s workshops and live music.

The Antibes event is a sister festival to a similar festival that was recently held in Saint Raphael and another festival that will be hosted on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice from 8 to 10 June.

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L’Italie à Table is returning for the third year to Antibes; it has been running for 14 years in Nice

L’Italie à Table Antibes is free entry to the public and opening hours are:  10am to 8pm daily; 10am to 9pm on Friday and Saturday.

View the programme here:  L’Italie à Table Antibes Programme

How to get there

By train: The Gare d’Antibes (Antibes train station) is just 5 minutes walk from Port Vauban; simply cross the road directly outside the main entrance to the station and walk down Avenue de la Libération to the roundabout, continue straight ahead along Avenue de Verdun.

L’Italie à Table is set up in marquees at the square opposite the marina and Les Voiles d’Antibes is taking place at Bastion Saint Jaume by the Nomade statue near the Quai des Milliardaires.

By bus:  Bus numbers 1, 8 or 200 stop outside Hotel Le Collier opposite the Antibes train station / Pole d’échanges and you can follow the directions above to get to the port from the station.  Alternatively, the Antibes Gare Routiere in old town is a 5 minute walk to the port.

By car:  You can get to both of these events by car either via the RN7 or bord de Mer (coastal road).  Because there are a number of constructions happening in central Antibes, car parking for both of these events is best at the Q-Park underground pay carpark at Pré des Pêcheurs, 20 avenue de Verdun.  Parking prices are here:  Parking Antibes port   Alternative pay carparks are located at Parking Poirier on boulevard Dugommier or Parking avenue Frères Olivier.

Accessibility notes

Both events are on flat, paved ground so they are suitable for families with kids in baby strollers, or people with restricted mobility.  Note:  The whole quay area and Village is on flat ground, however the bar area at Les Voiles d’Antibes is on raised decking and toilets at the Village are not accessible for wheelchair users. The nearest ground-level accessible toilets are by plage Gravette, at the automated pay toilet on Avenue de Verdun near the boules pitch or go to Félix Café or Gusto (pizza place) just inside the first archway to old town as both have ground-level accessible toilets.

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2017 In Review: 10 Lessons I’ve Learned This Year

I sure have learned a lot this year.

From content writing to press work and juggling family life, I thought I’d share some things I’ve experienced this year – the highs, the lows, the achievements and the challenges!

Here are ’10 Lessons I’ve Learned in 2017′:

  1. Freelancers can’t work solo

It’s fantastic to have the flexibility to work when and where I want, but I have found networking is vital to maintaining my sanity.

It can be a lonely time running your own businesses so it’s helpful having a support group.

Being part of a community of people who have different success levels and opinions is great for inspiration, motivation and bouncing around ideas.   I am part of various entrepreneur and business groups and I find it energising to be around people who are entrepreneurs or have a positive mindset.

2. Stay focused

I have a vision board in my work area to stay focused with my goals and fine tune what is urgent or important.

I use content tools to manage my workload and everyone who knows me knows I don’t go anywhere without my diary!

Some tools I use regularly to stay on focus and organised are Google Keep, Dropbox, Evernote and Slack.

Evernote is one of my favourite tools for staying organised and on track

3. Always keep learning

I follow a lot of business forums for tech, aviation, travel, yachting and luxury sectors so I can start updated with trends and forecasts.  I watch a lot of webcasts and try and complete one educational course of interest yearly and this has lead to work opportunities for me.

I’m still plugging away at learning Mandarin Chinese, it’s a slow process (much slower than learning French!) but I can reflect on when I first started learning French and how progress gets easier.

4. No magic formula for blog success

People often ask me if blogging is hard work or where I find the time to write posts.   If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you won’t find time to do it.

For my own blog, I always write about things I’m interested in, unusual insights for the French Riviera or useful tips and this moulds itself into posts that my audience enjoys and shares.

If you write about things you’re interested in, you will stay motivated

5. Celebrate your achievements

No one has overnight success.  I was really happy to hit the 250,000 visitors mark for my blog this year, but it made me realise that it was even more important to not use this milestone as an excuse to just sit on my coat tails and assume my blog would stay popular.   I had to take time to reflect on why I started it, where it’s at now and where I hope to head in the future. 

I believe that success shouldn’t be purely based on page views, traffic, income or social media followers.  

I earn an income from my blog however the best rewards come in the form of lovely comments or emails from readers who I have helped.

6. Allow yourself a break

The world is not going to fall apart if you take a break or holiday.   We had our first child-free holiday this year and it was great for recharging our batteries.

It’s important to find a balance between work, your family and taking care of yourself and you will come back more productive than ever.

Some days my working day is very traditional – 9am to 4pm – and some days it is chaotic and interrupted by the daily grind, school run, sickness, sport etc.

We all need time out from work, family and life

As a working mum, I have found another level of busy that I didn’t think was possible but for me personally I need to ensure I get enough sleep, exercise regularly and have a social life.

7. Accept that things may not go to plan

You can’t solve everything and you may have to accept that your ideas won’t work or people don’t want it to work.

I have had a few media projects this year where I had to wait on other people to finish their input for the project and it delayed my deadline.  This is reality.  Accept the flow of things, adapt if necessary and refocus.

8. Give to others when you can

I’ve become much better at saying ‘No’ to people.  Especially people who contact me for ‘free’ business advice or marketing tips and then they disappear off the face of the planet and you never hear from them again until the next time they need something.

Saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean you’re selfish, rude or unhelpful – it means you are placing a conscious decision to put your time into your family, paid work, your health or your hobbies first.

It’s perfectly wonderful to help other entrepreneurs, community groups or businesses when you can, but be wary of the leeches.  It’s not cynicism, but you can get burned by people you help and expend a lot of energy, time and patience without receiving a thank you.

Saying ‘No’ can be beneficial to your work/life balance

9. Don’t be afraid to take risks

The first step in starting a business is often the most difficult but you need to crawl before you can walk.

Big adventures start when you least expect them and I would never have thought 18 months ago that I would start up five new business projects in the past year.

If I had thought for one second that I wasn’t capable, someone else would have been there doing exactly what I intend to do.

10. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else

In this crazy age of social media, it is incredibly easy to be lead into a false sense of inadequacy about your worth as a business owner and/or parent, self-esteem, looks and work skills.

I see a lot of people daily who are seeking higher recognition from people who don’t matter.  I have unfollowed a lot of accounts on Instagram because they aren’t relevant to my lifestyle or career goals; people who just post selfies and have nothing else to contribute.

It is easy to think someone else has greater success in business or life than you, but don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

Don’t compare yourself with others

Here are some of my most popular posts that readers loved in 2017:

The Lavender Route

Top 15 viewpoints for amazing photos

The 70th Cannes Film Festival:  The Ultimate Guide

Secret French Riviera:  Hidden spots worth visiting

How to visit Monaco on a shoestring

7 reasons NOT to visit the Cote d’Azur in winter

The Lavender Route was another popular post this year

To end this blog post, I would like to wish all my readers a fantastic New Year and a huge thank you for supporting my blog.  Every one of your comments doesn’t go unnoticed.   Roll on 2018!

 

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

I would like to take the opportunity before the last hurrah of the festive holidays to say thank you to all my fans, followers and clients for a great 2016.

2016 has been a year of new connections and interesting work projects mixed with a dose of laughter, tears and trials from my family including a few bouts of chicken pox and kids illness that comes part and parcel of being a parent.

To all the followers, likers, sharers of anything ‘Access Riviera’ without your clicks and shares my blog is nothing worth getting up for so please do keep following in 2017!  I have also (finally!) stepped into the Instagram-a-sphere, so if you fancy checking out some of my photos from the French Riviera and other travel pics of mine please drop by to say hi www.instagram.com/ariviera06   

Last but not least, to my family – thank you for your support of my work deadlines this year, my typing in the quiet of the night and general unpredictable nature and bad jokes – I love you all.

I want to wish all of you a safe and enjoyable New Years Eve whether you are staying in for the night or planning on fuelling your next hangover.   Happy New Year, Joyeux Réveillon and see you in 2017!

Becks

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