In the dog days of August when the coast is crowded and baking in the heat, Vignoble Rasse in Saint Jeannet offers the perfect escape. Anyone who regularly shops in the Cours Saleya or Liberation markets knows that the best and freshest vegetables come from the fields and greenhouses around Saint Jeannet. Less well-known are the vineyards that carpet the slopes just outside the village. Only 25km northwest of Nice, the Rasse vineyards seem like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the coast.
The Rasse family has generations of experience producing wine from the fertile soil of Saint Jeannet, supplying local stores and restaurants with the fruit of their labor. Their operation is open for wine-tasting and events all year but in August they also have special apéro evenings with food on Thursdays and Fridays.
On a recent visit, we basked in the rustic ambiance, the views and the warm, familial vibe. The terrain is spacious enough that guests have plenty of room to relax in peace and privacy.
We ordered a lovely Principium blend that perfectly complemented our cheese plate, hummus and empanadas.
The delicious dishes are prepared on site by the family while we sipped our crisp white wine which tasted like. . .summer on the Riviera!
Note that the apero evenings (Thurs-Fri 19-22h) must be reserved in advance through the Rasse website or Facebook page or by calling 06 70 55 70 11. Get specific directions as the vineyard can be tricky to find. Prices are most reasonable. Snacks start at €5 and a bottle of wine starts at €22.
The Nice Jazz Festival was hot this year in more ways than one. With record-setting nighttime temperatures that hovered around 27°C (80°F), the festival’s new free water fountains were most welcome. No more bins full of discarded plastic bottles! Even though the snack stands were turning out socca and other local snacks, ice cream seemed the most popular choice.
Hot and hotter were the artists that filled the two stages this year. As usual the stage temperature was highest on the Scene Masséna which featured big names with big sounds, culminating in Marcus Miller and Iggy Pop which closed the festival.
Although the word “jazz” was not necessarily the best description of some acts, it was exciting to be introduced to music from other traditions. Fatoumata Diawara from Mali and the Afro-Cuban style of Cimafunk were standouts for me.
The Theatre de Verdure stage was exclusively devoted to jazz, from traditional to modern. I loved the Caribbean-influenced style of Samy Thiébault
Making his first appearance in Nice was the exciting young keyboardist, Emmet Cohen.
Stretching out on a lounge chair, sipping a cool drink in the shade of a parasol while gazing at the Mediterranean is Riviera life at its best. Nice has 14 private beach restaurants open from late spring to early fall. The standard of quality has improved a great deal in recent years both for the beach amenities and the quality of cuisine. Prices vary widely from one beach to the next often without any evident justification other than reputation and distance from the town center. But you can get good deals! Here are the updated prices for 2022:
Notice that some beaches offer half-day prices. Usually the offer is only available in the afternoon except for Regence Plage which offers the deal mornings as well as afternoons. Otherwise, count on eating at the beach restaurant as picnics are not allowed! Notice also that some beaches charge a supplement for a seat in the front row with a sea view. Les Canailles has extended it further with graduated prices that start at €15 for a place in the rear row. For a full day at the beach in the first row (reserve ahead!) the cheapest is Cocoon.
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