A neighborhood’s information to Menton, France: 5 nice issues to do | France holidays

A specialist in trompe l’oeil artwork and frescoes historic and trendy, Fabien Gauthier has lived in Menton since 1972


Le Petit Port, on a leafy sq. subsequent to the harbour, is a good family-run restaurant whose proprietor, Gaby Santucci, I’ve identified for 40 years. It specialises in native dishes equivalent to courgette flowers full of cod, large scampi and octopus salad with porcini mushrooms. Being on the border, Menton’s delicacies has an enormous Italian affect however we’ve our personal model of Good’s socca (chickpea pancake) and pan bagnat (an enormous bread roll crammed with tuna, eggs, anchovies and tomato and soaked in olive oil). The streets round art-nouveau meals corridor Les Halles – an awesome place to purchase Menton’s aromatic lemons – are house to street-food joints equivalent to Sini, which sells pichade (tomato and anchovy tart) and barbajuan (chard and ricotta fritters).
4 rue du Jonquier


{Photograph}: Getty Pictures

Menton was a easy fishing village earlier than the British arrived within the nineteenth century and turned it right into a well being resort. European aristocracy constructed enormous belle-époque palaces overlooking the ocean however my inspiration comes from the friezes and inventive ornament on Menton’s older buildings. Within the Basilica Saint Michel-Archange, there are some breathtaking trompe l’oeil work on the within of the dome. The one above the Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement is for me the Rolls-Royce of fresco portray.


Menton is a peaceful, serene place, the place you at all times really feel as in case you are on vacation. As an artist, it offers a really visible expertise, filled with reds, yellows, peach and ochre tones. I really feel very connected to the previous city. My first artwork studio was on rue Longue (the unique Roman street), which is all historic staircases, shutters and medieval doorways. At its southern finish is Place du Cap, which is surrounded by little bistros with water fountains, and in Place aux Herbes close by, web site of the unique market, you possibly can nonetheless see the gently sloping stone slabs the place merchants laid out their greens, herbs and fish.

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France, Menton, Serre de la Madone garden, nymph in the pond and Cyperus papyrus.
Serre de la Madone. {Photograph}: Herve Lenain/Alamy
Magnolia flower. Illustration: Hennie Haworth.
Magnolia flower. Illustration: Hennie Haworth.

I’ve at all times most popular English-style botanical gardens, which go away a number of the panorama pure and wild. Lord Hanbury constructed his Giardini Botanici simply over the Italian border in Ventimiglia within the nineteenth century, and a British normal created Menton’s Val Rahmeh gardens within the Twenties, however my favorite amongst Menton’s many gardens is Serre de la Madone, on the street main up in the direction of Gorbio. Main Lawrence Johnston crammed his seven-hectare property with tropical crops, parrots and wading ibises, all introduced again from his travels. Guests can wander among the many magnolias (pictured beneath), yuccas, large eucalyptus and a prehistoric-looking Nolina longifolia from Mexico, then climb the stone steps to a citrus grove, lotus pond and dense woodland past.
74 route de Gorbio


Menton’s seafront was strung with nightclubs within the Seventies. Mini Pub (it sounds loads cooler in French) is without doubt one of the few survivors – I do know as a result of I used to work there as a barman. With its suede banquettes, soda siphons, framed pictures of Johnny Hallyday and Claude François and poster for Loopy Horse, Mini Pub is a padded-walled fortress of a bygone swinging France. The swing seats on its terrace look out throughout the marina, quayside and in the direction of the Italian border. The porticoed Esplanade des Sablettes beneath was constructed on reclaimed land and is now fashionable for late-night gatherings, with a clear carry to sea stage, ice-cream parlours and a walkway underneath the palm bushes.
51 quai Bonaparte


Simply behind the promenade and inside strolling distance of the previous city, the 17-room Pavillon Impérial lodge is within the former grounds of one of many enormous belle-époque palaces on the seafront. It has a shady backyard, a library and a bar.
Doubles from €57 room-only in October

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