The French Riviera: how to spend winter in the sunshine

A Q&A with Charlotte, owner of Modern Pose Square based in the South of France on how to spend winter in the sunshine of Cannes, Marseille and St Tropez.

The French Riviera is somewhere that has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. As many people think the French Riviera is extremely expensive to visit, there are ways and means to visit the French Riviera and surrounding areas if you are on more of a budget.

Additionally, I have dreamt of visiting the south of France and especially during the typical summertime, however, recently with being in the UK lockdown my mind has been racing over visiting France and more of Europe generally.

With the winter season definitely upon us here in the UK I have been dreaming of visiting a Christmassy location but I came across some images of the south of France in the winter and it was so beautiful. That being said I came across a brand from Marseille called Modern Pose Square who create apparel items for womenswear. However, I was intrigued to speak to founder Charlotte about life in the south of France.

Here is what she had to say…

Where are your favourite places to eat in French Riviera?

‘I love mediterranean food and this is why I love LA VILLA, a high end restaurant in a beautiful quite place. The restaurant offers fresh and mediterranean food in a wonderful decor which look like a bucolic garden.

In the same kind I like to eat with my friend at OTTO restaurant, very cosy and intimate, we always feel comfortable. We can eat several different meal as mediterranean tapas. For such a really romantic experience I really like LA CANTINETTA a beautiful restaurant with Italian inspiration, good wine and beautiful patio… Finally when I decide to go to spend a day in St Tropez (1hour from Marseille) I love to go at L’ITALIEN restaurant, such a cozy and beautiful place.’

Where are your favourite places to spend the day in French Riviera?

‘My perfect day is when I stroll with my girl friends. We use to have a good lunch at  LE COLOMBIA  a very nice place to talk with my friends in a beautiful french atmosphere. The decoration is very french and classy and the patio is very cozy and the prices are affordable ! Then we like to walk on  the Corniche Kennedy a long way where you can walk beside the sea. I love to visit the beautiful shops in the middle of the city. You will find very fashion and stylish pieces. Moreover there is a little garden patio where you drink coffee or eat a sweet thing !

Where are the Perfect places for Breakfast/ Brunch?

CAFÉ POPULAIRE is a great place to brunch. I recommend HIPPIE CHIC CAFÉ also a very Healthy place with and perfect service and so kind people ! And of course I come back to the COLOMBIA  for a perfect french breakfast.

What are your favourite tourist attractions and why?

 My first favourite tourist attraction is to go is the PARC BORELY there is a beautiful castle which is now an art and fashion museum. the exhibitions are amazing. You will also find at the end of the visit a cute library coffee shop ! I Love it ! Then I cannot ignore the MUCEM a modern museum on mediterranean culture, art and civilisation. the architecture is great ! The last thing is to go in the CORBUSIER building an architectural building with beautiful art gallery in the top and such a beautiful rooftop !

What are some good bars to spend a quiet evening in the area?

My favourite place to have a drink on the evening is the rooftop of the  SOFITEL on the port of Marseille. It is very classy and in the same time cozy with such a beautiful view of the port.
But when I go in Cannes for the weekend I love to drink cocktails at BAOLI, such a classic place but definitely worth it.

Where are your favourite shops for gifts in The French Riviera?

‘Concerning good places to shop gifts I recommend obviously JOGGING. Also you will find good chocolate and specialities of Marseille at  L’ESPERANTINE my favourite confectionary ! You will find original and unique products like chocolate with olive oil ! As a wellness woman I also love  L’HERBIRISTE a natural pharmacy shop very authentic with great natural products to take care of yourself. The service is just perfect. Finally I like  GAS BY MARIE  shops available in Marseille and St Tropez, with stylish clothes and original products.’

the area is known for being very high class & there is a misconception that you need money to visit there, how would you say you could visit on a budget?

‘Obviously the French Riviera is very known for its luxury places and experience this why I really wanted to talk about Marseille because the city is really close to other  bling bling places. But prices are definitely more affordable for everything. If you want to go in Cannes and St Tropez you just need 1hour maximum. But spending time in Marseille is definitively more modern, authentic, stylish and cultural!’

obviously it is known for its beautiful weather & beaches but what would you recommend in the winter for people visiting?

‘For Christmas, the French Riviera offers many thing to enjoy Christmas like Christmas markets and a light show in all cities. But if you want to enjoy a really fairy and luxurious experience Monaco is a great place to enjoy shiny decoration and chalets set up for Christmas. There is a beautiful ambiance with all stores playing the music of Christmas.’

what are your recommendations for each part of the French Riviera ( Cannes, Monaco, St Tropez)

‘So as I well described Marseille, in my own opinion Monaco is definitely for people with large budget if you want to enjoy the place because it especially only intended for luxury shopping or chill in big luxury hotel.

St Tropez is more for festive party people. You really have to love party to enjoy St Tropez ! Cannes is for me a mix between St Tropez and Monaco, perfect for chill, have some fun parties with friends and do some shopping. Cannes is more affordable than St Tropez and Monaco. The town is known as a fun place for a New year party. But of course in summer to enjoy the beach club. People are more young in Cannes than in Monaco or even St Tropez.’

any hotels you can recommend?

‘Finally concerning hotels I would recommend SOFITEL  and HOTEL C2 which is such a high end but cozy place focused on wellness in Marseille and  VILLA COZY in St Tropez such a so cute place!’

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