There’s a lot more to Cannes than glitzy yachts, millionaires and fancy cars. Believe it or not, you can get away with wearing Converse and eating a picnic lunch on the beach if you really want to. However, if you’re looking for stylish, unique things to do in Cannes (France), try these seven pearls of wisdom.
♥ Cannes Shopping Festival
Yes, Cannes is famous for the annual film festival which attracts some of the world’s finest actors and actresses. However, Cannes is also home to an annual shopping festival which is held in the same venue. You can walk the very red carpet that the stars do.
Held across a number of days in April, you’ll find shows covering a wide variety of designers, both high-street and high-end. Even if fashion isn’t your thing, it’s worth a watch as the organisers really do put on a show. From girls in giant spheres to prancing ballerinas and fierce divas battling six-pack hunks whipping out the classic robot.
♥ Film City Tour
That said, it’d be foolish to not explore the city’s famous film heritage. You can get your bearings and explore the city with a help of a tour guide. You’ll learn where the best views are, as well as locations that inspired famous films, like The Man in the Iron Mask. You’ll also spy some of the many murals that have been painted in honour of films and cast. You can even take part in your very own film set if you fancy a piece of the action.
♥ Hotel Martinez Cannes
The Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez is what The Dorchester is to London. It’s an iconic building facing the Mediterranean Sea that includes one of the biggest penthouse suites in Europe. It’s also home to a popular bar (Bar L’Amiral) that serves delicious cocktails. During the weekends and evenings you’ll often find a DJ in the bar to help get the party started. Whether you fancy a classy one or two, or a big night out, this place is a good stop.
Hotel Martinez, 73 La Croisette, 06400 Cannes
♥ Perfume Making
Pop into French store, Fragonard, for a spot of perfume shopping. They’re renowned for their fresh, heavenly scents. Excitingly, they’ve also launched a homeware and clothing section inspired from their many travels. The stuff is unbelievably gorgeous and you’ll want to buy everything. Fingers crossed they start selling online soon too.
Take part in one of their perfume making classes (book ahead) if you want to do something a little different. You’ll learn how the experts are trained to recognise thousands and thousands of different scents. Whilst you won’t be able to do that by the end of the course, you will create your very own perfume and get to take it home with you.
Fragonard, 103 rue d’Antibes, 06400 Cannes
Cannes is full of classy boutiques stocking fine chocolates, like Jean Patrice PACI (also known as JP Paci). Shelves upon shelves of creative chocolate sculptures wait for you to be tempted by them. Even the most strong-willed will find it hard to ignore the beautiful window displays – they’re full of the most mind-blowing creations. As well as the show-stoppers, you’ll find smaller quirky treats, like the caviar eggs or the marzipan ravioli.
JP Paci, 28 rue Hoche, 06400 Cannes
Cannes is full of gorgeous designer boutiques, cute local stores and quirky concept stores. Head to the legendary Croisette (beachfront) for your fix of Dior and the like. Follow the lanes inland to find the more unusual names. If shoes are your thing, head to Heschung. It’s a family business that started in 1934. Heschung shoes are of the finest quality, so you’ll need to pay for what you get. Look out for Making Of (Cannes), a high-end lux range of five rare perfumes, stocked at concept store, Le Shop 17.
Herschung, 4 Rue Chabaud, 06400 Cannes
Le Shop 17, 17 Bd de la Croisette – Le Gray d’Albion, 06400 Cannes
♥ Intuitions by J
World pastry champion (yes, there is such a thing!), Jerome de Oliveira, creates beautiful, classy and most important, irresistibly tasty pastries and sweet treats. Pop along to Five Seas Hotel, specifically to Intuitions by J on the ground floor. You can either buy some goodies to take away or stay for a spot of Afternoon Tea (highly recommended). From grapefruit flavoured pastries to sunny lemon meringues (Jerome’s favourite) and supremely rich chocolate mousses, Jerome will help you on your way to cloud nine.
Intuitions by J at Five Seas Hotel, 22 rue Bivouac Napoleon, 06400 Cannes
If you’re looking for hotels in Cannes, check out Le Cavendish. They have a free bar and cakes. Simple.
Have you been to Cannes or is it somewhere you’d like to go? Do you have any tips to add to this list or any questions? Feel free to leave a comment. X
Big thanks to the Palais des Festivals et des Congres Cannes for hosting my visit.