Nice is an hour’s drive from Villa Cantarella. You don’t really need a guide to visit Nice — there’s plenty to do and see anyway. But sometimes a little inspiration can make the visit even better. Danish readers can find a pretty comprehensive guide here.
Nice is even better off season when there’s room to move around. This is Nice in early January: (Picture to follow)
Another great winery (or chateau) to visit is the Château St Julien d’Aille. I especially like their white Viognier, but the rosés are wonderful as well. The chateau is located on the road from Vidauban to La Garde Freinet.
You can find a list of beaches well worth a visit and within reasonable driving distance from Villa Cantarella here. (Sorry, this is for Danish readers.)
The Irish Times is a great newspaper — even if it isn’t the most widely read in Ireland. However, it seems that the Irish Times has sent a reporter to report on various interesting sights in the Var departement — including the Saint Roseline Chapel and the Font du Broc. Of course, we highly recommend you go to explore these sights as well. And taste the wine, it goes without saying.
If you plan to visit Aix-en-Provence, which is an hour’s drive from Villa Cantarella, you might be interested in paying a visit to a rather unusual bakery. The bakery’s name is Le Farinoman Fou and can be found at 5 rue Mignet, 13100 Aix en Provence. This Canadian baker makes very original breads.
Cannes is within 45 minutes drive from Villa Cantarella. Parking isn’t too difficult if you choose an underground car park, like the one on Rue d’Antibes (very convenient for shopping) or the one under the Palais du Festival (very convenient for the beach and the Croisette). Danish readers can find some useful tips for a short stay in Cannes here. (Sorry, Danish only!)
Back in the fall we laid down lots of crocus and daffodil bulbs, being convinced that the boars would steer clear of daffodil bulbs. This turned out to be a false hope. When we came down in December we could see that the boars had dug up almost all the bulbs. Most of the bulbs, but not all, seemed to have been left rather haphazardly above ground. I then tried laying them again, and when we came back in February the crocus were beginning to flower. I suppose we can now deduce that boars don’t like crocus. Come Easter, we could see that quite a few of the daffodil bulbs had survived as well. Perhaps the boars were curious to see what we had laid in the ground, rather than seeking to eat the daffodil bulbs.
The previous owners of Villa Cantarella must have been fond of tulips, because when we bought the house the garden had quite a few tulips here and there. This didn’t last long, however. It seems that boars absolutely love tulip bulbs. Daffodil bulbs, on the other hand, are not at all to their liking. So this fall I have planted lots of daffodil bulbs and some crocus bulbs as well. Now I just cross my fingers and hope that the boars won’t dig up the bulbs before spring. We’ll see!
The area around Villa Cantarella is filled with vineyard after vineyard. As a matter of fact, the vineyards are closing in on the house rapidly, but after all — worse things could happen. To find some inspiration when planning your tour of the neighbouring chateux you might want to read this article in The Times. After all, there are so many to choose from, so why not let yourself be guided by an expert?
A vide grenier is a bit like a collective garage sale — goods of varying quality are put up for sale by individual vendors. Miraculously enough we came away from this vide grenier without buying anything — which is a rare occurrence, indeed.