Strike A Pose

The Cannes Film Festival has been synonymous with glamour and sophistication since the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age swanned into the inaugural event in 1939.

Cannes was chosen to host the now world-famous festival precisely because it already attracted movie stars and royalty alike, with its enviable location on the Côte d’Azur, luxury hotels, palm tree-lined boulevards, white sandy beaches, boutique shopping and hedonistic culture.

And, while the Oscars and other film awards festivals are inextricably linked with commercialism, Cannes retains its vintage allure because it showcases films and their stars on the basis of their artistic quality and originality.

A Playground For The Wealthy

There is a certain je ne sais quoi about Cannes.

Cannes is just that little more understated than its unabashedly flamboyant counterpart, Monaco. While we love Monaco for its ‘look at me’ big band Sinatra and the Rat Pack boldness, Cannes plays a more mellifluous, soft-pedal tune.

Cannes has a diffident allure and elegance that few places can compete with. It’s the place where the A-list and royalty can fully relax and indulge themselves, away from the intrusive lens of the paparazzi or selfie hunters.

You can therefore feel free to satiate yourself in the considerable pleasures that Cannes has to offer.

Along The Promenade

We can think of very few more enjoyable ways to spend one’s time than strolling along Promenade de la Croisette, the palm-lined waterfront famed for its picturesque beaches, restaurants, cafés, boutiques and luxury hotels.

And it makes quite the spectacle, too, when you look down from up on old Le Suquet, the original Roman foundation of Cannes, with its winding, cobbled streets packed with fantastic places to eat and drink.

Most notable among these is one of the world’s most celebrated gastronomic destinations, Le Suquet – Laguiole; a futuristic glasshouse serving incredible haute cuisine first conceived by Michel Bras and now presided over by his son, Sébastien.

A Little Island Culture

What is less well-known about palatial Cannes is that it’s surrounded by secluded little islands brimming with history.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the story of the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ is solely a product of French author Alexandre Dumas’s bounteous imagination – but it’s actually based on a mysterious nobleman whose actual identity is hotly debated to this day. You can try to unravel the mystery for yourself by visiting his infamous cell at the Musée de la Mer on the forested island of St Marguerite, half a mile offshore of Cannes.

We also highly recommend a visit to the 15th century Abbey of Lérins on the nearby island of St Honorat, a pilgrimage site inhabited by Cistercian monks that nevertheless welcomes visitors.

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