Imagine yourself sitting in a hotel atop a mountain with an amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea. The water laps gently at the round stones on the beach far below. You’re sipping a glass of rose from Provence, and the waiter brings over a slice of cake topped with gold leaf. Maybe you fire up a Cohiba, if that’s your thing, and you bask in the perfection of the moment.
Welcome to Èze. This small mountain-top town sits between Nice and Monaco in the French Riviera, and its claim to fame, of sorts, is that philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche came up with the idea for one of his books while trekking up and down the mountain. While few will be interested in this strange fact, what sits at the peak is certainly worth your attention.
The Chateau de la Chevre d’Or is an impressive hotel, dominating the top of the mountain and dripping with luxury. I’ve never stayed there, but I do recommend a visit for a snack and a glass of wine. You can enjoy the experience without having to shell out absurd cash for it.
The restaurant at the Chevre d’Or is open to the public, and I suggest you sit out on the veranda, where you can enjoy the open air, warm sun and impeccable view. While rose is the norm from Provence, a nearby region, I opted for a Provencal red, and the Chevre d’Or is one of the few places where I’ve been able to find it (everywhere else, it’s Provencal rose, rose, rose …).
Doubtless, you remember that insane dessert I mentioned a moment ago. At le Café du Jardin, open only from May, is where you’ll be order that unparalleled pastry. Nothing beats the decadence that comes with actually eating gold. Yes, there is a metallic taste to it.
Of course, this experience doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Stay at one of the cheap hotels available in Èze, or make Nice or Monaco your base for the vacation. Eze is only a short train ride from each, making it an easy day trip. There are bistros on every corner, it seems – in Eze, Monaco and Nice. You’ll be able to dine on fantastic creations without having to drain your wallet.
Because of this, your one insane dessert will be a little easier to stomach.
So, it’s time to come. Would you eat gold? What would you tell people when you get home? Leave a comment and let us know!
CC Flickr photo credit: Chris Brown