Thursday, 16 June 2011

Antibes, France & Chanel Cruise 2012

Last year Karl Lagerfeld showed his Chanel Cruise collection in St Tropez and this year he opted for Antibes; a neighbouring walled harbour town between Nice and Cannes. Antibes is home of not only Chanel's latest venue but also the town where I have spent every summer since I was 4 (apart from that 2 year gap when my moody late-teen self refused to go). 

So I have just come back from a week break after my sister and I interupted our parents holiday to steal a week with them. We flew in from different directions and met up at Nice airport (after a three hour wait on my behalf - there is nothing to do in that tiny airport). We then we drove the twenty minutes to Antibes to begin our holiday. I have added some photographs from my personal stash which I hope you enjoy.

The Fort Carre, Antibes

Antibes is a cobbled delight. The narrow streets brim with bookshops, street cafes and boutiques all framed beautifully with overgrown ivy and hanging baskets.


The town centre is an enclosed market selling herbs, fruit and Mediterranean vegetables. By night the market is transformed into a softly lit restaurant haven overflowing with craft, jewellery and art stalls. Adjacent to the market you will find the Picasso Museum where the artist left a collection of paintings after he resided in the town for a number of years (I still have an old entrance ticket in my wallet).

The busy market in Antibes

Along the harbour the boats and super yachts line the path and the fisherman dock each morning to sell their catch. It is here many young travellers stop off to find summer work aboard the yachts.

As night falls the French and visitors alike head to Boulevard Aguillon for a cold beer or a Mediterranean dish. Here you will find my favourite bar The Hop Store. You can sit outside, eat tapas, listen to bands and relax as the sun sets.

The Hop Store
The Cap’d'Antibes is the coastal peninsula and is the perfect spot for driving, cycling or running. The Cap features a multitude of gorgeous hidden coves with a backdrop of gleaming mansions. Here lies the Hotel du Cap.

The hotel boasts the world’s most impressive guest list and is a haven to royalty, artists, authors and film stars. The hotel has a history of wealth, glamour and history, playing host to faces including Frank Sinatra, Ernest Hemingway, Princess Grace of Monaco, Bridget Bardot, and The Beatles. The hotel is also famous for being the venue were Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor conducted their affair and consequently honeymooned - if walls could talk. If you fancy bumping into Brad Pitt at Eden Roc (the hotel's renowned bar and restaurant) or perhaps sunning on a lounger next to Giselle (and you have a bulging bank balance) then aim for May when the Cannes Film Festival takes place and the A List flock to the resort.

Hotel du Cap
On our annual family pilgrimage we spend most mornings on our favourite beach which lies directly below this hotel. In 2009, after getting restless sunbathing, my Dad and I decided to explore the rocks surrounding the beach. When we reached our target we noticed paparazzi had begun gathering above us and we naturally followed their gaze.  As we looked above, Clint Eastwood strolled out onto the hotel balcony...great timing on our behalf! We saw him again later that evening along with Brad, Angelina, Dita Von Teese, and Sharon Stone (among others) in Cannes arriving for the festival on the red carpet which, I think you'd agree, would make us halfway there to becoming his mate.

My sister Jessica on the Cap

Yachts sailing around the coast

The Cap

Overall this town is very special.  My happiest childhood memories were formed in Antibes were I was fortunate enough to be taken for a month during the summer holidays whilst growing up.

Chanel Cruise Show – Hotel du Cap, Antibes

This year Karl Lagerfeld choose Hotel du Cap as his choice of venue for the 2012 Chanel Cruise debut calling the hotel and town ‘the other side of Paradise’. Lagerfeld flew in the world’s top Supermodels and cited his inspiration as Rita Hayworth and Aly Khan (both past residents of the hotel). The show was entitled 'Billionaire Babes'. Lagerfeld's models walked to the sound of Prince dripping in diamonds and pearls and all things luxe. We saw sunshine yellow suits, creamy and floral dresses, pin stripes, straw hats, embellished summer gowns, monochrome, floaty separates and glam swimwear. 

Guests included Poppy Delevigne, Alexa Chung and Blake Lively who all looked dazzling in their own Chanel.



Images:  2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 & 9 by Stephanie Blundell (Novateur) & online at Hotel du Cap, Harpers Bazaar and Vogue