My thoughts on the French Riviera…..

The French Riviera is a fantastic location and we are very fortunate to have it on our door step. The people are very friendly and 99% of the locals recognised us as Sikhs.

The hotel, La Chèvre D’Or is worthy of being a member of the Relais & Chateau for it’s location and rooms. The staff are not as helpful and sometimes unfriendly, you get the feeling they are only doing the job because they have to. We have stayed at other hotels where staff have shown passion in their work and will bend over backwards to make your stay, delightful.

For vegetarians I would not recommend the 2 star michelin restaurant. The chef could have used more then the basic fruit and vegetables for our dishes!!

Loving Hut in Menton is a fantastic restaurant and definitely worth the visit. The food and service are very good.

Eze village is a great medieval village and has quaint galleries and cafes. Off season the location is quiet and peaceful, I can imagine that in the height of summer this will get very busy and crowded.

Our last day…..

Our last day…..

This morning we both watched the sunrise again, it was spectacular





On a Sunday they have a flea market on the road leading up to the medieval village





Today is also our last day here, we fly back to the UK. It has been a fantastic few days and we were sad to leave this awesome location. On a happier side we are only two hours direct flight from here so will definitely come back to explore different areas.



We headed back to the hotel to checkout. Afterwards we visited a gallery where we saw a very nice painting of Eze, unfortunately it was closed. We walked up to another gallery but decided against purchasing a painting from there, not to my high standards! Well after staying at this hotel my standards have gone up!!

On the way out we met Merlin and Susie, it was great to see them again. Hopefully we shall meet soon.

We drove back to Nice taking the lower basse corniche


The drive goes through Cap Ferrat.

Cap Ferrat is situated in Alpes-Maritimes département, in southeastern France. It is located in the commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Saint Hospitius lived here as a recluse during the sixth century. Thus, the cape is sometimes called Cap-Saint-Hospice or Cap-Saint-Sospis.

Once the domain of King Leopold II of Belgium, Cap Ferrat is now graced with a number of magnificent villas. The writer W. Somerset Maugham bought Villa Mauresque (originally built for Leopold’s father-confessor) in 1928 and lived there before and after World War II. He described it in a letter to his nephew, Robin Maugham, as “the escape hatch from Monaco for those burdened with taste.” Current famous residents include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in Villa Maryland and theatrical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Driving through Cap Ferrat, one can smell the money!!

Once we got to Nice we drove around this town, a town like any other, big, busy, people are in a rush (even on a Sunday!!) we also drove around the Promenade Anglais, a celebrated promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice, France.

Before Nice was urbanized, the coast at Nice was just bordered by a deserted band of beach. The first houses were located on higher ground well away from the sea.

Starting in the second half of the 18th century, the English took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. When a particularly harsh winter up north brought an influx of beggars to Nice, some of the rich Englishmen proposed a useful project for them: the construction of a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea.

The city of Nice, intrigued by the prospect of a pleasant promenade, greatly increased the scope of the work. The Promenade was first called the Camin deis Anglés (the English Way) by the Niçois in their native dialect Nissart. After the annexation of Nice by France in 1860 it was rechristened La Promenade des Anglais, replacing the former Nissart name with its French translation.


We drove past Speak Easy, vegan restaurant in Nice

Le Speakeasy
7 rue Lamartine,

Unfortunately it was closed, so as we had three hours to spare before our flight home we decided on driving on to Antibes.

Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.

It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d’Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes. The Sophia-Antipolis technology park is northwest of Antibes.

There are 48 beaches along the 25 km (16 miles) of coastline that surround Antibes and Juan les Pins.


Archaeology Museum This museum sits atop the Promenade Amiral de Grasse in the old Bastion St Andre, a 17th-century fortress. The museum’s collection focuses on the classical history of Antibes. Many artifacts, sculptures and amphorae found in local digs and shipwrecks from the harbour are displayed here. The views of the sea and mountains from the promenade are also spectacular.

Naval Museum of Napoleon Housed in a 17th-century stone fort and tower, this museum presents a collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, paintings and naval models. Several wall paintings show historic moments in Napoleon’s reign and there are also pieces of his clothing such as one of the hats he once wore.

Picasso Museum This museum houses one of the world’s greatest Picasso collections: 24 paintings, 44 drawings, 32 lithographs, 11 oils on paper, 80 pieces of ceramics, two sculptures and five tapestries.

La Tour Museum This small museum in the centre of town brings the contemporary history of Antibes to life through its exhibit of costumes, tools, photographs and other objects used by the local people.

Absinthe Museum The Absinthe Museum is located in a basement in the Roman foundations of Old Antibes. It is dedicated to the manufacture and appreciation of this green liqueur.

It would be nice to revisit Antibes to look around the museums when we have more time in the future.

Here we had a hot chocolate at a nice Italian cafe



Well I had hot chocolate, Sangeet had an apple juice.

The rain had now stopped and the sun had come out and brightened everything up. It is amazing how when the sun comes out everything just looks so much better. We went for a walk along the coast





One has to be careful whilst walking here as there is plenty of renegade dog leavings. I really do not know why owners cannot clean up after their dogs!!

After a short while we headed to the airport, returned the car to Avis and boarded our plane.

Poster at the airport


Sospel & Italy…..

Sospel & Italy…..

As we decided to check out of this suite and move into another suite, we took advantage of the garden in the meantime.




Getting ready to wash the locally grown strawberries




We then moved to the new suite named after Jean Cocteau. Jean Cocteau, (born July 5, 1889, Maisons-Laffitte, near Paris, France—died October 11, 1963, Milly-la-Forêt, near Paris), French poet, librettist, novelist, actor, film director, and painter. Some of his most important works include the poem L’Ange Heurtebise (1925; “The Angel Heurtebise”); the play Orphée (1926; Orpheus); the novels Les Enfants terribles (1929; “The Incorrigible Children”; Eng. trans. Children of the Game or The Holy Terrors) and La Machine infernale (1934; The Infernal Machine); and his surrealistic motion pictures Le Sang d’un poète (1930; The Blood of a Poet) and La Belle et la bête (1946; Beauty and the Beast).


In France restaurants usually start service at 12 noon until 2:30pm then reopen in the evening at 6pm (varies restaurant to restaurant, but those the are general rough times)

So around 1pm we drove to Loving Hut in Menton.






A fantastic dish, that is why you do not see a single bit of food left!


Delicious vegan cheesecake


On the way back to Eze, we decided to take the middle corniche road.

Three”Corniche” roads, said to be “Lower, Middle and Upper or Grand” considering their different altitudes, lie between Nice and Monaco.

The Lower one culminates 150 ft above sea level and from Nice, leads to the little fishing port of Villefranche that boasts such a beautiful bay ; after Cap Ferrat, the millionaires’ peninsula, the road enters the little resort of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, that became very chic and fashionable at the Turn of the Century. From Beaulieu through the section of “Little Africa” at the foot of very impressive cliffs, the Lower road crosses Eze on Sea, then Cap d’Ail and its crystal clear little inlet. That’s the last French town before entering the Principality of Monaco.

More recent, the Middle road, offers incredible views at all the little resorts mentioned before and leads to the “eagle nest” village of Eze culminating 1200 ft above sea level.

The Upper Road, a strategic road and the older one, offers great views as well, but doesn’t cross any city center, except the one of La Turbie, little town just above Monaco, renowned for its Roman trophy : built in 6 B.C., this monument is unique among all the world’s Roman remains presently known.

The Upper Road leads finally to the perched village of Roquebrune.


We seemed to take a wrong turning at one point which was a blessing as we ended up on windy roads with stunning vistas and then onto a quaint windy road to Sospel.

The town dates back to the 5th century, when it served as an important staging post on the royal road from Nice to Turin. The old toll bridge used by travellers to cross the Bevera, built in the 13th century, still stands. It was bombed by the Germans during World War II to prevent contact between the French Resistance (“The Maquis”) and the Italians. Much of the town was destroyed. Renovated after World War II it now houses the tourist office. Ruins of a tower, part of a château belonging to the counts of Provence, are all that remain of the 14th century city walls.

On the way to Sospel



We wanted to park up to view the amazing sights, it ended up being somebodies garden!






On the way to Sospel I saw a snake crossing the road! It came as a bit of a shock.










People here seemed very surprised to see us, it does not seem many tourists visit this place. They were very friendly and smiled and said bonjour! It was fun to watch a game of French Boules being played by the locals in the park.


Boules is a collective name for a wide range of games in which the objective is to throw or roll heavy balls (called boules in France, and “bocce” in Italy) as close as possible to a small target ball.

Boules-type games are traditional and popular in France, Italy and Croatia, and are also popular in some former French colonies. In those countries, boules games are often played in open spaces (town squares and parks) in villages and towns. Dedicated playing areas for boules-type games are typically large, level, rectangular courts made of flattened earth, gravel, or crushed stone, enclosed in wooden rails or back boards.

In the south of France, the word boules is also often used as a synonym for pétanque.


As Italy is only 8km away we decided to drive there.




An Italian village


We drove to Italy, down to Ventimiglia on the Italian coast then back to France.


Back to Menton




We decided to enjoy a takeaway in our suite this evening. Previously when entering Menton we saw an Indian restaurant called Indian Moods, we walked to the restaurant, as we saw it was a halal restaurant we decided to go back to Le Taj for a takeaway. On the way we passed a nice fruit and vegetable shop where we stocked up on locally grown apples and a fruit similiar to blood-satsuma.


We placed our takeaway order at Le Taj


Then went for a wander, since coming to France I have been wanting to eat fresh bread, the lady at Le Taj told us where we can get some so we searched for the boulangerie (bakery.) On the way we saw a live performance by a very good local band:




It was a fantastic and lively atmosphere, so good to see people dancing and enjoying themselves, without the need for drink!


The search for my bread continues!


Woohoo, found some.


On the way back to the hotel we passed Carrefour.

Carrefour S.A. is a French multinational retailer headquartered in Boulogne Billancourt, France, in Greater Paris. It is one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world (with 1,452 hypermarkets at the end of 2011, the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue, and the third largest in profit (after Wal-Mart and Tesco). Carrefour operates mainly in Europe, Argentina, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but also has shops in North Africa and other parts of Asia, with most stores being of smaller size than hypermarket or even supermarket. Carrefour means “crossroads” and “public square” in French. Previously the company head office was in Levallois-Perret, also in Greater Paris.

There we bought water, fruit smoothie and snacks.

Back at the hotel we ate whilst watching a movie called Short Cuts, wish I could tell you what it was about but whilst watching we felt sleepy, probably because the movie had a very slow start!



After a relaxing morning where I did the childish but enjoyable things (like brush my teeth whilst using the lift and after a shower dry myself, again whilst using the lift!) we had a wander around the hotel’s amazing terraced gardens and then ventured out to the Loving Hut in Menton, we found free parking in a nearby car park.

Enjoying a morning coffee at the hotel

Views from the room


Before leaving the hotel we asked to see another suite

Views from the hotel

Driving to Menton


The free car park

A building in Menton


Looking out from Menton

The Loving Hut restaurant is part of the same chain we have visited in other countries. The Loving Hut marketing slogan is Be Vegan, Make Peace.

Loving Hut Menton
649 Promenade du Soleil
06500 Menton
T: +33 4 92 07 32 57
E: [email protected]

Sangeet ordered a falafel mix and I ordered a loving burger, for starters we had summer rolls. My dish came as a deal, burger, fries and dessert or drink for 12 euros. We got chatting to the owner, Afigour, he mentioned that all the staff who work there are vegan, those that weren’t became vegan. As you talk to Afigour you can tell he is very much into veganism and spirituality. He told us about increasing veganism around the world and how Mongolia is leading the way. He talked about various healing lines (‘blessing lines’) coming to earth and how these can be attracted to earth by very spiritual people.

Vegan cakes

Plenty of seating inside

Literature and products for sale

Our food

Two hands are not enough!

Falafel mix


Vegan dog food!

Whilst chatting a fellow Sikh came to say hello, he was from Glasgow and his name is Surjit Singh Sokhi, he has been coming to this part of the world for the last ten years and thoroughly loves the area. Also whilst chatting we found that we had many friends and relations in common. What a small world!


We left the restaurant a few hours later after having great food and fantastic company.

We had a wander around Menton which is a very beautiful town. We walked along the Promenade du Soleil seeing people of all shapes and sizes sunbathing, we saw the Basilique St-Michel Archange, a 17th century church, the beautiful gardens of Garavan and the Jardin Bioves and nearby Palais de l’Europe. it was enjoyable just wandering about enjoying the beauty of the architecture and gardens and taking in the energy of the place. We were around 1km from the border with Italy and were tempted to pop over. On the way to the car we bought locally grown strawberries, we were looking for oranges especially after seeing the many orange and lemon trees during our walk, unfortunately the oranges for sale were from Spain and the satsumas were from Israel.




On the way back to the hotel we drove through Monte Carlo, as they are preparing for the Formula 1, the stands were being erected. I managed to drive fast through one of the straight roads. Apparently you have to be very careful as this is frowned upon by the police.

As we entered Eze village there was a fantastic vista point where we could see our hotel hanging on to the cliff edge. We parked up and as we were walking to the point a motor biker passed us and shouted something out, he then turned around and came back to talk to us, he kept saying Guru Nanak, looking towards the sky and shaking his head side to side!!

We arrived back at the hotel around 7:30pm in time for our 8pm dinner reservation at La Chèvre d’Or, a Michelin 2 star restaurant at the hotel.

We walked to the restaurant and were greeted by a number of staff and three maître d’hôtel! Now I understand why the food costs so much, just to pay the staff wages!

For aperitif we had a asparagus, notice I said ‘a!

Well judge for yourself:


I felt so sorry for the asparagus it felt so lonely and sad!

For starters:


The base is eggplant and various vegetables and flowers were on top, a bit like a herb garden. I am now thinking surely it must get better!

For mains we had:


Basically mixed vegetables cooked in its owns waters!

Between and alongside courses I was filling myself up on:


Which was the nice bit!!

For dessert Sangeet had sorbet:


I had fruit cocktail:


On a bed of finely cut kiwi and I mean finely cut! There were various fruit.

For mocktails:


Considering this is a 2 Michelin star restaurant, the chef could have been more creative and instead of giving us boiled vegetables done some other type of dishes.

It does make you laugh when you think for lunch we ate at loving hut, we ordered what WE wanted and paid 34 euros, at the Michelin 2 star restaurant they tell YOU what you are having and then at the end of the meal give you a huge food bill for mediocre food! Saying that we have to be very thankful that with God’s blessing we are in a position to be able to come and try food at this restaurant. After a lot of laughs over the whole dining experience, including the waiters amusing descriptions of each dish (ours and other people’s), we retired to our suite.

Gurdwara & St Kilda…..

Gurdwara & St Kilda…..

This morning we went to the Gurdwara, in a suburb of Melbourne called Blackburn. We arrived at 11am and hardly found anybody there, the sangat turned up and 12. I was thinking that if this was an white American Sikh Gurdwara they would have been there from the start…….the reason why American Sikhs are leading the way and showing us how it is done properly!!

Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha
(Blackburn Gurdwara)
127 Whitehouse Road
Blackburn 3130
T: +61 3 989 41800
E: [email protected]

Nov 18, 2012 2:49 PM
Nov 18, 2012 2:51 PM

The Sabha (SGNSS) was set up in 1981 to carry on the religious affair of the sangat in Melbourne. Prior to that and beginning in 1977 families had met in private homes, then Rathdowne Primary School and later Box Hill Primary school as centres for the Sikh Sangat. In 1984, through the efforts of the pioneering families the Uniting Church in Fern Tree Gully was purchased and set up as the first Gurdwara in Melbourne. The move to the current premises at 127 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn -a postal warehouse refurbished and transformed to serve as a Gurdwara was made in late 1993.
Today, Gurdwara Sahib at Blackburn is well placed to meet the needs of an ever increasing sangat. An elected committee manages the day to day running of the Sabha affairs supported by a very large team of dedicated volunteers and a resident team of religious workers. The sangat is able to listen to kirtan from some of the best professional ragis who provide their services for programs both at the gurdwara and homes. Regular programs are held on Wednesdays evenings, Saturdays mornings and Sunday mornings. Additional kirtan programs and weddings are held at other times on Saturdays and Sundays. Special programs are held to celebrate Vaisakhi and Gurpurabs.

Nov 18, 2012 12:35 PM

Based at the premises, the Khalsa Punjabi School hold classes for the teaching of Punjabi language each Sunday. Punjabi is offered at VCE subject and classes are held on Wednesday evenings. The first batch of students completed this course last year with excellent `results. The Gurbani Kirtan School offers classes for the Learning of Gurbani, Kirtan and tabla on Saturdays and Sundays. The upgrading of resources and refurbishment of Sri Guru Hargobind Libraryis progressing well and the library is very well attended.

Nov 18, 2012 2:07 PM
Nov 18, 2012 2:06 PM

The Kirtan was very nice. Afterwards Sangeet bought the CD for AUS$2, unfortunately the sound quality on the CD was poor.

Nov 18, 2012 1:35 PM
Nov 18, 2012 12:05 PM
Nov 18, 2012 12:38 PM

For email subscribers:

As I am looking for a SIM card so we have continuous internet coverage. We popped to a suburb called Boxhill.

Centro Box Hill
17-21 Market St,
Box Hill VIC
T: +61 3 9843 3900
Nov 18, 2012 3:30 PM
Nov 18, 2012 3:23 PM

The shopping centre looked small from the outside but was huge inside, like a tardis!
It would have cost us $50 for a 3gb limit so we decided against the idea.

Nov 18, 2012 4:08 PM
Nov 18, 2012 3:40 PM

Aferwards we popped to St Kilda, a seaside town with a big culture around drinking!
St Kilda was named after a schooner Lady of St Kilda (which moored at the main beach for much of 1841) by Charles La Trobe and the ship’s master and early settler Lieutenant James Ross Lawrence.
During the Edwardian and Victorian eras, St Kilda became a favoured suburb of Melbourne’s elite, and many palatial mansions were constructed along its hills and waterfront. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, St Kilda served a similar function for Melburnians as did Coney Island to the residents of New York City and its history draws an interesting parallel. Densely populated postwar St Kilda became Melbourne’s red-light district, home to low-cost rooming houses. Since the late 1960s, St Kilda became known for its culture of bohemianism as home to many prominent artists, musicians and subcultures, including punks[citation needed], LGBT and techno scene[citation needed]. While some of these groups still maintain a presence in St Kilda, in recent years the district has experienced rapid gentrification pushing many lower socio-economic groups out to other areas.
St Kilda is home to many of Melbourne’s famous visitor attractions including Luna Park, the Esplanade Hotel, Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. It is home to St Kilda Beach, Melbourne’s most famous beach, several renowned theatres and several of Melbourne’s big events and festivals.
Melbourne’s Luna Park is a historic amusement park located on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda, Victoria, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia. It opened on 13 December 1912 and has been operating almost continuously ever since.

Nov 18, 2012 5:41 PM
Nov 18, 2012 5:42 PM
Nov 18, 2012 5:43 PM
Nov 18, 2012 6:07 PM

St Kilda

For email subscribers
St Kilda

The Palais Theatre is a former cinema, now functioning exclusively as a concert venue, located in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. With a capacity of 2,896 people, it is the largest seated theatre in Australia.
The building, which retains many of its original features, is considered one of the finest examples of Art deco architecture in Australia and is on the Victorian Heritage Register. In 2006, the City of Port Phillip, which owns the site, called for tenders by private operators to restore the theatre, as part of the proposed redevelopment of the Triangle Site. However, the redevelopment failed to go ahead and the planned $20 million restoration of the Palais was also abandoned.

Nov 18, 2012 6:15 PM

Nov 18, 2012 6:23 PM
Nov 18, 2012 6:18 PM
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Nov 18, 2012 6:42 PM
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Nov 18, 2012 7:08 PM

Lentil As Anything – St Kilda
Not-for-profit incorporated association, based on a ‘pay as you feel’ philosophy. Lentil As Anything features a global cuisine, e.g. Indian curry, udon noodles and lentil or tofu burgers. It has a cosy atmosphere and also provides seating outside.
Nov 18, 2012 7:40 PM

In the evening we had a great meal at Loving Hut

Loving Hut

10/242 Victoria Street,
T: +61 3 9427 8916
Nov 18, 2012 8:12 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:49 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:50 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:49 PM
Nov 18, 2012 9:36 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:50 PM

The menu was different to the one in Auckland which disappointed me. I wanted mock meats! For me the meal was okay nothing special, not a restaurant I would go back to.

As we had no accommodation for the night we decided to go back to YHA metro…..yes even though I did not like the place…..fortunately we got a double room with a shower.
Nov 19, 2012 10:01 AM
Nov 19, 2012 10:01 AM

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