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My name is Michel di Vacri and I am the latest recruit to the National Rust reporting on cultural and sporting life on the riviera or cote as we Nicois call it.

Nice is the fifth largest city in France but oddly enough not the capital city of Alpes Maritimes which is Marseilles. Only that city, Paris, Lyon and Toulouse are more populated. Nice is very much the gateway to the Riviera.

Historically it had a colourful time, once part of the Kingdom of Savoy and retaken by France. During the war it changed hands 5 times, taken over Mussolini, when he fell in September 1943, the Germans. It was heavily bombed by the Americans. Post-war its regeneration owed much to the Medecins, father and son mayors for 43 years from 1947. Corruption in  the awarding of contracts was alleged and Mededin junior took off to Uruguay in 1990. He was later imprisoned .

My family are in the food and wine business and for many years our agent and distributor in tehe UK was Robert Tickler. Monsieur Robert is staying with me right now. I went to meet him at the airport. There was some confusion with his advance party entourage who were waiting for him at terminal one when he arrived at terminal two. As is often the case, when we made our way to terminal one, the entourage on foot was going to terminal two. Eventually we were reunited but the episode did not do too much for Robert’s blood pressure.

I decided to take him to Oliveira ,a small restaurant in the old quarter , we supply. At first I could see Robert might have preferred more traditional bistro food but once the plates arrived he was impressed. The patron was highly talkative in explaining the food which was vegetable-based and the various cooking oils which we supply. Although the cuisine was typically Nicois almost all the diners were British. This was due to its high rating on Trip Advisor.

nice2The old quarter of Nice is pedestrianised and you can find the magnificent Palais  de Justice, Opera and numerous bars and restaurants there.

You are only a pebble’s throw from the Promenade des Anglais, named after the aristocratic English tourists who patronised the Riviera as a winter resort at the beginning of the twentieth century.

As Robert came through the arrival doors dressed in a straw hat, cream tropical suit, club tie, Church’s shoes demanding to know what had become of his advance party I thought he belonged to this  Edwardian age .