I wrote a piece on Plus Minus Magazine a few months ago about how to maximise your annual leave effectively, and that’s just what I’m doing in 2018… my second stop being the South of France. Yes I Cannes…
Maximise Your Annual Leave
Leaving work during rush hour to get to Gatwick Airport on the day before Good Friday was a mission to say the least. Turns out you spend more time in traffic than actually moving, and for some reason Uber decided to charge me double. I met my bestie, Emma, at London Bridge, topped up our Oystercards and jumped on a Southeastern train to Gatwick Airport. I always use this route or Thameslink as you can use your Oyster card even though it may take a little longer (okay 45 mins longer) than the Gatwick Express.
I booked Gatwick Central Travelodge as our flight was at 7.25am and it would have been cheaper than getting a taxi from London at this time (crazy right?). It also meant I didn’t have to worry about rushing around at 2am and stressing about being stuck in bank holiday traffic either.
We got to Gatwick Airport around 8pm and headed to the exit where the buses heading to all airport hotels would pick you up. Make sure you have change for these beforehand as they don’t accept card. Although if you do miss one, they run every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day which is really hand.
Check in was smooth and we couldn’t believe the size of our room, you could have fit another bed in there easily. But after a long day/week/month/year at work (and with life), we both needed dinner and drink, so we grabbed dinner, slept a little before a horrible 3.15am wake up call. Now even though we were in the Gatwick vincinity and our flight was at 7.25am, we could have easily left at 5.30am… but Emma and I are literally the same person, meaning we don’t like to rush.
Anyway, we caught the bus at 4.25am to take us to the South Terminal (£3), security was a breeze at this time of morning especially considering it was a bank holiday. I had my eye on one thing though… NANDO’S BREAKFAST. Usually I go to Wetherspoons or the overpriced champagne bar, but this was the first time I’d be going from the South Terminal, so I had to do my civil duty and try it. Although looking at the menu and being bleary eyed, I opted for pancakes and a coffee versus a half-chicken and – chips. It was still good though and probably one of the cheaper options for airport food.
After a two-hour flight, we soon arrived in Cannes…
Cannes You Not
Definitely research the South of France before you go, are you going to be staying in Nice, Antibes, Cannes or Monaco? Unless you have the £££, a taxi to Cannes is €80. EVEN Uber IS €47-60 +… WHAT A JOKE RIGHT? You can even get a helicopter for €150…
With the help of Google Maps, reading up on some travel blogs beforehand, all we needed to do was get the number 23 bus (1.50) to St Laurent Du Var Station and get the train heading to Grasse (€8 approx) and we’d be in Cannes in around 40 mins. The only issue was getting our cases up and down the bridge… thank god for me doing deadlifts the week before right?
We soon arrived at Hotel Simone but couldn’t check in until 3pm, which was fine, so we decided to do what we do best and eat. Our hotel was located in a crossroads of bistros as well as a few takeaway chains so we were spoilt for choice. However, as we were on a budget and didn’t wanna go overboard too soon, we made sure to read the menus before decided. Le 33 won our hearts as we were drawn in by the 12 EURO pizza and knowing Italy was nearby, they must have been good. Once sat down and struggling to decide what to eat, I asked the waiter what the specials were (Ze plat du jour) and decided to go with that instead… as well as washing it down with a bottle of white wine. The food came shortly after, with Emma opting for the fish and me the chicken, the quietness between us symbolised just how happy we were in that moment.
Now a tradition of me and Emma on holiday is people-watching and Cannes is possibly the chicest place to do it. As we had an early morning flight, we couldn’t be bothered to wear make up, so instead we wore gym kit and clear skin… gotta let it breathe sometimes. We were such a contrast to the inhabitants of Cannes, and had never seen so many pairs of Louboutins worn casually like New Balance trainers.
I am wondering if I should do an airport style post after writing this?
Soon rolled on 3pm and we were able to check in, shower, watch some French TV (which is absolutely hilarious) before heading to Noun that evening.
I’d booked a table at Noun (A Lebanese restaurant) a couple of days before on TripAdvisor as they had 40% off and I’m a sucker for a deal. It was a 15-minute walk from our hotel and after feeling refreshed from a shower, we were still knackered from all the travelling. Usually I’m the type to suggest, let’s stay in and order Uber Eats but I was determined to break this habit. I did do it in LA though…
It was such a good meal, had such a great vibe and it was good to see people our age there as when we’d arrived I wasn’t sure what we’d walked into. The Lebanese wine was really good too…
After feeling like stuffed Easter eggs, we walked back along the Croisette admiring all the shops we don’t want to afford before diving into bed.