It's not hard to eat well in France, but it you are looking for something top notch on your next trip to the French Riviera here are our tried and tested top venues...
It didn’t take long for Alcyone to get a Michelin star – less than a year in fact – and it’s not hard to see why. Chef Lionel Levy has poured his southern French energy into giving the cuisine here the perfect balance between originality and authenticity. Open only for dinner, the formal gastronomic restaurant’s menu is focused on fresh regional products with a healthy dose of Mediterranean soul. Expect calamari cannelloni and Bouillabaisse to die for. Meat-lovers will also find plenty to keep them happy. LUXOS Recommends: Blue lobster from the fish tank, petits pois and rhubarb with Tasmanian pepper.
Intercontinental-Hôtel Dieu Marseille 1 Place Daviel 13002 Marseille Tel. +33 (0)4 13 42 42 42, marseille.intercontinental.com
Bastide de Moustiers, © David Bordes
The restaurant at Bastide de Moustiers
The 17th-century Provençal Bastide des Moustiers ‘auberge’ is perched high up in the romantic hills of Provence and was created by the multi-Michelin starred French chef Alain Ducasse. With a few rooms only, the stone bastide’s unrivalled charms are the main draw – its charms and its restaurant where executive chef Christophe Martin rustles up top French gastronomic cuisine centred on the finest and freshest local produce including homegrown tomatoes and farmer’s goat cheese to die for. LUXOS Recommends: Menu de la Bastide (five courses).
Bastide de Moustiers, Chemin de Quinson 04360 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie Tel. +33 (0)4 9270 4747, www.bastide-moustiers.com
Fouquet’s Cannes at Majestic Barrière
The second Fouquet’s after the flagship Parisian restaurant on the Champs Elysées, the Fouquet’s in Cannes may not have the trendiest of interiors but the cuisine is worth stopping by for. Located at the start of the Croisette just across the road from the Palais des Festivals, the Fouquet’s has become a local icon. Chef Maryan Gandon cooks up a fresh feast for fish lovers but also for meat fiends and the restaurant is open every day for breakfast until late. LUXOS Recommends: Start with 30g of Fouquet’s caviar, followed by the coquilles Saint-Jacques and selection of cheeses to finish.
Majestic Barrière, 10 Boulevard de la Croisette 06400 Cannes Tel. +33 (0)4 9298 7705, www.lucienbarriere.com
Elsa at the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel
The Michelin-starred restaurant is the first all-organic restaurant to make it onto the Côte d’Azur food scene. For Venice-born chef Paolo Sari, the most important aspect is using the best and healthiest produce that comes from within a 100-kilometre radius. Very exclusive and very sharp, Elsa’s Riviera design was entirely created by top designer India Mahdavi who gave it a neo-Art Deco edge. Recalling a cruise liner, Elsa is clad in white marble and woodwork with touches of sea blue reflecting its Monte Carlo location. LUXOS Recommends: Start with the red Sanremo shrimp, citrus-scented wild sea bass and finish with the Sicilian almond Elsa soufflé
Monte Carlos Beach Hotel, avenue Princesse Grace 06190 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin Tel. +33 (0)4 9328 6666, www.monte-carlo-beach.com
Le Cap at Le Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat
Michelin-starred chef Didier Anies oversees things in the kitchen of the exclusive Le Cap restaurant at the majestic Grand Hôtel. Located on a peninsula jutting out into the Mediterranean, Le Cap is a relaxing option away from the waggish crowds of the Côte d’Azur. The soothing white interiors of the restaurant are dressed with a cobalt blue backdrop of Mediterranean Sea that transpires through the large windows lining a beautiful terrace open during the warmer months. LUXOS Recommends: Start with the twice-cooked langoustine, followed by the dos de loup in verbena milk.
Le Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat 71 Boulevard du Général de Gaulle 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Tel. +33 (0)4 9376 5050, www.fourseasons.com
Rivea, © Pierre Monetta
Rivea at Hotel Byblos, Saint Tropez
Another favourite, another Alain Ducasse restaurant: the stylish Rivea at the Hotel Byblos. Opened in April 2013, it has become the place to go for demanding foodies before heading out for a night on the tiles. In the kitchen, Vincent Maillard cooks up a mean Mediterranean feast of fresh fish. Chic but laid-back, the restaurant has a buoyant atmosphere and retro décor of striped booths and splashes of bright contrasting colours by the Italian firm Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel. LUXOS Recommends: The classic dessert, Tarte Tropézienne.
Hotel Byblos Saint Tropez, 20 avenue Paul Signac 83990 Saint-Tropez Tel. +33 (0)4 9456 6800, www.byblos.com
The Suffren Café by Georges at Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez
The seasonal Mediterranean bistro-style menu at The Suffren was created by 3-Michelin-star chef Georges Blanc together with executive chef Philippe Guérin, and it reflects Blanc’s love of the sea and for Vonnas, where his main restaurant is located. The Suffren has beautiful sparkly and slick interiors created by designer Sybille de Margerie and the lovely bay window that runs the entire length of the restaurant looks out onto the patio. LUXOS Recommends: Fillets of red mullet, and, as dessert, the crumble and citrus cheesecake.
Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez, 1 Traverse de la Gendarmerie 83990 Saint-Tropez Tel. +33 (0)4 8309 6000, www.hoteldeparis-sainttropez.com
Mas de Pierre
La Table de Pierre at the Mas de Pierre
Located in the Relais & Châteaux hotel, just ten minutes from the irresistible Saint-Paul-de-Vence and surrounded by beautiful gardens this restaurant serves up delicious Provençal fare. Expect excellent gourmet cuisine by chefs Michel Rostang and Michel Lehrer in a cosy setting and laid-back atmosphere. The Sunday brunch is also excellent. LUXOS Recommends: The starter Nicçois sardines à la plancha, followed by the stewed lamb shoulder.
Mas de Pierre, 2320 Route des Serres 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence Tel. +33 (0)4 93 59 00 10, www.lemasdepierre.com
At the end of the 18th century, boat masts were used to build the iconic three windows (fenêtres) of Marseille’s buildings, which is where the restaurant gets its name. Headed by Lionel Levy, who earned the hotel a Michelin star for Alcyone, the upmarket brasserie offers excellent contemporary and creative French fare in cosy plush surroundings. Les Fenêtres was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel and the banquettes along with the room’s soft grey and golden hues will keep you indoors gazing out at the view of the Old Port. LUXOS Recommends: Tiger prawns with oaten paella and chorizo gravy.
Intercontinental-Hôtel Dieu Marseille 1 Place Daviel 13002 Marseille Tel. +33 (0)4 1342 4242
The Bay View
The Bay View at the Hôtel de Paris Saint Tropez
Although the Hôtel de Paris Saint Tropez has four restaurants, all worth a look in, the Bay View is the best place to start the day with breakfast on the roof looking out to the Mediterranean Sea. The views, along with the cheerful interiors by Sybille de Margerie, will not fail to lift even the heaviest of souls.
1 Traverse de la Gendarmerie, 83990 Saint-Tropez Tel. +33 (0)4 8309 6000, www.hoteldeparis-sainttropez.com
La Palme d'Or
La Palme d'Or at Hôtel Martinez Cannes
Open since 1929, the Martinez is one of the region’s best- known landmark hotels and its two-Michelin star restaurant La Palme d’Or is a very good reason to drop by. Following a long-running collaboration with Christian Willer who created the restaurant in 1985, Christian Sinicropi took over as head chef in 2007. Today, the restaurant is still one of the best places to dine in Cannes.
73 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes Tel. +33 (0)4 9390 1234, cannesmartinez.grand.hyatt.com