La Pérouse in Nice has reopened after “magical” renovation

la pérouse

La Pérouse Hotel in Nice has reopened after a total renovation that blends the old and the new, and the result is spectacular. Here’s everything you need to know.

In May 2023, La Pérouse reopened its doors after a total makeover. Whilst this may imply a complete modernisation, that is only a part of the story of this lovely boutique address, which has been hosting the rich and famous, such as author James Joyce who started writing Finnegan’s Wake at the hotel in 1923, for over a century.  


The project was managed by Friedmann and Versace Studio, and was the first hotel the designers have tackled.  

“La Pérouse is a magical place,” say Virginie Friedmann and Delphine Versace, the duo behind the studio. “We couldn’t imagine a better opportunity for our first venture into hotel design. This place has every possible advantage: incredible views, an ideal location and plenty of surprises.” 

An oasis of calm cut into the rock of Castle Hill in Nice. Photo source: Hôtel La Pérouse

It’s just minutes from Nice’s Old Town and the flower market on Cours Saleya, the hotel features terraces cut into the side of Castle Hill, a rooftop solarium, a glorious citrus garden, a pool carved out of rock and the most incredible views around.  

But the most astounding thing is the peace and quiet. Despite being a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle below, La Pérouse is an oasis of calm.  


Nearly all of the 53 rooms in the hotel have sea views and outdoor lounging areas where guests can gaze down at the world going by whilst sipping a cool drink.  

The décor is elegant and tasteful with an Art Deco feel that isn’t old-fashioned in the least. The soft curves of the furniture are joined by a neutral palette yet punctuated by warm colour pops and some rather funky touches, such as a plastered fireplace that looks like something straight out of Dr Seuss.  

Terre mêlée ceramic tiles from Italy, moulded daub wall lights, coral lamps sourced in Palermo and exquisitely wrought banisters are just a few specific touches the team brought to the space.  

“For the La Pérouse project, [they] went into every detail, selecting objects and materials with equal precision,” says the hotel management. “Most were either bespoke or found on hunts through local galleries. Under [Friedmann and Versace’s] direction, at least 10 artisans and artists took part in creating a décor that is entirely unique.” 

The vibrant colours match the hotel’s incredible setting at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Photo source: Hôtel La Pérouse


The hillside restaurant, Le Patio, has been an open secret amongst Niçois for decades and is an ideal spot for a romantic meal. The terrace is dotted with lemon tress, which offer shade and a bit of privacy, but it’s the food that keeps people coming back.  

Chef Damien Andrews, who has been a member of the Association of Escoffier Disciples since 2022, “cooks from the heart”.  His skills were honed under his mentor, Chef Patrick Raingeard, who received Michelin stars at Monaco’s Port Palace and at Cap Estel. 

The cuisine is simple and employs plentiful local ingredients, allowing the food’s flavours to speak for themselves without heaviness.  

“My aim is to show off these products via a sharing menu that uses well-honed techniques to bring out the most refined expression of their essential flavours,” he says.  

His signature dishes include: a 1.5kg tomahawk steak accompanied by a homemade Béarnaise sauce; slow-cooked monkfish with violet artichokes and Niçoise olives; sea bream with raspberries and ginger; and, for dessert, an espuma au yahourt with red fruits.  

Click on the images below to see more…


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Featured photo source: Hôtel La Pérouse

Verge Motorcyles: The “technological leader” in an increasingly green industry

Whilst the car industry has been on the long road towards sustainability for many years, the motorcycle industry has lagged behind. With the help of Mika Häkkinen and Valtteri Bottas, Verge Motorcycles are now changing that.

Many car manufacturers have integrated greener models into their portfolios over the past years. This trend hasn’t been mirrored to the same extent in the motorcycle industry with major players in the market such as Harley Davidson and KTM slow to adjust to a changing world.

A Verge TS Pro on the streets of Monte-Carlo. Photo source: Verge Motorcycles

The same can’t be said for Verge Motorcycles. The Finnish business is growing, and now has its first shop in Monaco. Their fully electric motorcycle, constructed in Estonia, is growing in popularity to the extent that they plan to open another factory in the USA, and further shops across Europe. “Let’s do what Apple did to Nokia,” Verge CEO Tuomo Lehtimäki tells Monaco Life. The Finnish businessman is well on the way to shaking up the industry.

Some famous Finnish faces

Whilst Verge has not yet penetrated the mainstream, demand is on the rise. According to Lehtimäki, customers are “screaming” to buy their most popular bike, the TS Pro, valued at €36,900. Keeping up with that demand is key, and their plans to expand into the US are indicative of a business that is growing exponentially, just as the demand for electric bikes increases.

The personnel at Verge are a notable contributor to the business’ success. Mark Wilson, after impressive stints at McLaren and Aston Martin, is just one element of a world-class team of experts assembled by the Finnish company.

Verge is also benefitting from the profiles of some of its advocates and collaborators. Former Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen, a Monaco resident, has been on board since the start. “He is investing, advising, giving his knowledge of motorsport. It is good for our visibility,” says Lehtimäki.

Mika Häkkinen on board his signature edition. Photo source: Verge Motorcycles

Häkkinen’s residency in the Principality, coupled with Verge’s desire “to be associated with Monaco”, made the partnership a perfect marriage.

A carbon fibre “Mika” model, termed by Lehtimäki as a “collectable item”  is now on sale and can be seen at Verge’s showroom in Monte-Carlo.

Valtteri Bottas on board the “Foundation” bike. Photo source: Verge Motorcycles

Valtteri Bottas, currently driving at Formula One team Alfa Romeo, is also increasing the visibility of the brand. The Finnish driver and former teammate of Lewis Hamilton arrived into the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix riding a Verge model. Through the support of two iconic Finnish drivers, Verge is becoming a national brand with international appeal.

“We are the technological leader”

A lot has changed since Verge came onto the market in 2018. Upon the release of their prototype, the charging infrastructure simply didn’t exist. However, in the words of Lehtimäki, Verge is a “technological leader” in the scene and is driving change.

Lehtimäki foresees the compulsion for evolution within the motorcycle industry, and within this context, is collaborative with the major players within the market. However, the Finnish entrepreneur wants to be a force for change within the field. “We want to be different,” he tells Monaco Life. 

Verge CEO Tuomo Lehtimäki. Photo source: Verge Motorcycles

In a rapidly evolving industry, a rapidly evolving world, rivals may also have to be “different”. It is by being “different” that Verge has burst onto the market… and the market likes it.


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Photo source: Verge Motorcycles

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Monaco this September

An exceptional concert by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lahav Shani will be held at the Grimaldi Forum in September followed by a gala dinner.

The event will be held under the High Patronage and in the Presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, originally the Palestine Orchestra, was founded on 26th December 1936 by Polish-born Jewish violinist and musician Bronislaw Huberman, who foresaw the Holocaust. Huberman persuaded 75 Jewish musicians from major European orchestras to immigrate to Palestine, creating what he called the “materialisation of the Zionist culture in the fatherland” on the sand dunes of Tel Aviv.

Over the decades, the orchestra has toured the world, performing with the likes of Placido Domingo, Barbara Fritolli, and Pinchas Zukerman, and featuring in Paris, London, Madrid and Bucharest for its 75th anniversary tour.

On 13th September, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lahav Shani will take to the stage in the Grimaldi Forum Monaco at 7pm for a performance of Joseph Haydn: Symphony No 104 ‘London Symphony’, and Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1.

The concert will be followed by a gala dinner in the salon Le Génois.

For tickets, click here.


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Photo credit: Marco Borggreve



High-end watch lifted from the wrist of its owner dining in Cannes

watch cannes

A spate of watch thefts in the region has taken another victim after a high-end timepiece was stolen from the wrist of its owner whilst he was at dinner in Cannes.

A supposed gang of skillful thieves has continued a spree of thefts in the French Riviera city by pinching an expensive watch off the arm of another unsuspecting victim.  

The latest incident reportedly took place on Monday 7th August at around 8.30pm at a restaurant on the Croisette. According to the local press, a man seated at a table watched on helplessly as two people stole his watch and promptly fled the scene on a motorbike.   

This follows on from another theft that took place, according to Nice Matin, on Saturday 5th August at Les Plages Electro, an annual three-day dance party on the beach. At the end of July, a German tourist also reportedly had his €80,000 watch taken as he was leaving his room at the Carlton Hotel.   


Despite these shocking incidents, Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard and Central Commissioner Wilfred Fremond announced at a press conference that watch thefts were, in fact, down so far in 2023. Compared to last year’s figures, 22 watches have been stolen in the past seven months compared to 35 over the same time period in 2022. 

However, when compared to the Principality of Monaco, which attracts a similarly wealthy clientele and where not a single incidence of pickpocketing was recorded in 2022, the city of Cannes still has some way to go when it comes to protecting its visitors and residents.

Read more:

2022 Monaco crime stats: overall crime down, drink-driving and break-ins up


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Everything you need to know about Nice’s Nannybag service

nannybag nice

Nannybag, an international luggage storage company, offers tourists in and around Nice an inexpensive and safe way to stow their personal effects at handy locations. 

It’s the last day of the holidays and the AirBnB checkout is at 10am, but the flight isn’t until 7pm. What to do with the day when there is a mountain of luggage to tote around and no safe place to leave it? 

This is a problem that Nannybag can solve. Now available in 32 countries around the globe, including Nice, this innovative business has been set up to harbour people’s luggage for a small fee on a 24-hour basis in locations convenient for tourists, such as near airports, train stations and local attractions, like museums and shopping areas.  

There is no size limit, meaning a backpack costs the same as a massive rolling bag, making it a real bonus for the holidaymaker who prefers not to travel lightly.  


In Nice, there are 36 “nannies” all over the city, including a number of shops, hotels, post offices and even restaurants. For €6 per day per bag, tourists can leave whatever they want at the pre-ordained location and roam the city without lugging their luggage.  

There are also locations in Cannes, though fewer, and even one in Beausoleil near Monaco. 


To use this handy service, people must go online and reserve space at a location of their choosing for specific dates.  

They then simply go to the address of the booking and drop their bags, which will be marked by an assistant with a biodegradable safety seal. Full protection up to €1,000 is included in the deal in the case of damage, loss or theft. Identification must be presented upon both arrival and departure, along with a reservation number for added security.  

Now, people are free to tour the city and enjoy it without worrying about their possessions. Pretty useful, don’t you think? 



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Women’s World Cup: England and France through to quarter-finals

England, France and Australia have all progressed to the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals – with varying degrees of difficulty – but the USA has made a shock exit from the tournament.

Never have the USA been knocked out of the Women’s World Cup at such an early stage of the tournament. Despite largely dominating, the USA couldn’t beat Zecira Musovic in the Sweden goal. It is largely thanks to the shot-stopping efforts of the Chelsea goalkeeper that Sweden took their opponents to penalties. Momentum swung away from the USA when Megan Rapinoe, in her final World Cup, blazed over when she could have made it 4-2.

Sweden then seized control and after Kelley O’Hara’s miss, Lina Hurtig scored the decisive penalty, although a lengthy check was needed to confirm the ball had in fact crossed the line. Sweden therefore advance by the slimmest of margins (0-0, 5-4 on penalties) and will face Japan, who beat Norway 3-1, on Friday.

England scrape through

USA’s exit made England one of the de facto favourites, but Sarin Wiegman’s side made heavy weather of getting past Nigeria. Neither side could break the deadlock, despite Nigeria being handed the advantage due to a needless Lauren James red card. England, down to 10, were therefore forced into a penalty shootout.

Georgia Stanway was the only player to miss as England won 4-2 on penalties to secure their progression. The reigning European champions will now face Colombia, who narrowly beat Jamaica (1-0) on Tuesday.

France ease past Morocco

France didn’t have such difficulty booking their place in the quarter-finals of the competition. Hervé Renard’s side began the tournament slowly, but are growing in confidence. Kadidiatou Diani’s goal in the 15th minute was the first of three in just eight minutes. Kenza Dali added to the lead and the third was scored by Eugénie Le Sommer.

Just 23 minutes in, France were cruising and only had to manage the game to secure their place. Le Sommer added a fourth in added time.

Sam Kerr returns

Les Bleues will face Australia in the quarter-finals. Whilst the hosts of the competition weren’t as emphatic against Denmark, the Matildas were nonetheless unphased as they booked their place in the next round thanks to a 2-0 win. Sam Kerr’s timely return could spell danger for France in the quarter-finals.

Spain, who thumped Switzerland 5-1, and the Netherlands, who eased past South Africa (2-0), will face each other in the first quarter-final fixture on Friday.


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Photo credit: Ignite Image 2023