The African Queen of Beaulieu reopens with a new look for a new era

african queen beaulieu

The African Queen Restaurant in Beaulieu sur Mer has reopened under new ownership with a revamped look but all the charm that has made it a hot spot for over half a century.  

The African Queen has been a staple of the port in Beaulieu since 1969. 

Its reputation has attracted celebrities and millionaires, with it not uncommon to see famous faces such as Sylvester Stallone, Linda Evangelista, Elton John, Tina Turner, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss or Bono lounging in the sun and sipping rosé on a summer afternoon over the years.  

Now, it has been revived by three Monegasque friends – Riccardo Giraudi, Philippe Schriqui and Patrick Gioannin – who grew up coming to this near-mythic place and who are intent on preserving the “soul” of the past, whilst setting the stage for the future.  


The restaurant was founded by Lila and Pierre Brizio, who were great fans of the 1951 John Huston film of the same name and starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. It was then taken over by one of the restaurant’s former waiters, Gilbert Vissian, who, along with his wife and daughter, turned it into the legend that it became.  

“Having grown up on the Côte d’Azur, the African Queen has always been one of my favourite destinations,” says new co-owner Philippe Schriqui. “For more than 40 years, I have been devouring the Niçoise salad and the truffle pizza, which are for me essential dishes emblematic of the restaurant. The African Queen has always been a reference, so it is an honour for me to bring this establishment back to life for a second time.” 


The 2023 version of African Queen keeps the spirit of what made it so popular alive, like its 1970s devil-may-care vibe, but the restaurant is modernised with a design by local architectural firm Humbert & Poyet, who have added ethnic textiles, rattan chairs, emerald green tiles and leather touches.  

Another new addition is a bar that is being constructed on the roof and will be ready for 2024. It boasts views over the Mediterranean that can’t be beat.  

“African Queen evokes a feeling of escape; in the 1970s, it was the crazy place where we went out and where everything was allowed,” said Christophe Poyet, co-designer on the project. “The superb panorama is unforgettable. The cliffs of Beaulieu and the luxuriant vegetation give an impression of being at the edge of a tropical world.” 


Longtime patrons of the establishment can still enjoy the signature dishes of the old version, such as the Salade Africaine loaded with hearts of palm and pecans, as well as fresh grilled fish, but some new taste temptations are being added.  

A tarte tatin with candied tomatoes and parmesan shortbread, warm prawns with olive oil and Menton lemon, and a tender Wagyu rib steak as well as black cod with miso and pastis are some of the sumptuous new dishes that are on the menu.  

Desserts include a scrumptious baba aux rhum, a vanilla praline-infused Tropézienne cake and banoffee-style crepes for those with a sweet tooth.  

The African Queen is open seven nights a week for dinner, and will soon also be open for lunch. For more information, please click here


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Photo credit: Cedou