For a start, you must not be a slave to your guidebook. Nice is a wonderful city, and by just strolling around it's Old Town and the sea front, you will experience the very essence of the life and culture. In the Old Town itself, one narrow, cobbled street will lead onto another, and finding your own way around is a journey in itself. An abundance of fabulous restaurants and boutique shops, galleries and cafes. Discovering the local secrets yourself is half the fun. It was quite by chance that we both happened across the Art Market for example, where we bought a beautiful original that hangs in our house in England. It was also quite by accident that we passed The Hotel Negresco, and decided to go in for a drink. What an amazing place, the memories made more special by the unplanned nature of our visit.
I'd like to claim that the many drinks we've enjoyed on the beach front were also accidental, but of course that would be a lie. One of my favourite evening activities in Nice - watching the sun go down with a glass of chilled wine in my hand and the sea gently washing in and out.
But if you do want to tick off some important sites, over and above the ones I've mentioned already, don't miss our favourite five:
How would you describe Brighton, it’s culture and the people?
Brighton is a vibrant and culturally rich city, which is home to a diverse and multi-national population. It also attracts visitors from all over the world who come to experience this beautiful seaside destination, with its endless attractions. Brighton is packed full of theatres, bars, restaurants, shops, art galleries and amusements and boasts an enviable range of authentic, international cuisine.
What are some of the places in Brighton that you think first-time visitors should check out?
The beach front is a definite for visitors. Not only are the sea views stunningly beautiful, the promenade is lined with art galleries, boutique shops, cafés, bars and fish and chip shops. A walk along Brighton's famous pier will take you past amusements, candy floss, restaurants and fair ground rides for the children or thrill seeking adults. There's also the Sea Life Centre; an underground giant aquarium with over 150 marine creatures from all over the world.
How long have you been renting your property(s) and why did you choose to start?
We've been renting our holiday apartments for about two years now. Our family love Brighton and never tire of the views and attractions. There's always something to do! So initially the first apartment was for us to enjoy affordable holidays by the sea. Then we thought it would make sense to rent the apartment out when we're not there. Holiday makers loved our apartment so much we were persuaded to take on a second one.
What do you love about your property's neighbourhood?
Both our apartments are right in the heart of the city, but in residential buildings so you get the best of both worlds - great views with everything on your doorstep, but with a lovely quiet haven to come back to when you retire from the busy city. Being so high up, you're more likely to hear the seagulls than the noise from the streets and bars.
What is your favourite local restaurant and why?
Our favourite restaurants are the small, authentic Asian eateries. There's one on Preston street called Kanok Thai where friendly staff serve delicious Thai food. There's plenty of non-spicy food if you prefer. The funky New Club is also one of our favourites and is fantastic for coffee, cocktails and gourmet burgers.
Do you have any plans to improve your rental home, or add features to it, in the future?
We're always making improvements to our apartments to keep them looking fresh and up-to date. We currently have plans to build the decking area on the balcony in the Astra apartment. I's huge and has beautiful views. It deserves to be given special attention so our visitors can enjoy it even more.
We frequently find new artefacts and ornaments on display in the apartments. It's quite bizarre but also rather lovely, almost like a gift from our visitors.
When going on vacation, why would you choose to rent a house / apartment as opposed to staying in a hotel?
Apartments are a lot more homely than a hotel room. It means everyone can sleep comfortably and safely behind the same locked door. Most of the time it's no more expensive but you have so much more room. Our apartments each have a kitchen, a sitting room, a bathroom, and a balcony. You can cook what you like and when.it.