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Here are three rental apartments in Villefranche near
• La Guérite
• Chevre d'Or
CAGNES SUR MER
• Restaurant Lou Lou
• A La Table d’Edmund
• L'Auberge de la Penne
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1 Rue Obscur, Villefranche
Charm and Atmosphere – inside and Out
Those who have been to Villefranche before are likely to know the location of this restaurant – it used to be Au Clair Obscur. The fun-loving, music-loving old proprietor moved to the United States in June 2008 and left new owners Béatrice and Sandrine to fill rather big shoes.
We think they’ve done quite well. From the outside, there is little difference except for the new sign. Inside, the décor is still a rustic yellow and red but it looks and feels a little fresher and more contemporary. The layout remains the same, with Béatrice cooking away in the corner of the dining room.
The menu has moved away from the more traditional French dishes. We’d describe the cuisine as more international but with a leaning towards typically French ingredients. We tried the filo pastry filled with camembert cheese and St-Jacques scallops and king prawns with mango and green salad to start. For our main dishes we tucked into monkfish with curry and chorizo and foie gras ravioli. The presentation of the dishes was very contemporary so they scored highly in the style stakes.
The owners have gone to some effort to produce an attractive wine list with descriptions of what to expect from each bottle, which was a nice touch. However, the list was a little limited and none of the wines appealed to us so we had to settle for one of the three cheaper whites on offer between 15 and 25 euros. Beyond this price there was only one other white at 48 euros, which was more than we wanted to spend. There was also no dessert wine. On the plus side, there are a few decent wines by the glass and there were more red wines on offer.
All in all, we had a lovely time here and will certainly be going back. Throughout the meal we found the owners delightful – smiling, chatty and with a desire to please. I think they were more upset than we were that they couldn’t offer a dessert wine. Despite it being November, we secured the last available table and the room was buzzing with contented diners. L’Aparte has certainly got a firm following already.
Rue Obscur is a charming yet cavernous street, full of history, just up the steps from the harbour. As you enter the street through the archway you will see a Jean Cocteau original under your feet, encased in glass. This little passageway had its film debut when it was used as the spooky setting for a scene in Testament d’Orphée.
If you are staying in one of our rental apartments in Nice, then it's easy to take the 81 bus from the bus station to Villefranche. If you are staying in a Cannes or Antibes rental apartment, then catch the train - its just a few stops before Nice GARE.
– Gayle, Riviera Pebbles. If you would like to contact Gayle, you can email her at email@example.com.
Dinner without wine is almost unthinkable in southern France, but a good bottle (or more) of wine can significantly add to the total cost of your meal. Fortunately, a few wine bars in Nice offer bottles for no more than you would pay if you bought them off the shelf. La Part des Anges, with simple tables and stylish (albeit plastic) chairs at the back of the shop, was the first to do so and is packed every day at lunchtime and on Friday and Saturday nights, when dinner is also served. Its sister wine bar Vinivore, not far from place Garibaldi, is now equally popular. Further down the seafront, La Cave de l’Origine, run by the friendly Carlo and Isabelle, serves a handful of creative dishes with unusual wines from small producers at bargain prices.
You can find La Part des Anges at 17 Rue Gubernatis and Vinivore at 32 Avenue de la Republique. La Cave de l’Origine is at 3 Rue Dalpozzo.