Finally, the 68th Cannes film festival starts tomorrow. Since 1964 the Palme d’Or has been awarded by an annually changing jury in the Palais de Festival et des Congrès. The awards are one of the most sought-after prizes in the international film industry and the event attracts not only film stars, but also many tourists to the town.
Sauntering is the watchword of the day: Seeing and being seen is the ultimate precept for the red carpet, whilst the cinemas screen films from competitors from around the globe. Behind the scenes, everything revolves around film rights, million-figure turnovers and new film industry projects. During this period, Cannes becomes an impressive hot spot. The hotels are booked out, Hollywood greats bustle around the legendary Croisette and countless other areas of the town. But even away from the international glamour, beautiful Cannes can be enjoyed to the full.
In the Old Harbour brightly coloured fishing boats nestle amongst luxury yachts, and the 19th century Marché Forville is metres away from contemporary fine dining restaurants on rue Louis Blanc. For lunch, stop off at La Colombe d'Or: Matisse, Miró and Picasso all used to frequent the hotel and restaurant, and it still displays a collection of their works. Stroll down to La Palme d'Or for dinner on the fashionable coastal boulevard, La Croisette. The two Michelin-starred restaurant has an Art Deco interior with views across the glittering Mediterranean Sea, and serves delicious delicacies including salade de pigeonneau.
Many of Cannes' most high-end boutiques are clustered around La Croisette, including those of Parisian fashion houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. The boulevard is also lined with luxury jewellers such as Chopard and Cartier, making this an ideal destination for serious shoppers. As well as its numerous clothing stores, this area of Cannes also has several well-known patisseries. Jean-Luc Pelé's sweet and salted macaroons are particularly popular, as are Jérôme De Oliveira's beautifully presented petit fours.