Nik and I wanted to visit Nice in December to see how the weather and crowds compared to our previous visits that had been in the spring and early fall. We would also get to experience one last Christmas market before the trip came to an end.
Nice in December
Our friends Paola and Carlos came in from Barcelona for two days and met us, which was great. Coming from Brussels, our flight arrived around 3pm local time so Nik and I headed to the hotel to freshen up.
As expected, Nice in December was nice and comfortable. The crowds were less and for being mid-month, we got lucky with the weather. Once the sun went down on our first night, it got cool. The next day was warm, some clouds and quite breezy along the sea. Our last full day was the best, sunny and warmer than the day before.
Eating and Drinking
Paola and Carlos met us our hotel, Le Negresco, which I wrote about in depth here. We had drinks at the Le Versailles Bar before heading to dinner at Olive & Artichaut.
Olive & Artichaut
Dinner for our first night in Nice was a return visit for Nik and I to Olive & Artichaut, and the first time for our friends.
The menu was different from when Nik and I were there in April and we expected that since it changes seasonally. Nik and I shared a squash soup with chestnuts and croutons. For entrees, I had a piece of lamb shoulder and Nik had a chicken dish. Both were very good.
Desserts were shared amongst the four of us. The absolutely delicious brioche French toast with ice cream and caramel and the crispy mille-feuille with hazelnut custard and gelato. The latter was good, but that brioche French toast is where it’s at.
Everything was as good as the first time Nik and I ate there, but I liked the menu options better our first time.
Our friend Paolo found Mallard Restaurant for lunch and it was really good. It was located outside of Old Town so it made for a nice walk to see a different part of Nice.
We started with a Scotch Egg and the duck pâté in a crust with pistachio. The scotch egg was heavenly and wish I could eat it again right now.
For entrees, I had the pike quenelle. (Quenelle is a mixture of creamed fish or meat, sometimes combined with breadcrumbs, with a light egg binding, formed into an egg-like shape, and then cooked.) It was good, but I should’ve ordered the chicken dish that Paoloa had which came with a delicious cheesy macaroni. Nik had their homemade sausage, which got rave reviews.
After our friends left to return to Barcelona, Nik and I went to Peppino for dinner.
We first had lunch at Peppino in April 2022 and it was delicious. Their menu is small but the meat lasagna is what they’re known for. Nik ordered that and I tried something different, a braised and shredded beef on top of potatoes, and had regrets. It was fine, but I only ate a little of it so we ended up ordering another lasagna. It really is that good.
Walking Around Nice
Nik and I had two full days to explore Nice. Our first full day was a little breezy but that didn’t stop us from walking around Port Lympia and along the coast with our friends.
The sky was mostly clear and we got to enjoy two beautiful sunsets from restaurants along the Promenade. Both Movida and Waka Bar are two places that I highly recommend for people watching and great views of sunsets as they both have tables overlooking the Promenade and waterfront. They both also have good cocktails and decent food to snack on.
Nice Christmas Market
I plan to write a more in depth post on Nice’s Christmas Market, but it was unlike any other Nik or I have been to before. Why? Because of the palm trees! Just look at this beautiful day we had.
Located in the park Jardin Albert 1er & Place Massena, we walked through the market during both the day and night. I much preferred the daytime with less crowds and the great weather we had made for lovely pictures.
Nice in December really was pretty perfect.
Can’t wait to return again, hopefully sooner than later.