Name: Mira Mclean
Passionate about: Friend in France & apéritif time with friends
Founded Friend in France: 2009
Why I'm proud of Friend in France:
Friend in France is my baby. Being a self-taught entrepreneur in a foreign country has been challenging, but also very rewarding.
Over the years I've come to realise that the way visitors are welcomed and who they meet while traveling can make or break their holiday. I'm very proud to work with a team of professionals who understand this and take great pleasure in making our customer's holiday amazing.
What is the most important advice you give to friends and family when they visit you on the French Riviera?
Go local! Forget supermarkets and English & Irish pubs, shop, etc... Walk the back streets, find little places where nobody speaks English and try your French out (even if it's really bad). If you go back to the places you like a couple of times, you'll soon be treated like a regular.
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
There are lots but I particularly like wandering local produce markets in Nice and Cannes. The colours of seasonal fruit, veg and flowers and the thick southern French accents of the stall holders always make me smile.
How would your family and friends describe you?
Friendly, hardworking and independant.
What is your favorite restaurant?
I have many many favourite restaurants, but if I was going to pick only one, I would say Osteria degli Artisti in Bussana Vecchia (my favourite village in Italy just an hour from Nice). This is a tiny family run restaurant with fresh Italian food and wine in stunning surrounds. They never rush you and for 25€-30€ p.p. you get more food and wine than you can cope with.
What is your favorite time of year on the Riviera?
I love autumn (September - October) on the Riviera because the weather is still great and the vibe is relaxed as locals wind down from a busy and tiring summer season.
What do you think is the “must” visit attraction on the Riviera?
There are plenty of obvious must-see places, like Monaco, Eze, St Paul de Vence, Cannes and Antibes, but I love the Riviera's off the beaten track gems...Places in the hills, such as Gourdon and Tourrettes sur Loup. There are also easily accessible escapes along the Sentier du littoral coastal path or the Chemin de Fer de Provence railway.
Which is your favorite tour?
I love the vineyard and wine tasting day trips. Partly because I love wine...but also because they offer the opportunity to meet locals and learn about traditional farming techniques.
Your favorite spot where you go to relax on days off?
One of the Riviera's best kept secrets is the Lérins Islands just a 15 minute boat ride from Cannes. Even in peak summer season it's possible to find a little spot away from the crowds for a picnic in the shade of centenary plane trees and a swim in the Med.