April 12, 2009

Going to Cannes? A Bit of History, Wine & Duck Foie Gras

This is a mini preview of what to expect in Cannes pre, during and post the Cannes Film Festival in May.

So, unless you are getting a subscription to 200-some channels that would include some of the European TV programming, the extent to press coverage of the festival will be minimal and limited to perhaps some of E! Entertainment (red carpet cloths, shoes and jewelry only) and some NBC’s America Today, but that would happen only if Matt Lauer would feel like there is worth in mention it at all. We’ll wait and see.

(Starlet with photographers, at the Cannes Film Festival (probably taken in 1979). Photo by Ericd, Wikipedia)

For not, all my resources for information about the Cannes Film Festival would most likely come from online blogs and gossip sites, not to mention the festival’s official site. Not that I mind the web 2.0 information, but without those hard copies of press coverage and TV broadcasting, online reporting just does not have the same appeal, or – the same “aura” of the Cannes’ festivities. And that’s sad.

However, it does not mean I will not satisfy the hunger of my very curious readers. I’m going to provide a bit of insight on the place, that so alluringly called – Cannes. And it is not only about the awards and paparazzi.

The city Cannes was born as resort in 1830s. And even though summer temperature in Cannes reaches high 40°C (around 110 F), summer time is still the busiest time of the year with tourists. Only in the evening, the city gets a bit of heat break thanks to the Mediterranean breeze.

Cannes was originally a fishing village – a port village between the Lerins Islands. In the 10th century the town was known as Canua. The name may derive from "canna", a reed. An attack by the Saracens in 891, who remained until the end of the 10th century, devastated the country around Canua. The insecurity of the Lérin islands forced the monks to settle on the mainland, at Le Suquet - where you can still find them.

In 1035, with the construction of a castle, the city became known as Cannes. Around 1530, Cannes parted with the monks who had controlled the city for hundreds of years and became independent. During the 18th century, the Spanish and English both tried to gain control of the Lérins Islands, but were chased away by the French.

Cannes began its development into a seaside community site in 1838, and the population grew due to the availability of many opportunities in sea trade, fishing, agriculture and small enterprises. But it was still a village and didn’t get its status of a “luxury” resort town until Lord Henry Brougham and Vaux built a villa and showed the rest of the Europe that Cannes has some good land (don’t we all know it by now.) The English aristocracy followed the opportunity and winter residences spread out all around the town. Now, many millionaires around the world own a piece of land in Cannes, or at least maintain a timeshare.

For timeshare in Cannes, visit here. For Cannes Properties Rentals, go here. This is how Cannes became Cannes and the rest is history and a lot of investment in the land, trading and most of all – tourism.

Le Cuisine de Cannes, what vegetarians are missing on

I feel it would be nothing but disappointing, though, if I didn't mention the food you absolutely must try in Cannes.

Venaison ragout (rabbit), duck foie gras and bouillabaisse is what has to be on your Cannes’ menu, but the prices bite, especially if one is a first-timer to Cannes and does not know where a hidden treasure of a moderate priced restaurant is around there.

One of the places to see and be seen at, although it’s a local spot – as if anything can be too hidden in Cannes – is Auberge Provencale, a very old restaurant, and a favorite of Picasso. Bouillabaisse is a dish to try at this restaurant. And be fabulous!

Also, stop by La Brouette de Grand-Mère, which is a traditional French restaurant. Meaning, you might experience the smoking cloud over you and insufficient interpretation of a menu. But their menu of savory meat and potato stews, roasted quail with cream sauce, a beer-cooked chicken casserole, terrines, sausage links, baked potatoes and more will make you forget you don’t really like French waiters. (9 bis rue d'Oran Cannes, France; +33 4 93 39 12 10)

And if this is not enough, make time to go to Le Relais des Semailles in Cannes' 'Old Town'. There you might first explore the wine menu, but save space for their wild green salad with truffles, grilled sea bass, and a variety of dishes with the very French ingredients: rabbit, seafood, fresh herbs, vegetables. (9 rue St-Antoine Cannes, France; +33 4 93 39 22 32)

No comments: