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Where to go in Monaco – the first of 3 blogs about what to do, where to go and where to eat in Monaco

“A sunny place for shady people” so said Somerset Maugham half a lifetime ago.  Does this still hold true?  Well, there is an eclectic mix – just like anywhere else in the world!

That said, I absolutely adore Monaco and love popping into the small state whenever I am staying in my South of France home.  I have friends who are lucky enough to live here and they all sing its praises from the rooftops.  There is another side, far removed from the brash stereotype of gambling, flash casinos, rich people showing off and generally having a good time!  You will be spoiled for choice with all the cultural activities from ballet to art exhibitions.

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Monte Carlo Casino 

This is such a safe place, you can wander around alone without worrying about your safety, there is a policeman around every corner.  It IS an elite and wealthy place, full of attractive, well dressed and well behaved people.  I find it to be like a box of delicious chocolates, I open the box and go WOW, savour a delicious morsel or two and have a wonderful time.   Yes, it is an unreal enclave – but take it for what it is and ENJOY!

You will definitely have a jolly good time if you follow my tips outlined below!   I’m going to give you a list of the good and bad restaurants to frequent, then I will give you a wonderful walk so you can explore of foot.  Monaco is the size of Hyde Park in London and so the best way to explore is on foot.   Also, a list of my favourite things to do – many of which are FREE.

Morning Walk around town

Let’s start with my walk.  Don’t forget that you are perfectly safe in Monaco, you can walk around clad in diamonds and no-one is going to mug you.  You really don’t need a tour guide, it is impossible to get lost and you will have a lot more fun exploring on your own.

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Tip: If you are feeling lazy, take the Bateau Bus (you can see it in the photo) from one side of the port to the other.

The walk starts at the port, for the benefit of those of you getting off a boat of some description.  I love the new Wine Palace below Monaco Yacht Club, if you feel like a reviving glass of wine or stocking up on a few cases.  They have an enormous cellar and will undoubtedly be able to provide whatever you want with some delicious cheese too – make sure you try the Truffle cheese, I’m still dreaming about it! http://www.winepalacemontecarlo.com

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Let’s do the touristy bit, can’t sit around sampling wine all day,  and head on up to the Old Town.  Stop of at the Oceanographic Museum.  I love the top floor with the display of old photographs. http://www.oceano.mc

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Oceanographic Museum – Sometimes they have Orchestral Concerts here during the Spring Arts Festival, a very special place.

Go and visit the Palace.  I love to visit in July when it is such a treat to attend a Monaco Philharmonic  Orchestra Concert in the courtyard of the Palace.  The outdoor cinema is also a favourite in the summertime.

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Princes’s Palace http://www.palais.mc

Take a tour around inside, a fascinating glimpse into another world.  The views from here are just amazing.  It is probably lunch time by now, so choose one of the little restaurants or head down to one of my favourite places for a lunchtime treat, The Hotel Hermitage.  There is a very nice 2 course menu which I recommend. http://www.hotelhermitagemontecarlo.com

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The Terrace Hotel Hermitage with a view of the Old Town, Palace and Port

Afternoon Walk:

After lunch take a little stroll around the Casino Gardens.  I’m a keen gardener and so love to see the variety of trees and plants from around the world.

PicMonkey CollageCasino Gardens – magical

If you want to do a little shopping, you’re in the right place everything from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Valentino to unusual little individual shops abound.  The Metropole Shopping Centre is to the left of of the gardens. http://www.chanel.com

http://metropoleshoppingcenter.com  Stroll along avenue des moulins for little boutiques.

 

Continue our walk down to Avenue Princess Grace and stroll along the seafront.  My dogs particularly like taking a walk here and stopping off for a little aperitif along the way.  Actually, if it is summertime and you want a less formal lunch than the Hotel Hermitage then one of the seafront restaurants is a good choice. http://www.lanotebleue.mc

Hopefully, you are not too tired after all this exercise and are ready to enjoy an evening out in Monte Carlo.  My recommendations for this will follow in Part 2.  Enjoy!

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Cafe de Paris and the Casino

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Thirty Nine Monte Carlo is the first Private Members Lifestyle Club in Monaco.  It is a new, exclusive lifestyle club in the most glamorous Principality in the world…. and I received an invitation to spend the day exploring all that the club has to offer!

I know some of you want to get to the important bit straight away, so here goes:  Yes, join today.  It is worth every penny of the 4,900 euro annual membership and most definitely has the Luxury Diva stamp of approval.  In my opinion it is the best lifestyle and fitness club in Monaco and the South of France.  Infact, no other club comes close and  Thirty Nine has set a new standard in excellence.

Thirty Nine has is one of the worlds most exclusive gym facilities.  You will find an International team of experienced professionals waiting to prepare a tailor-made training program.  But wait .. there is more! The best Pilates machines you will find anywhere in the world, aerial yoga the list goes on and on.  I particularly enjoyed the members Dining Room which boasts a delightful  Chef and delicious, healthy food.  In the afternoon, the best facial I have ever enjoyed and an excellent hairdressing team handpicked from Holland.

My Day at THIRTY NINE Monte Carlo:

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Reception at Thirty Nine Monte Carlo

The Club is situated right opposite the beach on Avenue Princess Grace, just a perfect location and underground parking is right across the street.  The reception, pictured above, is chic and understated.  I received a lovely warm welcome from the staff.

Morning:

The Club opened in October 2016 so everything is brand new.  Comprising of 1800 sqm over 3 floors and designed by exquisitely by Morpheus, London.  It is the brainchild of Ex Professional Rugby player Ross Beattie.  Thirty Nine focuses on the following elements to create a whole new you.  Wellness,Fitness, Mental Strength, Leraning, Nutrition, Work and Play.  Yes, I need some of that please!

My day started in the Ladies changing area, which is a calm and relaxing oasis.

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Ladies Changing area

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Whisked upstairs to get ready for my first session of the day.  A delicious coffee was brought for me to enjoy while I changed in this perfect changing area.  So much thought has gone into every little detail and the quality is second to none.

Pilates:

A Pilates Postural Assessment with Nevena:A postural assessment is essential before embarking on a Pilates program.  This is a contemporary method of Pilates designed for the 21st Century lifestyle and posture.  Nevena, explained that posture realignment is essential and even Pro athletes use Pilates for posture. The club also use Pilates for rehab after illness or part of a treatment program.

Well, it was a revelation, and Pilates will definitely be part of my exercise program from now on!  Nevena concluded that realignment will help will some joint strain following a broken leg injury.

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Nevena demonstrating some posture realignment exercises 

The staff at Thirty Nine are all, without exception, friendly, kind and knowledgeable.  For me, the staff are just as important as the facilities in a club, we all want to feel special and welcome don’t you think?

The Sports Floor and a Fitness Assessment

The Sports Floor, frequented by World Class Athletes as well as Club members.  Every new Club member receives a fitness assessment and a program tailor made to their individual fitness  goals.  Mathias was in charge of my assessment and if I join the club I can work with a personal trainer to help me achieve my fitness target.  Prices start at 80 euros, which is very reasonable.

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Fitness assessment with Matthias

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Pro Club Machine

I really wanted to take this boxing machine home with me.  How to make exercise fun!

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This is just one shot of the gym, which doesn’t really show the mind boggling array of state of the art equipment available to members.  The handpicked trainers will help you achieve your potential fitness levels with the best equipment you will find anywhere.

Matthias used an In Body Machine for an In body test, this works outs your Body Composition and Body Fat, this will help monitor your progress as fitness levels improve.  Good to know !

Aerial Yoga

Yoga bunnies out there, you must try Aerial Yoga, it is the best fun ever!  Noora taught me the basics and I can’t wait to have another go, you will feel like a trapeze artist and have a great yoga session at the same time!

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Members can choose from a large selection of exercise classes available.

LUNCH:

img_4719-2Dining Room at Thirty Nine Monte Carlo

The Dining Room is super chic, as one would expect, with a first class chef, Tiziano Rossetti, who was a delight and created a delicious lunch.  You will be instantly captivated by him and his food. I loved the outdoor garden dining area, perfect for hanging out with friends on sunny days in Monaco.

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I enjoyed a delicious healthy soup to start:

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Followed by a delicious Cod dish, Cod, Green beans, Potato, Olives and a Parsley sauce.

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You will love the modern menu with clean, healthy dishes. Cold pressed juices and shakes, including Vegan options, which is good to see on a menu 7 euros and Smoothies 5 and 7 euros.

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Dining Room Menu

The breakfast menu is just as healthy and delicious.  I would eat here all the time if I join the Club!

Members Lounge:

Club members can recharge their batteries in this relaxing space.

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AFTERNOON:

I needed a little lie down by this time, so it was just as well my first appointment was with Emilie at the beauty Spa.

BEAUTY SPA:

img_4744-2Emilie and Biologique Recherche products

Just look a Emilie’s radiant skin in this photo! She conducted a skin analysis on my face with state of the art machines and created a special treatment tailor made for me using Biologique Recherché products.

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Enjoying a Treatment at the Beauty Spa

Emilie was  knowledgeable and explained the treatment program so well. Once she had finished the treatment the difference in my skin was, without exaggeration, astonishing!  Infact, every friend I have met since that facial has commented on my luminous, healthy skin. Emilie, I will be back!

Enjoy Biologique Recherche facials and body treatments. ILA treatments, massages and a full list of beauty treatments.

Enjoy the Beauty Spa treatments and the Hairdresser without being a member of the Club.

VELVET MONKEY HAIRDRESSING SALON:

Last but by no means least was a visit to the Velvet Monkey Hairdressing Salon in the Club.  As you would expect, the team at Thirty Nine have spared no effort to find the very best!  Iconic Dutch hairdressing team Velvet Monkey have now come to Thirty Nine Monte Carlo!

Enjoy customised hair experiences from an award winning team of Professional Stylists at Velvet Monkey.

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The Team at Velvet Monkey

If you visit Monaco and want a recommendation of where to get your hair done, well here you go!  Doesn’t my hair look great?  Super professional, friendly and fabulous results.  The Salon is open 7 days a week, unique in Monaco.  Again, this is my new hairdresser when I stay at my home here!

Thank you so much to everyone at Thirty Nine for making my day so special.

Information:

Studio 39 Hair and Beauty http://www.39montecarlo.com studio39@39montecarlo.com

Thirty Nine, 39 Avenue Princess Grace, 98000 Monaco  Telephone: +377 93 25 39 39

 

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My guest blogger this week is the fabulous Victor de Monaco and he is contributing a lifestyle blog, interviewing the stunningly beautiful Star of Monaco, Victoria Silvstedt.

I can’t wait to read all about Victoria and hope you enjoy it too!  Let me know what you think.  First of all here is a little introduction to my fellow blogger Victor.  The blogging world is full of interesting, dynamic and talented people and I love getting to know them.

Victor de Monaco:

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Victor De Monaco
Victor is a Paris/Monaco-based project manager specialising in international communication and marketing. After having worked at the headquarters of global firms in the luxury industry, he is currently launching his own fashion brand and works as a part-time consultant. His mission is to find the right balance between a brand’s digital and offline presence. In his spare time Victor enjoys writing feature stories for lifestyle publications. You can reach him via victor@victordemonaco.com.  http://www.victordemonaco.com

A sit-down with supermodel Victoria Silvstedt:

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When I go through Victoria Silvstedt’s Instagram page, the first phrase that pops up in my mind is “oh la dolce vita.”
A jetsetter who is always flying from the South of France, to New York and other fabulous destinations, Victoria is not your typical beauty. After gracing more than 500 magazine covers, Victoria ventured into acting, TV hosting and fashion design. She has also released a music album and starred in her very own reality show on E! Entertainment Television.
From Monaco, her new home, I had a quick chat with the Principality’s fashionista Victoria Silvstedt.

Victoria, you are definitely the queen of multitasking (acting, singing, TV hosting, etc.) But out of all, what job is the closest to your heart?

Well, let me just say that is singing is quite fun, but I am definitely not a singer. It was an offer from EMI Records and an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. Shooting movies both in the United Sates and Italy was an adventure as I spent weeks and months on movie sets.
My E! reality show was fun because the camera was following me as I lived my daily life. But for me, the action is all in television, and I live for action. Hosting shows on Swedish, French and Italian TV is something I enjoy and is very fulfilling.

Going back to your style, tell me more about your fashion rules and guidelines?

I don’t really apply a general rule. I love to mix and match. For instance, you could see me wearing a Zara skinny jeans with a Balmain jacket and an Hermès bag. Of course, because I live in Monaco, I have to be always dressed up. Also, I do follow a lot of instagram bloggers to catch up on the latest trends.

So how is your diet and beauty regimen like?

First of all I love to eat. I am not your green juices 24/7 kind of girl. I must have a desert everyday and especially chocolate. And what is a night like without a glass of wine? However, I try to avoid eating carbs and especially before a photo-shoot. I also try to limit my amount of red meat intake. I guess you can describe my diet as a Mediterranean wholesome and vegetable-based diet.
As for my physique, I try to take a lot of vitamins for my hair and skin. And I love working out outdoors like doing some yoga and pilates every now and then. I prefer to go running outside rather than to workout at the gym.

Finally, what are some must have-items that every woman NEEDS to have in her closet?

High heels! They always add some oomph and make a woman’s outfit look sexier no matter what she’s wearing. Also, a good pair of jeans and of course a cocktail dress. I mean you never know when you get a last minute invitation. And a Birkin or a Kelly bag, I mean why not?

Thank you Victoria and see you around in Monaco.

http://www.victoriasilvstedt.com

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Where to eat in Monte Carlo?  I’m going to share some of my favourite restaurants in Monte Carlo with you.  There are so many wonderful places to choose and I will write a series of reviews of Monaco restaurants.  Here is the first:

Maya Bay

Address: 24 Av Princess Grace, 98000 Monaco http://www.mayabay.mc

I have dined here for a few years now and then.  Every time I visit it gets better and better, more and more popular and buzzes with life.  Make sure to book!  Choose between the Japanese food section and the Thai. Both are excellent.  The vegetarian options are just brilliant.  Healthy, vegetarian options are at last catching on in this part of the world which is brilliant.

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Maya Bay Restaurant Menu

The menu is so extensive, it is actually a book!  Be prepared to take a long time choosing.  I promise everyone will be happy from Vegetarians, vegans to the staunchest meat eater.

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Tempura Prawns and Sushi

Apologies for the photos but it was dark in there!

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Wine  Rose Bellet

I chose a local rose wine to accompany the meal, Bellet which is a light and delicate wine which compliments the strong flavours of the Tempura.  You can even buy bags and clothes at Maya Bay, you will almost think you are in Thailand!

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They even have a TukTuk to take you home.

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Just a hop, skip and a jump from Maya Bay along Avenue Princess Grace you will find Le Sporting Club.  Home of many a fabulous eveniing out during the summer time.  If you are lucky enough to stay in Monte Carlo during July or August take a look at the website and see who is performing at the Club.  Many a famous face has performed here over the years.  It is a magical evening out, put on your best dress and enjoy a Michelin star meal and then see a fabulous show. Check out http://www.montecarlolive.com and also http://www.montecarlosbm.com  The Sporting Club is also home to an Italian Trattoria and Le Pit Stop.

La Trattoria

26 Av Princess Grace Monaco  http://www.alain-ducasse.com

The Trattoria has a beautiful setting in the Sporting club.  Dine on the terrace overlooking the sea and enjoy some Italian Trattoria style food.  The food is good, and so is the view!  The large chap in charge of seating you is the only disappointment.  If I were Alain Ducasse, I would get rid of him but everything else is up to Diva standards!

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La Trattoria Le Sporting Club

We enjoyed antipasto which is shared amongst everyone but the portions are tiny so order plenty.  Delicious!  This was followed by

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Antipasta

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We drank a rather nice Chablis which was perfect with our choice of fish.  Vegetarians will find things to eat but not the wondrous array of dishes available at Maya Bay.

Pop next door, still inside the Sporting Club and have an after dinner digestif at:

Pit Stop  Le Sporting Club Monte Carlo

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