It’s festival time on the French Riviera

…and in the months of February and early March there are many to choose from: lemons, violets, all the fun of Mardi Gras in Nice and of course the glorious scent and colour of the Mimosa Festival. The skies are blue, it’s still warm enough to eat lunch outside and of course we are only a little over an hours drive from the ski slopes. This is a great time to visit the French Riviera.

all made from lemons and oranges!

The Lemon (and Orange) festival in Menton is one of the most amazing spectacles of the winter months. Many 1000′s of fruits are transformed into sculptures and works of art and of course there are always the parades to look forward to. 14th February – 4th March.

 

Carnival time in Nice

Nice is alive with Mardi Gras and this year’s theme is the King of Music. Parades night and day, dancing in the streets, spectacular floats and hundreds of performers will be contributing to the party atmosphere. 13th February – 1st March.

 

The lovely smell of violets fills the air

The Violet Festival in Tourettes sur Loup is one of the prettiest events of the season. The villagers can be seen in their traditional Provencal costumes and there is of course a parade through the streets. The Festival takes place on the 21st and 22nd February.

 

bright yellow against the deep blue sky

The glorious Mimosa is already showing it’s beautiful bright yellow fronds which can only mean that it’s time for the Mimosa Festival in Mandelieu-La Nalpoule. The scent of the flowers & glorious colours are enough to brighten the heaviest of winter spirits.   18th – 27th February.

AND you can contact me, Jackie Pressman, of French Riviera Property Search, to find your perfect home whilst you’re here – see my website to find out everything I can do for you.

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Definitely a buyer’s market here in France

After the Swiss change of rates, it is now easier than ever to buy here.  Three reasons:

1.  Your currency buys more Euros (today UK£ to Euro is 1.34 and US$ to Euro is 0.89).  If you use a currency company (and we recommend FCA approved Currencies Direct) you do not pay bank transfer charges; you do not pay bank commission; you get a better rate; your money is absolutely safe; AND you can fix the rate for 6 months in advance so whatever happens to the exchange rate your proceeds are guaranteed.

2.  Several new President Hollande pronouncements about second-home tax will never be approved but, nevertheless, they have had a definite effect on prices and today it is possible to make good discount offers when you find the place you want.

3.  Agency sharing of properties is not done here and you would have to visit many different agents to find everything.  Fortunately I, Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search SARL, am here to help you.  Once I am sure of your specification and budget – and what you are prepared to compromise on – I will scour all the agencies to give you a schedule of all properties for our viewing together.  Also remember that agents are instructed legally and in writing by the seller – and I represent you, the buyer, so no conflict.

Call me.

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Cannes Film Festival May 2015

Joel & Ethan Coen

The organisers announced today that Joel and Ethan Coen have been selected as Presidents of the Jury for the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

The selection of the brothers, longtime Cannes favourites, marks the first time the Jury has been presided over by two people. The organisers have marked 2015 as a year to celebrate the work of ‘cinema brothers’, to coincide with the 120th anniversary of the Lumiere cinematograph invented by the Lumiere brothers, Louis and Auguste.

Speaking from the set of their current film Hail Caesar!, starring George Clooney, Josh Brolin and Channing Tatum, the Coens said: “We look forward to returning to Cannes this year. We welcome as always the opportunity to watch movies there from all over the world. Cannes is a festival that has been important to us since the very beginning of our career. Presiding over the Jury is a special honour, since we have never heretofore been president of anything. We will issue further proclamations at the appropriate time.”

For film information lovers: Beginning with their second film, 1987′s Raising Arizona, the Coens have presented nine of their films at Cannes. They won the Palme d’Or in 1991 for Barton Fink; the best director award in 1996 for Fargo and again in 2001 for The Man Who Wasn’t There; and, most recently, the Grand Prix in 2013 for Inside Llewyn Davis.

For lovers of private film information: Joel Cohen is married to the well-known actress Frances McDormand and she has appeared in some of their films, e.g. Fargo, for which she received the US Oscar for best actress.

The Cannes Film Festival this year takes place from Wednesday May 13 until Sunday May 24. The lineup for the Official film selection and the other members of the Jury will be unveiled in mid-April.

Many of my clients buy an apartment in Cannes which can be rented out for all the International conventions – we have about one a month in Cannes – and then use the apartment themselves when they wish, free of charge.

Contact me, Jackie Pressman, of French Riviera Property Search, and I will find you the perfect apartment and arrange your viewings.  See www.FrenchRivieraPropertySearch.com

 

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A wet November on the French Riviera but now it’s beautiful

Just after the hottest October since records began, the Riviera had its wettest November on record. According to Météo France, the city of Nice received half of November’s average rainfall in just two hours at the beginning of the month!

The heavy rainfall, strong winds and thunderstorms have affected various roads in the Alpes Maritimes and Var departments. Nice saw flooding on the Promenade des Anglais and in Place Masséna, and the entrance to the A8 in western Nice was also heavily flooded.  In Cannes the coast road was closed for 2 days as the strong waves washed over the road depositing sand and sea water – and damaging some of the beach restaurants.

But what beautiful weather now, in December.  Clear bright sunshine and glistening sea and the amazing sunsets – red in the winter and a sight to behold!

winter sunset reflected on the Mediterranean sea

I often tell visitors: Yes, we do get rain – but 2 days of rain is followed by a month of beautiful weather and blue skies.  In other European Northern countries, 2 days of rain is followed by a month of rain and grey skies!!

Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search says “living here is wonderful – so join us and let me help you choose your home – whether it be for permanent living, vacations, or investment for rentals until you’re ready to use full-time”.

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English theatre is alive and well on the French Riviera

We went to the English language theatre 4 times recently:

1.  Peer Gynt – at the National Theatre of Nice – a very professional performance and directed by Irina Brook (daughter of Peter Brook).  The team had just performed this play at the Barbican theatre in London.  We noticed that the entire large theatre in Nice was totally full so obviously the local French loved this too (and spoke English!)

2.  Dial M for Murder – in Valbonne by SET (South of France English Theatre).  A very fine performance by the actress and actors from the UK and enjoyed by all.

3.  The Return of the Ghost Train – in Mougins.  Also a very accomplished and enjoyable performance by the Riviera Amateur Dramatic Association – and a full house.

4.  Sylvia Syms in Cap d’Antibes.  This highly accomplished English actress spoke about her life and acting career in films and TV for over half-a-century and showed several filmed examples.  She is now approaching 80 and has a fabulous sense of humour.  Perhaps you remember her as the Queen Mother in Stephen Frear’s “The Queen” with Helen Mirren.  She has played against many well-known leading men and women in her long career and we thoroughly enjoyed the film extracts she showed.  We were reminded that she has played Margaret Thatcher several times on stage and screen.  We also loved her recent appearance in the TV film “Timeless” with supermodel Cara Delevingne for Sky Arts.

One of the benefits of being here on the Cote d’Azure is that one gets to speak to the actors and director after the performance.  

So contact me, Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search, and come and join in the life on the French Riviera.

 

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Christmas across the Cote d’Azur

There are Christmas villages all across the Cote d’Azur and it is truly a wonderful time for old and young – and everyone inbetween.

As we live in Cannes, we are looking forward to the happenings here – the Cannes Christmas village opened this weekend, with stands of all Provence goodies and, of course, mulled wine. Plenty of attractions for children too.

And we are looking forward to being in Cannes for the New Year:  There is a fantastic firework display in the bay opposite the Croisette.  To welcome in the New Year Cannes will be hosting one of the most impressive firework displays on the Riviera. The spectacle has been created by Fabrice Chouillier who is one of the most renowned pyrotechnic designers and this display is sure to live long in the memory of onlookers.  We are looking forward to it.

Contact me, Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search, to find you a wonderful property of your dreams, and you could be here too to celebrate the wonderful forthcoming season.

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Nice and Cannes refuse second home tax increase

There’s good news for second-home owners in Nice and Cannes, with the mayors of both cities declaring they will not implement a hefty tax increase as part of the new national budget. Opponents say the controversial bill won’t free up housing, as the government intends, but rather may hurt the struggling property market.  

The increase will be 20% and charged on the annual Tax d’habitation.

Due to the large numbers of second homes in the Côte d’Azur, cities such as Nice and Cannes would be significantly affected by the new property tax. However, as the application of the tax is down to the municipal authorities, some are choosing to opt out.

“I have not applied this measure to Cannes; I think it would be extremely detrimental,” said Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard.  And, it appears that Nice is following suit. A spokesperson for Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, today said: “The City of Nice is categorically opposed to this tax.”

Both announcements came after Finance Minister Michael Sapin confirmed yesterday that affected communities are allowed to simply refuse to apply the tax if they wish. “The principle is simple, the tax goes into the funds of the community; if they do not want the tax then a simple vote will be sufficient to ensure that it is not applicable in that area,” said the finance minister, adding, “the State is not forcing this upon anyone.”

The bill was included in amendments to the supplementary budget for 2014. Communities have the option to enforce the tax increase of 20% upon owners of furnished accommodation which is not their principal residence. The aim is to encourage the huge numbers of predominantly empty second homes to be “freed up” for others, in areas of housing shortage.

The taxe d’habitation increase concerns 105 areas, which comprises 1,150 towns – if the respective authorities don’t reject it.

There are some exceptions to the tax for second-home owners in certain circumstances. For example, those who are forced to own a second home near where they work, as well as those of “modest means” who settle permanently in a nursing home or institution of long-term care, will be eligible for a rebate, according to a local newspaper. This will also be the case for those who can prove that unpreventable reasons are stopping them from using their second home.

Opinion has been divided on the tax, with many doubting whether it will impact the housing shortage. “Do you think for one moment that this measure will help to free up some of the stock [of empty housing]? … Do you think that people, for 300 to 400 euros per month, will even temporarily rent out their apartment?” the vice president said.

The most severe effects are expected to be felt in the real estate industry, with concerns that fewer people will consider purchasing property in France.

So, contact me, Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search, and I will arrange viewings for you in areas where this tax has been rejected.

 

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A new large advertising screen in Cannes – the largest on the French Riviera

Go to http://grandcannes.com/?gclid=CI7Fu-GD5sECFYoBwwodFSQATg for the video about this large screen – fixed on top of the Grand Hotel in the middle of the Cannes Croisette.

What a great place to advertise!  You can bet that the largest companies will take this space during their conventions – don’t forget that Cannes is the convention town on the French Riviera.  We have a major convention nearly every month.

Contact Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search – she will explain the practical and financial advantages of owning an apartment in this convention town.

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Riviera Sailing Regatta

Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search brings you this information about life on the French Riviera.

Did you know that the end of September is racing time on the Riviera coast and the boats are magnificent.  The racing starts at one end of the Cote d’Azur in Monaco where they race class by class in the bays.  Then they move down to Cannes and this photo was taken in the bay outside our Cannes apartment.

Racing in the bay of Cannes

The racing continues each day, all week, in their different categories.  They race in 3 different size categories and the bay is filled with sails.  They all leave together at the end of the week and sail majestically down to St. Tropez where they race again for a week.

Leaving for St. Tropez

This racing is called the ROYAL REGATTA – one of the most interesting and fascinating occasions of the year.  These amazing sailing crafts are often over 100 years old and mastered by large crews – they are the largest of them all and race in their own class with others of the same size.

Each night the boats are moored in the harbour where there is a temporary village set up for them with several shops selling sailing clothes and other gear.  It is wonderful to visit the sailing boats in the evening before the sun goes down and whilst they are being cleaned by their crew after a day’s racing.  Quite amusing to see all the brass-polishing going on!

By the way, these wonderful sailing boats in the Royal Regatta follow the annual Cannes boat show where the new and second-hand yachts are all for sale.  None of the sailing boats in the Royal Regatta are for sale of course – they race each other for the prestige of winning and then off to another location.

Come and live on the French Riviera and you will also love your life here.  Contact me, Jackie Pressman, and I will send you a selection of apartments or villas to your specification for you to visit.  See my website: www.FrenchRivieraPropertySearch.com

 

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“Magic in the Moonlight” highlights the French Riviera

‘Magic in the Moonlight’ is the latest offering by one of New York’s favourite directors, Woody Allen, and it was filmed in the summer of 2013 in Nice, Mouans Sartoux and Cap d’Antibes. The film stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone and is set for release in France on 22nd October.


A scene from the trailer from Woody Allen’s new film “Magic in the Moonlight”

In a similar vein to his recent film Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen has chosen to return to 1920s France with Magic in the Moonlight. The film revolves around a cynical illusionist, played by Colin Firth, and a clairvoyant (Emma Stone) who he is determined to prove is a fraud. According to Nice Matin, director Woody Allen fell in love with the Côte d’Azur when he first visited, and it is against a summer Riviera backdrop that the story of his latest film unfolds.

The Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (PACA) invested €200,000 in the production out of a total budget of €13.5 million as the film will showcase the region to filmgoers around the world. Christine Mirauchaux, vice president of the Regional Council for Culture, said that the region is “extremely proud of the collaboration.”

The film was released in the US during the month of July and in the UK on 19th September. Reviews of Magic in the Moonlight have been generally positive with the Independent commenting “in its own breezy way, the film is perfectly enjoyable.”

Watch the film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG71z-AP524

 

 

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