Weekender: Diarmuid Gavin's Nice
I travel a lot for work, and, when possible, I try to give my wife, Justine, and my daughter, Eppie (12) a hint of what I'm at by having them join me for a weekend. Nice is a favourite.
We stay at the Hotel Le Versailles perched on the hill above Villefranche. For the girls, it's a quick dip in the pool, while I pop out to a client in Cap Ferrat. We'll dine in the hotel, on something simple like calamari and a salad. Then a stroll down town to people-watch.
On Saturday morning, as they sleep, I'll creep out to a house call, zooming around in a Fiat 500. If I have no appointments, it'll be off to old-town Monaco to visit Judith, who runs the Princess Grace Irish Library, and catch up on the principality gossip. We eat where everyone does, at Restaurant Le Pinocchio, an Italian which stays open when the hectic tourist months are over.
Sunday morning back in Nice brings a light breakfast of coffee, fruit and croissants at the Welcome Hotel in the port. I may see a client; but when the family are with me there are always invites for them to do nice things.
We'll go to a garden, the Rothschild Villa on the Cap, or the cactus garden atop medieval Eze. Usually we will join friends there. Eze is so glamorous - striped umbrellas, beautiful waiting staff, a film star, model or rock star playing it cool. A world away from your day-to-day.
After only a few hours on a plane, it's back to earth. Dogs to collect, homework to check and, for me, another suitcase to be packed for the 6.30am flight to Gatwick, Newcastle or Bristol. The glamorous life!
See hotel-le-versailles.fr; lepinocchiomonaco.com
Sunday Indo Life Magazine