Friday, 23 August 2013

A Guide to Cannes Part 2: Wine and Cocktails - Bars in Cannes

It's Friday and the weekend is upon us, so why not head out for a cheeky drink or two? Here's my guide to the frequented bars in Cannes, best for your after work or any time in the evening drinks. I've already mentioned Le Grand Café, which is a favourite for after work happy hour cocktails. However, a bottle of wine with some friends when the day is up always goes down well.
The pink and purple sky as the sun sets over the bay of Cannes
What to do when the sun goes down!
Le Cirque is a café-bistrot that has a great wine list! The pouilly-fuissé went down quite well, as did the bottle of Domaine de Grand Pré rosé the previous time. Found on one of the corners of Rue Hoche and opposite Café Manuel (also rather good for a glass of wine) it is in the pedestrianised area of Cannes, though be warned cars do occasionally force their way down. Le Cirque is lovely and open plan downstairs, with one large wooden table often displaying a small selection of cakes. The main restaurant is upstairs, but if you're there for a drink, sit outside as the location sits perfectly in the evening sun. They also give a great selection of nibbles with your drinks, chunky bread, chunks of cheese and slices of saucisson and ham, which do go perfectly with a good bottle of wine.
Le Cirque Bistrot Cannes
Great for an apéro in the sunshine
A lively bar/restaurant later in the evening for drinks with friends is Mocca. Opposite the Palais des Festivals and on the Croisette, Mocca is a great place for people watching and some casual drinks. The music isn't too loud, it's very laid back and great for a chat. It is still quite a smart venue, the waitresses are often very dressed up and I will don a pair of heels if I know we're going there. They have a good list of cocktails, or when Sophie and I didn't fancy that we decided a coupe de champagne would have to do! They also have a good wine list if you would like a bottle, but it depends what you like. The raspberry martini is a good choice as is a bellini. Mocca serves a little jam jar of sweeties, marshmallows, strawbs and a few Haribo so is great for those with a sweet tooth. Plus the guys think that the main waitress is really hot, so will position themselves in a good seat to glance at her every now and then!
The three of us at Mocca, Cannes for cocktails
When Chloe came to Cannes!
A long and short cocktail at Charly's Bar Cannes
Cocktails at Charly's
Charly's Bar is always a fine choice. Made up of two separate bars, although they are next to each other, the ambiance in the two can be pretty different. I recommend the sancerre here, it really is a good bottle of white wine. At €35 a bottle, for a student like me it is kind of splashing out, but if you don't want to go crazy it's nice to share between friends! They also serve a great selection of cocktails - the My Lady and Charly's Cocktail are both rather good, and each one comes garnished with a sweet on the side. We generally go to the wine bar part of Charly's, which is the one lower on the hill up through Le Suquet, and, surprise surprise, like the other bars they serve some nibbles too. Here they do crisps with dips and toasted baguette with tapenade, and later on the evening switch to sweeties. The bar and 'dancefloor' section of Charly's is a bit livelier, and they serve some impressive fishbowl cocktails. Any cocktail on their list, served in a cube. The smaller one for €60 works out at less than the price of 2 cocktails each for 4 people, so if you all want the same thing it would work out quite well. Be warned... they are stronger than you may think. And if you choose mojito, there are lots of mint leave which get in the way!
Charly's Bar in Le Suquet, Cannes
When Tasha came to stay. Wine at Charly's
Another cute bar in Le Suquet is up at the top of the main street (I say main, which it is, but it is also very narrow and steep. A challenge in heels!) We discovered it one evening as Charly's was full, so decided to take a chance on La Cava. What La Cava lacked in size and space to move, it made up for in enthusiasm! A bottle of wine was a bit less than you would normally pay in the more popular bars, and it was full of French locals, who enjoyed a bit of karaoke. I think we stuck out like a sore thumb as we did not know any of the songs they were playing and singing along to, apart from Joe Dassin's 'Aux Champs-Elysées' which I did not know the lyrics for before and definitely do now... so catchy.
La Cava in Le Suquet, Cannes
Rather tight for space, but full of atmosphere!
Setting fire to the bar in B.Pub, Cannes
Setting fire to the bar... standard.
Another haunt in Cannes is B.Pub. Previously the Black Pearl, B.Pub is part of the Bâoli Group and opened up in November 2012. A good place for after work drinks from 6pm onwards, B.Pub is open until about 3am at weekends and all week in high season. Starting off rather casual, as the evening goes on they turn up the music and it becomes a bar/club and they do start getting a bit more prestigious. Well, it is Bâoli! Standard Cannes style, they are unlikely to want to let a group of guys in alone if they think it's a busy night, and can be particular about what you're wearing. However, if you get there at about 10pm one Friday night in November, for a few drinks which turns in to a night out (despite work at 8am the next morning) you can get away with Ugg boots! And they set the bar on fire, and fire air canisters every now and then, which cool you down well on a hot night. You get all sorts in B.Pub, from the young to old, and some great dance moves..!
Sarah's birthday. A glowing ice cube!
Drinks at Irish bar, Ma Nolan's Cannes
One night the boys got rowdy!
So, depending on what sort of bar you're looking for, I'd vote that those are my favourite, ranging from a few drinks to a bit more of a party night out. You will also find plenty of bars in the Carré d'Or, including Backstage and one that is all silver, red and mirrors that we only went to as it looked so bizarre! Another place in need of a mention is Ma Nolan's Cannes. One of three Irish bars in the chain, the other two are in Nice, it is nice to step in to a more pub-like atmosphere with simple and good food - especially when you have a carb craving! The coke comes from a tap, no metallic tastes from cans, and they also do a good cocktail - Happy Hour 5pm-8pm with drinks at €4,90. Really friendly staff, many of which are of course Irish, and a welcoming and homely atmosphere. Plus, Monday's quiz night is always a good laugh!

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