|Quai Amiral Courbet, Villefranche-sur-Mer|
We were staying at the Hotel Welcome in the old port and there are numerous restaurants nearby from which to choose. The first night we dined on Place Amélie Pollonnais at La Brasserie Le Cosmo, where I had the pesto pasta and a nice red Bandol wine. Later there was live music at a neighbouring bar on the square, which we enjoyed from our balcony.
|Place Amélie Pollonnais|
|Pesto Pasta at La Brasserie Le Cosmo|
Tour guide author Rick Steves recommends La Mère Germaine on Quai Amiral Courbet for a more upscale dining experience.
|La Mère Germaine|
But after a recent splurge in Monte Carlo, we were looking for something a little more low key. Many of the restaurants along this stretch of the waterfront have tables set up next to the water, including La Fille du Pêcheur where we dined twice. The ambience was perfect. We watched the boats coming and going in the harbour while relaxing in the balmy Mediterranean breeze.
|La Fille du Pêcheur|
|Seaside Table at La Fille du Pêcheur|
I enjoyed the scallops (on both visits) and a Provençal red wine, Château Sainte Roseline.
|Specials of the Day|
|Château Sainte Roselin Wine|
La Fille du Pêcheur means 'the daughter of the fisherman' and Krystel, who runs the restaurant, really is the daughter of a fisherman. Her father sells the fresh catch from the fishing boats at his bench on the quay, where diners can select a fish to be served to them later at the restaurant.
|Choose Your Own Fish|
The Fisherman's Bench on the Quay
On the north side of the bay not far from the main beach, Plages des Marinières, are more restaurants such as Beluga (on Quai Ponchardier) and Carpaccio (on Promenade des Marinières).
At sunset the harbour takes on a lovely pastel glow, best enjoyed with a walk along the quay and your favourite flavour of gelato.
|The Moon Over Cap Ferrat|
|Views from the Welcome Hotel Balcony at Dusk|
Our balcony was the perfect place to relax with a glass of rosé and watch the activity in the harbour. The Hotel Welcome also has a wine bar, the Wine Pier, with a few tables at the water's edge.
|Wine Pier Tables by the Sea|
|View from the Wine Pier|
After dark, performers take over the street. I believe these two men were doing capoeira, the Brazilian martial art that incorporates dance moves.
|Capoeira on the Quay in Villefranche-sur-Mer|
Another night we were surprised by a festive display of fireworks while enjoying hot chocolate at the Wine Pier, with front row seats for the show.
|Fireworks over Villefranche Harbour|
Villefranche-sur-Mer's location makes it an ideal base for your French Riviera holiday, and it's also a welcoming place to come home to at the end of the day.
The Beach of Villefranche-sur-Mer