August 05, 2013

Evening in Villefranche-sur-Mer

French Riviera towns such as Cannes and Monte Carlo are known for their glitz and glamour but an evening in the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer is delightfully laid-back. And as the sun begins to set and the air cools down, the visitor's thoughts ultimately turn to dinner.



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


Fresh Scallops


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).



Beluga Restaurant


Carpaccio Restaurant


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.


Hotel Welcome Wine Pier


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.

Related Posts:

Villefranche-sur-Mer
The Beach of Villefranche-sur-Mer

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