Posts Tagged ‘Marseille’


…….firstly the Canebiere will be pedestrianised, as it will be on the last Sunday of each month; and secondly, the town’s first ‘Quartier des Arts’, for street art, will be inaugurated. (more…)

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It’s not often  you get back from lunch in Marseille with sand between your toes but that happened yesterday after a trip to dine at Pointe Rouge. La Provence had recommended ‘O Pedalo’ whose terrasse is literally in the sea – and I just had to try it.

The navette or water-taxi from the Vieux Port (3€ each way, on the hour) drops you 40 minutes later at Pointe Rougeactu-2014Navettes%20Maritimes%20Estaque%2008-05-2013%20(40a)(1) which is one of the last beaches before the headlands and calanques. This trip is in itself is a treat on a sunny day, sailing through the port out past the Chateau d’If then along the coast past yachts skimming the surface and ferries ploughing through the sea.

O Pedalo is the last in a row of restaurants lining the sandy beach.  It’s run by two brothers who have been in business here for the past 20 years. Their motto is ‘etre souriant et serieux’ and they take pride in having very fresh ingredients.

The menu is pretty eclectic with fish and seafood to the fore….loup, daurade, sardines calamars entiers grillés, salads, soups, pizzas and pastas.  La Provence praised their seiche entire grillée, soupe de poisons de roche maison and la souris d’agneau au thym et romarin. During the week, they have an express menu at 10 or 13,90€, and the wine list features mainly local Cotes de Provence wines. restaurant-les-pied My three dining companions had various fish dishes which they enjoyed and I was very happy with a vegetarian alternative which was for once cooked properly and with attention – a spaghetti pesto with masses of fresh basil, tomatoes and cheese in a delicious sauce. Desserts were just ices and sorbets from the freezer which was disappointing; but the service was impeccable and very friendly.IMG_7540

Afterwards, we climbed down a wooden ladder onto the beach and paddled all the way along through the warm sea to get the boat back to town. It was hard to believe we were in France’s second city.  This is a delightful summer’s treat and I should think a fun excursion with visitors.  The only fly in the ointment could be the capacity of the boat, especially during peak holiday season.  Best maybe to have details  of the buses too.

O Pedalo is open daily in the summer months – 11:45-14:30 and 19:30-23:00hrs.  It closes from November to March each year.





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two faces of JanuaryTwo new VO films in the cinema from today which might appeal: there’s ‘Jersey Boys’ which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. (more…)

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The Musée Regards de Provence houses a wonderful collection of paintings by local artists, giving visitors a special experience: when in Provence why not admire pictures of Provence?

PanierUnfortunately the museum is still bedevilled by construction work which seems to have been going on forever.  Visitors have to walk the gauntlet of diggers and bollards and zigzag round mesh screens.  But it’s worth it to see ‘Marseille the Eternal’.

This selection focuses on the town of Marseille which was a magnet for local painters.  There are views of the Vieux Port, the boats, the fishermen, storms at sea and of course the streets and the townspeople.

This painting (left) is by Joseph Marius Hurard who worked from narrow streets of the Panier, looking across to the church of Notre Dame de la Garde. You can enjoy the very same view by walking round from the gallery into the Panier to stand in the same spot.  And there’s still lots of washing at the windows!

 Another Joseph, Joseph Garibaldi, had his atelier on the Vieux Port during the 19th century and loved to paint the boats in the harbour.  Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism came and went but he painted on in his own style, faithfully reproducing what he could see. 


The detail on this painting (Le Port de la Joliette) is very fine and it is especially fascinating when you have just walked along past all the buildings and indeed the Cathedral where all the development for the new shopping centre (Les Halles) is taking place.  I don’t know what he would have made of all the construction work and indeed the shiny new Terrasses du Port.  What a tranquil scene it seems back inthe 1890s.  But despite all the developments, the sea is still beautifully blue, the boats ply their trade and people enjoy the streets, cafés and the beach.  There is indeed something eternal about Marseille.

Daily 10-18:00; Until 25th January, 2015.  www.museeregardsdeprovence.com.



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Very much enjoyed my first visit to this glossy mall yesterday.  Thank goodness it was quieter than the weekend when150,000 visitors crammed in.  As the capacity is 24,000, the doors had to be closed (more…)

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 Les Terrasses du Port, with 190 shops and restaurants, opens tomorrow.

It’s at the heart of Euromediterranée, the largest urban regeneration programme in Southern Europe and handily sited (more…)

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No excuse for being bored on 15th May. You can see…

  • The largest cruise ship in the world
  • A new exhibition of paintings featuring Marseille
  • and Elton John at the cinema in Aix.


shipThis massive ship, the Anthem of the Seas, is on its maiden voyage and will be calling into Marseille on 15th May, 10-19:00hrs.  The thing sticking out of the top is the (more…)

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That’s a good question because for us English-speakers, it can be difficult to find out.   Here is a recommended website, a topical blog and a free book to look out for.

IMG_4717For information on places to visit and events, have a look at (more…)

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Good news for visitors and Marseille commuters alike. The navettes from the Vieux Port to both Pointe Rouge and L’Estaque are back in service from today til the 28th September.IMG_6012

They were introduced mainly for people going to work in the town centre but have proved a great hit with tourists; and no wonder.  You get a wonderful view of Marseille and its beaches in one direction, or its docks in the other, for 3€ per one-way trip.


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borelyimageIf you visit the newly-opened Chateau Borély (now housing three museums – the Musées de la Mode, de la Faience, and des Arts Decoratifs), you will probably factor in some time to enjoy the park with its French garden, English garden and lake with rowing boats.  And if you don’t have a picnic, you could try Café Borély – reviewed here by Var-based writer Juliet Young. (more…)

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