Nice Port Festival and Chef’s Village

The Festin dou Pouort (Port Festival in Nicois) has evolved from a very strange affair to become one of Nice’s best festivals for food, visuals and music.  Designed to attract people to the ‘forgotten’ Port area, the first year was almost its last: the awkward entertainment revolved around a talking crane (?) with the voice of Noelle Perna that nattered on about the boats that it lifted out of the harbor over the years…!

The festival has developed into my very favorite annual festival, and a big part of that is the food, from the ‘slow-food’ snack stands to the Chef’s Village,where for 5€ a portion, you can savor the culinary marvels from the city’s top chefs, or two glasses of wine from the area’s top winerys.   Warning: the Chef’s Village is as crowded as it is fantastic, with a long line to even get in, but if you pool your orders and tag-team the food stations, it’s not so bad.

If jumping into the Chef’s Village foodie frenzy is not your style, even the snack stands are amazing with ‘slow food’ affordable yet gourmet offerings including foie gras sandwiches, escargot, and more.

The rest of the festival is a fun and imaginative free-for-all, with bizarre strolling musicianskalaidoscopic floats, free art workshops, free boat trips, laser showsfireworks set to music (at 10:30pm) and four bandstands spread through the Port.   But the best is after the fireworks, when the music heats up and everyone starts dancing…

The free Lou Festin dou Pouort is Saturday, September 12, and goes from 7pm to 12:30am (but line up at 6:30pm for first shot at the Chef’s Village).  The city is providing free non-stop shuttles from the Palais des Expositions, where there is lots of parking and a tram stop, and from the Tourist Office on the Prom.

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Photos courtesy of Nice-Matin

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