The French Riviera l Lifestyle and Travel Series l 3 x 30 minutes

It takes more than a beautiful location to create a timeless destination.

The French Riviera is a three part travel show set along France’s spectacular Cote d’Azur. Art, glamour, high profile places, events and personalities form threads in a sparkling narrative that is equal parts romantic and cultural investigation.

The French Riviera is a travel series presented by the cute and quirky Tara Simmonds which explores why some of the world’s most exquisite destinations came to be so fashionable and popular in the 19th and 20th centuries, and why they continue to hold us in thrall today. The show introduces the viewer to a colourful cast of characters - artists, actors, aristocrats, musicians, architects, religious figures - who discovered, took inspiration from and shaped these jewels and whose legacy still resonates today.

Tara by the Nice beach

Episodes 1

Begins in the fashionable, artistic and historic city of Nice - the capital of the Riviera. I explore why so many talented artists like Matisse, Dupont, Chagall, Leger and Picasso moved to the Cote d’Azur, and visit the galleries of Matisse and Chagall. We visit glitzy Cannes where the fabulous Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and stop by the iconic Hotel Majestic to attend its opening party, admire the renovations and fantasise over Europe’s most expensive hotel suite. The next morning we voyage to a nearby island run by monks observing religious codes of silence and who produce some of the world’s finest wine. Walking with a monk

Episode 2

We meet with yachties in the medieval harbour town of Antibes, visit the gallery controversial artist Fernand Leger and then travel to the delightful Saint Tropez where we unravel some of the myths behind the infamous Club 55 and one of France’s most glittering starlets: Brigitte Bardot. Later in the day we explore the wealthy principality of Monte Carlo and cruise over to catch the heady excitement of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Episode 3

In Episode 3 I discover the exceptionally talented and eccentric Irish architect and interior designer Nice's port Eileen Gray, and the influence she provided for world famous architect Le Corbusier through her ground breaking Riviera house E1027. We visit the story behind the Rothschild baroness, a beautiful woman with a penchant for gambling, who took 4 hectares off the cape at Cap Ferrat to build a spectacular chateau and fill it with objects d’art. World famous artist Renoir buys the same amount of land to build his artist retreat and olive farm in Cagnes sur Mer, and the picturesque medieval village of Eze perched high in the mountains reveals itself as the inspiration for Nietzsche.