Cannes before the Storm

There was something eery but also almost A-lister-y to be in the city of the Cannes Film Festival the week before the big event. Have you ever shown up to a party early and the hosts are trying to convince you it’s going to be a great time? I never have – shown up to anything early for that matter – but I imagine it feels loser-ish and elitist all at the same time.

We were there for the fussing, hyping and anticipation of the service industry, who were readying for the difficult requests that would come in just 10 days, such as Angelina Jolie asking for a cold glass of ice water. Given Europe serves just about any beverage at room temperature, that requires quite a bit of preparation.


But of course this being us, it was completely unplanned. I happened to have a meeting in Nice on a Tuesday and Monday was a UK Bank Holiday so we naturally took advantage of the weekend.

We flew from London to Nice, rented a car and drove the 25 minutes to Cannes. We had imagined we would stay one night and continue on the Côte d’Azur but the Radisson Blu, where we stayed on accumulated points, welcomed our arrival, which must have been a nice distraction and somewhere to put their nervous energy. We were upgraded to ocean view and given free access to the spa, which rivaled the one at Canyon Ranch, a hard feat: The rock-star treatment and “Le 360 & Panoramic Rooftop Terrace,” were enough to convince us to stay three nights.

We didn’t have to look far for a beach as the one across the street was gorgeous.


And while I couldn’t wait to check out the glitz and glam of St. Tropez, the yachts in Cannes weren’t bad either.


Bonus: what happens when you’re all dressed up at a 5-star restaurant the week before the Cannes Film Festival? The owner stops by to ask whether she can tag a photo of you on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“Please arrange royalties with my agent. Merci!”


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