We focus on the finest areas along the coast: Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu, the strip between Nice and the Italian border. The property they offer is unrivalled. People move down because of the climate, but find that we have it all – inspiring culture, great schools, the beach, glorious mountains and, of course, amazing restaurants.
One of my favourite places to eat is La Môme in Cannes, which has a terrific atmosphere – there’s a beach branch on the Croisette. Le Galet has the freshest fish in Nice, and Club Dauphin at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat serves the best lobster sandwich ever.
We have world-famous cultural and sporting fixtures here – the Cannes Film Festival, the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Monaco Grand Prix – but there are lots of less well-known events. We have so many concerts and exhibitions, Antibes has a charming old town, and you can go into the hinterland for hiking, cycling and climbing. Plus you can kitesurf and paddleboard along the coast.
Many people who come here from London, Paris or New York say they’re overwhelmed by how busy those cities have become. It puts into perspective what is important for people nowadays: to be in nature – though they also need a place to work.
There’s also a change in the way people are buying post-pandemic. They hesitate less: “You only live once – let’s not wait any longer to buy a holiday home.”
Our market is not representative of France in general – 50% of our business is made up of overseas clients who realise you can access the sun and have a great lifestyle here. We have many Parisians who came down in the pandemic and stayed. They saw that you could have breakfast at a beach restaurant, then drive an hour and a half to ski at Isola 2000 and Auron. And Italy is just around the corner.
The range of property here is extraordinary. Many gems are off market, but we have beautiful homes that are not so secret, including a wonderful contemporary seafront house currently on sale where you go down to a gate et voilà, le grand bleu. We have Belle Epoque villas, landmark mansions built in the 1880s for crowned heads of state; stunning contemporary homes and charming older houses in the neo-Provençal style; townhouses in Antibes and the villages that dot the Riviera; and modern penthouse apartments in the city.
Some clients prefer to get a pied-à-terre and say, “Okay, I’ll work in London Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then Thursday I’ll take a flight.” Nice is alive all year round. What more could you ask for? The Riviera really is the best place to be!
Pictures from top: the hilltop town of Le Broc in the regional park Préalpes d’Azur (Alamy); Savills specialist Alex Balkin and the shoreline of Nice, where he lives (Alamy); beach-goers at Le Galet in Nice (Alamy); a winding street in Antibes (Alamy); a field of lavender in Provence; the Old Town in Antibes (Alamy); the Mediterranean lifestyle combines luxury and outdoor living (Alamy)