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The New York City actress rose to fame with the cult teen hit 10 Things I Hate About You and has since enjoyed a career across theatre, film and television. Julia recently spent seven months filming the new Sky Atlantic drama Riviera, so who better to ask about spending a summer weekend on the glamorous French coast?
Where should we wake up?
Chateau de la Chèvre d’or is a gorgeous hotel in Eze with sweeping views out across the ocean. It’s only open during the summer season and definitely warrants a visit.
Is there a local dish we have to try?
Socca – a savoury pancake made from chickpea flour which originated in Genoa but is now a Nice staple. Absolutely delicious.
Where should we go for dinner with friends?
If it’s a special occasion, head to Jan down in the port. The South African chef, Jan Hendrik, just got his first Michelin star in France. The food and presentation are obviously incredible, but the best bit is Jan brings out the bread before baking it, then again when it’s ready – you can’t get fresher than that.
What about for a wild night out?
Nightlife in Nice is fairly limited to be honest, but start at Fred’s for cocktails. Just behind the port there’s also a great bar called Le Jam that has live bands and open mic nights and is packed with locals most evenings.
And to work out?
A run along the Promenade des Anglais is just perfect. If you’re after something more structured there’s a good studio in Nice called Future Form which offers mostly pilates and barre classes.
What should we pack in our SUITCASE?
Bikinis and sunglasses go without saying, but take a jumper too as the temperature can drop in the evening. Keep your wardrobe simple because Nice is really laid-back.
Let us in on the French Rivera’s best-kept secret.
La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul-de-Vence was a discovery for me because, while people have heard of this historic little hotel, not many know about the all amazing art inside. Artists used to pay for their board with their work, so there is an Alexander Calder sculpture by the pool and several Picasso paintings and sketches throughout the hotel.
Which are some of your favourite places?
There are so many good restaurants and I tried to eat at as many as possible! Beach-wise my favourite is Villefranche, while Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a medieval commune up in the hills which makes for an ideal day trip if you fancy a break from sunbathing.
Who are we likely to bump into?
Look out for Bono who has a house in Monaco.
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