MONTE CARLO (Grand Prix)
The smell of octane in the air, the power of Formula One engines hurtling round hairpin bends, the palpable excitement you could cut with a knife… it can only mean one thing… Yes, it’s the Monaco Grand Prix! For four days the tiny principality bursts into life in Technicolor, for an event that is truly not to be missed.
This is the jewel in the crown of Formula One experiences, not just because it is attended by the jet set, celebrities and royalty alike. For drivers it is the race they all want to win. But, with the prestige comes added competition, overtaking on the narrow streets is near impossible and speed is strictly controlled. If F1 wasn’t cutthroat at the best of times, the Monaco Grand Prix certainly ramps it up to a whole new level.
The race takes place on the actual streets of the one square mile country – bringing normal business to a complete standstill. Yet, this is taken by local residents on the chin (all schools and many businesses actually close during the four days), and the party feeling that permeates the Principality for the duration extends to locals and visitors alike. However, if you do need to get away from the madding crowd, the nearby Eze village is a medieval world away from the hustle and bustle. Nice, a short drive away, offers a chance to enjoy a more authentic side to the Riviera. Stroll the gorgeous Promenade des Anglais, shop up a storm in the Old Town and enjoy the national pastime of watching the world go by. A chilled glass of rosé in hand, bien sur!