A gastronomic overnight flight aboard the Montgolfière in Monaco  | Monaco | Transitioning from my week in Cannes attending ILTM Cannes 2017, to my upcoming week in Spain and Portugal, I spent an overnight in Monte Carlo and Monaco. This was my second time there, and I always enjoy coming during the Christmas time, to see all the decorations and the Monégasque Christmas experience. A synonym for prestige. A place where the international elite gathers, a harbour for the most beautiful yachts, a prestigious destination, and home to some of the world’s most celebrated events including the Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show.  For more tips and recommendations, see all my minute-to-minute past/current/future post and experiences on Monaco & Monte Carlo.

My day began early in Cannes. I spent a lovely day at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Cap Ferrat and ended in Monte Carlo and Monaco. Such a marvelous day in the French Riviera. Around 4PM I was driven from Cap Ferrat to Monte Carlo with breathtaking views on a 30 minutes drive.

Upon arrival to Monte Carlo, I checked in at a room at the Fairmont Hotel Monte Carlo – a nice four star hotel overlooking the Liguirian Sea. The hotel is a bit outdated and rooms are pretty basic I must say. Would not be my choice of hotel, but for my overnight experience was perfect location. Also as an insider tip, the Fairmont Monte Carlo, has one of the best terraces to experience the Grand Prix. On previous visits I have seen the Hotel de Paris, the Metropole and my absolute favorite, Hotel Hermitage, and those would be my recommendations in terms of accommodation when in this enclave within the Principality of Monaco.

Once settled, I took a walk around, stop for a coffee at one of the bars around the Place du Casino – main square overlooking the Casino de Monte Carlo.

I join a group of colleagues, also staying in the hotel, for a quick drink at the bar of NOBU Restaurant, located at the lobby of the hotel, as I was getting ready to head to my local gourmet experience, right up the Rock in Monaco.

My dinner reservation was at 8PM so I decided to explore around and take a 35 minutes stroll from my hotel to the top of the rock where my restaurant for the night was located. This came highly recommend by the team at the tourism office of Monaco, as a true local restaurant, where to try Monégasque food among locals, right a few steps away from the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.

The Rock in Monaco, is in the oldest of the four quarters, which is also the location of Old Town, the oldest part of the city. This is not far from the Prince’s Palace. The walk is lovely with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Coast and the port of Monaco. Must visit.

Restaurant La Montgolfière by Henri Geraci was my gourmet experience of the night. A gastronomic flight aboard the Montgolfière ( aka. a Montgolfière is a hot air balloon ). Tucked away in the old town atop the Rock of Monaco, La Montgolfière is a colourful interlude in the picturesque Monegasque lanes.

I must say it was SPECTACULAR. Literally a hole in the wall restaurant, with outstanding local gastronomy – uncomplicated, highly creative and flavorsome. Run by an enthusiastic husband and wife team; whilst Henri is cooking, Fabienne takes the customers’ orders and serves the food in a very intimate and unpretentious atmosphere. In previous visits to the Principality, I have tried the Alain Ducasse, and the Joël Robouchon choices, and this time I was on a search for true local and casual choices, and I found it.

After such culinary experience, I needed a walk back to my hotel, and off I went for it, down the Rock to Monte Carlo. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Bespoke Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by following me on Instagram Facebook or Twitter.