Life

The endless charm and beauty of Nice is still there in abundance

View of the famed Promenade des Anglais. Picture by AP Photo/Christian Alminana

A NEW campaign has been launched in France called 'Cote d'Azur Now' in the hope of luring tourists back to the southern city of Nice.

The popular tourist hotspot is trying its best to recover from the terrible atrocity that befell this beautiful place on Bastille Day.

Since the horrific attack on the Promenade des Anglais, which left 85 innocent people dead and hundreds more injured, there has been a sharp drop in tourism.

In the week following the July 14 attack on the Riviera city, flight arrivals slumped by almost nine per cent compared to the same period last year.

But a new campaign aims to rejuvenate France's already-battered industry during what should have been the height of the summer season.

The 'strategy of resilience and resistance' hopes to remind people of just how beautiful the southern French city really is.

Officials are hoping the new ad campaign will replace the images of death and destruction with images of the natural beauty of the French landscape.

They want tourists and residents alike to spread the word on social media by sharing all their good times in the coastal city - from photos to videos.

I have just returned from Nice following a 10-day summer break with my husband and children.

So many people said to us before we left, 'are you still going?'

There were the raised eyebrows from others, who then just nodded when we said we were still adamant to go.

Like many others, I watched the tragic events unfold in Nice on television, trying to take in the enormity of the horror of the attack. I felt the sadness of the city as it mourned the loss of so many innocent victims.

Such an appalling act, I can understand why people would be reluctant to return to the city amidst all the tragedy.

But there was never a slight possibility of us cancelling our visit to a city we love.

From the moment we arrived, we could see there were signs of hope, that the city - regarded as one of the Mediterranean's premier resorts - is going in the right direction.

Yes, it felt terribly sad as we walked along the promenade for the first time, especially as we came across the tributes - from flowers to candles, drawings and most poignantly photographs of those who had perished.

A month on and people, including many holidaymakers, were still arriving with fresh flowers to pay their respects to the victims on the seafront.

In the wake of the murders, security was tightened and while it was not a heavy presence while we were there, armed police and soldiers were clearly visible along the promenade.

The city has struggled to come to terms with what has happened on Bastille Day, but the summer season is slowly returning, things are gradually getting back to some sort of normality.

All businesses appear to have re-opened - from restaurants to cafes, hotels and shops - people are heading out to the streets of Nice once again.

The beaches and the promenade are all open, thronged with locals and tourists alike.

Not far away in Massena Square in the famous old town, the central fountains were packed with people, with the sounds of children's laughter ringing through the air as they enjoyed the outdoor water displays.

Our holiday to Nice, just a month after the atrocity, was enjoyed to the maximum and we did our best to share the word of how the city is fighting back.

We soaked up the sun on the pebble beaches of Nice, took the tourist train around the city enjoying the stunning views from Castle Hill along the long sweep of the Bay of Angels.

We frequently walked the winding streets of the old town, which date back to the 16th century, and of course we enjoyed the multitude of cafes, bars and eateries.

Our trips to Monaco and Villefranche were also among the many highlights of our wonderful trip.

If there had been any doubts about us visiting Nice, there need not have been.

There are clear efforts to restore confidence and security in the city, but above all Nice's endless charm and beauty is still there - and still there in abundance.

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Competition

Win a 'sweet' prize to get ready for Killyleagh Chocolate and Fine Food Festival.

Thousands of chocoholics are set to descend on Killyleagh on September 24 and 25 to celebrate the 2016 Finnebrogue Artisan Hans Sloane Chocolate and Fine Food Festival.

Sponsored by Finnebrogue, based in nearby Downpatrick and famous for their outstanding quality venison and sausages, this year's festival will be the largest one yet.

Over 15 chocolatiers and 40 local artisan food producers are due to set up camp at the historic Killyleagh Castle for the weekend-long festival celebrating Killyleagh’s most famous son, Sir Hans Sloane.

The Irish News has teamed up with the festival to give away a pair of day tickets and a luxury gift bag bursting with chocolatey goodness, courtesy of boutique luxury chocolatier Hotel Chocolat.

To be in with a chance to win, simply email your name, address and telephone number - along with the answer to the question below - to competitions@irishnews.com

Closing date for entries is Tuesday September 6 at noon.

(Q) Who is the famous Killyleagh son who brought the recipe for drinking chocolate from Jamaica?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

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What's Hot!

Line of Duty - Actress Thandie Newton is to star in the next series of hit BBC drama Line of Duty. She will join returning cast members Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar when filming begins in Belfast later this month.

It's back - Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens tomorrow night. The 15-strong line-up of celebrities, including pop star Will Young, model Daisy Lowe and Olympian Greg Rutherford, strutted their stuff alongside professional dancers, judges and presenters earlier at the launch show.

What's Not!

Loss of a comic genius - saddened to hear of the passing of Willy Wonka star Gene Wilder, who died aged 83 following secret battle with Alzheimer's.

Pressure - Courteney Cox has admitted she regrets succumbing to the pressure to look young in Hollywood. The former Friends star opened up about her changing appearance and said there was "pressure to maintain that, not just because of fame".

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Competition winners

The winners of last week's competition to win a copy of Pengelly’s Daughter are Mary O'Neill from Moy, Helen Rooney from Newcastle and Siobhan Flanagan from Ballyward.

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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is hazelnut and pecan brownies, courtesy of Hotel Chocolat.

You will need:

200g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

220g Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate drops

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

150g plain flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder, sifted

75g pecan nuts, broken into pieces

75g whole hazelnuts

3 tbsp desiccated coconut

75g Hotel Chocolat milk chocolate drops

75g white chocolate drops

To make:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Lightly grease and line the base of a 20cm baking tin.

Melt the dark chocolate drops and butter in large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla seeds.

Fold in flour and baking powder then add the pecan nuts, hazelnuts, coconut and milk and white chocolate drops.

Pour mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake until the top is firm but centre is still slightly soft when pressed lightly, about 30–35 minutes.

Leave the brownies to cool in the tin on a wire rack and cut into 12 squares.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Suzanne McGonagle,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,

Belfast,

BT1 2GE

or

s.mcgonagle@irishnews.com

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