The ‘Belly of Cannes’

The beauty of the French Riviera draws the attention of international directors, actors and actresses every May for the Film Festival but what else does the city have to offer apart from the glitz and the glamour? I was about to find out…

We were running a networking forum held at the Grand Hyatt Martinez, which lies nestled among La Croisette’s palm trees and luxury boutiques. The hotel provided the accommodation alongside the conference facilities for our client’s group of 230 people.

Though much of Cannes’ culture circles around style and celebrity, it is also home to Provençal French cuisine. As a networking activity delegates had the opportunity to get out into the open and discover the beauty of Cannes and its cuisine, through us privatising Forville, a local food market known as the ‘belly of Cannes’. Located close to the town hall, this market provides an important place in people’s daily life and was a great way for the delegates to understand the local culture. The idea for this activity was to create a market atmosphere by bringing in local suppliers under one roof for the guests to taste and experience the local offerings.

The activity lasted roughly two hours and delegates had the opportunity to stroll around the stalls, learn and most importantly have fun whilst answering a series of questions referring to each stall. For the delegates who answered the questions correctly, there was winning prize of a case of Brad and Angelina’s Miraval wine and a gift card from Hermes – what a treat!

We carefully selected some of the everyday market stall holders to take part in our private market, offering a variety of food experiences for delegates to fill their stomachs from French cheese and wine from Provence to Socca, a type of street food made from chickpeas, water, salt and olive oil.

Having different types of products under one roof offered delegates a glimpse of the real Riviera, leaving with them a memory of the taste and traditions of Cannes.

After tasting the Provençal rosé wine, I will definitely be visiting Cannes again to explore more of the hidden gems of the South of France.

Chloe Michalias

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