Worth getting out of bed for
Classicists and Roman architecture enthusiasts will be in their element. Nîmes is littered with relics and ruins from the empire’s glory days, such as the amphitheatre, the Maison Carrée temple, and the awe-evoking Pont du Gard, a drive out of town. Fashion boffins will already know that the city’s signature fabric, serge de Nîmes, gave its name to a certain workwear fabric.
The courtyard restaurant of Bar Le 9 on Rue de L’Etoile has a romantic and relaxed atmosphere, and serves excellent fish dishes (+33 (0)4 66 21 80 77). Le Lisita, on Boulevard des Arènes, is the city’s restaurant du jour (+33 (0)4 66 67 29 15), but the enchantingly named Le Darling on Rue Madeleine (+33 (0)4 66 67 04 99) is hot on its heels, serving inventive amuse-bouches and artistically jus’d main dishes. Aux Plaisirs des Halles on Rue Littré serves delicious Provençal cooking on a beautiful terrace (+33 (0)4 66 36 01 02; closed Sundays and Mondays). The bistro-style Jardin d’Hadrien, on Rue Enclos Rey, has a shaded garden and works miracles with local beef and lamb (+33 (0)4 66 21 86 65).
Slinky L’Exaequo on Rue Bigot is perfect for late-night mojitos and flamenco (+33 (0)4 66 21 71 96).
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Smith extra at Jardins Secrets
A bottle of rosé wine