I’ve been to France many times, but what I love about it (other than the cheese and wine obviously) is that it keeps surprising me. I thought I knew the Côte d’Azur – millionaires’ coastal villas, exclusive boutiques, casinos, luxury yachts – but Antibes wasn’t what I expected. Instead of a row of seafront apartments there was this 16th-century historic walled town, with red-roofed buildings and waves crashing against the ramparts. With sandy beaches on each side and the blue of the Mediterranean it was as pretty as a postcard.
Towering behind rows of boats in Antibes’ harbour, Fort Carré looks out over the Côte d’Azur. The fort was built in the 16th century to protect the border between France and the neighbouring county of Nice and saw its share of battles. After Nice became part of France it was declassified and used as a sports college for soldiers, who used to abseil down its walls, before opening to visitors. It’s claim to fame is that Napoleon was imprisoned there during the French Revolution, but you might recognise it as the villain’s lair from Bond film Never Say Never Again.