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Coffee on the French Riviera!

Coffee is done slightly differently out here on the French Riviera – there’s none of the fast-paced, drinking your coffee on-the-go out of a plastic cup that you find in London or New York !! Oh no, here coffee is very much a sit-down social affair and is to be enjoyed at any moment of the day and is best savoured sitting under the sun in an outdoor café while watching the world go by. It would be unthinkable for a French person to end their meal without a coffee! Café society can be enjoyed at its best in Nice old town's Cours Saleya (Nice’s flower market) or in one of the beach cafes on the Promenade.

Whether you’re inviting guests over to your new apartment in Nice to show off your luxury property or whether you’re sampling the local cafés, here is the Attika coffee guide so you know what to order – and remember you’re unlikely to find a bar that offers skimmed milk or soya milk…it’s traditional all the way here !

Most coffees will usually be served with a plain biscuit on the side

Un café is actually a strong espresso and it’s a good idea to ask for a glass of water on the side. If you just ask for a café, this is the coffee you will be automatically served.

In the south, a lot of people order a noisette: an espresso cut with a drop of milk about the size of a hazelnut, hence its name.

Café américain is an espresso diluted with water, closer to the standard black coffee that we’re used to at home.

Café au lait usually comes in a bowl or bowl shaped cup and contains a high ratio of milk to coffee; order a café crème if you want less milk and a mug-sized cup. Locals generally only order coffee with milk in the morning with breakfast, after that it’s usually just espresso or noisette.

Cappuccino comes in a mug-sized cup and has a frothy milk topping, sometimes with some chocolate powder sprinkled on top. If you’ve got a bartender with artistic leanings, they can often come with a lovely design drawn into the milk foam ! This is generally ordered only in the morning by the locals.

Thé is regular tea (not just black tea but green and various other varieties too) and an infusion is a herbal tea. You will have to ask for milk if you take it in your tea as it’s not served automatically. And from experience, we’d advise you to ask specifically for lait froid (yes we’ve been served boiling milk in a jug with our tea, not ideal). Be aware that in many simple cafes it will be just a Lipton tea. You can buy British tea bags such as Tetley in most supermarkets, but these are never served in the local cafes.

Jus d’orange will get you a Tropicana-style orange juice; better to spend the money on a freshly-squeezed juice and order a jus d’orange pressé.

Several cafés in Nice offer Italian-style hot chocolate, which is not to be missed! It’s thick, almost pudding like, and made with rich chocolate – nothing like the powder-and-water concoction that most places serve!