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My Riviera by Clive Panto

Clive Panto runs a Corporate Entertainment, Team Building and Training Company specialising in researching into company events and writing personalised comedy based on all the gossip and scandal in the organisation. Clive lived in Mougins for 14 months with his wife Catherine and their children Madeleine and Tomas. Clive's hobbies include eating and sleeping, always in that order.

Where were you born?
Hove Actually in Sussex.

Why are you here?
Not technically in France at the moment, but spiritually there and plotting to return.

Cannes_Holiday_panto_family

Who are you with?
I'm with my wife and children although they would say I'm against them.

Where do you live and why?
We live in Staplefield in West Sussex, I can't think why, we must be mad.

Where do you work?
Wherever my clients want me to. Hotels and Conference centres all over the world, I've worked in places as glamorous as the Villa D'Este in Lake Como, unfortunately I'm more often to be found in the Radisson Edwardian at Heathrow.

Early bird or night owl?
Both, unless I sit down to watch television, in which case I'm asleep on the sofa by 9.30!

Marmite_black_and_white

What's for breakfast?
Toast and Marmite in England, Baguette and Marmite in France, Full English if I'm staying in a hotel.

Best beach?
Contradiction in terms. I don't like sand and I don't like swiming in salty water. I'm strictly a swimming pool man.

Best bar?
L'Abreuvoir de Mougins, in the old village, it has a great terrace with great views, you can see all the people walking in and out of the village, but above all it's my favourite bar because they always serve hot popcorn with your drinks.

Best Crunched restaurant?
Plage des Sports, La Bocca Beach. I love looking at beaches from the comfort of a restaurant table.

Best Minted restaurant?
La Bastide de San Antoine Grasse. Fabulously elegant house and garden, excellent but understated service, great food, great wine.

Best for lunch?
Carlton Beach eat as much as you like buffet for €40! I love a buffet!!!

Best view?
Standing on the terrace of the Eden Roc Hotel du Cap, as long as you don't have to eat there or pay the bill.

cartier_cannes

Best for love?
Hermes or Cartier on the Croisette...never fails!

Best shopping?
Sifas Sale in August for garden furniture, fruit and veg shop in Val de Mougins for the best fruit and veg display in the world, in and around the Rue D'Antibes for everything else.

Best for late nights?
I've absolutely no idea. When I said I was both an early bird and a late owl, I meant that having two small children, I'm used to getting up early, but by late owl, I meant that I have to catch up with work on my computer late at night, when the kids have gone to bed. The last time I went to a night club the Beatles were at number 1 and Je T'aime by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin was in serious danger of being banned!

Best town or village?
I know some people think the old village of Mougins has become a tourist trap with nothing but second rate art galleries and overpriced restaurants, but I've been visiting or staying in or near
Mougins for over 40 years and I never tire of the architecture, the views, the buzzy atmosphere in the restaurants at night, I love everything about it.

Best Riviera party ever?
My wife's 7 closest girlfriends coming to stay at our house in Mougins for one of their 50th birthday celebration. (see lead photo)

Best Riviera meal ever?
Carlton beach Eat as much as you like buffet for €40. I went back to the buffet so many times,everyone thought I was the Restaurant Manager.

Cannes, Nice or Monaco?
Nobody should have to choose between Cannes and Nice, you can keep Monaco.

Have you ever rubbed shoulders with a star and where?
I was just about to be introduced to Ray Winstone at last year's Cannes Film Festival, when a hand shot out and grabbed my forearm with a vice like grip, I thought I was about to be thrown out of the Century Club by a bouncer, it turned out to be an out of work actor I had worked with in England over 20 years ago. I didn't like him then, I don't like him now, I hadn't seen him before or since, but by the time I got away from him, Ray Winstone had dissapeared behind the VIP ropes to chat to Dennis Hopper.

mexican_bandit_panto

Have you had your fifteen minutes of fame yet?
I was the mexican bandit in the TV ad for Bandit Biscuits: "You Can't Stand it With Bandit!" Sadly it doesn't seem to be on You Tube, if anyone knows how to upload an old VHS onto You Tube, please let me know, as I think it is a sadly underated piece of work.

What did you get friends to bring back from home?
Marmite and Yorkshire Gold tea bags.

Worst thing about France?
Everything closes at lunch and lunch can be anytime from 12 noon to 3.30 p.m.

Best thing about France?
Everything closes at lunch. Get over it, eat and drink and fall asleep by the pool.

Are you here forever?
I'm not even here for now, but I'll be back one day for sure!

See Clive's website if you need anymore information on his great company or you would like to rent the Bandit Biscuit video for the evening.

If you have enjoyed reading My Riviera, why not share your secrets and hidden gems with FR2DAY readers and fill out your own My Riviera online

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