If you’re a Gentleman’s Journal subscriber (What? You’re not? Best sort that out here…) you’ll know that every year we leave London and head to the sunny south of France. It’s become something of a tradition; the grandest of grand tours down to the Riviera for a long weekend of good food, fine wine and that oh-so little matter of the Cannes Film Festival.
That’s right. Gentleman’s Journal has strong links with the cinematic festival, and we’d usually be found mid-May celebrating up and down the Croisette. In past years, we’ve shot a cover feature on the roof of the Hotel Martinez with James Norton during the film festival. We’ve co-hosted the Chopard Terrace Gentleman’s Evening with friends including Christoph Waltz and Colin Firth. We’ve even laid on dinner at the famed Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, just around the Golfe Juan.
But, this year, for the safety of everyone involved, the Cannes Film Festival has been postponed for the first time since 1951. It’s an unfortunate, yet necessary step taken to tackle the global coronavirus crisis — but it’s got us yearning for the fun and foolery of last year’s trip. So, although we’re all stuck behind closed doors this glorious May weekend — and the closest we’ll come to a film festival is a good Netflix binge — read on to relive our 2019 Gentleman’s Grand Tour, it all its private-jetting, black-tie-partying, fine-dining glory.
We began in West Sussex, at the Goodwood Estate
The weekend began in inimitably British style; with a handful of Gentleman’s Journal’s nearest and dearest collaborators converging on one of Britain’s finest estates; Goodwood. In vintage Land Rover Defenders, we took our time enjoying the manor’s expansive grounds, before heading to Hound Lodge for an indulgent black tie dinner.
A spot of cards, some more drinks and a handsome cigar each saw the night come to a close early, in preparation for the flight to Cannes in the morning.
A private plane jetted us off to the Riviera
On the second morning, we travelled to Farnborough Airfield with our guests — including Richard Biedul, Eric Underwood and Thomas Brodie Sangster — to board a private jet to the French Riviera.
Sam Way, Luke Pasqualino and Bradley James were also among the guests who were opulently swept down to Cannes with us, before we boarded a boat to hop across the water to the town itself.
That evening, we dined at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
After freshening up and settling in, we headed to the iconic Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Gentleman’s Journal had previously spent three days behind-the-scenes at the hotel, learning sun-soaked secrets at the spiritual home of the international jet set. So we could think of few destinations better to take our very own grand tour.
We spent the evening on the Riviera resort of Cap d’Antibes, drinking chilled rosé, eating good food and spotting superyachts at anchor — in town for the glamorous film festival taking place around the gulf.
We co-hosted the Chopard Gentleman’s Evening party
And, sufficiently fed and dressed to the nines, we travelled back into town to our favourite Cannes bolthole, the Hotel Martinez, for our annual party: the Gentleman’s Journal and Chopard Gentleman’s Evening. An exclusive bash, everyone from Brooklyn Beckham and Colin Firth to Chloe Sevigny and Pixie Lott were in attendance.
We danced, we drank and we celebrated Cannes — rubbing shoulders with stars in a town where the film festival was in full swing.
We enjoyed a relaxed Riviera morning — and one final Americano...
With a night of celebration behind us, we spent the next morning gently exploring Cannes, before retiring to the terrace of the Hotel Martinez for drinks and lunch. After eating at the Michelin-starred La Palme d’Or restaurant, we headed to the roof — the best place to take in everything Cannes has to offer.
Over half a century of talent, filmmaking and stars have breezed through this coastal town since the festival began, and we are beyond honoured to be a part of it every year. So, although this year may be a little different, and we may not currently be enjoying martinis on the Riviera, we’re still sipping them in spirit. So raise a glass — and here’s to making the 2021 Cannes Film Festival the best of all time.