Spinning along by the sea between Antibes and Juan-les-Pins may be an essential element of the Riviera fantasy but, in reality, the coastal road can get a bit congested around the summer bank holidays, and driving within Cannes itself is a no-no, with fiendish one-ways, and bans during the film festival and big conferences.
EasyJet flies to Nice (half an hour to Cannes by taxi, about €80) from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle and Belfast. British Airways also serves Nice, and British Midlands flies there from Nottingham. Nice Helicoptères (+33 (0)4 93 21 34 32) charges about €135 plus tax per person for a return trip from Nice to Cannes.
The TGV from Paris to Cannes takes five and a half hours; you must reserve seats. Useful railway websites: www.sncf.com; www.tgv.com; www.eurostar.com. Train services along the coast are good.
Country code for France: 33. Provence: (0)4.
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald; The Last Life by Claire Messud; Super-Cannes by JG Ballard.
Do go / Don't Go
Mediterranean rules apply: spring and autumn are lovely, with July and August hot and crowded. Festival time in May is a thrill if you like that kind of thing.
Provençal cuisine for ladies who lunch: fruits de mer, elegant pasta dishes, salads, tapenade, rosé.
You can hail taxis on the street, or ring (0)4 92 99 27 27 (pick-up charge applies).
By law, 10-15 per cent is added in restaurants, but it's nice to leave a euro or two. Round up cab fares to the nearest euro.
Very big, very dark sunglasses. A glamorous wardrobe, if you want to fit in with the locals.
The Musée de la Castre, perched above the old port on Place de la Castre, houses art and objets from around the world. La Malmaison, 47 La Croisette, puts on art and photography exhibitions, in a swish villa.
A nice counterpoint to the civilised chic of Cannes is a day trip to the formerly monastic Isles de Lérins - St-Honorat and Ste-Marguerite - where you can walk in pine forests and go skinny-dipping in little coves.
Cannes is well-stocked with fashion labels, real jewels, art and Rolls-Royces (you'll have to head to Antibes to buy your yacht). La Croisette and the Rue d'Antibes - the cinema strip - and the streets between them, are the epicentre of le shopping, where you'll find Chanel, Hermes et al. Every Saturday and the whole first weekend of the month, a fleamarket or brocante takes place by the old port. Cannes' daily market is at Forville, on Rue Félix Faure, with a flower market at one end, and a fleamarket Mondays.
Walk up to the Notre-Dame de l'Espérance church atop Le Suquet hill for views east over the old port and the bay of Cannes, and west towards La Corniche de L'Esterel.
Away from the hurly-burly, next to a playground at the east end of La Croisette you'll find a flower garden, the Jardin Alexandre III.
May The world's best-known film festival kicks off two weeks of movie madness (www.festival-cannes.fr). July/August The Festival d'Art Pyrotechnique is a six-night firework extravaganza. 16-19 August Pantiero Festival (www. pantierofestival.com) is in its fifth year of staging electro gigs at the Palais des Festivals.