After Italy and Monaco, where he met our “neighbour” Prince Albert II of Monaco, President Xi Jinping began his trip to France with a private dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron. They were both accompanied by their wives. This first meeting took place in Beaulieu-sur-Mer in the villa Kérylos, an iconic monument in the charming seaside resort located less than 10 km from Nice and Monaco. For safety reasons all the roads around had been closed, which made it difficult for a group of Italian students to arrive to our language school, Beaulieu Riviera Language Center!
No ministers or advisers were present, so both couples were able to enjoy in complete peace and quiet the splendid site of this villa overlooking the Mediterranean and the peninsula of Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat. Built between 1902 and 1908 for the archaeologist Theodore Reinach, the building was inspired by the luxurious palaces of ancient Greece while offering the latest facilities of modern comfort of the time.
Presidents Macron and Xi Jinping began their meeting by visiting the gardens around the villa, enjoying the splendid panorama, enhanced by the sunset. The menu concocted by the Michelin three-stars chef, Christophe Bacquié was just as delightful. Committed to the preservation of the sea’s resources and a supporter of short distribution channels and seasonal products, he prepared a dinner made up of shellfish and crabs, fresh vegetables such as asparagus, meat that we can imagine being very tender ( “Filet de veau élevée sous la mère”) and Provençal specialities for dessert (calisson and sabayon).
After the meal, Xi Jinping and his wife spent the night in the Nice palace “le Negresco” where the couple had their bed brought from China. The next day, the official visit began in Paris, the serious things were really about to start.
For more information on Villa Kerylos, click here.
Photo from Le Parisien – REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier