Queen Victoria adored it; Winston Churchill painted its landscapes, and Robert Louis Stevenson and Katherine Mansfield came here to convalesce among the sunny lemon groves. Sean Connery filmed scenes of ‘Never Say Never’ in the old town, Jean Cocteau painted his famous frescoes of love here, and English nobles planted exotic gardens around Italianate villas shaded by palm trees. So enchanting is Menton that Eve is said to have planted the first lemon here, and the town, nestled on that last steep stretch of coastline before France gives way to Italy, is widely referred to as ‘The Pearl of France’.
So why is it then, that glorious Menton—set against a mighty backdrop of mountains, its cluster of pastel painted buildings and bell towers perched above the deep blue sea—is often left off the French Riviera yacht charter itinerary altogether? How can this be? For those looking for a place that brings the medieval and the gilded ages together with a gentle, well-preserved charm, Menton is paradise found.