What (Else) To Do At The Monaco Grand Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is a highlight of the F1 calendar, but what else is there to do in the infamous Principality?
For nearly one hundred years, the Principality of Monaco has played host to one of the most important, glamorous and influential dates in the racing calendar - the eponymous Monaco Grand Prix. Formally started in 1922, the Grand Prix has played host to some of the most exciting names in the sport, including Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and the damnably rakish Graham Hill. It’s also one of world’s the most challenging tracks, typified by multiple elevation changes, a tunnel and hairpin turns winding through the narrow streets of Monte Carlo. It’s an enormous, exhilarating - and at times exhausting - event to be a part of, however, despite the city’s diminutive size, Monte Carlo’s reputation as a playground for the well-at-heel is definitely earned. The city offers plenty of options for relaxation, entertainment or imbibing, so for those attending this year’s Grand Prix, The Rake presents a curated selection of the crème de la crème. Stay at the Hotel Metropole Originally constructed in 1886 and recently reinvigorated and nestled at the base of Monte Carlo’s hills, Hotel Metropole is one of the city’s finest places to stay. The hotel’s baroque Italian style exudes an intoxicating aura of old-world glamour that’s worth visiting year round. However, its brilliant views of the racetrack’s east end make it an especially perfect location during the Grand Prix. The hotel features three restaurants - Joël Robuchon Monte Carlo, a poolside bar and restaurant Odyssey (designed under the guidance of Karl Lagerfeld), and the spectacular, Michelin-starred contemporary Japanese restaurant Yoshi. If the race-watching, imbibing and gastronomy prove all too wearying, Givenchy’s newly-minted on-site Spa Metropole offers a welcome place to unwind from such rigours. Perhaps most excitingly, the hotel also offers a range of curated personal experiences, including the option to drive a Formula 1 car yourself at Circuit du Var Luv in Provence. Gamble at the Casino Monte Carlo Obviously. The world’s first major casino, the source of most of Monaco’s wealth and one of the most elegant gambling houses in the world, it’s a must-visit even for the gambling-averse. Featuring several major halls, restaurants with views over the bay and absolutely stunning ceilings and frescos, the Casino Monte Carlo is a beautiful and intoxicating setting to have a flutter in, and the beautiful building has a fascinating history all its own that is well worth discovering.
Eat at the Cipriani Restaurant Although its interior isn’t as opulent as some, don’t be fooled - Cipriani is one of the most exciting restaurants in Monaco. It offers traditional Riviera fare - lots of fish with touches of both French and rich Mediterranean flavours - alongside an impressive selection of pasta. However Cipriani’s best trick is perhaps its selection of ‘sashimi della Venezia’ - traditional Japanese sashimi given an improbable but invigorating injection of Italian verve. Experience Prince Rainier III’s Private Car Collection From a relatively young age, Monaco’s Crown Prince Rainier III was known for being a fanatical collector of luxury cars. His collection, which features over one hundred vehicles spanning a century of motoring, from the 1903 De Doin Bouton to the 2013 Lotus F1 car, covers everything from roadsters to luxury sedans to historic cars from Monaco’s racing past. And it’s all available to view in a dedicated museum space on the Terrasses de Fontvieille. Some of the most striking pieces include a stunning a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud from the same year, a 1968 Maserati Type 4 Mistral and a 1969 Jaguar Type 42 Roadster. Relax at the Miami Plage The self-proclaimed ‘oldest beach in Monaco’ offers a beautiful and secluded spot to relax and take in the French Riviera for the day or take a dip off the Cote d’Azur. However, its true ace in the hole is its restaurant, which can deliver truly spectacular wood-fired pizzas to you at your lounger. The author can attest that their reputation for being good enough to eat two-at-a-time is justified, to the detriment of his waistline.