Americans in Monaco and the Côte d’Azur feted Thanksgiving with the American Club of the Riviera, which was also celebrating its 55th anniversary, over lunch at the historical Negresco hotel in Nice.
Guests were treated to a tour of the ground floor art works as collected by Madame Augier, whose family has owned the Belle Époque hotel since 1957. The hotel-cum-museum has been a listed Historical Monument since 1974, and is home to 3,000 objets d’art including 1600 original paintings (one of three full-length portraits of Louis XIV is in the Versailles Ballroom, the other two being the Louvre and Versailles).
The art appreciation was followed by a Champagne reception in the Galerie Royale at 12:30 pm, where smoked salmon and foie gras canapés were served with Jeepers Champagne – named after WWII American soldiers who left a Willys Jeep for the champagne producer Armand Gourtobe who had been injured while rescuing American GIs and could no longer walk through his vineyards.
The lunch at the new location (it has customarily been held in Monaco in past years) was a huge success – it finished at 4:30 pm – with 153 people in attendance including Major William Connors, US Army, Liaison Officer to the French Army, and his wife Sarah, who enjoyed a traditional turkey as prepared by Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2007 and 2-starred Michelin chef, Jean-Denis Rieubland.
Later that evening, another Thanksgiving feast took place at Stars’n’Bars for the 24th consecutive year as MonacoUSA honoured the holiday on the third Thursday of November.
Some 70 guests sat at communal tables at Stardeck where they shared stories of gratitude, gobbled turkey and watched the traditional three NFL Thanksgiving football games on the big screen.
The all-you-can-eat buffet, of which nearly every ingredient was organic, was a hit with the customary stuffed turkey and all the fixings. The entire meal was homemade – even the cranberry sauce and pie made from real pumpkins – and made using owner Kate Power’s original Texan recipes.
Although it was an American celebration, the festive evening included all nationalities and all ages. Seven lucky guests won prizes including watches, headphones and a Bacardi party keg.
According to IMSEE’s 2016 census, there are currently 366 American residents in Monaco.