Avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco
Written by Oryx Illustration by Florian Schubert
Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki shares the best hang-outs and restaurant hotspots on her favourite street in her newly adopted home of Monaco.
Just down the road from the bright lights and Grand Casino of Monte Carlo, Caroline Wozniacki enjoys the picturesque beach and amenities along the Boulevard Princesse Grace – an ideal spot for a woman who has been called the ‘Princess of Tennis’.
When off the courts, the world’s number two seeded player has made a life for herself in the independent state of Monaco, which lies on the coast of France, between the Alps and the mesmerising aquamarine of the Mediterranean Sea.
“I don’t go back to Denmark often, and I miss it sometimes. But I get to see so much of the world, playing in various tennis tournaments, and Monaco is a great place to live,” says Caroline, who is currently participating in the Sony Ericsson WTA tour.
For a world traveller like Caroline, she has the whole world to choose from. Yet, she says, “My favourite street is the Boulevard Princesse Grace in Monaco.” Also known as the Avenue Princesse Grace, this famous thoroughfare runs parallel to the beachfront. Just as glamorous and beautiful as its namesake, the road is a tribute to the late Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, who married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 to become the beloved Princess Grace.
“It’s such a great street,” explains Caroline. “They have all the nice restaurants there, great apartments, and the beach is there, too. So, you can really relax, but there are also good parties on the weekends. And then there’s the shopping!”
However, despite what you might think, Caroline doesn’t only shop for tennis shoes and sports clothes. “I like to buy the off-court fashions – a cute dress, or jeans and a cute top. Very casual,” she says. Furthermore, as the face of ‘adidas by Stella McCartney’, Caroline knows her designers, and Boulevard Princesse Grace has many upscale boutiques. “Yes, there are a lot of designers. But, I don’t actually have one favourite shop. I like to choose different things from different shops and put my own style to it.”
Inevitably, you may want to grab a bite to eat afterwards. Caroline recommends, “Sass Café” (sasscafe.com), it’s one of my favourite restaurants.” With a reputation as a hotspot amongst the international jetset, Sass Café serves up a cool atmosphere to complement its Italian-style fare. “It has a lot of good food and it’s always crowded,” notes Caroline.
“Also, there’s a restaurant on the beach called La Note Bleue (www.lanotebleue.mc), which is really nice – it has a lot of different foods: healthy foods, salad, and everything.” With live jazz and a terrace overlooking the sea, La Note Bleue is a stylish place to catch some sun and meet friends.
Meanwhile, the main attraction on this street has to be Plage du Larvotto. “I really enjoy the beach, as a lot of my friends are usually there, so we hang out and play beach volleyball and beach football,” says Caroline, whose athletic abilities clearly aren’t confined to tennis.
And when she’s all played out and looking for a slice of culture and tranquillity, where does Caroline go? “Well, it’s pretty much a ‘happening’ street, but there is a Japanese Garden. It’s a good place to relax,” Caroline says.
It was Princess Grace’s wish to have a Japanese garden in Monaco, and this dream was fulfilled here, with a pond, zen rock garden, and a green oasis in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle of Boulevard Princesse Grace.
In 2009, Caroline was a finalist in the US Open, and this year her results continue to be impressive – winning the Danish Open, reaching the fourth round in Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and ranking in the top three of the WTA tour. “I think it’s going really well – I’m really happy about the results. I’m number three or two in the world; you know, it’s great. Hopefully I can just keep improving – my goal, of course, is to win a Grand Slam. So, we’ll see.”