TRAVEL MONACO MAGIC

Each May, the KiwiGarage crew decamps in Europe and the Monaco Grand Prix is our first port of call.

Grand Prix week in the second half of May is, of course, Monaco at its glitzy best. Covering two square kilometres, the principality is so small that you find yourself rubbing shoulders with the great and the good regardless of your intentions.

With travel off the cards this year, and The Hermitage kindly rolling over our booking until next season, we’ve resorted to a virtual tour of Monaco with a Kiwi twist, thanks to Brendon Hartley and the 2018 Toro Rosso.

For those unfamiliar with the circuit, Port Hercule is the sparkling centrepiece around which much of the action unfolds. The starting grid is marked out in the shade of trees lining Boulevard Albert 1er and, at Sainte Devote, the F1 cars turn right and accelerate up Avenue d’Ostende towards Monte-Carlo Casino.

From our experience, it’s best to avoid the casino’s gold ceilings and chandeliers and splash your cash outside, on a seat overlooking Casino Square. We also like the small stand at Portier where the cars complete their descent under hard braking before accelerating towards the Tunnel entrance. From either position, the famous Buddha Bar is only a short walk away and it deserves its reputation as both the best drinking and people-watching spot during race week.

Supercar parking is thin on the ground so a helicopter transfer to and from Nice makes more sense than fighting Ferrari and McLaren owners for a patch of uncovered tarmac. Multi-day ticket holders have the chance to walk the track and if your legs still fancy a hillclimb, you don’t need an invite to visit the Prince’s Palace, home to the Grimaldi family since 1297. There’s even a nearby car museum housing Prince Albert’s impressive collection.

 

Special thanks: Emirates, Red Bull, The Hermitage Monte-Carlo.

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