Monday, 16 October 2017

Exploring the French Riviera: From Nice to St Tropez


I thought I was truly over summer. That was until this weekend’s burst of sunshine arrived all unexpectedly and got me all nostalgic about long evenings and summer getaways. And so, I thought, before I bring out the winter coats, I’d pause for a few moments and share a few snapshots from our trip to France earlier in the year!

We headed out to the Côte d'Azur, the South-Eastern nook that I’d heard was a) incredibly beautiful and b) a popular haunt of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Picasso back in the day (if was good enough for those chap) ... and what a bloody beauty it was!

It was a fairly last-minute decision to go, so whilst we booked our flight into Nice we decided to boycott any planning beyond that, meaning that we arrived with zero expectations which made finding everything for the first time, all the more exciting. Upon arriving we walked from the airport to the station to catch a bus. The journey took about an hour and half, traveling all along the coast; through luscious green valleys, past sweet-smelling rosé vineyards and into the medieval village of Grimaud. We stayed at the Riviera Villages in Port Grimaud (a relatively new area at the foot of Grimaud) in one of the self-catering lodges, right on the beachfront. Honestly, couldn’t have been happier with the location.

We ate out less than we thought, sucked in by the local market produce and the warm scent of fresh baguettes (when in France), which James would ritualistically take a bite out of on the slow walk back to the apartment each day, like he was Aladdin.

The lodge was really well equipped meaning we could cook a variety of dishes (call us the master risotto makers now) to eat out on the decking, before heading out for a cocktail or two. For the time we didn’t fancy cooking, we either grabbed a stone-baked pizza or booked a table at the restaurant on the beach, nestling our feet in to the sand, and watching the sun set over the sea, which sounds like it could be the end of a cheesy rom-com, but it was better than that… because we loads of bread on the table.

The port itself is full of character and charm. It’s known as ‘Little Venice because of the traditional pastel coloured fisherman style houses that line the maze of bridges and water channels. We spent most of our time walking, wandering from street to street, occasionally stopping for lunch or a zingy gelato, which would be delicately sculpted into a rose… France makes everything 10 times better apparently.

One of the days, we headed to the port and hopped on a boat over the road (well, over the sea), to St Tropez. I had stipulations about visiting at first. Famously glamourous, I imagined it to be over-the-top blingy and feel out of kilter with the easy quaintness of Grimaud, but I adored it. If you excuse the line of super yachts and the rows of designer outlets – except the stunning palm-fronted Dior Café, you don’t want to ignore that one – the town still had that traditional old-town appeal, not to mention the most gorgeous turquoise waters. Sigh.

France I miss you, be back soon. Kiss Kiss.

L xo

Wearing: Details here.
Reading: Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan.

Listening to: Francoise Hardy, of course.
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