Did you know I am a Francophile? You did. I know you’re a good reader. I’ve said it a million times I’m sure, and everyone loves a repeater. France is my thing.
I. Love. France.
I’m seriously looking forward to our French holiday in August, planning all the cheese, wine and French Pharmacies that make me so happy. Plus, listening to my husband speak fluent French never, ever gets old.
The French have a bit of a reputation for being rude, but, despite that, I love their way of life, and whenever I visit, I always leave determined to bring a little bit of that back with me. While some of their traits are what us Brits would call rude, some are just more laid back, who gives a sh*t, which, you’ve got to admit, is a pretty good way to live.
Paris, for me, will always be ‘our’ place. It was the first city break we had as a couple, and the first place we spent a whole weekend together without the kids since becoming parents, way back in 2002. It’s always going to have those memories. Normandy was one of our best family holidays, I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, being a city girl, but I was absolutely in love with the slower, country pace, and I would have happily stayed there for an entire year, shopping in the markets with my big old basket, eating all the mussels.
The South of France, however, is still on my hit list. It has all the history and feel of the France I love, but with the added bonus of the Mediterranean sunshine, which always makes a holiday feel that much better!
We all know Cannes is for the rich and famous, and the Cote d’Azur is all about the glamour, which is exactly why I want to go, but it’s also perfect for a family holiday. There is a quieter side to the glamour, away from the tourist trail. The beaches are beautiful, sandy and warm, there are mountains to hike (if that’s your thing), and Alps to ski down in the winter. Or, if you’re like me, Alps to watch other people ski down while you’re drinking hot chocolate in lovely warm clothes. Whatever time of year you go, there is something beautiful to see and do.
Where to Stay
For us, as a family, renting a villa is the only way to go, hotels are for us as a couple, but when you have kids you need to give them the space to make a mess, explore and relax without feeling like you’re (literally) waking up the neighbours. There are so many options for villas to stay in if you’re going on holiday in France! We will be staying in our own villa this year, and when (note I said when!) we visit the South of France, we will be doing the same. Gone are the days of ‘self-catering’ being a bad thing, how could it be when you’re in a country that has such good food!
There are so many amazing villas around, if money were no object, I think I would probably struggle to leave it and come home to reality!
We love to explore during the day, taking our time, getting up late and staying out late, there is so much to see and do, wherever you are in France, it would be silly not to make the most of it, whether we go as a family or as a couple. I think the bloke and I did the equivalent to two marathons when we went to Paris, I wanted to see everything and even though he had already been before, he was the perfect tour guide. There is always something new to see, somewhere new to visit, and when you go with people who have never been, or with children, you see things in a different light. I’m sure the South of France will be as full of romance as it is child friendly fun. Maybe we should pack some babysitters so we can experience both…!
I want to visit as much of France as I can, and bring back as much of the lifestyle as I can, if I can be just a little bit French, I’ll be a very happy person!