For so many summer is drawing to a close. Whether we want to admit it or not the garden is showing a tiny hint of autumn. The biggest indicator of change though is in the supermarket; gone are the huge displays of sun-shades, parasols, beach-toys and flip flops that once greeted us as we walked in. Instead they have now been replaced by back-to-school special offers, of which there will be more on that next week – but I can’t think about ‘La Rentrée’ for a few more days. In fact, that’s why I am keeping this post short and sweet as I want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the last few days of the holidays with the children. I am one of those few people who really hate it when they go back to school, the children laugh and play at the school gates while I stand there sadly with tears in my eyes!
All of this has set me thinking about holidays, or more importantly – how people really like to spend their time when they come to France. According to the latest statistics, France is still the world’s number one tourist destination with some 85 million visitors a year. I wonder what is it you love most of all, or what are you dreaming of if you ever get over here?
I am assuming you want everything to be quintessentially French…
Maybe you’ll be touring beautiful towns and villages, enjoying the local architecture
Stopping at a local restaurant, where even the French sparkling-water, Badoit, comes in it’s own special bottle with matching glass
or whiling away a few hours on a terrace, shaded from the sun, watching the world go by
Maybe it includes a little retail therapy, always in a stunning location of course
and I am assuming somewhere near the top of everyone’s list is at least a taste of locally-baked croissants and pain au chocolat ?
Perhaps a little more indulgence with mouth watering ‘macarons’; you are on holiday after all!
A few nights at a delightfully understated but incredibly comfortable little boutique hotel, perhaps? I fell in love with this little hotel on the île de Ré with nothing more than a tiny brass plaque for it’s name and a discreet doorbell for entry
Even the luxurious Clarins Spa has an unpretentious façade. A day or weekend here would certainly revitalize both the mind and body
Perhaps your idea of perfection is exploring historic ruins and ancient buildings like the Abbaye de Trizay built in the 11th Century
Or perhaps your thoughts are more coastal themed; the lure of the water and golden sand; or if you just can’t stand the crowds, away from it all on a boat, viewing France from the sea
Or is it all about the local markets for they certainly are an integral part of the French way of life? Fresh baguettes and seasonal fruit and vegetables which at the moment means figs and grapes!
Or maybe it’s a mixture of everything; perhaps a month touring the coast and then moving inland with nothing but a suitcase, a car and a few euros for meals. Stopping wherever appeals. I think I could happily spend a little time in a place with such a charming name as this
I should just add that this lovely photo of the sign was spotted and taken by Gigi, our nine year old, she has good taste!
18 thoughts on “WHAT MAKES THE PERFECT FRENCH HOLIDAY”
all of the above …
Yes I agree, a little mix of everything:)
All above is my beautiful relaxing French Holiday.
I still say that you are the Great Promotor, and Writer for France.
We are talking about renting a car and touring parts of France that we have not seen yet next summer.
France here we come…….
keep inspiring me with your beautiful photo’s, and about your beautiful life in France.
Thanks Carolyn, I think exploring unknown parts is a great idea, we love taking the children off to places they have never been
Oh, all of those things, all of those things! And the chance to practise my French and just ‘be’ in France. Great photos – thanks!
Thanks Alison, have a very happy weekend
All of the above and renting a small house in town (we have).
Renting a house where you can walk to everything is always rather fun, I love not having to get in the car!
When I am in France, I just like to “live” wherever I am for as long as possible. That means renting an apartment or small house and a bicycle and exploring everything. Just being around, and trying to use, the language is an incredible treat for me. Being close to a body of water (that is swimmable, if it is summer), or one of the wonderful municipal pools in Paris, is a priority. Partaking of community life to the extent a non-resident can do that, and offering something to the community, makes the sojourn well-nigh perfect. And, of course, visiting you, any of your kids (or spouse) who are at home, and your animals would be wonderful!
Hi Leslie, let me know when you are next over here!
Ditto to what Leslie expressed…
Thanks Sheila, relaxing and just enjoying the French lifestyle is best of all:)
All of that, oui…and maybe even a working toilet! 😉
Ahhh, the misconception about French plumbing! Actually for the most part it’s pretty state of the art nowadays!!!
I’m talking about the reality of the tourist experience in France. Finding a public toilet that is clean and well maintained can still be the ‘parcours du combattant’!
The shock when one finds one of those horrid trays in the floor where you just stand, I will never forget my first experience with one of those!!!
I stumbled on your blog yesterday, and what an absolute delight it is! Your writing is so poetic and lyrical – do you have a background in journalism or something similar?
My wife and I are intending to relocate to Poitou Charentes in the next few months, so reading your blog will become a fixture from now on. After living in Scotland for many years (all her life in my wife’s case) the prospect of living somewhere warm and sunny in the summer is very appealing. Scotland is beautiful, but the last few summers have seen pretty awful weather. Until we make the move, we’ll enjoy reading your posts.
What a wonderful approach you have to motherhood – actually enjoying your children being children! Such a difference to my childhood, where the approach was that of ‘children should be seen and not heard’.
Keep up the good work.
Hi Ian, thanks so much for your lovely comments. No I have no background in writing or journalism, I read a lot and am passionate about making the most of life and I just love sharing that passion. I have many Scottish ancestors and would happily live there except for the weather so I can fully appreciate you wanting to move for a little more sun. It’s a beautiful morning today, pure blue skies and forecast to be in the 20’s. Hope your move is a huge success.