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 Instead they have now been replaced by back-to-school special offers, of which there will be more on that next week – but I can’t think about ‘La Rentrée’ for a few more days.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!