I always try and write either to inspire or report on beautiful places or objects ,so how can I not report on my incredible vacation to France? We began our trip by flying into Nice. We had reservations in a small town in a Bed & Breakfast run by Lou Lou & Daniel . This old structure which was situated on a blooming flowered mountain in a small town called Gourdan was right next to St. Paul de Vence. The house was recently renovated with all the new technology that we are accustomed to, while keeping the charm of old times alive. Our hosts were warm and sweet. Our view from this house was magical. From here we took day trips to the French Rivera. We visited St. Tropez, Cannes, Monaco and the Monte Carlo Casino. St. Tropez reminded of the Hamptons, Monaco had the Grand Prix which made me feel as though I were dreaming, and Monte Carlo was like being in an old movie. The opulence of Monte Carlo was fascinating . We actually drove right through Cannes while the film festival was in action. All through this area was the Cote Azure with the Yachts on one side & the most gorgeous snow capped mountains on the other.
Next we drove to Avignon. That is where the Pope was situated for a time in history. The streets were small and charming, the weather was getting chillier. We stayed at another Bed & Breakfast, this time run by a very charismatic lady ( with great taste ) and finesse named Marion Wagner. This townhouse was decorated in Mid Century modern furniture. Marion is an artist and her works of art graced the walls. She liked the finer things in life and shared this with her guests. The architecture in Avignon was just breath taking, with structures from the 15th century. The detail on all the buildings was astounding.
We stopped next in Aix en Provence. We had lunch on the main strip in the middle of town. Did I mention the food and wine yet? We enjoyed the most sumptuous meals I have ever eaten ( probably gained 10 lbs.) with the best wines ever…
What I started to notice about France and it’s differences to the U S is they really care about how EVERYThing looks. From The food which is displayed like a work of art on your plates, to how all the bathrooms in the most remote villages are up to date. There is a very big fascination with the juxtaposition of things. All decor is never just one way or another there is a very strong mixture about beauty and the imperfect way things all fall together.
Even in the best restaurants the French do not spend as much money as we do on decor. There is a definite way of just tossing opposites together that is very artful and intriguing.
Next we drove on to Camiran which was on dirt roads leading to the most glorious Vineyards. This small town only has 600 inhabitants right outside of St. Emilion a famous town for fine wine. This bed and breakfast has a wonderful story. It was bought by two young newlyweds Venessa & Justin
about 4 years ago. They both were in very high powered banking jobs in Sidney Australia. After moving to New York and traveling through South America for a while they decided to change their lives forever and settle on a vineyard near Bordeaux . The amazing part was they had no prior knowledge of the French language. They just renovated the old farmhouse which took almost two years and had a seven month old daughter. We felt so welcomed and cozy there. I will NEVER forget picking cherries off the cherry tree at 9:00 pm with the setting sun falling over the fig, walnut, pear and cherry orchards. This must have been a dream…
Bordeaux was next on our excursion. It is a gorgeous city which has a lot of Paris in it, on a much smaller scale. The sail boats & Yachts lined the Harbor , the winding roads and fascinating detail on all the buildings from the 1600’s were incredible. There is such an old world feeling in this place with cobblestones and history. We had tea in the Grand Hotel of Bordeaux with all its old world charm.
Finally on to my most awaited place of all , Paris! There is nothing like this city of lights. Here it was all about history, culture and Napoleon. All the famous museums and streets, the bridges, the Louvre! All the amazing shopping! We were lucky enough to stay in a small apartment which we rented out for 4 nights. There were courtyards and vaulted ceilings, we took a boat ride up the Seine River. The majestic buildings all tell a story. With four days in Paris we could not even see much at all, but I certainly got a good taste. I loved St. Germain, and The winding streets and peddlers of cheese in Le Marais. Did I mention the cheese? The flavor of France is delicious, the color and style of the clothes, the food, and wine, the cheese, the language of love , are all Magnifi!,,,
I just loved this place on earth where one bridge in Paris is covered in millions of locks. Locks of love, people have come from all over the world to write their names on the lock. Locked in love and throw the key in the River…for eternity….
Words that come to mind when I think of France are…elegance, grace, charm, fashion , decor, the cornflower blue shutters, chateaus, castles, lush countryside , iron work on every balcony, gilt covered cupolas and Joie de Vivre!