Friday, 10 August 2012

Snapshot: A Week in Provence


Bonjour! Me back now, as Arthur used to say. France was fun, as far as family holidays go. I think my expectations had been a little high, perhaps - I'd been dreaming of lazy days by the pool, convivial family meals that stuck two fingers up to bedtime, and happiness and sunshine all the time. See? High expectations.

Some days were vaguely along those lines, others really weren't - 39 degree heat didn't help much, and long car journeys to art galleries might've been pushing it a bit. Hindsight. Oh well.

The good stuff:
:: The most incredible ice cream shop on the planet - over 80 flavours including lemon verbena, thyme, lavender, fig, violet and rose petal. Oh, and Smurf.
:: Late afternoons at the beach. Theoule-sur-mer is a gorgeous spot along the riviera with crystal clear waters and soft sand. We managed to find a pitch under the shade of an ancient tree - virtually empty, as all other beach-goers were in the sun. Perfect for us and our lily skin.
:: An amazing 'vide grenier' (literally empty attic) where everyone in the village brings out all their old bits and bobs and sells outside their front door. I'm still pining after an art deco tea set we saw and fell in love with, but just didn't see how it'd make the plane journey home.
:: Barbecues - the boys loved helping their dad build a barbie, light it, assemble kebabs and cook their own supper. Classic stuff, I suppose.
:: Splashing about in the pool. A has always been pretty scared of the water, but somehow we managed to crack it and he spent most of the week paddling about, leaping in and generally enjoying the water as much as I do (phew). While T napped, we lay by the pool reading or floated about on a lilo. Bliss, perhaps even more so as it's such a rarity.
:: Lots of reading, pottering, and just relaxing. Oh, and plenty of booze and amazing food. Those patisseries! It's lucky I only went for a week.
:: The best part was the doing nothing. I hadn't appreciated it until we came back to work and evening commitments every night for a week. Time to re-evaulate, I think.

In case you want to visit, we stayed here - a beautiful house in a medieval hilltop town inland from Nice and Cannes. It comes equipped with cot, highchair etc and I can't recommend it highly enough.

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More from the hols soon, meanwhile head over to the rather excellent Country Calling where I'm guest blogging about my top ten favourite Bristol haunts.
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