22 July 2019

THE HOLIDAY DIARES: French Riviera 2019 - Where I Went

France is always one of my favourite places to visit. I've been so many times with my family over the years and I don't think I'll ever get bored of it. The French Riviera is well known, and places such as Saint Tropez, Cannes and Nice are hugely popular. However, we stayed just outside of the usual hyped areas and visited some beautiful places.

So where did we visit on our most recent trip and where would I recommend?

We stayed just outside of this small town, and paid a couple of visits for dinner and to have a little explore. To be completely honest, there's not a huge amount to do there - there's a few small shops, and it's mostly restaurants and a couple of bars. However, we found a couple of great places to eat. One of this we all described as being one of, if not the, best meals we had ever had. L'atelier des Saveurs is a tiny place, but it's incredible and I would fly back just to eat there. The town itself - wasn't one that made a huge impression personally, it was cute and quiet - and not touristy which was nice. If you go, make sure you go to that restaurant though.

This is one of my parent's favourite places, one where they've been a few times before. We were staying halfway between La Colle and Saint Paul, so we visited Saint Paul a couple of times during our stay and I fell a little bit in love with this town. It's incredibly impressive from the outset, and when you're in the town your surrounded by tall medieval-style buildings and narrow streets. It's gorgeous and weirdly comforting. It's full of places to eat, again, and galleries upon galleys. However, one of my favourite things about it is the view - it's incredible and peaceful. If you visit Saint Paul, be sure to grab a drink at Cafe de la Place and watch the Boule players, and pick up some incredibly tasty biscuits from La Cure Gourmande. We also had an incredible meal at the Saint Paul Hotel, out on a beautiful terrace. But more on that in a post later this week on food... 

We headed to explore Antibes on a Friday, on a very hot and sweaty day. It's a beautiful town again, with a large square full of shops and restaurants and streets lined with well-known brands, smaller retailers and ice cream parlours. Just a tip - the ice cream is amazing. Friday is also their market day, so I'd highly recommend going then to explore all there is to offer. Full of spices, fruits, macarons, meat - everything you can think of. Antibes is also home to the Picasso Museum - so if you like your art definitely take a look around. I'm not a huge art buff, but even I could appreciate being in the presence of original Picasso's. Plus - the view from the terrace is beautiful. See, not an art lover... It's definitely worth visiting and exploring, but more so if you fancy a day shopping or at the Picasso museum. 

The most touristy place we visited, and if you've never been before I would recommend it. We went for a bit of an explore - so we had lunch and a drink at Cafe de Paris which is right next to the Monte Carlo casino. My Mum really rated it - however I wasn't too fussed if I'm honest. We went to a cafe on the waterfront - Pattaya - where we had ice creams and drinks and personally I preferred the location and ambience of that particular place. One thing I would say though - Monte Carlo is expensive. Unless you're willing to spend, it's not worth a visit. We had a lovely day wandering around and exploring, googling the different yachts to see who they belonged to. It was a beautiful day and I'm glad we went, however now I've been - I'm not too bothered about going back. I do wish however we'd had more time to go to the palace and see the gardens on the other side, but maybe another time.

Probably one of my favourite days out, but we visited a lake - the same lake where my older brother took his first steps. We usually go kayaking if we can on a family holiday, so a lake where they have different water sports at a really reasonable price, as well as an inflatable obstacle course sounds like the perfect day out. It's easy to get to, just a little manouvering to find parking - and there's lots of places around the lake that do different activities so it's worth doing a little research before you head out. However, it's worth it - kayaking around a beautiful peaceful lake, followed up by half an hour of clambering over, sliding down and jumping off inflatables makes for the perfect day. Would highly recommend. 

So there you have it - come back later this week to find out where we ate as well.

Much love, Lisa May x


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