I’d never really explored France until recent years. Summer childhoods were spent going back to Greece and for some reason it just never appealed to me. How wrong I was…. Over the past few years I’ve discovered France’s charm. Sleepy villages, towns built around castles, the glamorous St Tropez (I admittedly wasn’t quite as glamoursly behaved when we went…) and the bohemian Paris. I’ve fallen in love, and it’s not just with the Rose. So there was no better way to say goodbye to May and see in the summer than go to visit Jake’s parents in Sainte-Valière.
Located in a quiet village and with multiple airport options (none of which are particularly close), I never quite know exactly where we are- but I like it. I feel completely cut away from the world, surrounded by peace, calm, family (and vineyards…!).
While I love London and the buzz of the city, it was so relaxing to walk around the roads and streets without seeing anyone. After a fail of a run on day one (I don’t like running at the best of times… never mind in the sun…), we decided to take a walk around the vineyards instead, even finding a slightly creepy church gardens to explore.
One of my favourite things about Sainte-Valière is the food and the wine- of course! Nothing beats a glass of pale rose in the sun. Stopping at local markets we picked up gorgeous fresh locally grown fruit (and plenty of lovely local wine). I embraced the bloat and ate far too much baguette (smeared in french butter…obvs), and it seemed rude not to start the morning with a croissant accompanying my cafe au lait (this and ‘Je voudrais un vin blanc s’il vous plait’ is legit how far my french skills stretch….)
With the sun shining we decided to head down to the beach for the day.
There is of course an amazing restaurant on the hidden beach, serving the most amazing french food and fresh fish….
Having some time to switch off always has the most amazing effect on my mind. I can think clearly and zoom out of those situations that seem to suck you up day to day. Having felt so calm and happy I decided to try and recreate the feeling more in everyday life: spend more time with family, get outside as much as possible and step away from the phone….
We arrived back into London in the rain, baguette babies showing proud, and wondered why we ever left Sainte-Valière….