I go to the South of France every year to see my mother who has lived there for 23 years. There is always more to discover, so, here’s my latest list.
Top 10 Places to Eat & Stay:
- I never wanted to be a foodie but, my son Alfie is one and has now converted me (much to the dismay of my wardrobe, that I no longer fit into). And this place is worth it. Helene Darroze restaurant at the Villa La Coste: A beautiful Vineyard/hotel set in the back drop of Provence. Features a vineyard, hotel, spa and four amazing restaurants. Bread ice cream? I rest my case your honor.
- Want to drop into Cannes and have lunch on the beach and a quick dip in the Med and eat yummy food while listening to a great DJ? Try Miramar Plage.
- Airelles – Bastide de Gorde, deep in the Provence: swim in their beautiful pool, eat yummy food and of course, if you are there in July, look at the fields of lavender.
- Looking for a small hotel in St. Tropez that won’t break the bank? Check out Hotel Tartane. Super pretty, designer hotel–very close to the beach and on a road that is fun to bike on.
- Cassis – Hotel Les Roches Blanches: the Calanques of Cassis. Hiking and swimming in beautiful blue waters. Arguably, one of the prettiest towns in France.
- Tour an olive farm at Moulin du Calanquet in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, another gorgeous French town. You can also check out the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole, aka the lunatic asylum that Vincent Van Gogh checked himself into after he cut his ear off.
- Wine tasting at Chateau de la Gardine, where they also make their own wine, Chateau Neuf du Pap. Maybe stay at La Bastide de Bellegarde.
- My latest obsession is fresh water wild swimming (which tends to be cold). There are lots of places to do this but they are difficult to find and require hours of hiking. The Gorge Du Verdon however is France’s version of the Grand Canyon and the water is turquoise blue. Here’s a cool blog about what they call “Wild Swimming”. Hotel to stay at: The Bastide of Tourtour.
- If you really have money to burn then La Reserve in Ramatuelle is the hotel for you! But if the hotel is too rich, check out lunch on the beach at La Réserve à La Plage.
- Cabane Bambou: Such a pretty beach restaurant in glorious Ramatuelle
- (Bonus) Finally, if you want to stay in a pretty hotel but not pay the crazy beach St. Tropez prices, try Ultimate Provence in Gard-Freinet.