France trip – part 2

ST-TROPEZ!

We made it. After a 4 hour drive through the winding roads of souther France, we made it to St- Tropez. Our first stop took us into the heart of St-Tropez to visit the harbour and get some lunch.

On the approach into St-Tropez the traffic was pretty light, but this quickly took a turn for the worst when we got into the town. We had used Apple maps to find a car park in the town, but this was packed so we had to find something a little out of town and walk in. We managed to find free parking near a lovely little beach. If your heading to St Tropez I recommend parking there, its on the way into the town near a restaurant called Pearl Beach.

Once we’d parked up and walked into town, it only took about 15 minutes and Harry loved watching all the cars go by and really enjoyed looking at the boats in the harbour.

There was plenty of little shops on our route so it meant we could re stock our baby essentials!

After a couple of hours in town we headed back to the car and set off toward our Air BnB. This was the first time I had used Air BnB so naturally I was a little apprehensive. Our apartment was located in St-Maxime. Chloe had come across it when looking for somewhere with a pool and parking for the car.

After a 30 minute drive we made it! And WOW! What a beautiful little town St- Maxime is. It doesn’t seem effected by mass tourism which meant it was quiet and relaxed. Our Air BnB was called Ville Reva. There was 4 double private rooms and 1 apartment in total all sharing a nice size infinity pool and an open plan dining area with a kitchen.

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This place was great for Harry. Plenty of space to crawl around and perfect for us. Definitely a relaxing place. We spent 4 nights here, looking back it definitely wasn’t long enough next time we go we will stay for longer for sure!

The hosts provide breakfast every morning and you have the use of the of the open plan kitchen facilities for lunch and dinner! It is advertised as a B&B and accommodation is linked to the hosts house but as much as they are looking after you they are certainly not in your way/space.

We went into St-Tropez on 3 of the 4 days we were there. As long as your happy knowing that its always busy, then you’ll enjoy it. The super yachts are great to see, and theres plenty of lovely restaurants to eat in…..be prepared to spend little.

During our time in St Tropez we decided to drive inland and check out some vineyards! We visited Chateau d’Esclans which produces one of our favourite Roses Whispering Angel, which was really cool! We may have purchased a few bottles! The wide open roads and rolling hills of grape vines are something that must be seen, but make sure to book in advance if you want a tour.

4 days flew by and it meant our time in St-Tropez was over and our next stop was Dijon.

Why Dijon you ask? well its a great half way point on our journey back up to Eperney. It didn’t start out as good a we had hoped though a 5 and half hour journey turned into a nightmare 10 hour drive!

Luckily we left early in the morning. It wasn’t till getting to Dijon that we found out the day we decided to travel was the last day of the French holidays. This is why the roads were packed with people travelling home.

No only that, but Harry decided to cut his first tooth! WOW what an experience! Up till now he had decided to be really good in the car, but not today! With screams and howls and dirty nappies all the way, it made for a very interesting 10 hour drive,

So onto our next stop, Dijon. Our hotel was called Hotel Maison Phillipe le Bon. A nice 4 start hotel with clean, large rooms and on site parking (needs reserved). This was literally just a stop over for a onward journey to Epernay, so we didn’t venture out at all, mainly because it took us 10 hours to get there so we were all pretty tired.

We were up early and the next stop was Epernay, back to near where it started, but this time a different hotel. e were staying at a hotel called Hotel Villa Eugene. A lovely 5 star hotel located at the start of Avenue De Champagne. As the name states the avenue of champagne. Heaven for Chloe and I.

We booked this hotel as it had a swimming pool for Harry and it was the last bit of luxury before heading home.

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The hotel was a perfect fit for us. Harry loved all the quirky things around the hallways. Like these vintage Louis Vuitton luggage!

We stayed for 2 nights here and on both days found ourself visiting champagne houses along the street. They were really accommodating with Harry, and most of them have large open areas where little ones can run around without getting into too much trouble.

There wasn’t the best selected of restaurants close by, so we found ourself eating at a few spots more than once, but that wasn’t a big issue as we weren’t there for to long.

If you visit Eperney then try and visit as many local smaller Champagne houses. The prices are much more reasonable and we found the Champagne tasted much nicer! Our favourite was Paul-Etienne Saint Germain.

So thats it! it was all over in a flash, after our 2 night stay in Eperney it was time to head home. We had booked a night in Calais but between Chloe and I we decided to get an earlier boat back to the UK. Mostly because we found there was nothing really of interest in Calais, so it made sense for us to head home.

A quick and easy 90 minute boat ride we were back on English soil, from here a smooth 6 hour drive home back to Carlisle.

Overall our France trip was amazing! We saw some amazing sights, and visited some really lovely places. Harry was really good in the car and we found that with plenty of snacks and an iPad loaded with movies, it made our trip much easier.

Driving around France is easy. We used Google maps and the mapping system loaded in our car to get around. The Toal roads are great, and the service stations offer loads of space for families to relax and let the kids run around.

Fuel prices were competitive compared to the UK and fuel stations are a regular occurrence just like the motorways back in England.

So thats it! Our first family holiday was over! Its time to get packing for the next one.

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Next stop DUBAI in December!!!

Stay tuned.

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