Friday 23 May 2014

Time for Rosé | Part One

I had such a brilliant four days in Cavalaire-sur-Mer in the south of France last weekend, and managed to fit so much in that I feel like one blog post just won't do this holiday justice. So I’ve decided to do two!

Postcards from Cavalaire.

Home life has been a lot busier than usual lately with my toddler and waddler. My days over the last few weeks have been largely spent intercepting danger or spills or destruction, or all of the above at the same time!

Back garden shenanigans.

Having buckets of fun in the sun.

Both are on the move so at the end of each day I feel like I’ve run a marathon, but the adoring smiles, snuggles and laughs make every stride more than worth it.

A relaxing snooze in the park.

I would however make very good use of a few days away beneath sunnier skies so the timing of this break was absolutely perfect.

Packing the essentials.

A few of months ago myself and my two sisters decided to book a birthday trip to London for my Mum, to cut a long story short we ended up taking her to France instead! We were all heading off together for a three night stay in Cavalaire-sur-Mer on the Côte d'Azur where David’s parents have an apartment in one of the best locations in the south of France. With beautiful mountain views on one side and the azure blue coastline on the other it is without a doubt my favourite place, and I visit as often as I can.

The four of us set off early on Thursday morning in perfectly appropriate conditions for the airport, drizzle and grey skies. With glorious sunny weather forecast for the south of France and temperatures reaching 24 degrees we very happily waved goodbye to the rain.

After some airport shopping and a short flight we arrived!

We set off on the A8, and thankfully didn’t have to weave our way through too many trucks this time.

I couldn’t miss an oppourtunity to sit in the sun with a glass of rosé so just before we reached the apartment we stopped at plage du dembarquement where we basked in the evening sun and sipped our drinks.

I am in ‘eaven, oui?!

When the sun was starting to set we made our way back to the car passing by the busy beach restaurants that were starting to fill up for dinner.

After a short stop at the apartment to drop off our bags we chose a local restaurant for dinner, and famished headed for the port.

Overlooking the boats in the marina, Pizzaiole is probably the most popular restaurant among many in Cavalaire, family run and favoured by locals and holiday makers alike, it serves delicious reasonably priced food.

When you arrive order a carafe of the local red wine (Mum’s favourite!) while you read the menu and take in the atmosphere.

We shared the antipasti starter.

And I went for one of their Pizza’s, a four cheese sensation.

Nicely tired after our tasty meal and long day we headed home.

When I woke up the next morning and the shutters slowly and mechanically let in the glorious blue skies, I made a coffee and sat on the balcony to take in the view (my morning ritual when I’m in France!)

Our first stop of the day was Les Palmier for ‘petit dejeuner’ a brasserie in Cavalaire town that we gravitate to almost every morning for breakfast.

And I always order the 'complet petit dejuner’ which includes orange juice, a fresh crusty baguette with butter and jam, the most delicious, just baked flaky croissant, and a strong coffee. We sat outside and took in the bustle of the street as the locals went about their day.

Breakfast almost ran into lunch, which is most definitely allowed when you’re on holiday, and after a spot of shopping along the sunny streets in Cavalaire town we set off for one of the most picturesque villages on the French riviera, Grimaud.

We climbed the scenic twists and turns into the beautiful town to our favourite restaurant Le Clems.

We couldn’t possibly have picked a more perfect day for it! With the Harley Davidson festival in full swing we got an electric atmosphere in the usually serene hilltop town.

The village was packed with bikers. The Harley owners group (H.O.G) were on the second day of their four day annual euro festival of the Golfe de St Tropez, taking in Gassin, Grimaund, Cogolin, St-Tropez and Ramatulle along the way. Once a year around 13,000 Harley Davidsons colonise the area to party, and as Dad would say 'b mc g’ (means - show off!). The legendary American bike has always been popular on the Côte d’Azur so this really is a perfect place for the festival, however the sheer number of bikers and bikes around these quaint picturesque towns really is a sight to behold.

As usual we had a delicious and enjoyable meal in Le Clems, one of the highlights being the jug of rosé! I did forget to take pictures of the main course possibly because of all that was going on around us, but the pièce de résistance (especially for Emily, who loves nothing more than a sweet treat!) was the cafe gourmand (which I did manage to snap), an espresso with a selection of mini desserts which we tucked into at the end of the meal.

During our lunch this bike seemed to make quite an impression after its’s owners climbed off and got lost in the crowds. Does anyone know why?

Afterwards we went for a sunny stroll along the cobbled streets and took in more of the festivities and beautiful scenery before heading back to Cavalaire, for some beach time and balcony reading.

After such a big lunch all we could manage were crepes in a local restaurant for dinner that evening and an early(ish) night as we needed to be up at the crack of dawn to beat the market day traffic into St Tropez!

Stay tuned for Part Two next week, where we ramble the streets of St Tropez and have a wonderful lunch in Mougins!

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