May 2013by Jean Drewes | firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve and I had a fabulous trip to France. Our flight over
on British Airways was smooth and easy. We found our Peugeot was much larger
than expected and a standard to boot. Thank goodness Michael told me to rent a
GPS thru Auto Europe.
Our first hotel, Hotel la Bastide de Valbonne,
was such a great surprise. It was either going to be hit or miss and this was a
hit. The breakfast room was a delight to see! There were pastries, coffee, hot milk, cheeses,
sausages, and eggs any style. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Never skipped
We dropped our bags at the hotel and went into the village
of Valbonne. It
was a holiday so many families were out and about enjoying the day. The best
village square for people watching.
Villefranche is a great location if you like to be where the action is. You can walk down to the water front
which has a varied collection of cafes.
On Friday we started the day at villa AZR 043. I loved this villa located in Mougins. You
could walk to the village from the villa. I found this a very beautiful place
inside and out. The area is very
large and private, with a tennis court as well. This is a villa with equal size
bedrooms and baths ensuite.
One of the most unique, exceptional Provencal style estates
I have ever seen was AZR
178. Steve was also fond of
this villa. It can sleep up to 20 people comfortably with a heated pool, tennis
court, billiards room, and security system for inside the villa and around the
grounds. This is a villa for the
guest who wants to have it all. As far as maintenance is concerned, the
property manager conveniently lives on the grounds. This magnificent villa was
in pristine condition throughout.
We spent an hour walking around Mougin having coffee before heading back to the hotel. Then we had another lovely meal
in the village of Valbonne. I’d say we got to know this place pretty well.
Asparagus we saw at a market during our
We had some time to kill Saturday morning before seeing some
more villas, so we drove around for a while before heading to Saint Tropez where
we had lunch on a cliff side setting near Eze, with nice breezes and good
We lucked out again with hotels in St. Tropez. The Hotel B
Lodge was so central a location we were able to walk everywhere. The rooms were a good size with balconies
or terraces but the bathrooms were tiny. However, you have to overlook that to appreciate B Lodge’s value. The price was the lowest with proper
availability I could find. Steve
and I really enjoyed our stay here and made friends also.
Saturday down on the harbor front we found ourselves sitting
at the Café de Paris. It was the spot to sit and watch the show. We ended up
having dinner here also since we were so captivated by the boats. A race, Le
Coupes de Dames, had been going on and Steve watched the start the next morning.
Sunday we started out by exploring the area, finding all the
beaches and seeing the vineyards. We set out to have lunch in Ramatuelle
Village and found ourselves at La Forge on their open terrace. The food, the
wine, desserts, and company were all fantastic. After lunch we headed for the village of
Gassin to have a look but we somehow missed the area with all the restaurants
at the top. We walked all around and the wind was blowing a gale called the Mistral. There are multilevel hill top villages
surrounding St. Tropez and really are a must see.
Sunday evening we dined in town at Restaurant
l’Aventure where we met guy call Jinx who is captain of the yacht
Savannah. It seemed everywhere we
went we had conversations with everyone we met. Steve is a great magnet for attracting
people and getting them into conversations. Lots of fun!
Monday morning we set out to visit a mixture of interesting
villas. From AZR
385, one could walk to Pampelonne and Nikki Beach in less than 10 minutes.
I really thought this was a perfect villa in that location and it can sleep up
to 14 people.
Steve and I went to have lunch at Key West Beach Club in
Ramatuelle. That was the best tuna
I have ever had and Steve loved his sushi. He also loved his view facing the topless women on the beach. I started
to realize that all the espresso I was consuming was catching up with me and I
was not sleeping but 3 to 4 hours a night… Had to stop that vice.
and his sushi.
We finished lunch and set off to see two villas in Grimaud
called Cork Tree
House and Vue du Chateau. Both
lost in the woods-- you would never know you were even 20 minutes from St.
Tropez. Both villas were very well done.
Our dinner that night was a light
one spent at a little place called Le Dit
Vin. More of a tapas type of
place which worked out well for us.
The next day we saw a great villa.
Knows as La Salamandre, or CEN SAL, this home
was delightful. Is had great views, a nice pool and huge yard.
Lunch at Le Pescadou was very
special. It’s perched up in Gassin with great views and great food. Tres
Val de Rian, or ACV VAL, is a
fabulous villa with stunning gardens. The walls of roses really stood out,
and the gardener, Jackie, appears to take care of everything. The villa is
surrounded by vineyards and all has extremely generous breezes. This can be
rented all year round.
One absolutely best villa in the
world was Just Fabulous, or ACV FAB. The owner Oliver was there when we
visited. His collection of artifacts was amazing.
This trip with Steve really opened
my eyes to what the South of France has to offer. Our problem is that our
clients don't have the same amount of vacation time as European clients;
because of this, most villa owners will only take monthly rentals or at the
least 2 weeks.
Plan Your France Vacation