Sunday, 15 May 2011

Vive La Difference!

I've finally trawled through the photos of our French sojourn over the May bank holiday and put together some posts of our short stay there. I did actually wear a Union Jack blazer on my first day there.  Funnily enough nobody lynched me!  Just a few bemused grins from the locals.  In fact there seems to be curious fondness amongst the French for this flag - opening up a local furniture catalogue and there was an entire furniture range dedicated to London chic with the Union Jack plastered over everything from chests of drawers to rugs.

I have been visiting the Languedoc region regularly for over a decade now as Mr V's parents have a house here and the area is like a second home to him.  There are many things I love about the South of France. Here the people enjoy a very laid back lifestyle where everything stops for lunch and a siesta.

I especially love French pharmacies as they are packed with wonderful, local brand beauty products. Our first port of call is usually a town called Limoux where I take the opportunity to buy skin care products from the local pharmacy to last me a year.  My red paper bag in the photo above is filled with lotions, potions and creams from Nuxe, L'Occitane and Caudalie. It's sometimes a struggle to get to the pharmacy before the early closing time for the long lunch hour but when the lady there sees me coming she quietly turns her sign around from fermé to ouvert and lets me in.  She always tosses a generous pile of little sample tubes of products into my shopping bag which are invaluable when I'm travelling.

Once I've filled up my goody bag its off to lunch in the town square.

If Lamb kebabs French style don't appeal there is always good old steak-frites!

There was little chance of being bombarded with royal wedding media coverage here - the locals are far too obsessed with rugby.

I adore the shabby chic of the houses with their colourful shutters and facades full of character.  I always enjoy seeing the cheerful combinations of colours in which some are painted and the delicate, lacy, wrought iron balconies.

Though we thoroughly indulged in all things French during our four days there our ride was distinctly Italian. Our hire car ended up being a zippy little Alfa Romeo. I'm not much of a car girl at the best of times but this car totally charmed me with its chic red leather seats (which went quite nicely with my Union Jack blazer) and its gutsy engine.

It was a great little companion for a short trip which required it to manage mountain bends and steep slopes.  What really won us over was its driving performance getting us to the airport on time after a wrong turn cross country that could have been truly disastrous!

There'll be more from our French trip soon!

Union Jack Blazer, Topshop; White tee, Cos; Denim Shorts, Zara: Tights, Falke; Biker Boots: Gap; Pendant: Vintage; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs


  1. I'd love to explore France, especially the Languedoc region, it looks so unspoilt and beautiful. How lovely to have a bolthole to escape to.
    The chemists sound amazing as does dining al fresco. The blazer was a triumph, I'm glad you managed to give it a few outings.
    Can't wait to hear more about your trip. xxx

  2. My favourite place in the world! I loved Toulouse. Would love to see some more pics of you in that FAB jacket!

    Sarah xxx

  3. You wore your Union Jacket!!!!! (see what I did there?) I have never seen purple shutters before - aren't they beautiful? Your pics are so lovely, almost feels like a mini-break for me just looking at them! (Can you tell I haven't had a holiday in a while?). Love to hear you have a lovely lady to look after you at the chemist - she must look forward to your visits:)). You're so lucky to have a family home to visit in such a gorgeous part of France! You're a European car nut now - admit it and join the club;). xoxoxoxo

  4. What an awesome trip! And I envy you for escaping the royal wedding frenzy!

    I am too in love with that union jacket! :)

  5. Your jacket looks fabulous with the Alfa Romeo - that is hardcore accessorising...

    I love the sound of buying beauty products at the little chemist. That's the third time this week that someone has recommended buying skincare products from little establishments in France. Glad you had such an enjoyable break x

  6. I think the French are obsessed with Union Jacks in their interior design at least. And Chanel - they did a lot of bags in recent years with the design. I've never been to that region but plans to head down that direction in October - CANNOT wait. French pharmacies are amazing. I love so many of the brands.

  7. What a great way to get in France- wearing a union jack! Hah:) I love it! Otherwise all the pictures are just beautiful- I love the pictures of windows from different countries :) there's just something cultural in those :) (i realize this probably doesnt make sense but it does in my head :P)!

  8. What a fun car...looks like you had a fantastic time. Love the photos of all those colorful windows, and looking forward to seeing more of your shots.

  9. Love you outfit! (I wanted to write it in all caps but decided against that. :)) OK. Love it! :)
    About France - I really need to start to explore it! I've been in Paris for multiple times but never gone farther. :(

  10. Fantastic blazer!! Looks like you had a great time too!

  11. Your jacket is absolutely fab. We were in Germany over the same period and they had loads of union jack stuff too. Glad you had a great hol xx

  12. I'm not surprised that no one complained about your jacket - it's tres chic (and I wonder if it might have rather been associated with the French flag colours...) French pharmacies are a joy, aren't they?

  13. Hace tiempo que queremos visitar esta zona de Francia, y viendo tus fotos aún más.
    Mil besos desde Berlín.

  14. Some of the things I love to buy is lotions,potions, and creams, :) These are beautiful photos. & like I already said, that jacket= brilliant! -xxoo

  15. What gorgeous pictures, Veshoevius! You lucky, lucky girl. I love the story about the pharmacy (and its proprietress) in Limoux, and the patinaed cherub, and the cafe window art, and your Alfa Romeo shots. I look forward to your next batch!

  16. Aw, I love the flag jacket!

  17. Love the Union Jack Jacket!

    Looks like you had a wonderful time in France.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  18. There's a reason that France is the nr.1 vacation spot for the French. I visited the South a couple of times and it is indeed one of the most beautiful places I've been. I especially love the Provences and les Gorges du Verdun: breath taking. Can't wait to see more pics.


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