Travel Diary: South of France

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Is it still a “babymoon” if you don’t go with your husband/baby-daddy? While the Swiss Mister didn’t make the latest trip, the Swiss Miss and I were accompanied by our gal pal, Leigh (of Leighelena) for our last hoorah - at least for a while.

We flew into Marseilles - an easy second flight if you take the non-stop from Austin to Heathrow (super nice plane) - but rented a car and drove straight to Cassis. a note on renting a car in france (or any non-english speaking country)… make sure to rent a car with a gps and have the rental company set the gps instructions to ‘english!’

Back to the good stuff… Cassis was adorable, definitely our favorite stop of the whole trip. If you’re not familiar, cassis is a quintessential seaside town on the Mediterranean Sea with pebbly beaches and narrow inlets framed by limestone cliffs. Pastel buildings housing quaint cafés surround the harbor, creating the a picturesque (instagrammable!) setting for a seaside glass of French Chablis. stroll through the hilly streets to shop for beautiful linens and marseilles soap at CÔTÉ CASSIS (1 rue bremond). when we go back, we’ll opt for this hotel or an airbnb.

from cassis, we drove to aix-en-provence - a big city and our least favorite stop. We used it as a stopping point, from which we took day trips to surrounding areas. the highlight, however, was foodie-centric. Aix-en-provence is home to le bistrot du paradou, a michelin star restaurant. we feasted on the $52 pre fixe menu of the freshest tomato salad, escargot, cod, veggies, cheeses, dessert and wine. i can’t say enough about le bistrot du paradou, truly wonderful.

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after this hearty lunch, we wandered down the road to the adorable town of st. remy and explored the medieval town of les baux de provence. both were picturesque and rather non-touristy. although, we were there during the off-season (my favorite time to visit anywhere), so i’m sure both places are packed during the summer.

after our two nights in aix-en-provence, we headed to grasse to meet up with swiss mister’s parents, who flew in from geneva. we stayed at an adorable b&b, aux charmes de grasse - aka the next hotelette (jk, but it’d be perfect). aux charmes de grasse has three rooms, a pool and tennis court; and the owner of aux charmes de grasse, christian, is a former parisian chef and crafts the most scrumptious breakfasts.

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while in grasse, we visited the Fragonard perfumery. The experience helped me finalize the hotelette eau de perfume and room scent (coming in april). I’d also recommend eating with locals at la brasserie des artistes!

the last stop of our tour of the south of france was saint tropez. full of glitz, glamour and $40 hamburgers. though i’d choose cassis over saint tropez any day, it was fun to walk around and watch insta-models take photos in front of mega yachts.

bon voyage!

allison.