First time for France: Paris, Montpellier & Beaucaire
We headed for France on the Saturday morning (24th August 13) on the Eurostar. Richard made a tasty eggs benedict to send us on our way and we caught the met line to St Pancreas. We ended up sitting behind Vicky and her boyfriend Adam which was very funny! Small world! The ladies opposite them offered to swap so we sat with them. Rich got a Croque Monsieur (cheese on toast) which I tried a bit of. After the arrived in Paris, over a hour later then planned we said our goodbyes. We went to the Ibis hotel in Paris via train and it was a nice centrally based hotel. After checking in we headed for the Eiffel tower and checked out a restaurant Ian recommended called Le Suffren. Rich had snails and beef tartar and I had veal for mains. After we finished dinner we went off to the Champs de Elisse and Arc De Triomphe and walked around for a good few hours across bridges and seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up nicely before heading back to the hotel and calling it a night.
The next day the heavens had opened and we set off with our umbrella. We got the boat down the River Sienne and took in the wet sights. Our first stop was Notre Dame and went inside. There was a mass in progress when we went in. We stopped and had some chips, another Croque Monsieur and a hot chocolate. The next stop was the Lourve and we spent some time in there looking at the arts and of course meeting Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo. That night we went out for dinner, I opted for chicken and rice and Rich had the steak and chips. and then headed back to the hotel as it was so wet and miserable.
Monday, we went up the Eiffel Tower as it was now dry at least. We walked up all the steps we could and took the lift back down. The views were gorgeous and it was so busy up there. We then headed to see Moulin Rouge which was pretty normal looking for day time. We then walked up the hilly to the Sacre Coeur which was really pretty and had a great view of Paris. There were lots of people selling bits up there including trains with names for kids and lots of Eiffel Tower statues (I bought some in the end to bring back, mini keyrings) We headed for the train station at 4ish and got on our first class train. It was very spacious but no free food :(
We arrived in Montpellier and set off to find our little apartment. It was a small studio apartment but perfect for us for a few days. We seemed to be in the Jewish part of Montpellier and the following days there were little markets on. We headed out for dinner and wondered around and ended up at some statues with horses and old style buildings. We then found a little pizza place tucked away down one of the alleys. It was a long wait but the food was delicious. We got mozzarella and melon and water to keep us occupied whilst we waited for the food. The pizzas were massive and we ended up taking some home.
On Tuesday, we headed to the beach on the bus. It took a tram and a bus ride to a very French little beach and it was lovely to chill out for the day. We met Martina and Omar that night for dinner for her birthday at a restaurant called Entrecote which was purely steak and chips, with walnut salad to start.. it was delicious. We then did a little bar crawl and ended up in an Irish bar and then another one for good measure.. We also found out that night that James and Hebs were expecting a baby which was super exciting.
On Wednesday, Omar played tour guide and we went on a little train around the town which was really cute. We went through markets, went cross the river and saw some pretty buildings. Afterwards we went for some lunch in a little take away style place. We then wondered around going to different little places stopping for a hot drink/beer. We agreed to meet later that night and drive to a nearby port called La Giau-du-roi for the night. It was really pretty and had the most beautiful sunset. We went to a little restaurant by the port and had a three course meal which was nice. We went for a wander around the beach front and took some pictures before we headed home.
Thursday we headed for Nimes for a few hours to look around and take some pictures. It had a Colosseum which we wondered around. We stopped and picked up some pastries before our next drive. It didn't take long, probably an hour or so. We then went onto Beaucaire to our little villa which was really cute. The lady started telling Omar about how we should clean the pool each time we use it, which was hilarious as we were only there 4 nights. After a while Pia and Ian and little Charlie came along and the boys set off to do some food shopping. I sat my butt down by the pool and chilled out. We then had a lovely dinner sitting on our porch in the warm evening. Ian certainly enjoyed it as he had a sore head the next day!
Friday was a pool day and we enjoyed our little villa, being able to eat and drink what we liked. We chilled for the day and then later that night we went into Tarascon to meet the wedding party. We went to a little restaurant and there was a band playing right near us which didn't make it easy for Pia and Ian who were trying to get Charlie off to sleep. We enjoyed a three course dinner and saw the rest of the gang which was lovely and then headed off so we could get the beauty sleep in before the big day!
Saturday morning we spent by the pool and Gary and Trafford popped over. We then got ready and spent the day at Abby and Petes gorgeous French wedding. It was at their beautiful Chateau and we had a little lemonade in jam jars whilst we waited for the service to start. The service was in the green areas with a pretty arch with lovely flowers which Marie had set up. After the service we then went and had canapes in the courtyard. These were delicious and washed down nicely with pink champagne. There were lots of pictures being taken naturally so I went and took more and it was a really pretty setting. After some time we made our way across to the pool area and there was an open barn with lots of candles and lights around it making it a beautiful setting for the reception. We were there on the Hornsea and had our three course meal, prawns to start, duck for main and later on they had a cake and sweetie table. We had a sad skinny dog join us and i fed him some of my duck. I found out the next day you were not meant to feed it as it has diabetes or something. Whoops. Needless to say, the night was fantastic as we drank from Magnum size bottles and I certainly felt it the next day. We moved into the hall where Abs and Pete danced their first dance as husband and wife. We danced all night long and it was a great one. We eventually left about 2ish but we were all pretty smashed.
Sunday we were pretty hungover or I was. We headed for the Chateau and spent the day chilling by the pool. Rich and Omar and Faye's hubby went to watch the football. There was a lovely BBQ and it was nice to hang out with everyone. People were in the pool or getting chucked in :) and I sunbathed mostly with Gary. We did a little cake and sing song for Martina and Nicki as it was Nicki's birthday. Later on we had some pizza and salad for dinner and then we headed back to our villa to get ready for a very early start on the Monday to fly home.
Monday morning, very early we set off back to the airport. It was time to go home and I was very sad as it was a wonderful French trip. I loved every moment of it and got to spend it with Richard and some of my best friends and their wonderful other halves.