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French Connections

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  • Entente cordiale still rules!

    lavender

    Never mind the politics, let’s book a holiday. That’s the response of British people to recent events, as a massive jump in getaway bookings since last Friday has been reported by the travel industry.

    And, of course, the love affair with France continues – and always will. It’s easily accessible with great value holiday homes from home. More than that, we love the food and wine, the language, history and culture, the beautiful countryside where community continues, where traditional farms sell fresh local food at market and festivals, fairs and concerts are held all summer long.

    I reslish the sheer variety of landscapes and fascinating destinations. The Dordogne with its pastoral idyll, pre-historic museums and painted caves; the mind-blowing Ardeche gorge with Pont d’Arc and the replica of the Chauvet Cave. Closer to home I am always happy browsing Honfleur for the harbour, architecture, food and crazy art and Monet’s garden is heaven. For a quick hop across the Channel, I like Ardres and the beach at Wissant.

    Recently I fulfilled a lifelong desire to visit the Camargue, inspired by the ‘White Horses’ TV series. I so enjoyed the fabulous flamingos and herons, the church at Saintes Maries de la Mer and throwing myself into warm sea off the little beach there.

    Where next? A quiet spot off the tourist track on the Mediterranean coast, close to arty harbours and villages and accessible to a chic, historic town or city. Languedoc-Roussillon perhaps? There I would take a boat trip, go swimming, wander markets, vineyards and lavender fields. Can’t wait.