Enjoying the Côtes du Rhône at home | Lifestyle

Côtes du Rhône at home
Enjoying the Côtes du Rhône at home

This time last year, long before lockdown was even a thought in people’s minds, I was holidaying it up in the South of France. Provence to be precise. I was basking in the sun, enjoying everything the region had to offer – food, laid-back culture, stunning scenery… and of course, wine.

Funny story, I actually didn’t drink wine until I met my now husband. His family are wine lovers, who coincidentally shared their passion with me. In fact one of my best memories from recent years is holidaying with them for the first time; travelling around Provence to different vin yards, tasting the wine on offer, and getting an in-depth understanding of the people and their craft.

Enjoying Côtes du Rhône at home

I’m by no means a wine connoisseur, but I can get by. One of the areas I know more of (thanks to it being my father-in-laws favourite) is the Côtes du Rhône region. The Côtes du Rhône Villages is a French wine Appellation d’Origine Controlle (AOC – you’ve probably spotted this on your bottle of wine), in the southern wine region of France. They produce red, wine and rosé wine, which only 21 select areas can claim the ‘village’ title to.

I was lucky enough to be sent some amazing bottles of wine (which you can see in my photos) from Côtes du Rhône, as well as some delicious cheeses, bread etc to enjoy alongside them. We enjoyed this with the rosé on one of the hotter days this year, with the 21 Stories of the Côtes du Rhône podcast on in the background, it almost felt like we were back in the South of France.

Check out more of my lifestyle and food posts.

Côtes du Rhône at home
Côtes du Rhône at home

Items were gifted by The Belleville Collective, however all images, words and opinions are my own.

24 Hours in Montpellier | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in MontpellierIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Montpellier, France!

24 Hours in Montpellier

24 Hours in Montpellier

  • Bakery breakfast
    • Grab a pastry from a local bakery. After all, you are in France.
  • Go on your own street art tour
    • Montpellier is littered with stunning street art. Some of it is political, others comical, some philosophical. Whatever your preference, there’s plenty of art for everyone.
  • Interesting architecture
    • Montpellier may be a historical town, but there’s also a ton of unique, contemporary structures. You’ll have to be on the look out though as a lot of them seamlessly blend in with the older buildings.
  • Take lunch in the historic district
    • Littered with traditional brasseries and cafes, you can’t really make a bad decision.

24 Hours in Montpellier

  • The Arc de Triomphe…?
    • Paris isn’t the only one with an arc. The arc de triomphe and the château d’eau (water tower), extend into the aqueduct, which overlooks Montpellier’s skyline.
  • Buy fresh ingredients from a local market
    • One of my favourite things to do when visiting the South of France is stop by the food markets. You’ll find a selection of high quality, locally grown produce that will leave you wondering if you ever really tasted a tomato before.
  • Make your own homemade feast
    • Using the fresh produce you bought at the market, make your own homemade feast for dinner. There’s nothing better than enjoying the warm evenings with some friends, a relaxing bottle of wine, and fresh food.

24 Hours in Montpellier

Hints and Tips for 24 Hours in Montpellier:

  • Visit a market!
    • Southern France is well known for it’s variety of markets, and Montpellier does not disappoint. From food, to flowers, books and antiques. Check out dates and times of Montpellier’s markets here.
  • Street art
    • As I mentioned previously, there is plenty of street art in Montpellier. My tip? Keep an eye out down back alleys and close to the ground. Basically look everywhere, because you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Montpellier, France!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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24 Hours in Monaco | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in MonacoIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Monaco!

24 hours in monaco

24 Hours in Monaco

  • Drive to Monaco
    • Monaco is pretty small, and expensive. Unless you want to go all out, I’d suggest staying somewhere close by and driving into the principality.
  • Brunch at Café de Paris
    • This brasserie is world famous, and you’ve probably spotted it in a movie or two. Sit outside on the terrace and mingle with the rich & famous, whilst you enjoy coffee and pastries.
  • Check out that architecture!
    • For such a small place, Monaco has a surprisingly eclectic mix of architecture. From old palatial hotels, to modern apartments, and bridges sandwiched between cliffs.
  • Visit the Prince’s Palace
    • The Prince’s Palace overlooks the bay of Monaco, and it’s a stunning sight…as proven by the 100os of selfies taken there every day.
  • Wander the streets
    • The palace is situated amongst several quaint streets, each littered with gelaterias, stereotypical souvenir shops, and restaurants.
  • Eat ice cream by the harbour
    • Because who doesn’t want to stare out onto a beautiful crystal blue sea covered with yachts…
  • Go hunting for art!
    • Monaco’s streets are literally covered in art. From traditional statues, to modern google-eyed fun. It’s a must-see for any art lover in town.
  • Do dinner in Nice
    • Nice isn’t too far from Monaco, but it’s considerably bigger, and has a lot more restaurants on offer. Such as La Femme du Boulanger.

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Monaco!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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Japanese Skincare at The Dove Pop-up, Paris

Japanese SkincareJapanese Skincare at The Dove Pop-up, Paris

For as long as I can remember, Dove has been a staple in my family home. My mum swears by it, so I’ve always held the brand in quite high esteem. In recent years Dove has transformed itself into a brand that fights against beauty bias, and promotes real bodies, and real people. Something ‘older me’ can get behind.

Enter the Dove pop-up store in Paris, and their ‘My Beauty is Unique’ theme. Add some some personalised products and Japanese skincare into the mix, and you’ve got my attention.

Personalised Skincare at The Dove Pop-up, Paris

For the first time, Dove has created a physical space to illustrate Real Beauty from Real Care. It is designed to provide guests with the ultimate in personalisation, offering elements that are as unique as the people experiencing it. With classics such as the Dove Beauty Bar, the store offers guests with a one-of-a-kind, hands on experience. It also offers the exclusive opportunity to customise Dove products through the one-of-a-kind mixology process. With multiple base formulas, extracts, exfoliators and fragrances to choose from, every product is personalised. The perfect limited edition gift, maybe?

Japanese Skincare with Dove

Japan is world-renowned for its skincare. Facial cleansing is also one of Japan’s most sophisticated beauty rituals, and for many Japanese women, this is one of the most important steps in their skin care regime. So Dove decided to host their Paris pop-up store, and invite anyone and everyone to discover some of Dove’s newest innovations from Japan.

Luckily for me I was given one of their top products, the Beauty Moisture Facial Wash (ビューティーモイスチャー). The foaming wash creates creamy bubbles that help moisturises the skin as it removes dirt. I’ve recently come round to cleansing facial washes, and as a longtime fan of Japanese skincare, I have a lot of faith in this product already. I really can’t wait to try it out, alongside my own personalised body cream with apricot extract and rose gold shimmer. The products are only available in the Paris pop-up right now, so I feel very lucky to have been gifted these, and given the chance to try them.

The Dove Paris pop-up is open until Monday, and is located at Rue Saint-Lazare (map).

Photos of the Dove pop-up are courtesy of Edelman PR.

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24 Hours in Paris | A Paris Travel Guide

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It’s been a while since I last mentioned anything Parisian on the blog. After living there for 4 months I think I needed a bit of a break. Well it’s been several years since my last visit, but last week I found myself in Paris again. The problem? I only had 24 hours! You know me, whenever I visit somewhere I like to do as much as possible. That’s a given. I also like to share my adventures with everyone on my blog…

So here’s my Paris travel guide to help you through your 24 hours in the City of Love!

paris travel

24 Hours in Paris: A Paris Travel Guide

  1. Stay at: The Pullman Hotel, Eiffel Tower
    • Not only is the location amazing – it’s right next door to the Eiffel Tower! I dare you to find a better view from a hotel window.
  2. Have breakfast at: Cafe Kitsune, Palais Royale
    • If you’re anything like me, then you need a coffee to get you going in the morning. What better way to do this then in the gorgeous surroundings of Palais Royale. You’ll find Cafe Kitsune hidden in the 17th century arcade, with seating in the gardens.
  3. Take a photo at Les Deux Plateaux (Colonnes de Buren)
    • This controversial art piece is only a minute walk from Cafe Kitsune – I do like to make it easy for you, don’t I. Whether you’re a fan or not, this candy cane-esque installation leaves an impression. It’s pretty popular with locals and tourists alike, thanks to being so damn Instagrammable.
  4. Have lunch at: Aki Boulanger, Rue Saint Anne
    • This Japanese-French bakery-cum-cafe boasts some delicious treats, and is only a 10 minute walk from Opera metro station. You’ll find plenty of savoury and sweet food, all with nods towards the French location, and Japanese heritage. Think matcha mille-feuilles.
  5. Walk around Avenue de l’Opéra
    • It’s a beautiful part of Paris, which features some amazing architecture, and plenty of cafes and stores. Galeries Lafayette and Sephora are also nearby, and are a must-visit for any beauty or fashion fans.
  6. Have dinner at the local brasserie
    • You don’t get much more French than a brasserie, and luckily they’re an affordable way to try some decent, traditional French food. You’ll find them dotted around most streets. Chose the one with the bevy of Parisians sat outside, take a seat, and people watch.
  7. Stay up and watch the light show
    • After dark, the Eiffel Tower lights up every hour, on the hour. It’s a spectacular sight, and well worth waiting up for.

Feel free to leave your own Paris recommendations in the comments.
And don’t forget to check out my other travel posts.
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Travel Photo Diary: A Belated Slice of Heaven

A few days ago I realised that I never finished my Chamonix travel diary which made me equal parts nostalgic and annoyed (with myself; because I should have done it 4 months ago). So I decided to dust off the photos and finally put them up. If anything they’ll offer a sweet reminder of what’s to come when Britain finally decides to end it’s childish fight with the sun – flowers, clear skies and light, glorious light!

Chamonix Travel Diary: Part 7

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As a little treat Ben took my up La Flégère, one of his old snowboarding haunts. I’d been reading about how picturesque it was, and I was sad that I’d missed a photo tour by a local photographer, so he decided we’d recreate our own photo walk. During ski season this is a well frequented spot, however in Summer it becomes a haven for wildlife and flowers. Walking around the mountain lakes and looking out into the distance at Mer de Glace was spectacular. I didn’t put my camera down once. A lot of the flowers were beginning to wither, but we got some pretty lovely photos anyway. Although it was the lake with a mountain view that really took my breath away. It reminded me of just how beautiful Chamonix really is, and how lucky I am to have experienced it.