Winter Family Road Trip to Ski in the French Alps

Driving down to the Alps from the UK is always an effort, but in the spirit of adventure it's exciting to 'discover' them. From the flat Northern Pas de Calais, to the soaring snowy peaks of Haute Savoie, we made our way South, passing through varied pretty towns along the way.

It is reassuring that our three-year-old monster/angel had no need or want of technology during the entire trip (despite this, I do appreciate the temptation of others to use it!) We packed her 'busy pack' full of varied toys and books. A French skiing sticker book helped get her in the mood for the days to follow when she would have her first ski lessons!
LaonNorth-Eastern France is so very familiar to us, but for some reason, tiny walled city Laon was new to us, and a pleasant surprise. The cathedral was lit up blue from inside and we enjoyed the evening hilltop views over the surrounding countryside before having dinner at a traditional brasserie.
DijonOur next stop was pretty little Dijon. …

Summer Family Road Trip Through France: From Cambridge to Corsica

As usual, we planned this summer's road trip holiday around a naturally beautiful, beachy destination; this time, Corsica. Beaches, mountain walks, and eating local food were the main items on the agenda. It worked out cheaper to take our Corsica ferries to and from different cities, so we got a nice varied road trip with a totally different route home.

We mainly travelled for around 3 hours a day on the journey to and from Corsica. We broke it down each day, stopping for lunch and walks (and shopping) in appealing places.  

Klowski and I started with a pleasant little day in Cambridge whilst Richard finished work, then we left from there for Dover. This set the tone for the rest of the trip, not least Klowski's thoughts about where we were at various points ('Cambridge' for at least 80% of the time apparently).

Rouen & Le MansOn the way to Le Mans, we stopped in Rouen to eat quiche on the steps outside the magnificent cathedral, and I bored Richard with some high st…

Eating and Sightseeing in Paris with a Toddler in Tow

Going to Paris with a little girl who is not yet even 3 sounds like hassle, but having ditched the pram, our lives were far easier especially on the metro. Also the butterfly lunchbox (empty but adored) that she carried with her the entire time, meant she was occupied and had fewer sticky hands available for uninvited touching in shops, which is not well-received in France generally. 
We stayed in an Ibis, which are usually good value, in Northern Paris, and had driven from the UK, so we parked the car at the hotel, using our 3-day metro passes to get about. We started off in Montmartre and made our way up to the magnificent Sacre Coeur standing high over Montmartre. Its grassy South-facing slopes are a great place for a picnic in the sun. After stopping for some photos, little Klowski loved the big steps down to the streets below, then we enjoyed some unique little gift shops before heading into Paris city centre for lunch. 
I could remember from before that the plush department store …

Caribbean Creole Paradise in Martinique

It's not for nothing that this lush, tropical island is called the isle of flowers - it's positively teeming with colour. It's not surprising that the Parisian running the local art gallery described his former home city to me as 'too grey.' Anything would seem diluted in comparison to Martinique...

This was a trip mainly for indulging and relaxing. But (of course), most definitely not in a commercial all-you-can-eat style. We stayed in Sainte Luce fishing village - on the South coast, at the Brise Marine serviced apartments right on the beach. Hummingbirds darted between hibiscuses, green lizards basked in the sun, and the waves lapped the shore metres from us. I also chose Brise Marine for other reasons; Richard has to be kept happy with a big French breakfast, and this was not a compromise here. Every morning a big tray of fresh Croissants, pineapple and more, arrived at our door. We shared breakfast in the bigger bungalow my Mum and Aunty were staying in. It was…

The Outdoors & Fine Dining in Historic English Town Stamford

What better way to experience quaint English charm, than in the ancient stone market town of Stamford, in Lincolnshire, just 80 miles North of London. Stamford's reputation as a fine and fascinating town to visit is certainly added to by its Elizabethan Burghley House and Gardens, and the infamous George Hotel.

My various experiences of these exciting and beautiful places all lead back to the same themes: quality, and class. The classic gardens with their unique features, and the relaxed yet refined atmosphere of the Garden Room Restaurant at The George Hotel are simply why I always come back for more - bringing friends, family, and even a school trip, to share in Stamford's delights.

Burghley Sculpture Gardens and the Gardens of Surprise
Walking around the spacious and varied sculpture gardens is a delight no matter what the weather; this summer I particularly enjoyed taking my two-year-old daughter for picnics in the sun by the lake, and picnics in the rain under the trees - …