Alice Catherine Alice Catherine

This week, I was lucky enough to discover the south of France for a couple of days with Jimmy Fairly. Bordeaux and Biarritz to be exact – I’ve mentioned that I spent quite a lot of time holidaying in France as a kid, so it always feels like a second home to me whenever I get the chance to go back. I’d actually never been to either places, so I was intrigued to discover what they had to offer, and whether they would become places I’d be permanently pining to travel back to…

We headed down to London the night before, in preparation for a 5am pick up and an early flight to Bordeaux. I managed to sleep a bit on the plane, but not as much as I would have liked (basically a zombie). I think we arrived having had around three hours sleep – I was eager to get changed out of my sweaty flight attire, and into something a little more flowy. We weren’t told either of the hotels we were staying at, so it was such a lovely surprise when we arrived each evening – the first stop was Les Sources De Caudalie. The most amazing spar and hotel that I’ve ever stayed at – it was like a little toy town, surrounded by vineyards and beautiful gardens, and secluded from anything that remotely felt like reality. It was heaven on Earth, and I’ve already been looking into taking my mum there – she would absolutely love it.

It really felt like the Dirty Dancing resort – I had the soundtrack in my head whilst I was walking around, no attractive male dancers in sight though… 

The rooms each had their own little balcony/porch areas with white wicker furniture that overlooked the gardens for as far as the eye could see. Even when it started raining it was magical – it’s the type of place where it feels impossible to be sad. The perfect balance of nature and dreamy interiors that didn’t feel too ‘grand and vacant’ like some hotels tend to. I did my make up on the balcony in the morning and there was little birds hopping around my feet – the air felt so fresh, and smelt like rain and blooming gardens…

After some light lunch and photo taking at the hotel, we headed into Bordeaux to discover the Jimmy Fairly store. It was beautifully laid out, and you really get a boutique store experience. They even fit your chosen eyewear so that it doesn’t constantly slip off your face in the sunshine – something I’m forever battling when I pick up high street sunglasses. We briefly got to see a bit of Bordeaux town, which didn’t feel dissimilar to Paris, but just more spacious and a little less quaint. We then headed back to the Caudalie hotel where we had a bit of free time to freshen up before dinner on the grounds. They had the cosiest little restaurant where we feasted on French fries, and I tried my first ever coddled egg. Which by the way, doesn’t sound appealing, but was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten… 

In the morning, we were up early again for a quick breakfast at the hotel, and then it was off to Biarritz for the day. The trains happened to be on strike, so we ended up hiring a car and driving all the way there. When we finally reached Biarritz, it was super windy, and of course I’d chosen to wear a midi dress that basically kept revealing my knickers. We walked along the beach to a little surfing restaurant – here we had more French fries, French bread, and basically all the beige coloured foods in sight…

 Post lunch fuel, we headed into the town to explore – it very much felt like a little seaside town, and kind of reminded me of certain areas in Wales and Cornwall. It was really beautiful, and full of little boutiques, bars, and cafes. We stopped off to meet with a the beauty brand Laboratories De Biarritz – they showed us around their offices, and talked to us about how they incorporate natural ingredients from the sea in all of their products. We even got to mix one of our own products, and sport some fetching white lab coats whilst doing it. Only in France would the lab coats have chic collars and pockets…

We then headed further into the town in search of ice cream and a cute little lingerie and swimwear boutique called Albertine Swim. I picked up a really cool red sweater – they have some really unique pieces so I’d definitely recommend checking them out…

Exploring with @Sophia_rosemary 

 Shopping bags in hand, it was time to head to the second hotel of the trip – the Grand Hotel Du Palais. This place was like something straight out of a Wes Anderson film – pastel colour palettes for as far as the eye could see. It was definitely grand, but my room had an insane view of the beach, so I felt really at peace looking out at the ocean. Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes really posh hotels can feel a bit empty and stagnant, but the location of this one was perfect if you’re looking to spend a few days in Biarritz. It’s within walking distance to everything, and the beach is heavenly. Big rocks sticking out of the sea, and a little white lighthouse up on a hill – it was like something from a postcard… 

After a quick freshen up, we headed out for our final dinner on foot, and watched the sunset go down with a few drinks and you guessed it, some more bread. We ate at this amazing little restaurant called Le Café de Madrid – if you ever get the chance to visit then you have to try the mushroom ravioli starter, I think it might be the most insanely delicious pasta dish that I’ve ever tried (and there’s been a lot of pasta over the last twenty five years). All in all, a beautiful couple of days exploring a little more of France – I’d love to go back for a week and travel around a bit more. There’s so much to discover, and I’ll be dreaming about the Caudalie Hotel for many moons to come… 

Alice x

Photographs taken on an Olympus MJU-II 

Sunglasses – Jimmy Fairly

Cardigans – Topshop (sold out) & And Other Stories (similar here

Both dresses & straw bag – vintage


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  1. Summer R says:

    Bordeaux is such a beautiful place! The train strikes have been going on for months now but glad you got to Biarritz! x


  2. Danielle says:

    This looks like such a beautiful trip! I’m desperate to get back to France, and explore more than just Paris. Love your tartan dress, so cute! xx

    Dany | Danielle Reine

  3. Joss says:

    Don’t forget to stop in La Rochelle next time you are in this area! You may have been before but it’s a lovely seaside town 🙂
    I live about an hour from Bordeaux & from La Rochelle in a town called Angoulême which is worth a little visit too 🙂 x

    Joss x

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