La Corrèze: Travel ideas for the Adventurous!

paragliding in the dordogne valley

 

 The wild side of France

As I mentioned in my last post, La Corrèze region of France is an idyllic green destination whether you’re looking to chill and take in the beautiful scenery or if you’re looking for a little bit of wilderness. Here are a few things I got up to that unleashed my adventurous side!

hetre sous le charme treehouse cabin in the woods

 

STAY:

In a Tree House!

We stayed in three different places on our Corrèze trip but nothing came anywhere as close to cool than this treehouse cabin experience. I could write a whole post on this but in short, Hetre Sous Le Charme is an eco tourism project which is the brianchild of two amazing young French girls. I secretly want to run away and live with them because I’ve never seen two people so happy! The girls welcome you at their office drive you to one of 5 cabins on stilts in the woods…

 

Hetre sous le charme eco tourisme in france cabin in the woods

hetre sous le charme treehouse cabin in the woods

Hetre sous le charme eco tourisme in france cabin in the woods

Hetre sous le charme eco tourisme in france cabin in the woods

 

All the cabins are so protected from trees that they’re each incredibly private and secluded. Everything inside the treehouse has been built from scratch and considered for its environmental impact which is why you can only use the lights after 8pm, use a gas heater for warmth and you do your thing in a sawdust toilet. There’s really nothing better than this to get you in touch with nature. Sit out on your balcony and experience the vastness of the valley below you and watch the birds of prey circle above. That weird noise? That’s nature mate. Scream if you like, it’s pretty liberating!

I slept in a princess-like bed and awoke early and excited for the first meal of the day: the much hyped ‘basket breakfast’! Take a look over the edge of your balcony from 8 am and you’ll spot your grub hooked on the end of a pulley rope. Wind it up and enjoy freshly baked muffins and crispy baguette. Actual heaven!

Stay from 135 euro per night. You will need your own car.

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breakfast basket in the woods at HHetre sous le charme

breakfast basket in the woods at HHetre sous le charme

 

TRY:

Rowing a Gabaro Down the Dordogne

When I first heard I was going back to the Dordogne river, years worth of summer holiday memories came rushing back. My favourites involved kayaking for hours down the beautiful river and spending meals overlooking the estuaries. What can I say, I just loved rowing ok!

I couldn’t wait to get my oars back in the water but rather than a canoe, my travel buddies and I were faced with a Gabaro. This boat is small version of the massive barges that strong men rowed down (and up!) the river in, delivering timber to Bordeaux for wine barrels back in the day.

My muscles were treated to a well earned workout but it wasn’t just the size of the boat that made things more challenging, try rowing through strips of rapids! If you’re looking for a bit of mild exhilaration, this is for you. I couldn’t stop laughing! Take a look at me having a go and the pretty village we chilled out in afterwards.

Row your own boat at various schools or take a Gabare trip from 8 euros per person.

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traditional gabaro boat on the Dordogne river

river view in argentat

traditional gabaro boat on the Dordogne river

 

 

WALK:

Down the Dordogne Valley

The Corrèze region is famed for its countryside and conservation. Join one of the waking tours that will take you up and down the valley to explore the various hillsides. On our walk we were taken down to a secret garden, an old stepped allotment used to farm fruit and vegetables by the local peasant population years ago. You can even see the remains of their tiny stone one-room settlements that used to house around 10 people at a time!

Feel the strange change in temperature as you make your way down. A micro-climate of warm air gets trapped in the valley making it unusually adept for cultivation. Weird!

Walking tours by locals in various locations.Visit the tourist offices for details

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view from a derelict window in france over dordogne valley

picnic in the woods traditional french food la correze arbour

walks in correze with the Association la dordogne de villages en barrages

 

EAT:

A Picnic Amongst the Trees

After a brisk walk up and down the valley, it’s time to fill up. On the regions’ delicacies that is. Wine, cheese, pâté, soufflé and duck are all just about carry-able so pack them in your car and then set out a nice spread. Don’t hold back on the courses, you’re in France after all!

Pick up your supplies from the local farmers markets.

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picnic table in the woods traditional french food la correze

picnic in the woods traditional french food la correze wine

picnic in the woods traditional french food la correze duck and foie gras salad

picnic in the woods traditional french food la correze cheese

picnic in the woods traditional french food la correze cherry flan

 

DARE:

To Paraglide!

Corrèze is the place to fly. Yep, just book your slot, get driven up to the highest hill in the region, get strapped in and off you fly! 5 minutes later you’re at the bottom wanting to do it all over again. Sign me up!

Of course sign up I did, except our flight was unfairly cancelled last minute due to wind speeds being too high. Gutted! Our would-have-been instructor didn’t let no wind stop him from at least showing us the kit though and kindly unrolled the ‘planche’ and started kicking around in the gusts. Next time I 100% want to get my feet off the ground!

Book with the paragliding school online. Flight from 60 euros.

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pointing on a map

paragliding in the dordogne valley

 

DISCOVER:

A Century-Old Quarry

Ok so this may not be every twenty-something’s idea of a holiday destination but stick with me. No matter what your interests, you’ll no doubt be in awe at Les Pans de Travassac, the beautiful slate quarry which from above looks like a tiger has scratched slices out of the ground.

The incredible pans of ‘waste rock’ have remained standing since they were first excavated around at the beginning of the 20th century. Years worth of mining the lucrative strips of slate, has made way for pathways allowing you to wind your way around as if in a film set. Look at the rock face carefully to see the dynamite blasts carved in the rock and imagine how the pans have moved vertically since starting life as sedimentary rock. Geography geeks, this one goes out to you.

Once you’ve sufficiently imagined you’re in Jurassic World, watch the artisans splice slabs of rock down into beautifully shaped tiles in the traditional fashion. After two years of solid work by 4 men, the company re-roofed the whole village of the Mont Saint Michel. Now that’s a lot of tiles. Have a go at cutting one yourself and you’ll see that trad techniques are harder than they look.

Tours are 1.5 hours long from 8 euros per person between May and August. Check the website for opening times.

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les pans de travassac slate quarry in le correze

les pans de travassac slate quarry in le correze

les pans de travassac slate quarry in le correze

how to cut slate les pans de travassac slate quarry in le correze

les pans de travassac slate quarry in le correze

 

SEE:

The Waterfalls in Spring

The best way to discover the Corrèze region is by car and on most days you’ll find yourself winding along narrow lanes scooting from village to village. Be sure to add Gimel-Les-Cascades to one of your routes, parking up in the town and then walking down to the entrance to the waterfall park.

Taking a walking trail down the valley, you’ll see 3 amazing waterfalls of different kinds including the ‘horses’ tail and the ‘inferno’ at the end. Your first point of view though is arguably the most awesome – the Big Jump. See it in Spring and you’ll be treated to the gushiest of all the falls!

 

Open every day from March to November. Check website for latest prices. Bring a jacket!

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cascades de gimel waterfall in la correze france

gimel les cascades village illustrated map

cascades de gimel waterfall in la correze france

cascades de gimel waterfall in la correze france

 

 Thanks so much to the Corrèze Tourist Board for inviting me to re-live my school holidays!

Visit their brilliant Corrèze Tourisme website for all other details.

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Argentat

top of the world! climbing up rock dordogne valley view

converse trainers in a row boat

view from cliffs in the dordogne valley over la correze

boohoo printed flares next crochet vest outfit

beautiful french village of argentat correze france

rustic houses with roses argentat correze france

sitting on a step in la correze france rustic printed trousers outfit

pretty cafes in argentat correze france

 

Down the Dordogne

I can’t tell you how happy I was to be back in a boat, cruising past French villages and paddling frantically through rapids in the Dordogne river. Follow that with a nice Perrier and grenadine cordial in Argentat overlooking said river and… aaah, that’s my cup of ‘thé.’

My memories of holidays in the centre of France are very dear to me and so when I heard I’d been invited to discover another department in the region, I couldn’t wait to pull my lifejacket on. I’m going to be sharing two posts very soon on my experience in the Corrèze region. One for if you’re a bit of an adventurer like me, and one if you only want to sign up for the chilled stuff. Whether you choose tracks, or relax, you’ll loose yourself here!

boohoo printed flares accessorize bon voyage luggage novelty bag

flowers in a pram argentat correze france and traditional postbox

boohoo printed flares next crochet vest outfit outfit details hippie

pretty blue houses in argentat correze france

hippie seventies style jewellery details

 

Hippy Vibes

I’m not normally one for a brown colour palette, but being surrounded by nature and beautiful stone houses called for a wardrobe reassessment! I guess you could say that the Correze region brought out the hippy in me. My crochet vest never looked so at home than amongst wicker chairs and rocky outcrops!

Turns out, these flares are super comfy and actually surprisingly practical for climbing! (Highly useful life info there.) As for the bag, I brought it along for a bit of fun. Afterall, I could hardly leave it at home when I was being wished a ‘bon voyage’. NB: You may be more sensible opting for a snazzy waterproof rucksack!

Back soon for lots more on my French adventure!

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ducks in argentat correze france

beautiful flower village to visit argentat correze france

argentat correze france gallerie d'art sign

black retro car in argentat correze france

accessorize novelty mini suitcase travel stickers bag

boohoo printed flares soft trench coat outfit

What I Wore in Argentat:

Flares – Boohoo / Top – Next / Coat – Mint Velvet  (Similar) / Bag – Accessorize / Trainers – Converse / Bracelets – Vintage / Necklace and earrings – Accessorize / Watch – Swatch (similar)

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How to help decorate your boyfriends’ house

london themed prints iknowthisgreatlittleplace to make your rented house a home

 

The Man at Home

I’m always concerned for guys who share houses with girls. Surely the inevitable girls’ encroachment i.e overspilling of ‘stuff’ and girly touches on mans’ personal space must be inevitable. I’m sure this must often happen to the poor guys, or at least I’m certain that if I lived with one, the bedroom wouldn’t be ours. Oh no. It would be mine… With a lodger sleeping there. I can’t help that I have so many things ok!?

That’s not to say that I don’t like boys’ things or boys’ style. Just check out Mat’s blog for my kinda man things. In this post I’m positively embracing the tastes of my boyfriend and his flatmate both whom, thank gaahhd, appreciate a colour scheme and a nicely arranged shelf.

They’ve just moved into their rented London space, a modern, half furnished white flat in Camden. I can’t lie, I did make some ‘creative suggestions’ and gave them a couple of housewarming gifts but otherwise the style comes from them. I promise.

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room shelves

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room yellow flex cable cage lamp

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room teal telephone

colourful boys house rent interiors guys houseshare

3 part planter succulent plants in rustic pots

juggling balls

easy sofa improvements with colourful cushions

 

 

The Shared Space

So what tips can I make to help with decorating your boyfriends’ house?

1 – Colour lover. We started with colours, naturally. The shared lounge and kitchen took its tones from the questionable 70s style curtains and sofas, plus a contrasting teal tone picked from some even more questionable Greek coasters. With a few colour-coordinating cushions and a throw, we toned down the bright blockiness of the sofa.

2 – Believe it or not, the boys requested more stuff to fill their shelves. Cray right?! A little vintage scavenger hunt in Brixton found a nice old tin which you could pop some ivy into and a teal tray for the table. Display notebooks like this world map journal along with DVDs and books and add a statement telephone to replace your boring black handset.

3 – Let there be light! The amazing yellow flex cage lamp that I had spotted a while back on Such & Such was a definite need plus illuminated the corner nicely at night.

4 – My suggested addition of plants wouldn’t be the guys’ natural choice, but picking succulents and bushy lavender helps make the space feel grown up but not girly and now they love them. Sit pots next to rustic looking candles for a potting shed vibe.

 

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

england illustrated map

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room primary colours shelves

 

5 – Crockery too cool to hide in the cupboards? Add character to the shelves by displaying nice coffee and tea mugs or a mug with a print and quirky egg cups.

6 – Pick prints! We all love bright graphic prints and those white walls were calling out for them. Instead of banging in nails on the newly painted walls, we went for twist-off sticky pads to tape down the frames. I adore the London themed prints from I Know This Great Little Place. The guys went for a north London themed one (right on colour cue too!) and map of the UK in illustrated place names. Represent! Over on the kitchen side, we picked a bright print with all the London boroughs represented from Place in Print. Why not learn a bit about your city whilst munching on your toast?!

7 – But first, coffee. Liquid caffeine is a pretty big deal in this household. My boyfriend’s a barista so a home machine is as important as a shower. Obviously, they couldn’t settle for anything drab so they picked out this bright orange Dolce Gusto machine. You simply pick up pods with your favourite mixture in the supermarket and pop one in the machine. You control the temperature and strength and in seconds, there’s your fix.

8 – Keep that kitchen tidy. The limitations of drilling into walls makes things like spice racks and shelves a no-go. We picked up this rustic tray, perfect for all the seasonings, from H&M home.

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room north london print

dolce gusto coffee machine bright orange

easy spice rack tray h&m home

eggs and soldiers in dog eggcups

 

 The Boys Bedroom

1 – The weird thing about boys is that they own fewer things than you. Strange because there’s no balloon pump, compact mirrors or hair ties at your disposal but useful if you want a nice clean looking room. If they are a man of stuff, it’s all about the storage. Pick up colourful boxes from IKEA and align them together on shelves.

2 –  Get those colour cards out again! We went for trusty primary colours this time, with light bright blue to match the Urban Outfitters bedding and colour pops of yellow and red.

3 – Go green. Freshen up the space with bright green plants (I genuinely took a cutting of my bathroom plant and grew it into this beauty) plus pick up some £1 cacti at Columbia Road Flower Market. Boys love cacti.

4 – Lighten up. There’s nothing like a good lamp… Or 2. Luckily there are loads of anglepoise replicas out there now and the studious style looks pretty cool. We picked up the little red one in Debenhams ex-display for a fiver (similar here) which helped towards splashing out on the beautiful blue lamp from Made.com for £50. Worth. It.

 

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room shelves primary colours

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room london print music station

guys shelf products

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room decorating with records

 

5 – Push their hobbies. My boyf is big on music, your guineypig, I mean guy might be big on tech, or sport or design. Display those passions and create a space for them to live. A bright red table serves to show off a guitar and the pedals can live underneath. Above we placed a music themed print to tie together the space in colour and theme. If they’re a muso, records are a winner. Frame the sleeves and then place the records on shelves to literally show off your library.

6 – Speaking of prints, did I tell you know much I like them? The London alphabet links the colour scheme, is all designy and makes for a handy reference when you need new things to do in London! The biggest wall serves to show off the biggest print, one I commissioned my bestie Carrie to hand write. If he has passions, get them on paper and frame it. Good gift!

7 – Big softie. Soft furnishings are your final touch. Yes boys, you do need that contrast colour cushion. Look how nice it looks now! Pick up affordable cushions and rugs in H&M, Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas.

 

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

bright red stripy rug and red chair in a guys bedroom

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room plants

Your Turn!

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Festival Feet

field day festival outfit

field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival outfit

block of flats hackney east field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival #catfestivaldiaries

mac and cheese stands field day london 2015 victoria park festival

blue tents field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival outfit

style field day london 2015 victoria park festival

cat boots #catfestivaldiaries field day festival outfit

lickalix van field day london 2015 victoria park festival

carousel chairs field day london 2015 victoria park festival

colourful outfits field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival pompom earrings and scrunchie

paella field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival outfit adidas t-shirt and patent skirt

cat footwear pink boots field day festival outfit

 

 

#CATFestivalDiaries

Aah… Let me take you back to when I was lounging around in the sun, cider in hand at Field Day a couple of weekends ago. I could have mistaken my couple of hours in East London a Sunday afternoon for a long balmy August festival somewhere in the middle of countrified England. Was this Bestival again?! The weather was gorgeous, the atmosphere happy and surprisingly chilled and the scene festi-fied but small enough for a couple of laps before heading off home.

Of the two Field Days, Sunday over Saturday is the super relaxed and relatively quiet little sister. ‘Where’s the shouting, toilet queues and throwing things around?’ My friend Chloe and I made the most of it all by dancing around like loons in front of the band stand, singing along at Mac Demarco, munching on delicious savoury french crepes and never having to queue for margherita slushies. Win!

I went along as part of the #CATFestivalDiaries so I pulled on my new Walala boots, matched them to my crazy earrings, added one of my scrunchies and then calmed down the look with a dose of black. Like any city festivals, you can simply style up any urban looks with an ‘out there’ accessory or two and you’ve hit the mark!

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art installations field day london 2015 victoria park festival

kicking around in the park field day festival outfit

fro-yo van field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival outfit

crepe stand field day london 2015 victoria park festival

french crepes field day london 2015 victoria park festival

field day festival outfit

 

What I Wore to Field Day:

Boots – Cat Footwear / T-shirt – adidas / Skirt – ASOS / Bag – Monki / Jacket – ASOS / Earrings – Similar here / Scrunchie – ScrunchieMarket / Socks – Similar here

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Holiday Guide: Puglia, Italy

sunset orange ligh rocks polignano a mare puglia italy

4 days in Puglia

Has anyone ever tried to plan a holiday somewhere but struggled to research that place online? It’s not that there aren’t any guides or advice out there, it’s just that it’s not really written for you. It doesn’t provide you with lots of pretty photos so you can pre-plan your Instagrams nor advice for the Air bnb obsessed traveller (hey, we can’t all fork out on staying in a Masserie and hire a car.)

So, as I was planning my trip for 4 days in Puglia, I kind of had to make it up the best I could. For that reason I felt pretty chuffed with myself when it somehow went mainly to plan but to save you bookmarking like a bitch and breaking all the rules of browser tab management, you may as well follow my guide instead! Click to see more of my guide below.

little blue boat in the sea polignano a mare puglia italy

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Welcome, I'm Lucy!
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