La Corrèze: for chilling out

local strawberries brive la gaillard market

 

The Relaxed Side of France

If your list of holiday destination priorities are food, relaxing and a hint of luxury not too far from home then the Corrèze region of France is there waving it’s arms around at ‘cha! Last month I compiled a pretty hefty guide for fun and adventurous things to do in la Corrèze including paragliding, staying in a treehouse and discovering what is basically a film set for Jurassic World. Let’s just say that there’s lots to do to keep you on your toes!

But after all this activity you’re going to be more than ready to discover the other delights, namely amazing food and wine. Here’s my list of amazing places and tastes to chill out in Corrèze.

fresh radishes brive la gaillard market

 

SHOP

Brive Food Market

Once you’ve had a good wander around the beautiful principle town of Brive (see me dressed up like a French girl there!) head straight to the market for lunch and to fill up your bags on local delicacies. We had a great simple lunch at Bistrot Brassens which serves the most massive steak my eyes ever have seen! Finish up with a cherry clafoutis. Don’t forget to spit out the stones!

Now to hit the market. Stock up on fresh fruit and veg, cheese, meats, plants, nuts, sweets and cheese. Did I mention cheese? Don’t miss the long shaped strawberries either, they’re a local delicacy and get their own party – a strawberry festival every summer!

goats cheese brive la gaillard market

vin paillee and mustard in brive la gaillard market

fresh garlic french market brive

cheese stall brive la gaillard market

chips salad and tomatos lunch bistrot brassens brive la gaillard market

traditional cherry clafoutis desert bistrot brassens brive la gaillard market

 

DISCOVER

Uzerche

Research La Corrèze online and you’ll likely get a list of beautiful villages to discover. Uzerche is one such place worth a gander around. Sink into a slice of dozy French life and meander around the old houses, towers and vaulted passageways to see why it’s named ‘the pearl of the Limousin district.’

I got up early and had a walk around on my own in the morning sun. There’s nothing quite like snooping around no-one’s watching! Scroll down to see where to stay in this pretty place.

morning view over uzerche correze france

la palette art gallery uzerche correze france

beautiful church view with roses

view over the town from hotel joyet de maubec uzerche correze france

 

EAT AND STAY

Hôtel Joyet de Maubec

Make Uzerche your stop-over town and stay at the relatively new Hôtel Joyet de Maubec, a beautifully restored boutique hotel and former boarding school with character and elegance (note the delicious smell of lilies everywhere you go!) If you want a touch of luxury then head here, if only to see those views over the valley of the Vézère river!

If you can’t stay, do at least make a stop at its restaurant, La Treille Muscate for a fine dining menu that changes weekly according to seasonal produce and the perfect wine pairings.

fine dining hotel Joyet de Maubec in correze amuse bouche starter

beautiful renovated traditional hotel joyet de maubec uzerche correze france

hotel joyet de maubec uzerche correze france
pretty village scallop house uzerche correze france

breakfast at hotel joyet de maubec uzerche correze france

breakfast at hotel joyet de maubec uzerche correze france

 

DISCOVER

Collonges-la-Rouge

As a blogger, I love a beautiful village with winding streets, who doesn’t?! Gorgeous villages don’t come much better than Collonges-La-Rouge, named one of the most beautiful villages in France, it’s a definite stop off worth looking around.

Why so red? Well, I’m going to whip out my geography for you again folks! The houses lie on a region of clay soil high in iron which came into contact with oxygen. The more the iron elements rusted, the deeper red colour. Hey, I never thought I’d ever want a rusty house!

Be sure to spot the building with the mermaid in the wall at the village museum. Snoop around the hat shop down the road, check out the holes in the walls of the market square where sticks held prized local wine and see the village oven where villagers made bread. Mainly though, take beautiful instagrams!

pink flowers collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france
little cottage collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france

hyacinth flowers in collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france
palm tree in collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france

sweetcorn drying in collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france
beams in walls collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france

gardens collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france
turrets and mansard roofs collonges-la-rouge beautiful village town in correze france

 

TASTE

Le Vin Paillé

The beady eyed of you may have noticed the beautiful cerise coloured wine bottles in one of my photos in the Brive market and then the white version in the background of our lunch. What you might realise is that the white labeled bottle with the sweet fruity liquor was pretty much a mainstay of our trip, popping at every meal and… breakfast?

Yep, on the second day of our trip, we were tasting it at 10am. All in the name of research of course, after all, it’s not every day that you get to sample wine straight from the hands of the producer. So when Jean Mage, a small-unit Vin Paillé producer invited us along to see the vineyards, vats and explain the process, all concept of time-appropriateness went out the window.

For the vino-heads out there, what makes this wine unique is that the grapes are picked and partially dried traditionally on straw (the French word is ‘paille’.) The sweetness of the grape is concentrated and when pressed produces that delicious flavour. Choose any bottle with the label and it will have been produced traditionally by one of around 20 local farmers like Jean.

vineyard for vin paille in france

wine tasting vin paille in correze vineyard

vineyard award medals for wine making in france

red poppies in francefrench donkey in france

 

Like the look of La Corrèze? Discover the wild side!

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Sahara Desert: Dunes and Dromedaries

summer outfit in the desert tropical palm print
camels walking in the desert
view over the sahara desert in western sahara
expanse of desert outfit
camel with colourful saddle blue sky
new look jewel sandals in the rippling water fromwhereistand
asos palm tree print co-ord blazer and shorts
camels in the desert hello
view from the white dune over the lagoon in dahkla
holding camel lead in the desert
camel kiss
lagoon dahkla from white dune sahara
 

Gone to the desert. BRB.

Well, I certainly never expected to find myself in the Sahara Desert. Yet here I am prancing around on Dahkla’s famous White Dune and kissing camels.  These things happen! This isn’t the Sahara Desert you learned about at school though. This is a coastal taste of the tundra; a hint of heat whilst letting me keep my toes in the water. That’s the beautiful thing about this spit of Moroccan-owned territory, you get all of the sun as well as the sea.

Getting here by Jeep convoy (bouncing for miles over boulders and dunes) isn’t most glamorous way to travel, but once you step out and walk the mile-long stretch out towards the big sand mountain (spotting shells and beautiful sand patterns along the way), you soon see the true beauty of the region.

Once at the top of the dune, the view over the lagoon is stunning. Cast your eye along the expansive horizon and you can make out the craggy spine of Dragon Island too. After chilling out with the camels, it was time for lunch. Our starter was served in a hidden seaside bar by way of metal trays, lemons and fishing nets, featuring the most enormous fresh oysters I’ve ever seen.

As we bounced back to Dahkla town for a feast of kings, we were treated to the sight of a flock of pink flamingoes flying over our heads. Maybe this is really glamorous after all!

If you like the look of Dahkla, come and see the beautiful pastel coloured town!

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driving in convoy in the desert by the coast
oyster shells and lemons
preparing oysters in dakhla
summer holiday outfit palm print shorts
view out to sea in he sahara desert
oyster bar dahkla colourful hut for eating fresh oysters
summer holiday outfit palm print shorts
blue steps morocco
seafood starter dish platter
moroccan tagine
 

What I wore in the Sahara:

Co-ord – ASOS (last season) / T-shirt – MillionHands / Sandals – New Look / Necklace – Monki / Sunglasses & Chain – ASOS / Earrings – John Greed

 
[show_shopthepost_widget id=”691716″]
 

Thanks again to the Moroccan Tourist Board for the opportunity to discover the Sahara Desert!
 

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Discovering Dahkla

dakhla western sahara flats palm tree sky

dakhla western sahara blue table and chairs

blue sky deser sahara bright blue gates school

dakhla western sahara holiday outfit print

dakhla western sahara colourful sign

western saharan sweets in shop window

dakhla western sahara pattered rug outside houses town

souks in dahkla town

retro style telephone booth

dakhla western sahara printed joggers and printed asos jacket plus

dakhla western sahara

dakhla western sahara red flower

 

Remember Dahkla

Keep the name Dahkla written on a post-it note and stick it in your travel wallet, you’ll be needing it in a couple of years when friends ask you for new holiday destinations. Look out Marrakesh, you could soon have some competition! Last month, along with a lovely group, I was treated to an exclusive look at Morocco’s latest destination offering.

Previously reserved for hoards of Kitesurfers who head to the tiny spit right in the middle of the Atlantic to train and watch the annual championships, Dakhla showed us just how much potential a small pastel coloured city could offer. In the middle it really is, this is the closest I’ve come to the equator and I can at last claim that I’ve been to THE Sahara desert! Sand and sun later, let me first show you the pretty palm-tree lined town.

This is real Morocco at it’s best, along with daily markets, a small but jewel-like souk (my friends and I watched a young boy fashion a stone into a gold ring for us), secret beach-side oyster farms and incredibly friendly locals. I tasted Camel (yep, sorry Humpy) and what must be every type of crustacean, plus devoured many a nutty patisserie that could well have been jewellery.

Whilst the area is certainly in need of gentrification to accommodate any mass number of tourists, we had a lovely peaceful stay in our hotel where we fell asleep to the sounds of the sea lapping the shore. Note it down!

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old man on a moped in the middle of the road in dahkla

dakhla western sahara palm tree

summer morocco ray ban sunglasses

dakhla western sahara looking out to see pier

bab al bahar hotel dahkla places to stay glass dome roof

holiday printed jacket outfit summer

dakhla western sahara beach edge

morocan rug green trainers

 

Thank you to the Moroccan tourist board for taking us on this very special and unique trip!

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Outfit: Swedish Sun

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

gothenburg courtyard

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

gothenburg courtyard

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

Party at the Back

I can’t wait to show you more on my trips to Gothenburg this year (I’ll be whipping up a city guide for you!) But for now, here’s one of my outfits worn during the surprisingly warm days in one of my favourite spots: the courtyard of Vallgatan.

The square hosts Da Matteo (best coffee shop and roastery), the beautiful homeware store Artilleriat and the corner of Grandpa which, if you’re in Sweden, should probably be your no.1 stop shop! More on all those must-visit places later!

As for what a wore; I rarely buy something because I’ve seen someone else wearing it, but seeing this Sparkle and Fade lace cami top on my friend Chloe had me at ‘Hello back!’ Whilst yes, I felt pretty naked all day, it was perfect for wafting around the city in the heat!

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts
gothenburg courtyard

slouchy summer outfit backless urban outfitters top esprit shorts

Take a look at what else I wore in Gothenburg when visiting the Palm House or see how else I styled these shorts.

Top – Urban Outfitters / Shorts – Esprit / Shoes – Office (similar) / Bracelet – Whistles / Sunglasses – Asos
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Hazy Andalusia

sunset in spain

hazy grasses at sunset southern spain

red hair girl sunset

sheer ombre blouse asos

palm leaves and grasses in Spain

lashes of London floral bomber jacket

Andalucia

So I popped to Spain the other week. You know, a quick 3 day jaunt in-out-done. I realised that may as well have gone on a trip to the other side of London when my best friends commented on my palm tree instagrams with ‘oh this is where she is!’ and ‘Spain what?!’ Oops.

My Dad, Brother and I managed to pack in a productive schedule despite the short number of hours that our feet were on Andalusian soil for. On the first evening, I managed to just about catch the last of the sun as it sunk below the goats in the grasses. What a luxury to have been able to wear but a little pair of shorts and sheer blouse – Spring, make way for Summer!

slouchy turquoise ombre shirt hazy summer

hazy flowy sheer shirt mint turquoise outfit

plastic flowers embellished shorts in mint for summer

asos turquoise tassel purse

turquoise floral summer outfit

asos turquoise and gold metal sandals

southern span goat herders

Shorts – ASOS / Blouse – ASOS / Sandals – ASOS / Jacket – Lashes of London / Purse – ASOS / Necklace – Johnny Loves Rosie

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