Night out in Biarritz

We made our way to the Centre Ville and found where the crowds like to gather. I had discoveted this area this afternoon near Les  Halles- the market area and guessed there would be action tonight. Sure enough it was starting to pump by the time we got there around 7.30. We got a drink,  grabbed a table and started to participate in my favourite holiday activity. People watching! 

It was a mixed crowd of locals – I guessed after closing up shop, tourists, many with babies in strollers, the older ones from near and far, and many young ones dressed in the uniform of La Fete. 

We drank and watched until finally we moved up the ‘eat street’ and got a table at Bistro Les Halles. We sat at a street table with a good view and a cool breeze and I was pleased I’d brought my trusty black cashmere cardigan along. For heavens sake – it’s summer but feels cool and like winter in Brisbane. 

We enjoyed a nice meal.  Served a little cool but hey,  everything is cool tonight! Including the people! We saw one guy who was a vision in pink. Now I know the French (and Italian) men like red pants but these were a deep pink with a lighter pink shirt and a deep pink jumper round his thin bony shoulders. Not a good look and as he and his partner? (Female)  walking up the street heads turned! 

Back to dinner!!! Steak for Steve , duck and veg on skewers for me. We shared a bottle of red. A Medoc from Burgandy. Are there any bad wines round here? 

Finally back to the hotel to our very generous sized room ( this isn’t Paris) some photo downloading and before you know it Steve’s asleep! 

So a few photos from tonight then bed 


Biarritz. For the ritzy. Friday 31

Arrived in Biarritz this afternoon and found our hotel Radisson Blu after driving through the very busy streets that make up this sea side village. It’s a haven for holiday makers particularly surfers and the well heeled. It’s a collection of beaches with streets running up from the beaches and bays filled with cafes, bars ( particularly Tapas bars so close to Spain) shops and patisserie ( not for the gluten free) 

Steve immediately donned his budgie smugglers and headed for the rocky beach bay for a swim and I dodged the crowds looking for a place for dinner. It’s crowded for two reasons!  It’s the middle of summer and there is Le Fete at nearby Bayonne which attracts thousands of people – many of whom are dressed in white pants and t – shirts with a red scarf tied jauntily around the neck. I must find out the significance of this dress. There are hundreds of them round town.  And we will because tomorrow we head into Bayonne where family friend Mark Chisholm lives with wife Lauren and 5 children. Mark is the Captain of the Bayonne Rugby team and somewhat of a local hero. We’re joining them for a day out at Le Fete. Can’t wait ! 

Steve returned from his swim hungry and thirsty and I was the hero because I had visited  Carrefour the supermarket and bought him a Guinness,  chips and a lovely terrine to snack on till dinner. We missed lunch during our flight down. It was delayed leaving Paris and the tiny snack on board was never going to fill us up. 

Tonight we’ll go to one of the many restaurants near Les Halles for dinner and a wander around the Centre Ville. 

Tomorrow another swim before we head to Le Fete. 

The view from our hotel room at 6pm . As you can see it’s a little cloudy and not so blue. Where’s the summer gone? 

Arrived in Paris

Arriving in Paris always feels wonderful. It really is a beautiful city. Our hotel near Luxembourg Gardens is fine. Little room! We are in Paris remember. But in an area I haven’t stayed in before. The main reason for choosing it was access to the RER train. Straight through from CDG airport for 10€ and a 5 min walk. 

We headed straight out for a walk and appertivo near the Pantheon. The light on the buildings was stunning. Beautiful summer night with a little chill in the air. 

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at a restaurant nearby – not the one I tried to book. It was closed for summer ! But it was good and had a lovely Brazillian guitarist giving lots of romantic atmosphere. 

Fairly early to bed and after a good night sleep we are getting organised for a morning walk through the gardens. 

Out the hotel window I can see: 


Packing! Enough or too much!


Here are the clothes rolled and ready to go.

I’ve got everything rolled and ready. Yes I’m a firm believer in rolling my clothes. It really does save on creases.
I’ve tried to keep to a few key colours. Black & white, stripes and a dash of colour.
I always include a scarf or two to add colour and warmth.
I do things in 3’s. Pants, dresses, shorts, t-shirts and shirts, scarves and of course the cashmere cardigan I take everywhere.
Shoes: always a bug bear. I’m taking my ‘sketchers’ ( yes girls you know how comfortable they are) my new Frankie4 footwear shoes , red sandals and an old “worn in”  black sandal I swear I’ll leave there!
So time and photos will tell if I’ve got it right.

Look out for me in the clothes you can see rolled!

Hotels Booked. Itinerary written………

We are getting set to go and Steve has been busy adding to our written itinerary.  For a brief glimpse here it is:

Paris:   Thursday 30th July. I booked a Hotel near the Luxemburg Gardens.  I have a few favourite areas in Paris – the Marais being one , but I also like areas of the Left Bank. Happy memories of staying in Rue de L’universite  and as I adore Le Jardin du Luxembourg I have booked Hotel Elysa-Luxembourg.  It’s 3* but is in a great position near a metro handy as we are only there one night. I tried to book a popular restaurant nearby but alas they are closed for July29 –  August 29! So I’ll be looking for another.

Biarritz:   Friday 31-2August. We are flying down in the morning to this ritzy seaside resort mainly to visit Mark and Lauren Chisholm and their 5 bambini. Mark plays rugby for nearby Bayonne.Staying at the Radisson Blu near the beach

Saint Emilion:   Sunday 2- Tuesday 4: Staying outside of Borgeaux in a charming village . I hope . Found a very good place to stay Les Chambres d’Ovaline

Bayeux: Tuesday 4-Thursday 6  exploring the Normandy area – the beaches and the tapestry and staying at La Villa

St Malo: Thursday 6th Visiting Mount ST Michel and Dinan we stay at Ajoncs d’Or

Jersey: Channel Island Friday 7,8,9th . Its high summer in Jersey and accommodation was tight but I found the Hotel Savoy. Not on the water but not a problem as we’ll be out adventuring each day. Plan to visit Guernsey and Sark

Gatwick:  Monday 10.  Arrive from Jersey late and have a quick night here before our flight to Gibraltar the next day.

Tarifa:  Tuesday 11 – Thursday 20  I looked long and hard to find good accommodation for ourselves, Rob and John, Jordan’s parents Lisa and John, and Rob’s friend Cameron. Not to mention the other 5 swimmers , friends coming from England, the USA and Vanuatu. I eventually book Riad Lolita for our group and the 5 guys are staying at the Hotel Mistral 5 minutes away.

Terrace riad

Roof terrace at the Riad

Riad Lolita

Internal Courtyard

room riad lolita

Our bedroom